A funny thing happened on the way to war with Iran…

As Seymour Hersh has reported, the Bush Administration has made a deliberate calculation to change the rationale for its warmongering against Iran. They realized that the lie about Iran’s nascent nuclear weapons program wasn’t selling, so they decided to recalibrate and relaunch with a new marketing campaign claiming Iran is a major cause of the violence in Iraq. Of course, there wouldn’t be much violence in Iraq, had Bush not launched an invason, but we’re talking about catapulting propaganda, not reality.

So, the first Iran War rollout wasn’t working, and the Administration decided on another one; because it’s not the facts that matter, it’s the selling of war. So, Iran suddenly became a dangerous influence in Iraq. And some-time general, and full-time political hack, David Petraeus was recently in England, trying to sell the same story– although the Brits aren’t buying it. Apparently, neither are the people who would actually know something about it: the Iraqis.

The New York Times is reporting:

Iraq has agreed to award $1.1 billion in contracts to Iranian and Chinese companies to build a pair of enormous power plants, the Iraqi electricity minister said Tuesday. Word of the project prompted serious concerns among American military officials, who fear that Iranian commercial investments can mask military activities at a time of heightened tension with Iran.

Or maybe those American officials are actually worried that it’s going to be hard to sell a war based on Iranian meddling in Iraq when Iraq itself is inviting Iranian businesses into Iraq to build power plants.

The Iraqi electricity minister, Karim Wahid, said that the Iranian project would be built in Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in Baghdad that is controlled by followers of the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr. He added that Iran had also agreed to provide cheap electricity from its own grid to southern Iraq, and to build a large power plant essentially free of charge in an area between the two southern Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

So, Iran’s going to actually help solve Iraq’s electricity problem. Something at which we’ve not been doing such a good job.

The Chinese will be paid about $940,000,000 for their plant, and the Iranians about $150,000,000 for theirs. Don’t ask where the money’s coming from. The article doesn’t say whether it’s out of the funds we’re giving Iraq, but it would be interesting to trace it. Because we are giving them a lot. And these are expensive projects. So, it does actually seem plausible that our tax dollars will be going to Iran, to help them rebuild Iraq.

And there’s this:

The Iraqi Electricity Ministry, which Mr. Wahid heads, is one of the few in the central government that has received praise for successfully spending much of the money allocated to it in the Iraqi budget for reconstruction projects. Because of security problems, a shortage of officials who are skilled at writing and executing contracts, and endemic corruption, many of the ministries have either left their rebuilding money unspent or poured it into projects that have had a marginal impact on the quality of life for Iraqi citizens.

Let’s just say that the projects we’ve been funding haven’t been very successful. But these should be. So, that should be a good thing. Except that the money’s going to China and Iran. These contracts were put out to bid- another concept with which the Bush Administration would have little familiarity– and the Chinese and Iranians won.

So, while the Bush Administration continues to bungle Iraq’s reconstruction, and continues to try to drum up support for a war on Iran based on the false allegation that they’re causing problems in Iraq, the Iraqis who are actually successfully getting their jobs done are welcoming Iranian help to continue getting their jobs done. Perhaps Bush will have to attack Iraq all over again, to keep Iraq from enabling Iran to meddle in helping Iraq solve the problems Bush created.


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  1. helps me with the digestive panic that thinking about the thieves in power would otherwise cause…

  2. Bush is a regular Buster Keaton.

    • psyched on October 19, 2007 at 01:15

    When and if all this is over, will other nations be very willing to hire American companies for their projects, seeing how so many jobs in Iraq were bungled? The Neocons may be hurting the future efforts of their military-industrial complex buddies.

    • DWG on October 19, 2007 at 01:23

    The contracts have been awarded without the required cut for private security firms. 

  3. should have turned their lights on and actually provided them with, you know necessities like that. I don’t know what their griping about this is the free market at work, if we can’t provide them with anything but death and destruction, then why can’t they be allowed to purchase services else where.

    I heard a good one from the neocons that made my head spin last week. The Iranians were actually the real culprits of state sponsored terrorism all along. Mind boggling bad propaganda. 

    • fatdave on October 19, 2007 at 02:13

    ….a flight of steps and a piano…..

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