Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Tribute to Iraqi Ingenuity...

Riverbend continues to inspire us all by not just living through the nightmare that his happening to her beloved country Iraq , but keeping the world informed of her thoughts and observations throughout what must be a living hell for almost all Iraqis.

Her latest article looks at the reconstruction effort taking place in Iraq today and compares it to the damage done to the country during the 1991 gulf war or as she says using ' American terminology, after Iraq ‘liberated’ Kuwait in 1990'.

what damage was done ?

Well her article states 'For 42 days, Baghdad and other cities and towns were bombarded with nearly 140,000 tons of explosives, by international estimates. The bombing was relentless- schools, housing complexes, factories, bridges, electric power stations, ministries, sewage facilities, oil refineries, operators, and even bomb shelters (including the only baby formula factory in Iraq and the infamous Amirya Shelter bombing where almost 400 civilians were killed). '

Here are the numbers and types of buildings damaged or destroyed as listed on her site

Schools and scholastic facilities – 3960
Universities, labs, dormitories – 40
Health facilities (including hospitals, clinics, medical warehouses) – 421
Telephone operators, communication towers, etc. – 475
Bridges, buildings, housing complexes – 260
Warehouses, shopping centers, grain silos – 251
Churches and mosques – 159
Dams, water pumping stations, agricultural facilities – 200
Petroleum facilities (including refineries) – 145
General services (shelters, sewage treatment plants, municipalities) - 830
Factories, mines, industrial facilities - 120

So how long did it take to rebuild all of this ? (whilst sanctions were in place against Iraq)

Well Riverbend informs us that 'Two years and approximately 8 billion Iraqi dinars later, nearly 90% of the damage had been repaired. It took an estimated 6,000 engineers (all Iraqi), 42,000 technicians, and 12,000 administrators, but bridges were soon up again, telephones were more or less functioning in most areas, refineries were working, water was running and electricity wasn’t back 100%, but it was certainly better than it is today. Within the first two years over 100 small and large bridges had been reconstructed, 16 refineries, over 50 factories and industrial compounds, etc.'

Are things going just as well this time ? , surely we can reconstruct the country better than the 'butcher of Baghdad' could manage.

Well no 'Nearly three years after this war, the buildings are still piles of debris. Electricity is terrible. Water is cut off for days at a time. Telephone lines come and go. Oil production isn’t even at pre-war levels… and Iraqis hear about the billions upon billions that come and go. A billion here for security… Five hundred million there for the infrastructure… Millions for voting… Iraq falling into deeper debt… Engineers without jobs simply because they are not a part of this political party or that religious group… And the country still in shambles'

Please check out the full article on the link above and don't miss the photographic evidence that she provides to back up her view. There is no better place to go if you want to know what Iraqis are really feeling about what is happening each and every day in their country.

If you still want more after taking in her thoughts then I would advise this excellent review of the article at Daily Kos ( HT to Hype)


Blogger === said...

It is an atrocity

January 19, 2006 7:19 am  
Blogger Hype said...

i was up late last night..

the other story i found last night was the day trader scandal..

there is a diary at Daily Kos about it and the original article at


January 19, 2006 3:43 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

January 19, 2006 3:44 pm  

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