Friday, October 06, 2006

On Praise

Dean G. Popps, the director of Iraq Reconstruction and Program Management Office for the Army, wrote in a congratulatory e-mail to the Army's reconstruction teams: "Never has so much been done, so well and so quickly, by so few."
So, the Army's apportioned all its money for reconstruction, so it figures Iraq's all reconstructed. And that they've done a great job. Do you ever get a pat on the back that rings false? So, OK, you feel like a miserable failure, which is normal enough, and some authority figure praises you. If you have trouble accepting the praise, recall that you didn't spend 15 billion dollars to
[raise] production capacity levels in the critical areas of oil and electricity to exceed pre-war (2002) levels
This is a country that was under sanctions for a decade by 2002. Despite whatever oil-for-food scandals you may have heard about, Iraq's oil market was curtailed, and their infrastructure was failing. And that's the level we've done such a great job climbing back up to that we can pack up and go home.


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