Reconstruction woes

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


In less flippant Iraq news, Juan Cole has the rightly angry take on new reports of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on a failed attempt to rebuild Iraq’s water, sewage, and electrical systems.

Oddly, the Los Angeles Times piece Cole quotes seems to go out of its way to blame Iraqi incompetence for being unable to run the electrical and water treatment plants that were built by the private U.S. contractors. But that’s ludicrous on its face. Iraqis had little trouble, it seems, running these sorts of plants before the U.S. invasion in 2003—under a regime, mind you, crippled by sanctions and suffering a “brain drain” from the fleeing educated class. So why are they having so much trouble now? Cole thinks it’s because the plants were build “in the American way,” rather than using Iraqi techniques and parts. Maybe. The Iraqis in the Times piece, meanwhile, complain that “the Americans excluded them from the early stages of the projects and have not provided adequate funds for upkeep.” Either way, read the Times piece—it’s a fascinating glimpse at how chaotic and shamefully inept the entire reconstruction process has really been.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate