Article released today by Reuters: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031024/lf_nm/iraq_businessmen_dc_1
Basically the level of CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) condescension towards the Iraqi business community knows no bounds. Token peanuts are handed out to indigenous businesses while the big bucks are withheld until a U.S. or similar croney-ist foreign corporation can get their finger in the pie.
I’d like all of the market-driven Friedman-ite dopers to look at this ongoing scandal objectively - do you really think that postwar reconstruction is more efficiently carried out by excluding local businesses who already have the relationships, the contacts, the supply chain knowledge, and the cultural negotiating experience, in favor of foreign corporations with deep pockets and are hooked up to the good 'ole boy network?
I submit to you the stark contrast of the Marshall Plan, which dopers all across the ideological spectrum have trumpeted as a model of U.S. competency in the sphere of institution-building and reconstruction: http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/1998-11/leffler.html. A few choice quotes from this particular source -
Substitute “Islamic fundamentalist” for “communist”.
“Respond to individual concerns” and “not simply impose its will”??!! What a novel idea!!
Regardless of one’s pre-war position or one’s ideological stripe, by any objective measure the postwar reconstruction effort is already shaping up to be a financial, cultural, and diplomatic disaster. Instead of ending up with a democratic flagship in the Middle East, Dubya and the CPA seem hell-bent on creating a free-for-all exploitation zone for the Coalition of the Greedy. If you have any doubts as to how that scenario turns out, check your history books.