Turn Out The Lights...The Party's Over In Iraq genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Lights Out

Mission accomplished...the lights are out. Sometimes one simple fact can provide more perspective than a thousand page report. I think this obscure report by United Press International speaks volumes about our efforts in Iraq as well as the potential for further progress.

There have been thousands of attacks on Iraq's electric power infrastructure since May 21, 2003, an expert in safety and security of the energy sector worldwide told UPI on condition of anonymity. The expert said many attacks go unreported in the media, thus preventing an accurate ceiling on attack numbers.

Last month an average of 3,720 megawatts of electricity was generated per day, below the 6,000 megawatt goal to be reached by July 1, 2004, according to the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index. Demand is as much as 9,000 megawatts.

The entire country averaged about 10.9 hours of electricity per day, while Baghdad averaged 5.6 hours.

Perhaps I'm oblivious to human nature, but if I were an Iraqi living in the midst of a constant threat of violence trying to assess the benefits of a continued U.S. presence, I would be asking myself, "If they can't even provide sufficient electricity to keep the lights on fifty percent of the time, just what are they achieving and what are the prospects they can protect me and my family?"

If the sectarian violence isn't enough to demoralize the citizenry, the level of demonstrable progress in living conditions after four years has to be mind-boggling. In a recent article, a leading military officer remarked that he was amazed at the amount of violence the Iraqi people were able to endure. While that may well be true, I assume that coupling that level of violence with our inability to restore basic services has turned a number of otherwise peaceful Iraqis into staunch critics of all things American. That is painfully unfortunate.

Image courtesy of www.mun.ca

Daniel DiRito | June 18, 2007 | 6:44 PM
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Comments

1 On June 18, 2007 at 10:44 PM, mw wrote —

"I assume that coupling that level of violence with our inability to restore basic services has turned a number of otherwise peaceful Iraqis into staunch critics of all things American."

Yup. Why would we think that the Iraqi's would put up with our continuing inability to secure the country and provide basic services?

Al Sadr is promising security and services that we have not delivered. Whether or not he can fulfill his promises are irrelevant as the Iraqis now believe that we cannot. Why wouldn't they take a chance on him? More Iraqi's want us out than than want us there. Maliki has his own agenda. He must pretend to humor and kowtow to us as long as we control the security apparatus. But he likely also wants us out also to make an attempt to grab and consolidate power. I posted some more thoughts on one possible endgame scenario here.

Editor's Note:

MW - I changed ability to inability per your follow up comment and deleted the correcting comment.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations.

Regards,

Daniel

Thought Theater at Blogged

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