taxpayers will be enriching Bush's friends in postwar Iraq

Mindful of the sad course of events in Afghanistan, lefties have been appropriately sceptical about the administration's commitment to a postwar Iraq, but I guess we can now see that they really do intend to stay around for a while once they've reduced it to gore and rubble. There's lots of money in it for their friends and funders.

Of course that doesn't mean any of us are going to like what happens. Even The Wall Street Journal is shocked! See Matt Stoller.

The most stunning revelation of the past few days (and yes, there have been many) is surely the administration's 'audacious' plan to rebuild Iraq using private American construction companies rather than multilateral organizations with experience in nation-building in the Balkans and Afghanistan.
Major groups of U.S. companies are competing for the initial $900 million contract, which was put out for bids in secret last month.
All three of these companies are large American companies with strong ties to the administration and the American political system. I want to believe that the reconstruction of Iraq simply necessitates the special skills these companies bring to the table, but if that's so, why the secretive selection process? Why are outside experts stunned by the choice of this development path? Given the incredible boondoggles these companies have munched on in the past, how could anyone think that these companies are fit to rebuild a sensitive war-torn area with minimal help from the international community?

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Published on March 19, 2003 12:23 PM.

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