Baghdad - Iraq is in the throes of its worst political crisis since the fall of Saddam Hussein with the new democratic system, based on national consensus among its ethnic and sectarian groups, appearing dangerously close to collapsing, say several politicians and analysts.
This has brought paralysis to governmental institutions and has left parliament unable to make headway on 18 benchmarks Washington is using to measure progress in Iraq, including legislation on oil revenue sharing and reforming security forces.
And the disconnect between Baghdad and Washington over the urgency for solutions is growing. The Iraqi parliament is set for an August vacation as the Bush administration faces pressure to show progress in time for a September report to Congress.
Referring to the Iraqis as Iraqis is a mistake. The people in the government do not see themselves as acting on behalf of a group called Iraqis.
Robert Springborg, director of the Middle East Institute at the University of London, says the heart of the problem was that no one is truly committed to a strong and unified government.
"The actors involved have their own agendas, the central government and its resources are a tool for their own aspirations ... none are committed to a government for all Iraqis," he says.
This will not change. We can stay for years and this will remain the same. They are so tribal and sectarian that they have little or no loyalty to give to something called Iraq.
Out of the $20 billion in construction projects the United States is funding in Iraq we've so far tried to turn over $5.8 billion projects for Iraqi mismanagement but the Iraqi government refuses to even take over many of those projects to begin their post-construction mismanagement.
Iraq's national government is refusing to take possession of thousands of American-financed reconstruction projects, forcing the United States either to hand them over to local Iraqis, who often lack the proper training and resources to keep the projects running, or commit new money to an effort that has already consumed billions of taxpayer dollars.
The conclusions, detailed in a report released Friday by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a federal oversight agency, include the finding that of 2,797 completed projects costing $5.8 billion, Iraq's national government had, by the spring of this year, accepted only 435 projects valued at $501 million. Few transfers to Iraqi national government control have taken place since the current Iraqi government, which is frequently criticized for inaction on matters relating to the American intervention, took office in 2006.
The United States often promotes the number of rebuilding projects, such as power plants and hospitals, that have been completed in Iraq, citing them as signs of progress in a nation otherwise fraught with violence and political stalemate. But closer examination by the inspector general's office, headed by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., has found that a number of individual projects are crumbling, abandoned or otherwise inoperative only months after the United States declares that they have been successfully completed.
The Iraqi government has a limited supply of mismanagers. We've created too much infrastructure for them to mismanage.
The US government has another $14 billion worth of projects in Iraq nearing completion. Next year whether US troops stay or leave the supply of crumbling wasted projects in Iraq is going to triple. I say we leave and let that waste and damage take place out of our sight.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 July 28 09:29 AM Mideast Iraq Democracy Failure|