Friday, July 27, 2007

White House whites out bad news in Iraq

By Libby

Bad news? What bad news? I don't see any bad news. Hey George and Dick, you see any bad news about electricity in Baghdad? I didn't think so.

My man Fester has the wonkish explanation about why the White House has changed the way they're reporting the almost complete dearth of electrical service in the city. Me, I just have the anecdotal evidence that it's true, noting that this story is a month old.
But one byproduct of the four-year war is so pervasive that it is impossible to ignore. As the blast furnace of summer brought 115-plus-degree days, vast areas of Baghdad -- including Rahim's neighborhood -- still have as little as one hour of electricity a day, leaving the capital's 6 million residents to sweat and stew.

"We're getting about one hour every four days, and we don't have cold water or the refrigerator, so we're buying ice from the market," said Rahim, 32, who lives in the Karada neighborhood.

Their answer was to put a pool on their rooftop, which they use despite the danger of falling shrapnel, since the generators they spend almost all their money running are only capable of keeping a couple of refrigerators and the swamp box coolers going.

Meanwhile, the US taxpayer might want to ask where the money went?
A June 12 study by the National Security Network, a private advocacy group, found that while the United States has spent $3.1 billion to improve electricity in Iraq, the power generated in May was 6 percent less than prewar levels. "Over the past three weeks, Baghdad has suffered severe power and water shortages of up to 23 hours a day," the study said.

And anybody who wonders why the Iraqis grumble they were better off under Saddam might consider this.
For Abeer Rahim, the situation is particularly maddening because after the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the government of Saddam Hussein restored power in 40 days, she said, even though the United States had severely damaged the country's electric grid.

If I was forced to run around like a maniac trying to get six loads of laundry done in the sweltering heat when the electricity decides to briefly flicker on, I'd be pretty mad too.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

To those who haven't lived in a very hot climate without electricity, even for a few weeks, it may not seem like much, but believe me, it's hell.

2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I have and you're absolutely right Fogg. If you haven't lived through it, you can't possibly appreciate just how awful it is.

10:53:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home