Thursday, January 06, 2005

Rebuilding Iraq

As the US military moves towards redeployment, many generous-minded Americans are wondering if they'll be able to participate in Iraq's post war economy. The devastation there is just as real as in the wake of the tsunami. Just look at Fallujah.

But how welcome will Americans be, given these last gasp retro attempts of a dying LAWCAP to assert its imperial ambitions? Obviously the new government isn't going to be following the Bremer Edicts to the letter, now that the US military is shrugging them off (the Pentagon was never the private dream machine of sad sack neocons, after all).

When dad first went to Bhutan, and we were provided with that extremely luxurious two-story home, near RICB apartments, overlooking downtown Thimpu, his salary came out of a loan from the World Bank. However, dad didn't want the Bhutanese thinking of his income as some kind of accruing debt, and arranged to credit his salary to Helvetas, the Swiss technical assistance agency (also right near our house).

I share this story as a reminder that GRUNCH is sophisticated. Americans who genuinely care about Iraqis will find ways to join the rebuilding effort even if some of the flagship corporations aren't big familiar names like Halliburton or Bechtel. Maybe Russian or Japanese companies will play a bigger role -- it's really up to the Iraqis to decide at this point. However, my expectation is that proud Americans, especially those who know something about supporting democracy, will have multiple ways of sharing expertise and securing incomes, given the sophistication of our shiny new post LAWCAP global capitalism.

Followup: Dick Hannah's Subaru dealership fixed the passenger-side mirror this morning (that's in Washington State) -- see recent Xmas Eve blog entry for details. While waiting for repairs at the adjacent Barnes & Noble, I stumbled on Lindsay Moran's new book (ISBN 0-399-15239-3). I started reading it over a latte at the in-store Starbucks; looks like fun, purchased.