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Monday, October 17, 2005

afternoon delight 

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Not A Joyful Vote


"The fundamental problem is this is not a consensus constitution, and one part of the country has massively rejected it," said Larry Diamond, senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a former adviser to the U.S.-led Iraqi provisional government. "This was not a joyful vote. It was a pragmatic vote to continue the process."

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Today’s Illogic


With his earlier war rationales shattered, George W. Bush now says the Iraq War must be continued indefinitely because of the presence of foreign Islamic fighters – even though they are estimated to represent only a tiny fraction of the Iraqi insurgency and might well quit the struggle if U.S. troops were to leave Iraq.

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Iraq is not Germany


"Those who argued at the time that the acceptance of democracy in Iraq would be easy, and who drew on our experience with Japan and Germany, were wrong," he said. "First of all, Germany and Japan were homogeneous societies. Iraq is not." He added that the German and Japanese populations were "exhausted and deeply shocked by what had happened," but that Iraqis were "un-shocked and un-awed."

Now administration officials are beginning to describe the insurgency as long-lasting, more akin to Communist insurgencies in Malaysia or the Philippines

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Did you know?


Did you know that half of all Iraqi households still don't have access to clean water?

Did you know that only 8% of Iraqi households outside Baghdad are connected to sewage networks?

Did you know that out of 81 water and sewage treatment projects planned as part of the reconstruction effort, 68 have been abandoned?

Did you know that the power in Baghdad is out for 14 hours a day?

Did you know that 330 reconstruction contractors, mostly Iraqis, have been killed?

Did you know that a quarter out of every dollar allocated for reconstruction is being spent on security instead?

Did you know that Iraq's oil production is lower than before the 2003 war, and 46% lower than before the 1991 Gulf War?

Did you know that nearly $100 million in US taxpayer-funded reconstruction money for Iraq is unaccounted for? [This figure is far too low. Other estimates of missing funds range from $1 billion to $8.8 billion .]

Did you know that the unemployment / underemployment rate in Iraq stands at 50% ?

Did you know that all 11 multinational firms working through the Iraqi Project and Contracting Office have "cost-plus" contracts, which guarantee that they will be paid all of their costs, no matter how high they go, plus a profit?

Did you know that expenses for construction of one water treatment plant under a "cost plus" contract have grown from $80 million to $200 million, with taxpayers, not the contractor, making up the difference?

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Hurry The Fuck Up


Almost two months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast and a month after promising in a nationally televised speech to help rebuild the region "quickly," President Bush has settled on a cautious, piecemeal approach that even many members of his own party fear will stall reconstruction and sow economic disarray.

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The Traitoress


"If the New York Times does not trust Judy Miller to do stories in her area of expertise, what do they trust her to do, and why should we trust what she does?" Jones asked. "She's a great, energetic talent, but investigative reporters need to be managed very closely, and her characterization of herself as Miss Run Amok is something an institution like the New York Times can't afford."


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