January 15, 2007

Bush people are incredibly slow

Very, very slow. The passive errors that Bush grudgingly admits from the early days of the occupation were huge. Barring the Bathists from service--the only ones who knew how to run the government was just part of the problem. This ideological purge removed teachers leaving some areas without.

They also, as we learn from
this Wash Post article, refused to get Iraq's factories up and going:
"Before Carney left Iraq in June 2003, he tried one last time to persuade Bremer to rethink his refusal to repair more than a handful of state-owned factories. Iraq's government-run businesses employed more than 100,000 people before the U.S. invasion. To Carney, it was a no-brainer: Fixing the factories would allow thousands of Iraqis to get back to work, not only allowing them to provide for their families, but also keeping them occupied. He knew from his time in other post-conflict societies that the idle and unemployed are the best recruits for insurgencies.

But Bremer and his chief economic adviser, Peter McPherson, didn't want to pour money into inefficient state-run firms. They believed private investors would buy Iraq's government factories and set up new businesses to employ the populace. So they refused to give Carney money to reopen the plants."

This kind of blind ideology--belief that the market forces will respond immediately in a war zone--are just some of the Bush administration's idiocy. Remember, that the reconstruction effort was led by pro-Bush people--not necessarily competent people. People who were asked their views on Roe, rather than how to get Iraq actually functioning as a country. Chandrasekaran reported that one of them went on an anti-smoking movement--as if the Iraqi people didn't have more to worry about.

Now, after all this time, and Carney's wife losing a government contract because of his vocal dissent (remember, Bush isn't a revengeful person, right?) they are asking him back. Now, it seems, the Bush people recognize that perhaps some pragmatism might be in order.

I hope this works, but this all seems like way too little, way too late. If Bush had an ounce of self-reflection and the ability to acknowledge mistakes, we could have made some course adjustments right after the invasion. But not Bushy.

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