In February I linked to a detailed report in IEEE Spectrum that explained how billions of dollars had been wasted and electricity production in Iraq at 3,600 megawatts was still less than it was before the war. Glenn Reynolds felt that the report was “sort of good news”. Now Reynolds reports more good news:

The latest Brookings Institution data from Iraq look good. I wonder why these numbers don’t get more attention?

He links to Bill Crawford, who writes:

Electrical output is almost at the pre-war level of 3,958 megawatts. April’s production was 3,600 megawatts. In May of 2003, production was only 500 megawatts. The goal is to reach 6,000 megawatts.

So no progress has been made but Reynolds thinks this looks “good”. If you check the actual Brookings data, you will discover that it has been cherry-picked. The 6,000 megawatt goal was for July 2004. And in April 2006, electricity availability in Baghdad was the worst it’s ever been at 4 hours per day. Why doesn’t the America-hating media report this?

There’s lots more like that on Crawford’s list — Robert Farley takes the time to go through the whole thing.

Comments

  1. #1 Dennis Williams
    May 11, 2006

    Tim, I’m sure the people in Baghdad who go 20 hours a day without electricity would appreciate your sarcasm. Certainly if I was living in Baghdad I’d be curious as to how an affluent prof. who posts on the internet at all hours of the day (hey look no electricity problems here!) could sympathize with my plight…of course a cynic might glean from your posts that you’re more interested in discrediting Bush and co. than in the well-being of your average Iraqi.

    Is there, in your opinion, anything positive happening in Iraq? I’d be willing to bet that if you actually looked for some positive developments you might find them.

  2. #2 Ian Gould
    May 11, 2006

    Yes, pointing out the failure of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy is obviously a sign of one’s contempt for the Iraqi people.

    Still I’m sure with time and the support of good patriots such as yourself Bush etal will kill all the Bad iraqis and the surviving Good Iraqis will enjoy the benefits they were promised back in 2002.

  3. #3 Donald Johnson
    May 11, 2006

    I think Dennis should get some points for originality–using Iraqis as rhetorical human shields for the Bush Administration. Admit it, Ian, you never would have thought of it.

  4. #4 Ian Gould
    May 12, 2006

    On the contrary, TallDave a former regular here was forever altenrating between accusing anti-war posters of being racists and not caring about Iraqi lives and arguing that Iraqi deatsh were an acceptable price to pay for spreading freedom and fighting terrorism.

    Funny, isn’t it how the welfare of Saudis, Pakistanis; Jordanians; Kazakhs and other subjects of dictatorships currently in the US’ good books never rate a mention.

  5. #5 Jeff Harvey
    May 12, 2006

    Ian,

    Great post. TallDave never could bring himself to admit that US policies have resulted in mass murder, horror and deprivation. His only refrain was that the appalling by-products of US policies were “unfortunate”, as if these countless examples were ‘aberrations’, ‘accidents, or ‘exceptions to the rule’. Even Thomas Carothers, a senior member of the Reagan administration whose job was “democracy enhancement” more-or-less said that the desire to spread democracy by US adminstrations was a sham, and that there was ‘a strong line of continuity’ in US foreign policy – bolstering vile regimes that supported US business and strategic interests, while veiling their support for ‘top-down’ forms of government as ‘promoting democracy’.

  6. #6 z
    May 12, 2006

    Well, if you’re going to invade a country because of “weapons of mass destruction-related program activities” then you can certainly rebuild it with “6,000 megawatt-related program activities”.

  7. #7 z
    May 12, 2006

    “forever altenrating between accusing anti-war posters of being racists and not caring about Iraqi lives and arguing that Iraqi deatsh were an acceptable price to pay for spreading freedom and fighting terrorism.”

    Who can forget that Star Trek episode where Spock causes the killer robot’s computer to burn out, by forcing it to simultaneously consider its directives to liberate humanity from Federation tyranny, and to fight the Federation here so that it wouldn’t have to fight them there?

  8. #8 ben
    May 12, 2006

    Who can forget that Star Trek episode where Spock causes the killer robot’s computer to burn out, by forcing it to simultaneously consider its directives to liberate humanity from Federation tyranny, and to fight the Federation here so that it wouldn’t have to fight them there?

    Oddly enough, I think yo have forgotten it. I don’t think that was Spock, I think it was Kirk, and this is the episode in question. If it is not that episode, then it is this one, and it’s still Kirk, not Spock. In either case, there is no robot who’s directives are to liberate humanity from Federation tyranny.

  9. #9 Eli Rabett
    May 12, 2006

    Not yet

  10. #10 Ian Gould
    May 12, 2006

    Actually I think Eli is referring to “I, Mudd” in which both Kirk and Spock employ logical paradoxes to overload the computer system holding Harry Mudd and the enterprise crew prison.

    In particular, Spock announces that he loves one of a pair of identical robots and hates the other.

    Substitute Pakistan and Syria for the pair of robots and the analogy is pretty accurate.

    (Actually this is somewhat unfair ot the Syrians, who unlike America’s great and good ally Pakistan don’t enforce Sharia law and didn’t help found the Taliban or sell nuclear weapons technology to all comers.)

  11. #11 roger
    May 13, 2006

    Actually, you would think that the pro-war people would be slowed a bit by the author of the Brookings report own assessment, in the, of course, ultra-liberal Marine Corps times. But that is to underestimate the force of the zombie:

    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1768011.php

    “Oil and electrical production continue to lag pre-war levels, while attacks against civilians and Iraqi security forces have not significantly fallen in months, according to data compiled by the Brookings Institution.

    Brookings’ Iraq Index is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of data on security and reconstruction in Iraq. And despite arguments by conservative Internet commentators that the latest version, released Monday, represents under-reported progress in Iraq, Brookings analyst Michael O’Hanlon said the situation is not encouraging.

    “I am actually a bit pessimistic based on the overall message of the data,” O’Hanlon said by e-mail. “I think the economy is flat and not much improved from Saddam’s days and think the security environment is also not showing much progress.”

    Iraqi oil production — which U.S. officials said before the war would finance Iraq’s reconstruction — continues to trail pre-war levels, according to the report. Daily production in April averaged 2.14 million barrels, or more than 300,000 barrels below Iraq’s pre-war peak of 2.5 million. Overall, Iraq’s supply of petroleum products was about 75 percent of the U.S. and Iraqi governments’ goals — up from 65 percent in March, but down from 2005 levels of nearly 100 percent.”

  12. #12 soru
    May 14, 2006

    Incidentally, is anyone able to make head or tails of the table ‘CURRENT WATER PROJECTS OUTPUTS VS. CPA GOALS’ in the Brookings data?

  13. #13 Ian Gould
    May 16, 2006

    You know at this point TallDave would probably interject somethign to the effect that “Iraqis are free now and liberals hate that.”

    Let’s take a look at what use they’re making of their new foun freedoms:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article485024.ece

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