Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mind boggling waste in Iraq

As the United States winds down operations in Iraq, now is the time to start counting up the cost. One of the highest ticket items on our Iraq adventure was plain and simple waste:
Perhaps nothing symbolizes the failure of America's aspirations in Iraq more than the lack of electricity. Back in 2003, the newly installed U.S. occupation authority announced plans to increase Iraq's power generation to 6,000 megawatts a day by the summer of 2004, deemed enough to give Iraqis a big boost compared with the Saddam Hussein era.

Six summers and $4.9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money later, Iraqis are sweltering in temperatures that routinely hit 120 degrees with no more than a few hours of electricity a day in most places. Domestic production has peaked at around 5,500 megawatts, public anger is growing, and demonstrations protesting the lack of power have turned violent.
The United States' own infrastructure is crumbling, with bridges and levees collapsing left and right, but forget trying to get Republicans in Congress to authorize money for projects in the United States. But ask the Republicans to piss away money on the other side of the globe and they are all for it.

Read about the truly staggering scale of waste in Iraq in The Huffington Post.

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