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[casi] US awards deals for post-war Iraq

US awards deals for post-war Iraq
see URL for full article.
"Plans for the rebuilding deals - worth up to $900m - are being co-
ordinated by the United States Agency for International Development

"The agency is said to have discreetly sent out requests for tenders
from at least five companies involved in infrastructure and

BBC Radio 4 (Today programme/news) was more specific - they reported
that all the companies are from the US and, of these, one is the company
of which Dick Cheney used to be CEO (can't remember the company's name,
sorry). (no written report yet, use the

Some questions/comments:

1. Who *exactly* will the companies be contracting with?

2. I would be interested to hear what ordinary Iraqis think, what they
know about all this and what they, especially women, see as priorities
for rebuilding 21st century Iraq.

3. Here in the UK, this 'wonderful democracy', we have planning
regulations.  When public building works are proposed there is a
consultation period, with plans and little scale models available in
libraries, and public meetings where people can have their say.  (If the
project is controversial, it's sometimes hard for the public to get info
until it's almost too late to do anything, but generally people manage.)

So will all these reconstruction plans be on show/discussed in downtown
Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk etc?  With enough publicity and time for real
consultation?  With clear plans and little models - on show, not 'kept
safe' in a locked room? With someone to answer the questions of the
ordinary householder?

Or will some people suddenly find bulldozers removing their destroyed
homes and tearing down their trees to build a wall or a road - oh,
sorry, I forgot, that doesn't happen in democracies, does it.

4. Finally - any doubts that Bush is going to go to war, with or without
the UN?  To mis-quote a cliche, 'it's the economy, stupid'.  George's
Monbiot's article (on the need for new markets underlying the US
government's push for war) is still valid:,5673,897814,00.html

Cathy Aitchison

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