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Juan Cole mentioned a USA Today report on the deplorable state of Iraq's water infrastructure - of 3+ billion pledged for reconstruction of it only 1 billion remains "pledged", the rest has been spent on security, some 30% of the population dependent on the state water system still has no access to drinkable water. By way of context they offer the following three paragraphs:
Under Saddam Hussein, public works was placed under the control of the Interior Ministry, where it shared office space with Saddam's feared intelligence and security agencies, Misconi says. Then, money for water projects was diverted to spies and security services, he says.
Water took a back seat. The last water treatment plant was commissioned in 1989, even though the need for more drinking water grew dire as the population expanded at a rate of 3% a year.
After Saddam's regime fell in 2003, public works bureaucrats were given their own ministry, and the United States pledged $3.65 billion toward it, Misconi says. But as the insurgency intensified, all but $1 billion was diverted to security and other vital needs.
Astonishing, how we leap from 1989 to 2003 without any mention of the intervening 14 years. Peculiarly this wormhole through time manages to completely bypass any mention of the immense culpability of the United States in the deterioration and destruction of Iraqi water treatment and sewage facilities starting in 1991, which I concede might be expected from a paper called "USA Today" and not "USA Yesterday", and the blame for which could be liberally spread around to include the UNSC and Saddam, but lest any offal touch the glorious hem of the almighty United States Government we should turn our heads and cough. God bless the sycophant press.
Around the time we enter this timewarp US-lead economic sanctions began making the construction of new treatment facilities impossible, let alone repairing existing ones, and the US was making plans to destroy the existing infrastructure: "conditions
are favorable for communicable disease outbreaks, particularly in major urban areas affected by coalition bombing", "FULL DEGRADATION OF
THE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM PROBABLY WILL TAKE AT LEAST ANOTHER 6 MONTHS". At least! And afterwards it held up water treatment supplies for over a decade, creating said innumerable numbers of corpses. You'll have to pardon my stridency, it's just gets tiring having little details like hundreds of thousands of children's corpses buried between the lines of American newspapers and it sometimes sends me off into fits of historical accuracy. The unmentionable context of it all is just so fucking shameful. There has been no reconstruction, but wouldn't I love to join in praising their vitrescent god if these incompetent, chickenhawk, cowpoking eggheads had actually reconstructed anything. For the love of fucking tits, the country isn't even on the mend yet, it's just falling further apart:
Dr Abdul Jalil, director of the IDSC, told IRIN that there had been a 30 percent increase in hepatitis cases in March 2005 compared to the same period in 2004, and that open sewers and polluted water were exacerbating the problem.
Staff at the IDCC said that in March 2004, there were 615 cases of hepatitis registered, compared to 899 cases in the same month this year. In addition, last August, 1,298 cases were diagnosed, a sharp rise due to the weather conditions.
Jalil added that there had also been an increase in typhoid, tuberculosis (TB) and other water-borne diseases. ...
According to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report from 2004, disruption to drinking water supplies during the 2003 conflict meant that roughly 20 percent of urban households had no access to safe water.
In addition, over 50 percent of loss in water distribution networks was due to old age and corrosion of pipes, illegal tapping of water and collateral damage from the last conflict and looting. In rural areas, more than half of households are without fresh water or adequate sanitation, according to the UNICEF report.
Go ahead, try not to immediately think of terribly inappropriate R Kelly jokes.
:: posted by buermann @ 2005-04-23 14:56:39 CST |