Friday, July 27, 2007

book notes

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Cheney, Rumsfled and Feith kept the State Department experts out of post-invasion planning because the CIA and State were anti-Chalabi, and Cheney wanted Chalabi to be the new president of Iraq (in addition to Cheney's bureaucratic war with Powell + worry that, if State got info, it might leak it and might leak it and undermine the propaganda campaign to sell the war. )

When the former West Germany worked to privatize the state-owned companies in the former East Germany, it needed a staff of 8,000. For the similar American effort in Iraq: 3 guys

The CPA immediately lifted the 100% tax of imported cars. In the first nine months of the Occupation, according to the CPA, the number of cars in Iraq doubled, to 1 million. The result has been gas shortages and huge traffic jams that endanger military convoys.

Lots of interesting stories about highly qualified individuals being pushed aside for Bush political hacks with zero experience in post-war reconstruction or humanitarian relief (in some cases, no experience in anything at all, except college). In CPA official in charge of the Health Ministry was initially an MD with a master's degree in public health administration. He was replaced after one week by a GOP-connected social worker with no experience in foreign countries except religious proselytizing.