Re: Iraq Democracy Watch

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Posted by Sadie from ? ( on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 at 12:06PM :

In Reply to: Iraq Democracy Watch posted by Kikhwa from ( on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 at 2:04AM :

: Another rising criticism concerns the Iraqi companies that have won or are poised to win subcontracts from Bechtel, KBR and the CPA. This handful of businesses, variously called “Ba’th capitalists” or “sanctions profiteers”, is the same that went into partnership with members of Saddam’s regime in the 80s and 90s, and enriched themselves by pandering to the regime’s whims and dictates. Their marble-clad mansions, built in the 1990s, stand out in stark contrast to the general dereliction of even the most upscale neighborhoods in Baghdad. In particular, while other long-standing businesses and companies collapsed in the 1990s because of double toll of the Iran-Iraq war and sanctions, some companies, in partnership with or fronting for senior officials, thrived by trading under the oil for food program. Thus they managed to corner the markets and build their financial assets, capital equipment, and business capacities, and are posed to benefit again from American contacts and contracts. An aggravating factor is that these companies are almost all Sunni-owned, in keeping with Saddam’s policy of empowering the Sunnis at the expense of the Shi’a.

xxx This is how the U.S. government ensures that Iraq will stay in one piece. Iraq is roughly divided territorially along ethnic lines. Keeping the Sunnis happy is essential to maintaining oil flow through central Iraq to ports & refineries in the south. This way, the U.S. avoids contacts, involving oil, with any of Iraq's neighbors. I think that the U.S. is pretty desperate about keeping Iraq as one state - makes for easier business.

-- Sadie
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