Monday, October 29, 2007

They tried to rebuild Iraq based on info in the 1994 Lonely Planet guide book

"The plan to rebuild Iraq was so vague that those given the job of reconstruction turned to an out-of-date Lonely Planet guide book for help and inspiration.

"Former American ambassador Barbara Bodine, who was given the job of helping to reconstruct Iraq, said: 'It is a great guide book, but it should not be the basis of an occupation.'

"Ms Bodine was one of 170 officials sent to rebuild Iraq after the UK and US invasion toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.

"But in a BBC investigation shown tonight, Ms Bodine reveals how the team of diplomats was given no information about how they should go about it.

"So they consulted the 1994 Middle East edition of the Lonely Planet for information on the economy, the Government and addresses of important buildings and embassies.

"It proved essential when Bodine and her colleagues spent days wandering the Baghdad streets to try to round up politicians to help in the mission of restoring order.

"The extraordinary revelation is made in the BBC's No Plan, No Peace investigation into postwar planning in Iraq.

"Nearly five years on from the occupation, 170 British soldiers have died and £250billion has been spent trying to bring peace to Iraq. Around 90,000 civilians are estimated to have died ..."

(Lid dip, Nora.)

More on Monday.

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Blogger J. said...

Wow, that's fascinating. Thanks for this post. You might be interested in The Wounded Warriors Project. It's a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for U.S. troops severely wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. It really puts a face on the cost of this conflict. Here's a link:


7:38 PM  

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