Stifling Baghdad despairs as water cut adds to misery

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MrPVRd, Jun 25, 2005.

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  1. www.telegraph.co.uk

    So, how are things improving, Rummy you tw@t?

     
  2. Isn't the job of all these contracted skilled-workers - who are getting paid sh1tloads per month to go out there - to stop things like this from happening? If they're going there and getting a big sack of cash each month to do all this work, then they can't be doing it right...
     
  3. A large proportion of the cash is spent on security; most contractors can't even travel to the jobs they are supposed to be doing, which is why the locals can't see anything happening.

    With the best will in the world, a contractor can't fix the local watermain if (a) it keeps being vandalised and (b) gunmen and suicide bombers try to kill anyone seen repairing infrastructure.

    The locals are all very good at wailing to the obliging media but, even with the arab mentality, they should be able to see that as long as they tacitly support the insurrection, they can't expect life to improve.....
     
  4. It's a doubly vicious circle!

    The insurgency prevents the provision of utilities.

    The failure to provide utilities fuels the insurgency.

    The insurgency is tackled by the employment of force.

    Casualties caused by US/Iraqi forces fuels the insurgency.

    Time is running out and it may be too late. The only way to defuse the situation is as follows:

    - Bush makes major apology on TV for major blunders - Abu Ghraib etc.
    - Rumsfeld resigns or is sacked.
    - The US forces in Iraq are replaced by UN blue helmets, some of whom may be US military.

    However, this is highly unlikely and the situation is therefore lost.
     
  5. But they got to vote ! How can anything be wrong ? And some GI got to give sweeties to a few Iraqi children yesterday. Why do you hate freedom ?

    But seriously, the emphasis on electoral freedom means nothing to someone who just wants electricity, water, sewerage and a job (no job = no money = no food).

    Regardless of the facts the locals blame the US for the mess. Their attitude is that "you invaded and broke everything, you clean it up". They also don't believe that the world's only superpower can't get the electrics and water fixed if they wanted to. So they obviously don't want to and that helps feed the insurgency. It's not fair but welcome to the real world.
     
  6. The irony is that the invasion went to great lengths to avoid destroying civilian life-support infrastructure - the vast majority of real damage (water plants, electricity sub-stations, oil installations, etc) was inflicted by civilian looters. In Rumallah oilfields on the first day of the invasion, everything was completely intact, apart from one or two sabotage oilpipe fires. 24 hrs later, everything was utterly destroyed by looters - they'd even removed the window and door frames and chiselled ceramic tiles off the floors and walls of public buildings. Infrastructure that had no obvious value - eg sub-station switchgear panels - was simply smashed for the sake of it.

    [On the subject of water, Brits might remember the huge above-ground 2m water main in the area of Al-Qurna: everytime it was repaired, the locals simply axed a hole in the side to provide the world's biggest public shower and free irrigation for about three acres of farmland. Clearly the complainers in the towns trun a blind eye to the antics of their own scaberous kin in the outskirts...]

    The biggest and most incompetent failure of the invasion was to make zip provision to communicate with the population: no translators, no printed media, no mobile radio or TV stations, no nothing. For the majority of the population, the only form of news - apart from rabid and sensationalised gossip - is from politically slanted announcements and sermons at the mosque. That seems to continue to the present day: the Government and coalition forces are failing to effectively educate the population the real-world fact of life.
     
  7. The biggest and most incompetent failure of the invasion was to disband the Iraqi Army. They should have been kept, and some of them turned to civil affairs and re-building programmes.

    There would have been plenty of time afterwards to determine who was a baathist die-hard and who wasn't. With cash on the hip , and the ability to provide for his family, just how far could the insurgency have got?

    The were some lunatic decisions made , we warned of it on this forum long before the problems really became apparent. US and British Commanders on the ground said it, British Diplomats said it , the Iraqis told us too. But yet the White House still insists on falling back on the example of the "free" elections. Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and blowing warm air up your own butt, while you parade this weeks puppet to the World's media is not going to cut it.

    ' We cannot give a timetable for the withdrawl, because that would play into the hands of the insurgents" ? WTF?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but when did this change? Had we not always previously said, that our goal was to hand Iraq back to the Iraqis and withdraw? What is wrong with a timetable for that? Or was this to reassure the latest puppet that he wouldn't be hanging by his ankles from a lampost in the green zone anytime soon?

    The really heartbreaking thing, is anyone of you who were reading the USMEC briefings in the aftermath of the invasion, would have seen the truly excellent work being done by individual US units and local Commanders in areas now riven with insurgency. You could see examples, that there is nothing on this planet bigger-hearted than an American GI. Bremner made decisions which ruined this work. Or rather, Bremner acting under instructions from somewhere else did that. The BBC documentary on the men and women of 1ID showed that graphically. Local commanders down to Sergeant frustrated that for the want of simple materials, they were losing the trust and support of the locals.

    This operation is being run by people outside the Military , who because of their ingrained bigotry and questionable loyalties regard Iraqis as little more than Sand N-words . That is the root of the problem . Colin Powell I believe, resigned because he just couldn't make it through. Jay Gardener was sacked for telling it exactly like it was, and would be , if certain agendas were pursued. Now we arrive at this. We arrive at the point where women are forced back into Burkas , Islamic hardline schools flourish , and certain areas tilt towards hardline islam, something that never happened under the previous b*stard.

    It's ironic when Iraqis comment that things were better under Saddam.
     
  8. When Germany and Japan were rebuilding after WW2, the work was done by locals, often under the direction of Allied military engineering staff (Ok, both Japan and Germany had enough trained and skilled people, technical knowledge was never a problem here).
    What I wondered about over the last two years is why are extremely expensive foreign building contractors brought into Iraq to rebuild the infrastructure? Why isn´t it possible to let the repair work be carried out by locally recruited staff under the guidance of e.g. the US Army Corps of Engineers? You don´t need foreign specialists to operate a digger or to lay bricks. IMO this would have first been much cheaper, and secondly it would have given many people jobs and kept them busy (people who have a job and are busy feeding their families don´t blow themselves up).
    Don't provide them with ready built schools or hospitals or waterworks, but hire Iraqis to build this themselves, just pay them fair wages while you do it.

    Jan

    Edit for stupid typo
     
  9. It is very difficult when considering this question not to sound like a tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorist. The work is being done by big corporations (eg Halliburton) with links to members of the current US administration ... you see ?

    Or maybe it's just that the people in power in the US don't think Iraqi's are up to the job ? Again, tin foil hat at the ready as the only real reason for this is racial prejudice - rational analysis would point to the Iraqi team who build some plant as the natural choice to fix it.

    Applying Occam's razor though, are the current US administration just criminally inept ?