Friday, November 26, 2010

Corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan: A meat and potatoes diet of fattening money

Corruption has always been ripe as rotten fruit in Iraq and Afghanistan, starting with American companies such as Blackwater Security, Haliburton and other makeshift contractors from America. They saw a way to get rich quickly amid the Bush created chaos in these countries. Corruption and rip-offs began days after the first bombs were dropped in Iraq.

I saw one young American bragging  about flatbed trucks he delivered to Iraq. He had a multi-million dollar no bid contract. The trucks did not work; they were old and broken. The contractor said he did not guarantee the trucks would work. His corruption was bold and bodacious. He was arrogant enough to get on American TV in Iraq and make this confession with a smile.

There will never be security in Iraq or Afghanistan due to the many young men will to strap bombs to their bodies. Suicide bombers do not mind dying for their cause. Iraqi women are now volunteering to be suicide bombers. They want to kill American soldiers.

From the beginning America has been reluctant to join forces with the citizens of Iraq to strengthen their police and security forces. America was reluctant to engage the people in redevelopment and rebuilding what bombs destroyed. The loss of life was carelessly treated as “collateral damage.” Had they been paid a decent wage to rebuild their homes and businesses, the enemy wouldn't have been able to convince a great number of them to become suicide bombers. Americans felt that "nation building should begin in America.

Had the people in Iraq been treated fairly, with respect and asked to rebuild their homes and businesses after President Bush's "Shock and Awe" bombing campaign, the Taliban and other terrorists couldn't have thrived and survived for fear of  getting turned over to  American soldiers, or killed by Iraqis. The terrorists' foothold on the people would weaken. Citizens would have more to gain than to lose by cooperating with America.

Corrupt politicians in Iraq and Afghanistan, like those in America, are a hindrance to peace, stability and progress. Kickbacks, price gauging and free money are too seductive to ignore. Once the corruption ball started rolling downhill in 2001 it was hard to roll it back uphill.

“The Taliban is not a popular movement, but it exploits a population frustrated by weak governance,” stated a recent report titled Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan.  Citizen involvement is the key to thwarting Taliban threats of violence and retaliation against American soldiers and peoples in the Middle East.

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