[Grovenet] What's Worse than Invading Iraq?
Ron D'Eau Claire
ron at cobi.biz
Fri Jun 24 15:49:04 PDT 2005
I didn't see anything pessimistic about the BBC account I linked!
We're still at War in Iraq, and in Afghanistan for that matter (the Taliban
leadership slipped away again I see in the news).
We need to win both wars. Winning will be when an Iraqi or Afghanistan
minister can take a walk without being shot, or an American can drive to the
Baghdad Airport and expect to live through the trip, or an Iraqi who works
for the government can go to work in the morning and expect to see his
family alive that evening.
Then we need to rebuild both societies, respecting that they are Muslim
societies with needs much different from our own. And, as the article I
linked mentioned, there is still the fact that 20 years of sanctions took
their toll on what little of the Iraqi infrastructure survived our invasion
One doesn't finish things like that overnight.
It's more akin to raising a family. Give it 20 years and a big chunk of our
resources, for starters.
I think that's being very optimistic.
Ron D'Eau Claire
From: grovenet-bounces at rdrop.com [mailto:grovenet-bounces at rdrop.com] On
Behalf Of Krystof Zmudzinski
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 2:57 PM
To: Forest Grove local interests list
Subject: Re: [Grovenet] What's Worse than Invading Iraq?
This is why I don't pay more attention to what
Old Europeans think of war.
The following may be too optimistic but BBC's account
seems too pessimistic so for what's worth here it is:
Also, these reports seem more measured. This is
the latest of 24 parts from both Iraq and Afghanistan.
His work, based on actual news reports is published
in WSJ regularly. I'm going to ask him what he
thinks of that BBC report.
Lastly, let's not forget what Kofi has to say:
--- Ron D'Eau Claire <ron at cobi.biz> wrote:
> Walking away...
> Maybe we can't afford to stay the time it takes so
> see the Iraq become a
> successful republic.
> Maybe too many Americans are too angry with the
> President to see how many
> other lives now depend upon our keeping a cool head
> and finishing what we
> Maybe we aren't mature enough as a people to provide meaningful help
> to someone whose culture is different from ours.
> If we can't or won't, I don't think the war will be
> anywhere near the
> biggest mistake we made in Iraq.
> Leaving it will be.
> Ron D'Eau Claire
> Iraq's power struggle as supplies falter
> By Jon Leyne
> BBC News, Baghdad
> Speak to any Iraqi and they will tell you their
> standard of living has not
> improved since the toppling of Saddam Hussein two
> years ago.
> Many will tell you it has got worse.
> The power supply is still off more than it is on.
> Water is intermittent. The
> queues for petrol stretch round the block. Jobs are
> hard to find.
> And all despite the billions of dollars budgeted for reconstruction.
> So where has all the money gone?
> At a briefing in Baghdad, the American general in
> charge of reconstruction,
> Brig Gen Thomas Bostick, insisted progress was being
> He presented an impressive list of statistics:
> 2,500 projects started
> More than 13,700km (8,600 miles) of electricity
> transmission lines
> 700km (437 miles) of dirt roads being laid with
> But on the areas most crucial to Iraqis, Gen Bostick
> conceded: "It will take
> some time, I can't estimate how long, to make
> substantial improvements in
> electricity and water.
> "The amount of resources necessary are just not
> The United States has committed more than $18bn
> (£10bn) to the
> reconstruction effort.
> Other countries are pitching in as well; Japan has
> just pledged $100m for
> the building of a new power plant.
> But in a country of 25m people that has been through
> 25 years of war and
> sanctions, that does not go very far.
> Of the American contribution, for example, only
> $11bn goes directly to
> reconstruction. The rest is paying for things like
> the Iraqi security forces
> or justice system.
> The funds allocated to improving the water supply
> total $2bn. Yet according
> to Gen Bostick, Iraq's water minister recently
> estimated his country needed
> to spend $2bn every year for 12 years in order to be
> able to supply clean
> water across Iraq.
> So the problems are there even without the sort of
> bomb attack that took out
> most of Baghdad's water supply for most of this
> Or take the electricity supply network. Gen Bostick
> proudly proclaims that
> his men have increased Iraq's power supply to more
> than 5 megawatts - a big
> increase on the 4.4 megawatts available under Saddam
> But he also admits that at any one time 2 megawatts
> of that capacity is down
> for "unscheduled maintenance" - in other words,
> At the same time, demand has increased by 60% as
> Iraqis have rushed out to
> buy televisions, fridges, freezers and air
> So according to official American figures, there is
> less than eight hours
> power available every day across Iraq. If anything,
> the gap between supply
> and demand is continuing to widen.
> And despite all the achievements they claim, so far
> the Americans have only
> completed reconstruction projects worth less than
> By contrast, according to the analysts at
> globalsecurity.org, the invasion
> and occupation of Iraq have so far cost the United
> States more than $178bn.
> So perhaps it is not a surprise that most Iraqis
> have not noticed the
> difference yet.
> Story from BBC NEWS:
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