Thursday, February 02, 2006

Iraq Reconstruction Was a Disaster

Is anybody actually surprised?

The first official history of the $25 billion American reconstruction effort in Iraq depicts a program hobbled from the outset by gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic infighting, secrecy and constantly increasing security costs, according to a preliminary draft

A little later, we see the almost certain problem here:

"It almost looks like a spoils system between various agencies," said Steve Ellis, a vice president and an authority on the Army corps at Taxpayers for Common Sense, an organization in Washington, who read a copy of the document. "You had various fiefdoms established in the contracting process."
Everybody wanted a turn at the trough.

What wasn't mentioned in the article, though, was that this was THE pet project of Bush neo-conservatives, and that the people on the ground over there were the very same breed as those who were arguing in favor of the war over here.

Amazing, really: I would have expected that they would have done and said and paid anything to have their pet project work out right. Instead, they screw it up, and the American taxpayers--that endless source of Republican rhetoric--get screwed out of their money.

Even the libertarians won't be happy, because Iraq was supposed to be a free-marketeers paradise after all was said and done. Instead, it's a mess.

Can't say I'll shed a tear for the whole lot. I save my grief for the poor Iraqis.

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