Monday, December 15, 2008

Bad Investment

NYT and ProPublica got their hands on a copy of the Iraq reconstruction history.

Among the overarching conclusions of the history is that five years after embarking on its largest foreign reconstruction project since the Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II, the United States government has in place neither the policies and technical capacity nor the organizational structure that would be needed to undertake such a program on anything approaching this scale.

The bitterest message of all for the reconstruction program may be the way the history ends. The hard figures on basic services and industrial production compiled for the report reveal that for all the money spent and promises made, the rebuilding effort never did much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the convulsive looting that followed.
From "Yellow cake" to "The Surge Worked," the Bush administration and the Republican Party have attempted to oversimplify and oversell what was from the start a horrible idea and is in the end a failed foreign policy nightmare. Many will gloat at the political points scored, but for the rest of us, it stands a sad reminder of why we have to yell louder next time we get the sense a cluster-fuck is brewing in the White House. Even if it comes from a Democrat. Hubris is bipartisan.

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