August 1, 2003
The Guardian (UK)

Let Iraqis Rebuild Their Own Country

After the 1991 war, we had Iraq's oil industry back on its feet within weeks. Now, the Americans are having to import petrol

by Ghazi Sabir-Ali

Iraq, which was, until the first Gulf war, the second-largest oil-exporting country, is now importing petrol for the first time in 60 years. Iraqis are now paying exorbitant prices for a commodity that only a few months ago was cheaper than bottled water.

This is, of course, far from being the only cause of distress to an already mentally and physically battered population. Nearly four months after the war ended, services are appalling. The electricity supply is intermittent, and there is a serious water shortage. With temperatures up to 50C, this is an intolerable situation.


[Mr Feldman - a professor at New York University Law School - joined the US Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance led by Paul Bremer in Iraq - as an adviser on framing a new constitution.

He resigned from that position last week, . . .--Rachel Clarke, "US 'must accept Islam in Iraq politics'," BBC News, July 25, 2003]

[I feared my role with the reconstruction council was sliding from what I had originally envisioned - working with allies in a democratic fashion - to collaborating with occupying forces.--Isam al-Khafaji, "'I did not want to be a collaborator'," Guardian, July 28, 2003]

[Why don't the occupation authorities realise that Iraq cannot be "spun"? This country is living a tragedy of epic proportions, and now - after its descent into hell under Saddam - we are doomed to suffer its contagion. By our hubris and by our lies and by our fantasies - including the fantasies of Tony Blair - we are descending into the pit.--Robert Fisk, "Iraq Isn't Working," Independent, July 31, 2003]

[A Bahraini company that established a network accessible to those without American phones has been forced to scrap its plans after a week.--Andrew Buncombe, "Cut off for un-American activities: the mobile phone firm that connected Iraqis," Independent, July 30, 2003]

Martin Sieff, "Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq," UPI, July 31, 2003

"Israeli firm wins public telephone contract in Iraq," Middle East & North Africa Report, August 04, 2003

"Western vice--Iraq's new tyrant," Sydney Morning Herald, August 13, 2003

James L. Larocca, "Have We Forgotten Anger in the Eyes?," Newsday, August 13, 2003

"Withdraw U.S. forces," USA Today, August 20, 2003

Robert Fisk, "Why the US needs to blame anyone but locals for its latest catastrophe," Independent, August 21, 2003

Ben Wootliff, "Bush pals hired to rewrite Iraqi law," The Observer, August 31, 2003

Alan Fram, "Bush Paper Details Iraq Spending Plan," Associated Press, September 22, 2003

Douglas Jehl, "Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq," New York Times, September 30, 2003

Stephen Pizzo, "Divvying up the Iraq Pie," AlterNet, October 7, 2003

Steven R. Weisman, "U.S. Set to Cede Part of Control Over Aid to Iraq," New York Times, October 19, 2003

Elizabeth Nash, "Nations pledge additional $13bn to help rebuild Iraq," Independent, October 25, 2003

[More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years. Those companies contributed more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush -- more than $500,000 -- than to any other politician over the last dozen years.--Chalres Lewis, "Windfalls of War," The Center for Public Integrity, October 30, 2003]

Naomi Klein, "Iraq is Not America's to Sell," The Guardian, November 7, 2003

Peyman Pejman, "Iraqis Shut Out of Lucrative Rebuilding Deals," Inter Press Service, November 21, 2003

Knut Royce and Tom Frank, "Start-up Company With Connections: U.S. gives $400M in work to contractor with ties to Pentagon favorite on Iraqi Governing Council ,", February 15, 2004

David R. Baker, "Feinstein's spouse owns stake in firm fixing energy grid," San Franscisco Chronicle, March 13, 2004

AUDIO: Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar, "One Year Later: An Iraqi Speaks From Baghdad," Democracy Now, March 19, 2004

[The project, called the Fatah pipeline crossing, had been a critical element of a $2.4 billion no-bid reconstruction contract that a Halliburton subsidiary had won from the Army in 2003. . . . Exactly what portion of Iraq's lost oil revenue can be attributed to one failed project, no matter how critical, is impossible to calculate. But the pipeline at Al Fatah has a wider significance as a metaphor for the entire $45 billion rebuilding effort in Iraq.James Glanz, "Rebuilding of Iraqi Pipeline as Disaster Waiting to Happen," New York Times, April 25, 2006]

CARTOON: "Halliburton wants to handle your reconstruction needs"

"Audit Shows $8.8B Missing in Iraq," Fox News, August 20, 2004

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