Rebuilding Iraq or scamming donors?

Donor countries empathising with Iraq are by no means required to give to those who created Iraq’s ordeal.
Sunday 18/02/2018
Iraqis reconstruct a damaged building in the northern city of Mosul.  (AFP)
Challenging circumstances. Iraqis reconstruct a damaged building in the northern city of Mosul. (AFP)

Why don’t Iraqis cut government spending instead of begging from international donors and thus become the target of ridicule of investment companies?

Many doubt the Iraqi government’s willingness to rebuild a country that has been devastated by internal and external wars. They can’t comprehend the shameful and negligent behaviour of the various leaderships that has led to forsaking the country’s factories, farming projects, universities and so on.

Everybody with an eye on Iraq knows of the country’s extraordinary waste of public finances. It is a systematic and organised misuse of resources for which laws have been enacted to facilitate. The Iraqi parliament would have regular sessions to legitimise this waste so it would be naive to expect the Iraqi government to receive the desired funds in cash. Everybody knows that cash would be siphoned into the accounts of the political parties, which share among themselves the country’s wealth in accordance with the accursed quota system.

Donor countries empathising with Iraq are by no means required to place their donations in the hands of those who created Iraq’s ordeal. Rampant corruption in Iraq is, after all, an Iraqi creation even if its roots go back to the first year of the American occupation. When Paul Bremer scrapped the country’s constitution and laws, corruption took over daily life in Iraq.

When they recently gathered at the international donor conference on Iraq in Kuwait, representatives of donor countries came face-to-face with the very thieves who transformed a wealthy country into a begging country. The thieves were asked at the conference: What have you done to reform Iraq’s economy after more than a quarter century of exceptional circumstances?

The new Iraq gave birth to an entire class of parasites who laid their dirty hands on its wealth without giving back one iota to its people. They are at the helm of Iraq’s economy protected by a government afraid of requesting expert help lest that help expose what the government is really doing and not doing with public funds.

When the Dawa Party seized power in Iraq, it showered its members and supporters with unrealistic salaries that would ignite the jealousy of European ministers. Under the guise of armed service, billions of dollars were siphoned into the deep pockets of individuals who had taken part in the destruction of the Iraqi state.

Those who are familiar with Iraq’s history know very well that in a country that had only known violent dictatorships, everybody was a political prisoner. When a new regime rose to power in Iraq, the first thing that regime would do was assassinate its enemies. So there were no political prisoners in Iraq and the whole thing was just a corruption scam. Salaries given to high-ranking officials in the three branches of government would make any economist blush in embarrassment. Governments around the world know that they are dealing with self-indulgent members of the government in Iraq.

It is preposterous to see that kind of government use the disastrous conditions of the country it governs to beg for funds. The governing parties in Iraq are so arrogant that they fail to realise that, while donor countries are committed to helping the Iraqi people, they know that none of their donations will reach the needy in Iraq if those parties lay their hands on the funds. Not a single house will see the light in the devastated areas.

Iraqi politicians are in for a tremendous shock when donor countries insist on economic reforms. They will be shocked because they will not be able to siphon one single cent of the donated funds. It is a shame that the country that these politicians looted is otherwise capable of being reborn without having to go through the humiliation of begging.