<\body> Stories in America: Iraqis Are Now Begging for Food

Monday, February 19, 2007

Iraqis Are Now Begging for Food

"Look at us begging for food despite the fortunes we have," 60-year-old Um Muthanna from Baghdad told IPS. Standing at a vegetable market in central Baghdad where vegetable supplies are not what they used to be, Um Mahmood despaired for Iraq.

"A country with two great rivers should have been the biggest exporter in the world, but now we beg for food from those who participated in killing us."

2 Comments:

At 2/20/2007 1:36 PM, Anonymous jack boo said...

"Nor are ordinary Iraqis themselves short on cash. After so many years of living under sanctions, with little to consume, many built up considerable nest eggs—which they are now spending. That's boosted economic activity, particularly in retail. Imported goods have grown increasingly affordable, thanks to the elimination of tariffs and trade barriers. Salaries have gone up more than 100 percent since the fall of Saddam, and income-tax cuts (from 45 percent to just 15 percent) have put more cash in Iraqi pockets. "The U.S. wanted to create the conditions in which small-scale private enterprise could blossom," says Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk at Global Insight. "In a sense, they've succeeded."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16241340/site/newsweek/

 
At 6/04/2007 4:14 PM, Anonymous cr said...

Even though this was posted months ago, I have to respond.
Jack Boo: Have you been to Iraq? Have you lived under the conditions that Iraqis do every day? I have, and this is what I saw:

It's true that there may be more cash flow than under sanctions, but inflation -- for housing, services, fuel -- is insane. It costs about $800 a month to rent an apartment in Sulaimaniyah (northern Iraq). A professor makes $250 a month, if s/he is lucky. And many people can't work because of the violence. It costs $15USD for a gallon of fuel. All Iraqis must have (expensive) generators that are run by (expensive) fuel because they don't have electricity.

One of Bremer's first decisions was to make Iraq a free-trade country; between that and the violence, most of the factories are shut down.

I also have to say, I consider dispatches from the ACTUAL COUNTRY a lot more reliable than analysts and journalists who have probably only been to the Green Zone, IF that. The Newsweek correspondent was not in Iraq, and no Iraqis were quoted in the story. Please think critically about what you read!!

Also, if you look at Iraq's economic growth figures: 4% (WB estimate for 2007) is not strong growth considering Iraq is still recovering from sanctions. The growth rates should be a lot higher because it's starting from zero.

 

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