Sunday, May 02, 2004

Electricity in Iraq

It is almost impossible to believe, but the United States has still - still!! - not repaired the electrical system in Iraq. The inability of the American military in Iraq to maintain any kind of security means that the civilian contractors are laying low, and no real work is being performed. If you think the Iraqis are mad now, just wait until air conditioner season. The Chimp just said:

"Electricity is now more widely available than before the war."

This is a lie (daily nationwide electricity production for April averaged 3,822 megawatts, which is much less than the prewar average of about 4,500 megawatts). The provision of electricity is not only a symbolic issue, it also directly affects the health and well being of the Iraqi people. The provision of clean water and proper sewage treatment systems depends on the electrical system. After much more significant damage after the first Gulf War, Saddam managed to have the system functioning again in a matter of weeks. Given the symbolic and practical importance of it, you would think Bremer of Baghdad would have moved heaven and earth to get the system running again. Instead, he spends his time closing newspapers and having a new flag designed in London by cutting up an Israeli flag and rearranging the pieces (with a yellow strip representing the urine stream from British soldier to hooded Iraqi prisoner of war). If there was any real concern for the Iraqi people, the electrical system would have been fixed months ago, and the current instability would not be a problem. On the other hand, if Bremer's neocon plans have all along been to make Iraq the starting battleground for WW III, his complete inattention to the most important issue he faces makes perfect sense.