Another Iraqi blogger

Posted with the usual caveat: on the internet, anyone can be anything. But this seems plausible.

“[Iraq] is not a country in chaos and Baghdad is not a city in chaos.” — Paul Bremer

Where is this guy living? Is he even in the same time zone??? I’m incredulous… maybe he’s from some alternate universe where shooting, looting, tanks, rape, abductions, and assassinations aren’t considered chaos, but it’s chaos in *my* world.

Ever since the occupation there have been 400 females abducted in Baghdad alone and that is only the number of recorded abductions. Most families don’t go to the Americans to tell about an abduction because they know it’s useless. The male members of the family take it upon themselves to search for the abducted female and get revenge if they find the abductors. What else is there to do? I know if I were abducted I’d much rather my family organize themselves and look for me personally than go to the CPA.

By BBC’s accounts there are 70 cars a day being hijacked in Baghdad alone…

And now we’ve just had some shocking news- Mohammed Baqir Al-Hakim was assassinated in the holy city of Najaf! Mohammed Baqir Al-Hakim was the head of SCIRI (Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq). They don’t know who was behind it, but many believe it is one of the other Shi’a religious factions. There has been some tension between Al-Sadir’s followers and Al-Hakim’s followers. Another cleric, Al-Sistani, also had some interesting things to say against Al-Hakim…

And from another entry:

Listen to this little anecdote. One of my cousins works in a prominent engineering company in Baghdad- we’ll call the company H. This company is well-known for designing and building bridges all over Iraq. My cousin, a structural engineer, is a bridge freak. He spends hours talking about pillars and trusses and steel structures to anyone who’ll listen.

As May was drawing to a close, his manager told him that someone from the CPA wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasn’t too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc.

Let’s pretend my cousin is a dolt. Let’s pretend he hasn’t been working with bridges for over 17 years. Let’s pretend he didn’t work on replacing at least 20 of the 133 bridges damaged during the first Gulf War. Let’s pretend he’s wrong and the cost of rebuilding this bridge is four times the number they estimated- let’s pretend it will actually cost $1,200,000. Let’s just use our imagination.

A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!