(Re "Millions Said Going to Waste in Iraq Utilities," April 10:
Billions of American dollars were spent on rebuilding 40 Iraqi water
and sewage plants plus 19 power facilities. None are being operated
properly by the locals and all are falling into ruin.)
"Talk about blaming the victim. In the first U.S. invasion of Iraq,
the electricity grid was specifically targeted for destruction.
Afterward, the Iraqis rebuilt the system in just three months. After
the second invasion, George W. Bush had U.S. companies do the
rebuilding. Two years later, the system is not even up to prewar
Following the invasion, Bush fired 30,000 of Iraq's most skilled
engineers, ministry officials, etc. because they were Baath Party
American companies were brought in along with foreign workers —
bypassing Iraqis who had run and worked the systems for decades.
Bechtel spent the first vital months in Iraq doing an assessment, not
rebuilding. Bechtel finally built facilities foreign to the Iraqis who
are now to run them.
President Bush and Bechtel have the gall to blame the Iraqis for a
failure that would have been avoided had the Iraqis done the
reconstruction in the first place.
Success now depends on ending the corporate and military invasion of
Iraq and turning enough money directly over to the Iraqis to run the
systems and rebuild the nation themselves."