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US asks us to pick up litter while city is in ruins, says mayor of Baghdad

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posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 09:34 PM
UK Telegraph | 5 Mar 2007 | Damien McElroy in Baghdad

Baghdad's mayor lashed out at the United States yesterday – for spending huge sums on projects to collect rubbish and plant trees while his devastated war-torn city struggles without electricity.

At a meeting in the city's Green Zone the mayor, Sabir al-Isawi, interrupted US officials in the middle of a presentation to key Iraqi officials, to say these schemes are "not what the people want".

He was echoing the feelings of many critics of America's priorities since Baghdad's infrastructure was all but destroyed since the US-led invasion in 2003.

On average, residents get only two hours of electricity a day, and are bitterly angry that the world's most powerful nation has not delivered a single major power plant in four years of occupation.

And hours after yesterday's presentation a high-ranking US official admitted that, despite spending $22 billion on reconstruction across Iraq, the Americans didn't expect Baghdad to have a 24-hour electricity supply until 2013.

At the meeting, Mr al-Isawi said: "I'm sorry to say that there are more important projects that are required by the city. There are essential services required by each district in the city that could be met by building power plants and bridges."

He criticised the US-driven projects because they were "overlapping and so badly planned, that the workers hired are ineffective".

The American project is part of a wider scheme to provide employment for Baghdad youths who might otherwise fall into the grip of insurgent groups still bringing daily chaos and bloodshed to Iraq.

Troop commanders have identified scores of projects, including planting trees, refitting health clinics, rebuilding dilapidated schools, plus establishing a functioning water and sewage system in the capital.

Baghdad has dire problems with domestic waste. Each district of the city has a so-called "Trash Street" where the local residents dump their rubbish.

The mayor himself confirmed that he had ordered seven million refuse bags at a cost of £5 million.

At yesterday's meeting, the US officials welcomed the mayor's input. Brigadier General Vincent Brookes, the deputy commander of multinational forces in Baghdad, said the US would gradually cede control of the work to city officials.

Eric Olsen, a US envoy for Iraqi reconstruction, conceded that the mayor was reflecting a widespread frustration.

But he pleaded with the 12 Iraqi officials present to propose new public works that would meet local needs. "Within a couple of weeks, I hope that it will be Iraqis in here deciding on projects that make a difference to their own future."

Yet, hours after the meeting, Mr Olsen's boss, Joseph Saloom, made the shock admission that the city is not expected to have a proper electricity supply for another six years at least.

posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 10:01 PM
You know what, I am so tired of hearing about the electricity! When we got there, Sadam had electric power going most of day in Baghdad but not in most of the rest of the country. WE DIDNT DESTROY ANYTHING! PERIOD! We gave equal access to electricity to the rest of the country. To make matters worse, the IRAQIS steal the power lines almost as fast as we can put it up. It is worth money, for the copper. THEY do it. And they KNOW it.

So far as the trash goes, they just throw it on the sides of the street or in empty lots. It is filthy, and I am sure the cause of much disease.

When a horse or donkey pulling a cart dies, you know what they do? They pull it to the side of the road and leave it for the dogs, which by the way run in packs of 50 or more feasting on the trash that litters the entire city.
If said horse happens to die next to a house, they still leave to rot. Parking lot of a school? Yep, left to rot. And you can’t blame it on the lack of sanitation services. Would you leave your dead horse in the parking lot of a school, even if you didn’t know what to do with it? Would the school leave it there for the children to see and climb on (not making that up) for weeks in 100+ degree heat?

Truly, I am against the war, I made Iraqi friends over there, and I am not racist, but that country, and those people in general (not all of them) are the filthiest people you can imagine. I know I will catch flack for saying that, but it is absolutely true. Sorry it's not PC, just the facts.

posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 10:09 PM
How about the US just agrees and leaves? I'd love to see them whine and moan then when they collapse.

posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 10:17 PM

Originally posted by Johnmike
How about the US just agrees and leaves? I'd love to see them whine and moan then when they collapse.

When they collapse? Do you mean the country or what? Do you really think things can possibly get any worse there? The Military are not going anywhere. They have built big, expensive bases there. They pull some of the soldiers out but the 'green card soldiers' will still be sent.

posted on Mar, 5 2007 @ 10:46 PM
If we just turn around, pull out as quickly as possible, and cut all funding? I'm not sure.

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