Iraq reconstrution: Another failure

A major component of the Bush administration’s Iraq war campaign — rebuilding the war-ravaged country — is failing because of unfinished projects, shoddy construction or failure of systems already installed.

Inspectors say the American-financed rebuilding program is a failure.

Reports James Glanz of The New York Times:

In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle.

The United States has previously admitted, sometimes under pressure from federal inspectors, that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed or poorly constructed. But this is the first time inspectors have found that projects officially declared a success — in some cases, as little as six months before the latest inspections — were no longer working properly.

The inspections ranged geographically from northern to southern Iraq and covered projects as varied as a maternity hospital, barracks for an Iraqi special forces unit and a power station for Baghdad International Airport.

At the airport, crucially important for the functioning of the country, inspectors found that while $11.8 million had been spent on new electrical generators, $8.6 million worth were no longer functioning.

At the maternity hospital, a rehabilitation project in the northern city of Erbil, an expensive incinerator for medical waste was padlocked — Iraqis at the hospital could not find the key when inspectors asked to see the equipment — and partly as a result, medical waste including syringes, used bandages and empty drug vials were clogging the sewage system and probably contaminating the water system.

The newly built water purification system was not functioning either.

Officials at the oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, said they had made an effort to sample different regions and various types of projects, but that they were constrained from taking a true random sample in part because many projects were in areas too unsafe to visit. So, they said, the initial set of eight projects — which cost a total of about $150 million — cannot be seen as a true statistical measure of the thousands of projects in the roughly $30 billion American rebuilding program.

But the officials said the initial findings raised serious new concerns about the effort.

The reconstruction effort was originally designed as nearly equal to the military push to stabilize Iraq, allow the government to function and business to flourish, and promote good will toward the United States.

“These first inspections indicate that the concerns that we and others have had about the Iraqis sustaining our investments in these projects are valid,” Stuart W. Bowen Jr., who leads the office of the special inspector general, said in an interview on Friday.


  1. Sandy Price

    We need to pull everyone back to the states and retrain the whole damn nation into some kind of quality control. But we have none in the white house so that puts a limit of what we can find elsewhere.

    I beg of all Americans to learn from this Administration that they are nothing but money grabbing opportunists riding on the reputation that America was once a great nation. We must get them out of office quickly!

    Is there an honest American left in D.C.?

  2. Bill Jonke

    In addition to being the aggressors, AKA bullies, we can also consider ourselves slumlords.

    This administration, our president, our vice president, all the others who are too numerous to mention, the rhetoric, the excuses, the lies, the torture, the suffocation of our nation and society, the idea of absolute power, Laura’s ill-fitting polyester pantsuits, are all

    sick, sick, sick.

  3. Razor

    More proof that the whole Iraq thing is just a pathetic sham produced by liars for personal gain and directed by a lunatic ego maniac named Dubya. The thousands of american troops who now face life with less than whole bodies have little to be proud of other than unquestioning performance for what they believed to be justifiable sacrifice in the line of duty. The contractors that took the money and never completed the jobs need to be rounded up and held accountable for fraud and grand larceny. Here at home, bidding for projects is competitive and performance must be proven before payment. The amount of wasted, stolen, lost money in the mismanagement of this war would have gone along ways to help the Iraqi people put together some sort of civil existense and order. But the true intent of Bush and company was not to help Iraqis, only to rape thier resources and control thier leadership for corporate pigs and warmongers gain. The whole dam thing is disgusting and immoral let alone ruinous for America. Are Americans going to allow this crap to go on and on? Probably, as long as the media keeps the propaganda coming and the facts hidden. Time for a national strike. Only when we stop providing tax dollars, will the war machine grind to a halt. And only when the Patriot Acts I & II are repealled along with the other rights robbing laws pushed through by Bush, will we have our nation back. Americans must be informed of the coming union with Mexico and Canada that has been secretly engineered and is being put in place by corporate enities without congressional participation. Wake Up Oh Ye Apathetic Couch Potatoes and see what you have allowed. Zionists have an agenda and they are busy and determined to own the planet which includes all of you taters.

  4. Carl Nemo

    the cost of the Iraqi debacle; i.e.,the never-ending war on terrorism all for the enrichment of the Military Industrial Complex, the “oil patch” and Bushco.

    The American dollar has been tanking against most major currencies since 2000. Now it’s reached a waterfall precipice and it’s heading down into the abyss. I guess America will wake up when a loaf of white bread is $10, a cup of coffee $5.00, a Honda Civic $50,000 plus and they see $8.50 per gal for regular unleaded at the pumps.

    The reason the dollar is tanking is America’s political leadership has no fiscal discipline. Our once vaunted Federal Reserve’s “inflation fighters” has given up the fight with the likes of “Gentle Ben” at the helm. Instead focusing on maintaining reasonable currency strength they have gotten in the business of propping up their buddies be they on Wall Street or in the Real Estate industry. The Fed’s operation now has an uber-agenda besides the simple issuance of “debt money”.

    Meanwhile as the dollar tanks; AmeriKa’s “billy-bobs” will be grinnin’ ear-to-ear sayin’ we still be the “bestest and the baddest”…!? /:)
    I’ll provide a graph of the U.S. Dollar Index. If you go to the monthly chart you can see how well AmeriKa has done under the Bushista’s since 2000?!

    I’m also providing the “duty link” for those citizen/patriots who might care to file a complaint with their duly elected republicrats, concerning the “need” to extricate ourselves from Iraq and to start running a government based on fiscal discipline.

  5. Carl Nemo

    “$500,000 billion dollars and growing”…
    should read: $500,000 million dollars and growing…

    My apologies for the error. The financial situation is so bad in either case it probably doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe that’s what the big spenders think too…? 😉 Carl Nemo