Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Factory work

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The Post is reporting that the Pentagon is looking to create jobs at "nearly 200 state-owned factories abandoned by the Coalition Provisional Authority after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003". The "goal is to employ tens of thousands of Iraqis in coming months, part of a plan to reduce soaring unemployment and lessen the violence that has crippled progress".

What a novel idea. Why the hell wasn't a plan like this implemented in -- oh, I don't know -- 2003?! Why wasn't it part of the immediate reconstruction and counter-insurgency efforts? Oh, that's right, because the warmongers didn't think much about reconstruction and a likely insurgency, imagining that the country would just rebuild itself happily and peacefully after being liberated.

You know, an insurgency was inevitable. There was no way to avoid anti-American backlash and the awakening of latent sectarianism. But U.S. policy -- both what the U.S. did (disbanding the army, excessive de-Baathification, etc.) and what it didn't do or didn't do enough of (preventing looting, projects to build infrastructure and create employment, establishing cross-sectarian Iraqi leadership early on, etc.) -- has allowed the insurgency to become what it is today, which is to say, a seemingly intractable obstacle to peace and security.

And it's a little late now to try to make up for those failures.

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