Friday, October 19, 2007

China and Iran Investing in Iraq

This is a problem???

Iraq has agreed to award $1.1 billion in contracts to Iranian and Chinese companies to build a pair of enormous power plants, the Iraqi electricity minister said Tuesday. Word of the project prompted serious concerns among American military officials, who fear that Iranian commercial investments can mask military activities at a time of heightened tension with Iran.

Looks like hearts and minds stuff to me.
Whaddya gonna do? Bomb the new infrastructure improvements?

The Lounsbury's comments are too good to skip.

Aside from providing a certain amusing lesson in economic interest, there are two key lessons here:

(i) That in high risk environments, private capital is cowardly (and rightly so),

(ii) that the US has and still is trying to "do" Iraq on the cheap and without real effort - not national mobilisation despite the Good & Evil rhetoric and calls to Second World War Hollywood imagery. No, drip, drip in billions of just enough for the moment to give the semblance of serious effort to the domestic audiences.

It makes the failure in Iraq sadder, but also more amusing to have the Chinese giving lessons in risk. It also makes more ridiculous the various ill conceived and half baked "economic initiatives" the Americans have launched in MENA, and Iraq - driven more by ideological wishful and magical thinking about magic entrepreneurship and private initiative springing full-formed out of Zeus's head than real effort to drive change, their "key word" parroted constantly and tiresomely in every bloody conference they bloody show up at.

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