Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Saturday, May 15, 2004  

Free markets, Bush-style

Postwar Iraq was supposed to be a bonanza for American companies. The Commerce Department hosted a series of conferences attended by thousands who dreamed of investment opportunities promised by a free Iraq. The administration characterized the more than $21 billion Congress allocated to the reconstruction as a down payment, an initial investment that would spark the economy and bring riches to the Iraqi people as well as American entrepreneurs.

The reality a year after President Bush declared the end of major combat is far different.

Though many dozens of U.S. corporations have government contracts to help rebuild the country, relatively few American companies have invested their own capital. The volatile security situation has kept many potential investors away, and even as the U.S.-led coalition government has called on businesses to come to Iraq, the State Department has warned Americans to stay out of the country.

If they ain't suckling the taxpayer teat, they ain't in Iraq. "Free" indeed.

posted by Jeff | 9:57 AM |
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