01 December 2005

The New Iraq: American Bureaucracy meets African Corruption

Where to start? The New Iraq™. They say that The Ends Justify The Means, but I can't help feeling that The Ends thus far do not bathe The Means in the cool light or righteousness. I also want to be thoroughly hopeful and positive that Iraq can rebuild itself and the people can enjoy an era of peace and prosperity. Call me an old cynic, but the real world isn't that simple.

New Iraq™ (© USA, Inc. 2003) is going through Teething, or The Terrible Twos, the first periods of prolonged pain in any new life after the trauma of the Birth itself. New Iraq's progenitors have a great opportunity to help create a stable society from scratch and avoid as many of the problems as possible.

But, like a teenage mother, lacking in Life experience, America is making mistakes. America hasn't been a country for that long, and is consequently less worldly in terms of the machinations of countries and societies. Oh, you can read as many history books as you like, but it is no substitute for centuries of experience. I'm not saying that Britain, or any other European country, would do a better job; merely that Europeans are understandably more realistic in terms of the rebuilding of countries destroyed by war and tyrannical dictators.

America may admit in media interviews that it's a "difficult job with many interesting challenges", but I don't think they really understand how difficult and challenging the job is. Culturally, they believe that with application and hard work, anything can be achieved; The American Dream. But they're not dealing with wide-eyed, forward-looking Americans. They're dealing with psychologically abused orphans with a violent past. The needs of each cannot even be compared. They can't use the same approach and expect the Iraqis to embrace it.

Which they blatantly aren't. There are many factions within Iraq who sense the power vaccum and are sucked into it. As the creators of the vacuum, America find themselves in conflict with these dissidents who are using violent means in an attempt to further their agenda.

America's attempts to install, from scratch, American methods and its attendant bureaucracy into an Arab country brainwashed to see America as The Enemy are foundering. Billions of dollars are being poured into Iraq but, as in Africa, not all the money is ending up where it should. Keeping track on all that cash is an impossible task and, after years of doing without, Iraqis are understandably grabbing what they can. Bribery and Corruption are rife. Combine American Bureaucracry with African Corruption1 means that very little progress is made despite the level of funding.

New Iraq™ is America's baby, and all Europe can do is watch like a new grandmother, wincing at America's mistakes, trying to offer advice without making it sound like advice and hoping that Iraq doesn't hit Puberty too soon.

Given all this, America is doing the best it can. I don't think anyone else could do much better.

Survey finds Optimism in Iraq
What's the betting America try to mine that and export it. Maybe they'll be going to war with Iraq again in the future, except this time it'll be because Iraq is more optimistic than America, not because they have lots of lovely oil. Or "liberation", if you insist...

1 Sorry, Africa. But it's true.

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