Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If you're bored

and want to read something that will piss you off: an excerpt from what looks like a good book.

UPDATE: here's a review. wow, check this out:

Before the war began, Frederick M. Burkle Jr. was assigned to oversee Iraq's health care system. He had a résumé to die for: a physician with a master's degree in public health, and postgraduate degrees from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Berkeley. He also had two bronze stars for military service in the Navy, as well as field experience with the Kurds in northern Iraq after the 1991 gulf war. A week after the liberation, he was told he was being replaced because, Chandrasekaran writes, ''a senior official at USAID told him that the White House wanted a 'loyalist' in the job.''

That loyalist was James K. Haveman Jr., who had been recommended by the former Michigan governor John Engler. Haveman's résumé included running a Christian adoption agency that counseled young women against abortions. He spent much of his time in Iraq preparing to privatize the state-owned drug supply firm -- perhaps not the most important priority since almost every hospital in the country had been thoroughly looted in the days after Hussein was overthrown.

On page after page, Chandrasekaran details other projects of the C.P.A.'s bright young Republican ideologues -- like modernizing the Baghdad stock exchange, or quickly privatizing every service that had previously been provided by the state. Some of these ideas would have been laudable if they were being planned for a country with functioning power and water supplies, and that wasn't tottering on the brink of anarchy.


Gleemonex said...

Oooooh. I have been reading this book since I got it for xmas this year, and I'm still not done -- not because it's not good, because it most certainly is, but because it only takes a few pages to make me so angry and appalled that I can't read on.

bgirl said...

Glad I'm not bored.