1 comment November 13th, 2009at 07:01am Posted by Eli
Hey, remember all those no-bid contracts to reconstruct Iraq, and all the shoddy work by connected profiteers like Halliburton & KBR? The Iraqis do.
Iraq’s Baghdad Trade Fair ended Tuesday, six years and a trillion dollars after the American invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, and one country was conspicuously absent.
That would be the country that spent a trillion dollars — on the invasion and occupation, but also on training and equipping Iraqi security forces, and on ambitious reconstruction projects in every province aimed at rebuilding the country and restarting the economy.
Yet when the post-Saddam Iraqi government swept out its old commercial fairgrounds and invited companies from around the world, the United States was not much in evidence among the 32 nations represented. Of the 396 companies that exhibited their wares, “there are two or three American participants, but I can’t remember their names,” said Hashem Mohammed Haten, director general of Iraq’s state fair company….
American companies are not seeing much lasting benefit from their country’s investment in Iraq. Some American businesses have calculated that the high security costs and fear of violence make Iraq a business no-go area. Even those who are interested and want to come are hampered by American companies’ reputation here for overcharging and shoddy workmanship, an outgrowth of the first years of the occupation, and a lasting and widespread anti-Americanism.
Apparently the Iraqis are not stupid. Who knew?