Rave Review of Iraq ‘Reconstruction’


That’s ‘rave’ as in ‘rant’

The odds are against finding a blogger who does more than screech, but I’ll give it to a chap named Lounsbury, whose June posting on Live Journal screeches to the tune of journalistic dispatches, in a sort of transmogrified call-and-response style that John Kerry should take as gospel on the eve of his first debate with George W. Bush.

Lounsbury’s Live Journal profile identifies him as being a “Middle East/North Africa specialist in asset management and risk capital.” (Further research indicates that he may currently live in Jordan.)

In any case, he zooms in on U.S. pasha Jerry Bremer‘s disastrous Coalition Provisional Authority “reconstruction” of Iraq, parsing a couple of Washington Post stories to discuss just the competency of what we’re doing over there. Let’s focus on Lounsbury’s back talk to the info in Rajiv Chandrasekaran‘s “Mistakes Loom Large as Handover Nears,” published June 20. Like this passage:

“We blatantly failed to get it right,” said Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution who served as an adviser to the occupation authority. “When you look at the record, it’s impossible to escape the conclusion that we squandered an unprecedented opportunity.”

Lounsbury’s riff:

Squandered is bloody right. Nothing had to be this bad. Not even after the looting, but again, the current [U.S.] administration’s blind mendacity, its extreme preference for sycophants over skilled and pragmatic operators is deadly. … Opposition to this administration is a duty for anyone who cares about competency. I am not pleased with the concept of a Kerry White House, but I would rather have the occasion to vote out a mediocre Kerry than suffer through the disasters these incompetent fools are wreaking out of pure blind hubris.

Then Lounsbury comes upon this sentence:

U.S. reconstruction specialists commonly complain of ungrateful Iraqis.

Call Father Karras! Lounsbury’s head is spinning! He writes:

What the fuck these idiots think the Iraqis should be grateful for I don’t know, but certainly merely toppling a dictator is not enough. The motherfuckers in Iraq know bloody well that toppling dictators does not make the fucking pie in the end, so no reason to congratulate the chef for simply having bought the motherfucking ingredients, he’s gotta fucking make the pie in order [for us] to fucking congratulate him. Mindless idiots, these stupid fucking American “reconstruction” idiots in the CPA, full of their bloated farts of empty pompous “liberation” posturing.

Before Lounsbury’s head explodes all over our keyboards, he stumbles on this paragraph:

In many ways, the occupation appears to have transformed the occupier more than the occupied. Iraqis continue to endure blackouts, lengthy gas lines, rampant unemployment, and the uncertain political future that began when U.S. tanks rolled into Baghdad. But American officials who once roamed the country to share their sense of mission with Iraqis now face such mortal danger that they are largely confined to compounds surrounded by concrete walls topped with razor wire. Iraqis who come to meet them must show two forms of identification and be searched three times.

To which Lounsbury calmly notes:

I rather think that says all there really needs to be said about this “liberation.”