The following from the aforementioned Klein article is a little-reported bit of evidence of the “free market” shock being undertaken in Iraq.
There are seventeen state-owned cement factories across the country, but most are idle or working at only half capacity. According to the Ministry of Industry, not one of these factories has received a single contract to help with the reconstruction, even though they could produce the walls and meet other needs for cement at a greatly reduced cost. The CPA pays up to $1,000 per imported blast wall; local manufacturers say they could make them for $100. Minister Tofiq says there is a simple reason why the Americans refuse to help get Iraq’s cement factories running again: among those making the decisions, â€œno one believes in the public sector.â€1
This article really is an infuriating expose of the ruthless businesspeople we have masquerading as a Presidential administration. Of course, there has nearly always been this element in the American Presidency, but the media-captivation pulled off by the likes of Rove and Co. have made this administration a bevy of Good Fellas, all helping one another to find their own little pot of gold in the system.