Fucking Up The “Good War”

War profiteering come first.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. spending on aid work in Afghanistan is only a fraction of what the American military spends, and too much of the aid money pays the high salaries of expatriate employees, an international aid agency said Tuesday.

[snip]

Though the government aid arm U.S. Agency for International Development has spent more than $4.4 billion in Afghanistan since 2002, the British-based aid agency Oxfam said that figure is dwarfed by U.S. military spending here — some $35 billion in 2007 alone.

“As in Iraq, too much aid is absorbed by profits of companies and subcontractors, on non-Afghan resources and on high expatriate salaries and living costs,” said the report, which was prepared for a British parliament committee. “Each full-time expatriate consultant costs up to half a million dollars a year.”

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said it couldn’t immediately comment.

The report said “urgent action” is needed to avert humanitarian disaster and that millions of rural Afghans face “severe hardship comparable with sub-Saharan Africa.”

[snip]

“Some two-thirds of U.S. foreign assistance bypasses the Afghan government that officials say they want to strengthen,” Oxfam said.

One thought on “Fucking Up The “Good War”

  1. Morman Nailer says:

    Whatever, dude. If I can’t praise Hugo while maintaining that he’s not pure as the driven snow without you coming back to it again and again for hours on end, that’s a You Problem.
    Holden Caulfield

    You said he was “undemocratic”. I said, not so fast, maybe you don’t have the whole story. I never said anything about him being “pure as the driven snow”. What politician is? Criticize him, praise him, I don’t care. Just get your facts straight. That’s not too much to ask of a top tier blogger, is it?
    …Venezuelans run a close second in just about every democracy-hugging category, even as other countries are showing an unnerving openness to the idea of “dictatorship” if it gets the job done.
    • Uruguayans and Venezuelans are far more likely to say they are “satisfied” with their democracy (66% and 59% respectively) than everyone else in the region. No other nationality hits the 50% mark.
    • Venezuela ties with Argentina for second place in believing that democracy “is the best form of government” (83% each, compared with 86% for Uruguay at the top and 49% for Panama at the bottom).
    • Responding to the weirdly-phrased “Do you trust in democracy?” question, Venezuela and Uruguay tie for the top spot, with 77% of the population avowing their “trust,” followed by Argentina and Bolivia (67% and 63%). Peru and Panama have some trust issues, with 39% and 34%, respectively.
    If Venezuelans are content with their democratic system, they are downright ecstatic over the state of their economy—which, for the record, is “socialist.” Ok, it probably helps to have oil, but:
    • 52% of Venezuelans say they are satisfied with the country’s “recent economic condition,” which may sound a little weak until you read that the second slot is a three-way tie between Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican republic for 26%, or exactly half that figure.
    • Venezuelans are far more hopeful about their future economic sitch, with 60% believing it will get even better in the year ahead, compared with second place Uruguay (37%), ninth place Colombia (31%) fifteenth place Colombia (24%) and last place Paraguay (16%).
    Wait sorry, did I say that Venezuelans gushed hardest about the state of their economy? I meant to say “their government in general.” Here are some stats that will obviously never see print outside of this blog posting:
    • When asked whether their government works for the well-being of the people, Venezuelans top the list with 70%, followed by Uruguay (67%), Bolivia (64%) and Nicaragua (63%). Most Central American countries pull up the rear. Oh and of course Paraguay, who reports in with 24%. Poor Paraguay : (
    • Asked if they “trust their government,” Venezuelans head the pack, with 66% trust ranking. Compare this with Colombians (41%), Brazilians (35%), Peruvians (22%) and—and I totally hate to pick on them—Paraguayans, with a sad little 15%.
    • Asked if they trust their President in particular, Venezuelans come in second to Uruguay (61% vs. 60%). I won’t even mention who hates their president most, but it rhymes with “Laraguay,” at 13%. Double : (
    Fascinating, no? Even better: you can play along at home! Just file these numbers away in your head, and like a demented game of Telephone, see if you recognize them when the come back at you in your local newspaper later this week. Be sure to send the most outlandish sightings to BoRevNet (at) Gmail (dot) Com.

    http://www.borev.net/2007/11/were_number_2_and_other_storie.html

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