Home > Iraq > Hey, they don't have a plan!

Hey, they don't have a plan!

September 24, 2003 Leave a comment Go to comments

Impressive article in the WaPo.

BAGHDAD — When grease-stained technicians at the Baghdad South power plant needed spare parts recently, they first submitted a written request to Bechtel Corp., the engineering firm given more than $1 billion in U.S. government contracts to fix Iraq’s decrepit infrastructure.

Then they went to the junkyard.

They scoured piles of industrial detritus for abandoned items that could be jury-rigged into the geriatric plant, such as the hydraulic pump from a bulldozer that was used to restart a broken water condenser.

“Of course we’d like new parts,” sighed Ahmed Ali Shihab, the senior operations engineer. But he said repeated appeals to Bechtel and the U.S. military had not yielded any significant new equipment. “All we have received from them are promises,” he said.


By this January, Baghdad South was barely able to produce 185 megawatts.

“We were like an old man losing his energy,” Khallaf said.

U.S. officials insist that in the months before the Iraq war, the signs of trouble were impossible to see. “This was a closed-off, Stalinist society,” one U.S. official here said. “We knew there were repairs that were needed, but we had no idea just how bad things were.”

But some Iraqi and American specialists contend the warnings were apparent. The U.N. Development Program — which oversaw the importation of electrical parts under the oil-for-food program — produced extensive reports detailing problems in the power sector. One public U.N. document issued last year noted that Iraq’s generating units were “technically and economically obsolete,” resulting in a 2,500-megawatt nationwide power shortage and lengthy blackouts.

It’s painfully obvious how little we cared what the post war situation would be like. When have we ever cared about the Iraqis? During the crippling sanctions of the 90s? During the revolts around Gulf War I? When Saddam gassed the Kurds? When Rumsfeld shook Saddam’s hand, the hand that caused the torture of thousands of innocents? Have we ever cared? Of course not. We pretend to care when it’s convenient. We pretend to liberate people when it serves our goals. The moral bankruptcy of our government is astounding. That goes for Republicans AND Democrats.

Bush runs around spouting his charade about we want what’s best for the Iraqis at the UN, the institution that was irrelevent months ago, but now is important enough that we go and beg for help. Half this country has the same problem. With nationalistic tendencies that border on facism these days, anyone who cares for someone that isn’t an American is branded anti-American. They want freedom for Iraq now, but won’t acknowledge the damage we’ve done to countless children who die from diarrhea. Can these people look themselves in the mirror when the denounce a terrorist as hating freedom? Are they so ingrained with their propaganda they believe their own nonsense? Maybe I’m just young but I’m appalled by this. It seems like others who should be, aren’t.

Categories: Iraq
  1. September 24, 2003 at 7:23 pm

    Bravo, young’un!

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