Paradox: Construction - Destruction


Contractors operate equipment under the crackle of automatic weapon fire and with the protection of M-1 tanks, Stryker vehicles and Apache helicopters. The workers in this case are constructing a series of walls to block certain areas of Sadr City, the vast Shi'ite slum in Baghdad.

Dozens of walls have already been built around Baghdad, the southern city of Basra and other Iraqi cities, creating segregated ethnic Sunni and Shi'ite neighborhoods ringed with checkpoints and command posts. The latest flurry of construction activity has little to do with nation building, but rather is more related to a deteriorating security environment.


"Motor grader operators work with loaded carbines at their sides; ... scrapers cut roads across the shadows of hastily prepared gun emplacements; a lean, tanned construction superintendent waxes enthusiastic over the future while helicopters stutter overhead looking for enemy guerrillas."

The above description is not from the latest edition of the New York Times reporting from Iraq, but rather from a journalist covering the US's massive construction effort amid the war in Vietnam in 1966. Then, the project to build a separate state out of the southern half of Vietnam involved the energies of the best and brightest academic experts in economics, political science, police systems and government, as well as dozens of private corporations which specialized in engineering and construction.

The above were taken from an article in Asia Times by James M Carter who is an assistant professor of history at Texas A & M University.

The article by James Carter US paradox of construction and destruction was posted up on the 25th of this month.

On the 28th, this was being reported: Audit: Millions Wasted In Iraq Contracts
Investigator Gives Snapshot Of The Uneven Reconstruction Effort That Has Cost U.S. Taxpayers $100B

Millions of dollars of lucrative Iraq reconstruction contracts were never finished because of excessive delays, poor performance or other factors, including failed projects that are being falsely described by the U.S. government as complete, federal investigators say.

The Audit was released on Sunday which you can find here - SIGIR: Independent & Objective Oversight

Another cut from Mr Carters article:

The idea was to quickly build up southern Vietnam's primitive physical infrastructure while putting in place a government in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) advised and funded by Washington. The working assumption was that the local people would be grateful and welcoming, and, working alongside American advisors and experts, would contribute to the invention of a new, prosperous and non-communist state.

Visit Mr Carters article, he has much more about the policies than and abit of comparison.

Than visit, if you already haven't, the above report on the Audit of Iraq Reconstruction, or one of the many in the mainstream on topic, and the Audit itself.

Than you might want to see, if you haven't already, what is already being planned in the halls of Congress in this report Congress wants Iraq to repay U.S. expenses

Iraqis would be forced to pay for U.S. efforts in their country directly or via loans from the United States if any of at least five similar pieces of legislation introduced on Capitol Hill this month is approved.

We Invade, Destroy, Kill and Maim, Occupy, Torture, Imprison, Segragate, than turn around and "Send Them The Bill"!

Than we, in our Arrogance, wonder why "Others Hate Us!"!

I'll close with another observation of Mr Carter:

As the US's Vietnam experience showed, war is not the same as nation building. If ever larger military deployments are necessary simply to hold ground, then perhaps it's high time to admit that the Iraq project has already failed. Vietnam showed that greater militarization will only bring more destruction, suffering and political polarization and accentuate the paradox of simultaneous construction and destruction, which unfortunately has found painful new life in Iraq.

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