Sunday, June 05, 2005

Newsweek isn't finished

In this short editorial, their former Baghdad bureau chief observes:

Living and working in Iraq, it's hard not to succumb to despair. At last count America has pumped at least $7 billion into reconstruction projects, with little to show for it but the hostility of ordinary Iraqis, who still have an 18 percent unemployment rate. Most of the cash goes to U.S. contractors who spend much of it on personal security. Basic services like electricity, water and sewers still aren't up to prewar levels. Electricity is especially vital in a country where summer temperatures commonly reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet only 15 percent of Iraqis have reliable electrical service. In the capital, where it counts most, it's only 4 percent. END QUOTE.

Baghdad Year Zero, of course. The assertions of Naomi Klein's article are buttressed by these observations in turn. Americans help themselves and destroy everything they touch. There is no sense that rectitude is necessary on the part of the powerful. Our government is being led by moral non-entities. This is a war to defend the interests of the contractors, to fatten the contractors, and to keep them prosperous, cool and happy while the rest of Iraq suffers, suffers, and suffers.

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