Monday, April 03, 2006

Press yawns

U.S. Pulls Plug on Iraqi Reconstruction

USA Today is the only paper to lead today with what, in our estimation, is pretty big news. The head of U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq has declared that America is done paying the bills to rebuild the country. "The Iraqi government needs to build up its capability to do its own capital budget investment," said Daniel Speckhard, director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.

The government has slipped a noose around the $21 billion program that, according to the article, was supposed to "fix or build schools, roads, clinics, ports, bridges, government offices, phone networks, power plants and water systems." USA Today also quotes the top U.S. auditor for the program who says the reconstruction efforts were actually in major disarray, criticizing the program for "cost overruns, corruption, understaffing and bureaucratic infighting." There is less electricity capacity in Iraq now than before the war; while only 49 of 136 water projects and 300 out of 425 electricity projects have been finished to date. The program, which was supposed to possibly provide employment for 1.5 million Iraqis has only created 77,000 jobs.

"One needs to stop defining success in Iraq as the absence of terrorist attacks." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 12/5/2005

Yeah, let's add one more thing to that list of what doesn't define success in Iraq, Rummie boy. . .