Sunday, April 01, 2007

Quality control

Out of the small amount of money sent to Iraq that hasn’t been stolen, the Americans are renovating Iraqi businesses in order to provide jobs to give the Iraqis something to do other than kill Americans.  The problems are that no business can be seen to be receiving such money (or it will be blown up), and that the Americans have auditing requirements that mean they have to inspect the renovations to make sure the money hasn’t been wasted (seeing that billions are missing, this is comical).  The solution?  Stage fake (original article here, but behind a subscription wall) raids on the businesses in question under the guise of looking for ‘terrorists’, and while conducting the fake interrogations surreptitiously inspect that the money has indeed been properly spent.  Some good excerpts:

“Because an office door was locked, the soldiers radioed Army Capt. Dan Cederman, who was leading the raid, to ask whether they should knock it down. ‘I told them that would kind of defeat the purpose,’ Capt. Cederman recalls. ‘We'd have just had to come back out the next day to fix it.’” 


“But given the hostility toward the U.S., officials aren't advertising their role. ‘The only way things will work is if the U.S. contribution is totally invisible,’ says Maj. Christina Nagy, a civil-affairs officer from the 82nd Airborne Division. ‘I have people with higher ranks than me always wanting to have a ribbon cutting. I just listen and think, 'Sure, if you want the companies to get immediately shot or blown up.’’”


“An Iraqi who worked as a translator for U.S. forces there was getting death threats from insurgents and asked the U.S. for help. The Americans responded by raiding his house, publicly arresting him, and holding him in jail for two days.

‘A lot of people there now think he's a bad guy,’ Capt. Cederman says. ‘It bought him a lot of street cred.’”

 Long live the glorious occupation!