April 22, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Yo! Talk to the Rock!

Security vs. Rebuilding: Kurdish Town Loses Out reports the New York Times:

For years Nuradeen Ghreeb has dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown. That town happens to be Halabja, where 17 years ago he and his parents cowered in a basement as Saddam Hussein's airplanes attacked with chemical weapons, killing at least 5,000 people.

But on Sunday, Mr. Nuradeen learned that his dream was over, because the United States had canceled the water project it had planned here as part of a vast effort to rebuild Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Ordinarily a quiet and reserved civil engineer, he sat on one of his beloved water pipes on hearing the news and wept, his tears glistening in the afternoon sun.

"If the Americans think that training the Iraqi Army comes before clean drinking water for the people of Halabja," he said quietly, "then we can't expect anything from them."

The Halabja project, worth around $10 million, accounted for a small fraction of the $18.4 billion that Congress approved in 2003 for the reconstruction of Iraq, including $4 billion for water and sewage projects. But with the outbreak of insurgency in central and southern Iraq last year, the United States shifted $3.4 billion from water, electricity and oil projects to pay for training and equipping the Iraqi Army and police forces.

Hey, kvetchers! Don't you know your Bible? Talk to the rock and you'll get all the water you want....

Tip of the hat to Get Your War On

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