Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I just finished reading this book by Rajiv Chandrakeraran. It was pretty scary. It's about the Coalition Provisional Authority that administered Iraq during the first year of the occupation. It's a pretty damning portrait. The depth of the cronyism and isolation that went on in the Green Zone was absolutely spectacular. The number one criterion for a job administering Iraq: partisan loyalty to the Bush administration. Don't speak Arabic? Never been to Iraq? Have no experience in post war reconstruction or conflict resolution? No problem, as long as you have the correct opinion on Roe v. Wade and have had an internship at a conservative think tank.

The horrors are too many to count: Groups of three people assigned to do the work of thousands. A massive dearth of Arabic speakers. People promulgating flat taxes and free trade and other conservative economic agenda items while basics like electricity and security go neglected. And the complete lack of understanding of the sheer scale of the problem at the top.

You can see the first flickers of the firestorm that is consuming Iraq in the pages of this book. I don't know how accurate a portrait this book is as I have no other depictions to compare it to, but if it is anything close to accurate this occupation was doomed, doomed, doomed, from the very beginning.

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