Thursday, May 05, 2011

Latest accusations against Paul Bremer

The big corruption news in Iraq today? That an American stands accused of embezzling billions of dollar from Iraq. Al Mada reports that the whispers from the Finance Committee are that $8 billion disappeared due to being stolen by the US imposed Bhwana Paul Bremer. Supposedly details will emerge in the near future via a press conference. In other corruption news, Al Rafidayn reports on a study into the importation of expired/spoiled food into Iraq. The importation is being referred to as "practiced genocide." Meat and frozen foods are seen as among the worst of the spoiled food imported but other items include: tea, beans and oil. The Integriy Committee is reviewing dozens of cases that citizens have raised as a result of the risks the tainted food put the public at. They note the infamous case of the importation of 55 thousand tons of cooking oil -- which was spoiled. Some of the food and food supplies spoiled as a result of storage. Salman Kazim is an Iraqi who has enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine) and suspects it results from imported meat which was spoiled.

Amna Abdel-Aziz (Al Sabaah) reports that in the worst areas of Baghdad, mud houses are being built from mud and scraps and waste, discarded trash, which further risks exposure to disease in an area plagued by insects, rodents, stray cats and dogs. Hussein Abdul-Jabbar states he was living with his brother but the brother's home was too small for both families so he built his mud home from scraps. (We're not as stupid as NPR which, on Monday, reported 'polling' done at the barrel of a gun as honest answers. Meaning, this is what the man told the press. Did he really move his family into a mud home due to lack of space? Who knows. But that is the story he told the press. It might be true, it might be a face saving move.) Khamis Abdallah Venus states that many suffering Iraqis live in mud homes and try to maintain their dignity. He says officials are not listening to voices or coming up with solutions. Muhammad al-Shammari, the Deputy Governor of the Province, states that they are aware of the homeless issue and are constructing public housing which will provide for 5,000 families.

When that would happen isn't stated but the story is making the rounds of the Arabic media and may be in response to recent news of homes being provided for government officials. From Tuesday's snapshot:

Different topic, Alsumaria TV reports the good news: "Iraq Ministry of Housing said on Monday that the Iraqi government approved its plan to build housing units with low prices in the provinces for the employees of the ministry and the public servants." Well . . . good news if you work for the Cabinet. In a country where the people feel the government is not representing them, it is really smart to be promoting projects that benefit the government? And is this really that different from the earlier scandal where land was being given to government workers? Something that outraged many Iraqis? From the April 27th snapshot, "Al Sabaah reports that the Cabinet has put an end to employees of 'the three presidencies' (Iraq's president and two vice presidents) grabbing up residential land plots. Dar Addustour calls it a 'private ownership scheme'."

In other news, Haider al-Rubaie Filaih (Al Sabaah) reports that, at Baghad markets, there is an increase in the price of electric fans and generators as a result of the increased temperature (which will only get higher as the summer arrives and will include many over-100 degree days).

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oh boy it never ends