Thursday, January 27, 2005

Iraq - Post Saddam

The BBC takes a look at Iraq - Post Saddam. This should be good given the BBC's abysmal coverage and doom and gloom outlook on Iraq.


Wars and years of sanctions have devastated the oil-rich country's infrastructure.

Yep, off to a good start blaming America.

As usual the BBC hopes you zip right by that and ignore the truth.

"Devastated by sanctions" was it Beeb? Saddam sure managed to build some elaborate palaces and buy gold plated guns and cars with all that "sanctioned" UN oil for food money.

Excuse me Auntie but aren't we forgetting something? You know like "decades of complete and utter neglect by the regime."

Then the Beeb tells us:

By September 2004 only $2.5bn had been released, largely because the security situation has not allowed rebuilding work to proceed.

Then what are all these people doing?

Reconstruction is picking up pace, according to Army Brig. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division:

"1,550 construction projects are under way throughout the country -- compared to just 200 projects under way in June [2004]...

"These reconstruction projects include large, long-term capital projects that address water and sewage treatment facilities, power plants and the oil- distribution infrastructure. They also include smaller community projects that are more visible to the Iraqi people and have an immediate impact on their lives, he said. The focus of these projects is schools, clinics, hospitals, rail stations and police stations, many being rebuilt with funds from Commander's Emergency Response Program funds...

"He estimated that some 130,000 Iraqis are working on the wide range of projects under way throughout the country. The true number is actually larger, he said, when factoring in the behind-the-scenes workers who manufacture the products used on the construction sites."

Note the above is taken from Chrenkoff's Good News Iraq series - Part 19! Read the first 18 for more on all the construction work and other good news from Iraq.


There are no official figures on Iraqi civilian deaths, but unofficial estimates range from at least 15,000 to almost 100,000 since the March 2003 invasion.

That's quite a range Auntie and who are these "unofficial" sources? Is this your idea of good journalistic practices?

This report just appeared on today's Middle East webpage and one would presume current information. Right?

Post-Saddam Iraq has also seen a number of violent Shia uprisings by fighters loyal to the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who feel their grievances have not been met.

Well gee Auntie, don't leave us in suspense, what happened to these "loyal fighters" to Sadr after these "violent uprisings"?

Once again we turn to Chrenkoff for the answers.

"Just months ago, Fattahlah Ghazi al-Esmaili was penning articles in support of Iraq's Shi'ite uprising as editor for Ishriqat, a newspaper for rebel cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi's Army militia.

"Now the 38-year-old has abandoned his Arab head scarf for a neat beige suit and is out pumping the flesh in his run for parliament at the head of a 180-candidate list representing the impoverished Shi'ites of Sadr City."

'Before, we were men of the Mahdi's Army. Now we are men of politics,' says the journalist, who goes by the pen name Fattah al-Sheikh. 'Yesterday, we were out on the streets. Today, we are here campaigning, and hopefully tomorrow, we'll be in the presidential palace'."It has been a stunning transformation: "Brig. Gen. Jeffery Hammond of the 1st Cavalry Division, says Sadr City is the safest place in or around Baghdad. About 18,000 people have reconstruction jobs, he says, earning about $6 a day. 'Sadr City is what the future of Iraq can look like,' he says. Those who were once taking up arms are now talking democracy. 'Before, the men were buying black cloth for their (martyrs') banners. Now for the election, we are buying white cloths' for posters, says candidate Fatah al-Sheikh."

Am I seeing a pattern here Auntie? Why don't you hire Chrekoff? He's doing a much better job than you. What's that Auntie? Oh, yeah, my bad, he writes the good news and you write the bad.


Watch what follows next. This is a trick Auntie is fond of - set the bar high and then set up the fall.

But its oil industry, according to a 2000 report, has serious technical and infrastructure problems. Under optimal conditions, it is estimated Iraq could produce up to 6m barrels a day - almost double its peak of 3.5m, reached in 1979 before the war with Iran.

Auntie, "infrastructure neglect" by Saddam would more accurate, don't you think?

Notice how high the bar is set at 6 million barrels a day; twice the amount Iraq ever achieved. So what is it now?

In 2004, production is reported to have averaged 1.9m barrels.

Quite a come down from 6 million heh? Except it was 2.5 million just before the war and therefore is not so far off pre invasion levels. Remember these are "averages".

But Auntie (raises hand), Auntie, [Oh, what now!], but now the Iraqis get to keep all the oil whereas before Saddam sold it to France, Russia and China and kept all the money for himself. He squandered all the money on luxuries while his people starved and died.


Sanctions and budget cuts have been blamed for a huge rise in mortality rates.

Blamed by whom, Auntie? You? Now we know the truth; it wasn't the sanctions, it was the UN oil for food scandal. Saddam had billions from the illegal sales to France, Russia and China aided by the UN.

Medical charities say the health system is in a worse condition than before the invasion. According to Medact, 12% of hospitals were damaged during the fighting and the two main public health laboratories destroyed.

Hang on a minute, seems I've heard something like this before from the BBC.

Now I remember - MEDCAT! Auntie, you should be ashamed of yourself. Caught twice using anti-war activists to fabricate stories about Iraq and now caught twice using an anti-war group to fabricate more stories. Shame on you Auntie!


Medact was formed by a merger of two older organisations in 1992. The first, the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, was founded by Sir Richard Doll, Horace Joules, Lionel Penrose and others in 1951 during the Korean War as a medical lobby for peace. The second, the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, was founded in 1980 and was instrumental in undermining the idea that nuclear war was "survivable". Medact's work on war and weapons continues today, and is now complemented by action on the health impacts of poverty and environmental change.

Things that make you go, hmmmm. "Medact's work on war and weapons continues today". What does this statement mean? Well since Medcat is a merger of two well known former anti-war groups, the answer is anti-war work. But hey, it fits the BBC's anti-war and by extension, anti-American crusade.

Medcat has been exposed before.

Why Auntie, you evil, lying scumbag.


Is anyone in control at the BBC? They have an article in the business section that says the exact opposite! I kid you not!

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