CHANNEL4 DISPATCHES: IRAQ'S MISSING BILLIONS PART 3 OF 3
In an investigation for Channel 4's Dispatches programme the Guardian sent their award winning Iraqi reporter, Ali Fadhil, to investigate the reality of the reconstruction on the ground by looking at a hospital for babies and children. As a doctor himself, Ali was able to offer a specialised insight. He discovered that often even crucial hospital projects were abandoned; basic works weren't carried out and the US companies were rarely called to account.
Even in areas where there had been no security problems, work was abandoned. He discovered that the US Interim government in Baghdad pursued a policy of de-Baathification, which consisted of sacking everyone including those who understood how the country was run. In the case of the health service, for example, the job of running Iraq's health service was handed to a Republican sympathiser and health administrator from Michigan with almost no international health or post-conflict experience.
The official US report into the rebuilding of Iraq blames unforeseen security costs, haphazard planning and shifting priorities for the failures. It ignores the fraud and profiteering despite the numerous cases now coming before the courts as whistleblowers come forward to describe army personnel packing thousands of pounds into backpacks and leaving the country.
The cliche that it the Iraqi was "all about oil" has been repeated to the point of tedium, but the rebuilding of Iraq IS all about money and the Iraqis have not seen much of it. The average labourer is paid seven dollars a day and they have seen at least $20 billion worth of contracts handed out to American companies.