Friday, March 02, 2007

Riots for $7.75

Sahar at Inside Iraq just posted an interesting blog recounting her experience at a Baghdad bank:
I go in, only to find people pushing and shoving one another; fighting, shouting and cursing each other. “This is not normal,” I said to myself.

I try to reach the employee with whom I have business, but my efforts are to no avail. One human current pushes me this way and another pulls me that. A proper riot!

...Riots in the bank for ID 10 000, $ 7.75.

And for $100; what would they be prepared to do?

For $500?

For $1000??
For the answer you need only read the front-pages. A carbomb here, an IED there- these are the fruits of a 60% unemployment rate and an incapable economic plan for Iraq. We spend billions on combating insurgents, when it would have taken just millions to keep them from picking up that gun in the first place. Zakaria of Newsweek recently wrote: "It would cost $100 million to restart all of [the state run enterprises] and employ more than 150,000 Iraqis—$100 million. That's as much money as the American military will spend in Iraq in the next 12 hours." As each Iraqi is generally responsible for on average ten of his family members, you are essentially providing relief for 1.5 million Iraqis. And this with just a tiny portion of the money being spent every month in Iraq- Imagine what could be done with more.

No Iraqi wants to die for the dollar, but then again no Iraqi can live in the current climate.

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