Only in Bushworld: just 27% of US funds spent on Iraqi reconstruction are actually being spent on Iraqi reconstruction:
As little as 27 cents of every dollar spent on Iraq’s reconstruction has actually filtered down to projects benefiting Iraqis, a statistic that is prompting the State Department to fundamentally rethink the Bush administration’s troubled reconstruction effort.
The State Department will acknowledge the problem in a quarterly report to Congress today and say that the United States is trying to accelerate aid and redirect how it is spent, U.S. officials said yesterday. But the Bush administration is still not meeting the goal it set this summer to inject $300 million to $400 million monthly into Iraq’s economy by Sept. 1, the officials said.
[A]dministration officials, lawmakers and think tanks say major changes are needed not only in what the reconstruction money is spent on but also how it is spent. Too much money has been filtered through major American businesses such as Halliburton Co. and Bechtel Corp. on large-scale electricity, water and oil infrastructure projects, and not nearly enough has gone to smaller, more decentralized reconstruction efforts that could be handled by Iraqis, they say.
Here’s the kicker:
[B]ribery has become “just the reality of doing business,” said Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the inspector general of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Last night I was reading Barbarosa, a history of Hitler’s invasion of Russia by Margaret Thatcher’s former Defense Secretary Alan Clark, and was struck once again by the similarities between Bush and Hitler. Hitler attacked a country that did not threaten him (with whom he in fact had signed a famous non-aggression pact) under the pretext that his foe was an “imminent threat”. As the German Army swept across Russia inexperienced yet committed party members followed, establishing their own fiefdoms.
Yet even Hitler said, “You cannot control through democratic means what you have conquerred by force.”