I’m at a conference in Anchorage of all places. I’ll try to make some entries later Friday, but am having trouble getting internet access, or time to post.
The Guardian has an excellent article today on how the billion and a half dollars Congress cut from the approximated $20 bn. Bush administration request for Iraq reconstruction had included the money to help the Marsh Arabs in the south and to build a children’s hospital in Basra. This really is a shame, since helping put the Marsh Arabs back on their feet would be one of the great humanitarian missions the US could accomplish in Iraq. Moreover, the displaced and poverty-stricken Marsh Arabs, who had staffed the Iraqi Hizbullah Shiite resistance movement, are a potential source of disorder as long as they are deprived of their livelihood. Saddam had 90% of their marshes drained to destroy them because they opposed him. There were 500,000 of them before they were scattered to urban slums or to exile in Iraq. All this happened in just the past few years, by the way. You can find the Guardian article at google’s news service.