You Break It, You Buy It


That’s what we’re doing in Iraq. But what happens here at home when nature breaks it?

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Wasted effort: Monumental rebuilding projects at northern Iraq’s Al-Fathah Bridge over the Tigris (above) and the Al-Faw oil pipeline near Basra in southern Iraq (below). Both projects were undertaken to repair damage caused by U.S. bombing.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

One branch of the U.S. government blows it up, and another branch rebuilds it. That’s the synergy of the Bush regime’s unjustified, wasteful war in Iraq.

The billions of dollars spent on those tasks would come in handy right now on the Gulf Coast of the United States.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers points with pride to its reconstruction projects, saying in its August 18 “fact sheet” that it is “delivering on progress”:

Construction will continue across the country as we put over $11 billion of reconstruction money to work.

The country it’s talking about is Iraq — and the reconstruction, in most cases, is of facilities damaged by our own bombing.

Both photos above are testimony to that madness. The top one is of al-Fathah Bridge, which crosses the Tigris River about 60 miles south of the Kirkuk oil fields. A span of the bridge was destroyed by our bombing, says the Corps, and now it’s rebuilt. Conduits under the bridge surface, the Corps notes, “contained crude oil pipelines critical to the export of oil” from those fields.

Mission accomplished.

The other picture is of the al-Faw pipeline, near Basra in extreme southern Iraq. Once again, bombing by the “coalition” damaged what the Corps describes as a “critical” valve. The Corps now proudly notes that “it was replaced … as the final link in the restoration of export capability from Iraq’s southern oil field.”

Another mission accomplished.

We destroy, we rebuild. It’s a little different in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast of the U.S., where nature destroyed. Who’s around to take care of that destruction? It’s uncertain. The Iraq fiasco has strained our resources, as the Washington Post, among many other outlets, is pointing out.

As I noted earlier, the Bush regime diverted money from Corps of Engineers projects in and around New Orleans so it could do this rebuilding in Iraq — reconstruction of damage that our own bombing caused.

But the new stuff in Iraq looks good. Congratulations.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 1, 2005

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