Reconstruction woes

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


In less flippant Iraq news, Juan Cole has the rightly angry take on new reports of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on a failed attempt to rebuild Iraq’s water, sewage, and electrical systems.

Oddly, the Los Angeles Times piece Cole quotes seems to go out of its way to blame Iraqi incompetence for being unable to run the electrical and water treatment plants that were built by the private U.S. contractors. But that’s ludicrous on its face. Iraqis had little trouble, it seems, running these sorts of plants before the U.S. invasion in 2003—under a regime, mind you, crippled by sanctions and suffering a “brain drain” from the fleeing educated class. So why are they having so much trouble now? Cole thinks it’s because the plants were build “in the American way,” rather than using Iraqi techniques and parts. Maybe. The Iraqis in the Times piece, meanwhile, complain that “the Americans excluded them from the early stages of the projects and have not provided adequate funds for upkeep.” Either way, read the Times piece—it’s a fascinating glimpse at how chaotic and shamefully inept the entire reconstruction process has really been.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate