Smartly, Iraq boosters gave up the tired cliche about painted schools and women’s clinics a long time ago. The work got too dangerous for us, contracting with Americans became a near death sentence and our government’s pathological hatred of oversight guaranteed that money spent largely disappeared to shoddy work and unaccountable fraud. These days the only thing we build is walls.
Still, at one time the stalwart defenders of our Iraq adventure liked to hold up this project or that as evidence that ouroccupation was doing some good. If the stories we didnt already know about weren’t enough to shame those arguments into silence, the New York Times pretty much puts it to bed:
In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.
Frankly, it seems almost insane to expect our projects to funtion normally in Iraq today. So on the one hand sure, I’m outraged that nearly everything that we spent in Iraq has come to naught. But honestly, if Stuart Bowen’s inspectors found that some of our projects remained functional in Iraq’s present state of near-total anarchy, wouldn’t that be shocking?
The grief that we sometimes get in the comments section is worth observations like this.
[I]t was probably expensive to clean all those flower petals off our tanks.