Sunday, September 17, 2006

Just how bad was/is Iraq Reconstruction?

The chief and often only qualification to get a policy and administration job in the American CPA Green Zone was to be a Republican activist. Major responsibilities were given 24-year-olds on an ideological mission and often their only qualification was loyalty to new Republicanism.
To recruit the people he wanted, O'Beirne sought résumés from the offices of Republican congressmen, conservative think tanks and GOP activists. He discarded applications from those his staff deemed ideologically suspect, even if the applicants possessed Arabic language skills or postwar rebuilding experience.

Smith said O'Beirne once pointed to a young man's résumé and pronounced him "an ideal candidate." His chief qualification was that he had worked for the Republican Party in Florida during the presidential election recount in 2000....

A 24-year-old who had never worked in finance — but had applied for a White House job — was sent to reopen Baghdad’s stock exchange. The daughter of a prominent neoconservative commentator and a recent graduate from an evangelical university for home-schooled children were tapped to manage Iraq’s $13 billion budget, even though they didn’t have a background in accounting.
After WW2 in Europe and Japan we sent trained, skilled people to work on stabilization and reconstruction. Even in Vietnam we sent "our best and our brightest." In Iraq we sent partisan ideologues and outsourced all the work to GOP connected companies with no oversight.

1 comment:

rjnagle said...

Wow, I had always thought Paul Bremer was doing a fairly good job (given his position). He didn't strike me as a politico.Alas, it looks as though he were surrounded by them; maybe that explains why he was eager to get out of there.