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haiti, assessing the damage...,
"Patronage and oligarchy are the same the world over":
via the Center for Investigative Reporting, NPR's Marketplace, and the Economist: in "a reconstruction effort that is costing 10 times more per capita than the Marshall Plan" "as much as 90 percent of U.S. money spent in Iraq is being lost to corruption". That's really quite impressive, but with the proper array of bribe scandals, overcharges, nepotism, waste, and leaked internal memos about how "despite the progress evident in the streets of Baghdad, much of which happens despite us rather than because of us ... We have made the most progress in Baghdad" you too could rip billions off the American taxpayer in war profiteering. A request for another $50 billion to enrich the administration's cronies is expected post-election. As the CPA memo states, "Patronage and oligarchy are the same the world over".
What to do. I suppose you could demonstrate your conviction that the administration is hopelessly incompetent and corrupt by funding a non-profit project to deliver much needed development aid to troops serving in Iraq for disbursment because the reconstruction funds future generations already foot the bill for have been embezzled, squandered, and sloughed. I contributed a few grand in taxes last week to deliver militarized humanitarian aid to Iraq, and all I got was a lousy failed state.
Update: Not just a failed state, but as the CPA memo describes, a failed, crony neo-imperialist puppet state:
"Bremer has encouraged re-centralization in Iraq because it is easier to control a Governing Council less than a kilometer away from the Palace rather than 18 different provincial councils who would otherwise have budgetary authority."
Update 5/5/04: Hell, they're already hitting us up for another $25 billion.