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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

Location: All Material Copyrighted, United States

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Government a la Carte

Government a la Carte

Steve Clemons has fun friends. They send him interesting things like this:

IRAQ: Strategic City Stabilization Initiative (SCSI)


The United States Agency for International Development is seeking applications for an Assistance Agreement from qualified sources to design and implement a social and economic stabilization program impacting ten Strategic Cities, identified by the United States Government as critical to the defeat of the Insurgency in Iraq. The number of Strategic Cities may expand or contract over time.

USAID plans to provide approximately $1,020,000,000 over two years to meet the objectives of the Program. An additional option year may be considered amounting to $300 million at the discretion of USAID.

I don't know much about USAID except that its two highest officials are shrubya appointees and that John Bolton used to serve as their General Counsel. Oh, and if so much as a penny of their aid goes towards even just talking about abortion, they'll cut funding. Given this meager knowledge of USAID, One has to wonder just what kind of program they would agree to fund in Iraq.

One also marvels at the implications of this announcement, namely that shrubCo really didn't have any plan whatsoever for dealing with the pandora's box that was opened when we ousted Saddam. It's been two and a half years since "mission accomplished;" we shouldn't need to commission reports on stabilizing Iraq. I wonder if they regret ignoring all the warnings about invading Iraq, predicting exactly what we've found. Do they sometimes wish they'd listened to, instead of fired, Eric Shinseki when he told them they'd need at least twice as many troops to secure the country?

How many dollars and lives might have been saved if we'd gone in with a large enough force to prevent the looting of priceless antiquities and guard the oil ministry? Or had sufficient troops to guard the explosives at Al Qaqaa? Sadly, we'll never know and here we are, soliciting contractors to mastermind the recovery of Iraq.

Between this and Blackwater's hiring spree, it seems pretty safe to say that the U.S. is outsourcing the management of Iraq. Sub-contracting the fate of a nation. It's staggering, really.

I wonder if they'll give me the money for suggesting Mr. Coleman Barks:

There's a practice known as sama, a deep listening to poetry and music, with sometimes movement involved. We could experiment with whole nights of that,
staying up until dawn, sleeping in tents during the day. So instead of war
there's a peace period from March 2003 through February 2004. It could be as
though war had already happened, as it has, and the healing and rebuilding.
Now we're in the celebration afterward. I'll be the first to volunteer for
two weeks of wandering winter desert and reading Hallaj, Abdul Qadir Gilani,
dear Rabia, and the life-saving 1001 Arabian Nights.

This is assuming they actually get the funding for this project; it hasn't been secured yet. I nominate Mr. Barks anyway.

[UPDATE]Interestingly enough, Andrew Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, has resigned.


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