"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Least Accountable Regime in the Middle East

I might just have mentioned this before, but Iraq - what a bloody disaster! Just read this piece by Ed Harriman in the LRB - The Least Accountable Regime in the Middle East (login required for full article) - and the sheer incompetence, waste and idiocy of the enterprise is staggering. It's about the cash spent on reconstruction projects and the like. Billions and billions have been spent to achieve the merest fraction of what they were supposed to. Nobody knows where most of it has gone, other than to corrupt Iraqi politicians, western security firms and consultants of various shades. Electricity levels are only just now getting back to Saddam era crapness, and water and sewage not even that. All the cash for hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure is gone and they haven't finished anything. Why have the people responsible not been toppled from office and put in jail?


Tom said...

Yes, I read this article at the weekend. As de-sensitized as I am to the Iraq disaster, I was taken aback by the sheer scale of incompetence and theft associated with the Iraq occupation. It is genuinely breathtaking. People who should be in jail or (at the very least) disgraced and sacked, are in fact millionaires, and still in US and Iraq public life.

To take just one example. Paul Wolfowitz, one of the principal architects of this entire catastrophe, predicted that the war would pay for itself in the first year. His punishment? Presidency of the World Bank.

Colin said...

Yes, when I mentioned the people responsible, I meant Bush, Blair and the rest of them. I thought I was becoming resigned to the whole farrago, but the research on the number of people killed, and now this, have made me completely(impotently) furious about the whole thing again. It's all just so utterly wrong.

Tom said...

It's little comfort, but I do think that history will make the most brutal and harshest of judgements on them, and this does tend to torment world leaders. Not sure about Bush who lives in his own delusional bubble anyway, but I suspect that the Iraq catastrophe already haunts Blair. After all, can anyone remember one single thing about Anthony Eden other than Suez?

Tom said...

And the Pentagon's response to all this? Close down the auditors!!.

In our lifetimes, has a western democracy produced a worst government?

Colin said...

Utter bastards.