The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Monday, December 15

bits & pieces

Earlier this month, the CPA removed large busts of Saddam Hussein off of the Republican Palace. You can read about it in the New York Times Another Symbol of Hussein's Regime Comes Down by Joel Brinkley.
Twelve companies bid for the work, including the firm that actually installed the monuments after Mr. Hussein commissioned them in 1996. But only one company said it could assure that the three-ton busts could be lowered to the ground safely. And so that company won the contract, for $27,000 — a bargain price, given that it took all day today to remove just one of them.

The company declined to be identified publicly; the workers said they were afraid they would become instant targets for the Hussein loyalists terrorizing much of Iraq.
Add it to the list.

FMC Tech wins Air Force contract: Will supply cargo loaders for use in Iraq by Kelly Quigley mentions that the DoD has ordered "cargo loaders".
Chicago-based FMC Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said it won a $24.5-million order from the U.S. Air Force to supply 61 cargo loaders to carry food, equipment and other goods to military troops around the world.
Interesting essay in Middle East International magazine Iraqi reconstruction: change of tack by Samer Badawi. Problem is, they've gone and changed tack yet again.
More and more, US officials are seeing reconstruction as a diplomatic process. That process, say some, cannot be entrusted to private firms whose business templates and “critical paths” fall apart in Iraq. As one private consultant put it: “In the rest of the world, a work plan covers a year; in Iraq, you’re lucky if it makes it through the first month.”

That might explain Paul Bremer’s habitual changes of heart, particularly when it comes to how Iraqis should govern themselves. Although he insisted from the beginning that the Iraqis draft a constitution before holding general elections, he returned from Washington in mid-November with a plan for district councils to select a transitional assembly by June, constitution or not. At the beginning of December, reacting to strong objections by Sistani and others, Bremer appears to be scrambling again.



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