Hasil Big Bad Wolf
Minggu lalu berlakunya festival buku jualan pukal di Serdang anjuran Serigala Besar Jahat. Book sale mega ini mengakibatkan aku yang tak suka drive ke Serdang pun dengan relahati kesana. Tahun-tahun sebelum ini aku tak tergerak pun nak pergi. Kombinasi tiada uwang dan malas nak berpusu-pusu dengan ribuan manusia didalam dewan mencari buku. Tahun ini ada uwang sedikit dan si tunang tersayang mengajar dengan suara manja ala iklan Manjakini si Nora Danish.
Kamu pernah kena pujuk dengan si kekasih hati? Kalau belum pernah kamu tak tahu betapa powernya kuasa memujuk ini. Terutama kalau yang memujuk comel macam arnah prairie dengan mata berkilau bagai karakter anime hentai. HAH!
Aku pun kesana dengan berbekalkan RM100. Tak banyak aku tahu tapi itu sahaja yang aku mampu. Lebih dari itu alamatnya aku kena buat book soup akhir bulan dan minum bagi mengalas perut. Tak banyak buku yang tinggal by the time aku kesana. Dah hari-hari terakhir the good books sudah disapu bersih penggila buku yang lain. Yang tinggal hanya stacks of Nigella Lawson, Nora Roberts and Jamie Oliver crap that no one seems to care. I even saw a copy of Miley Cyrus autobiography. How lame is this that a 17 year old punya biografipun ada terjual.
Naturally gravitated towards the history and war section. Was looking forward to get the latest Clancy novel on paperback but it was not on sale. Instead I got me a few books on the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, WW2 and Arlington Cemetery. Not bad actually with the total damage of RM68.
The book i want to talk about today is Imperial Life in the Emerald City
This book was used as the basis for the film The Green Zone starring Good Will Hunting. #HAH!
Author? Rajiv Chendrasekaran
Classification? Non Fiction
So is the book any good? YES
Is it boring? NO
How much did I paid for it? RM8
What is it about? Post war Iraq and what went wrong
Is the book thick? Nope.. not even 1/3 of Great War for Civilsiation
What went wrong in the Iraq immediately after the war. See how REPUBLICAN cronies hired by Bush administration fucked up Iraq in the post war years. See how they tried to bring a free market to a formerly socialist state. In one chapter the writer talked about how during the Saddam regime electricity, water, health and education were free. In the 70's during the oil boom Saddam would import luxury products from Europe and sell it back in government owned shops at a fraction of the price. In the 70's Iraq was the DUBAI of today with massive construction and modernization funded by the endless oil money. The price of a gallon of oil was only a nickel. If you own a factory you also dont have to pay for electricity and water. The raw materials that you need for your factory was also heavily subsidized by the Saddam government.
But what is the catch for all this free shit?
First of all you have no say on how the government works. Saddam had absolute power. Anyone who was brave enough to step out of line will be be jailed. As for the factory owners, you are obligated to hire all the workers that the government sent to you under the command of the Ministry of Industry. It is not uncommon for factories that needed only 1 000 workers to hire 4 000 because the government promised every single Iraqi work. So what happened in these factories? Some go to work just to make coffee. Other sit in a room and do nothing for hours and would collect they paycheck regardless of the amount of work the did that month.
Then the war with Iran happened. This war bankrupted Iraq. The good times ended and to make it worse then Saddam later invaded Kuwait for the lulz (if you read the OLD FOA you would know WHY he invaded Kuwait - Go by Robert Fisk book if u wanna know LOL) . Twenty plus years of UN sanctions later, Iraqis were reduced to drinking vile untreated water from the Euphrates. They cant buy new filtration system or chlorine. Hospitals were forced to use recycled bandages and syringes. Iraqis were pissed at both Saddam and America. They yearn for the good old days. So when America invaded Iraq in 2003 they Iraqis foolishly believe that with Saddam gone, Iraq will magically return to the good old days. Here is where things got interesting.
The Bush administration hired people who are not familiar with middle east let alone Arab culture. They drafted a provisional secular constitution that no Muslim in Iraq would agree. They also brought in more Shi'ites than Sunnis into the government contrary to what had been done for decades under Saddam. This might be a politically correct move to do as Iraq is a majority Shi'ite nation but the Sunnis naturally saw this as a threat to their existence. The American also decided to introduce free market to a socialist state. No more jobs for every Iraqi unless they qualify. They also planned to reduce the amount of civil servants and introduce privatization for the first time in Iraq history. Iraqis would now have to pay MARKET price for oil and basic amenities. It was said that when East Germany embraced democracy in 1990, the west German hired 8000 people to restructure the countries assets and economy. This is typical German efficiency. They also hired the right people with the right credentials to do execute the plan.
America shoved the responsibility of restructuring Iraq's economy to 3 people. No that is not a typo and these 3 poor sods were given 6 months to make everything work. They were also hired because of their loyalty towards the Republican party. If you are a democrat and disagree with the Bush administration policy don't even think of getting a posting in Iraq. Cronyism and nepotism at it's best with the future of the Iraqi people hanging on the hands of these 3 people.
I am halfway through the book and I must admit this is definitely a very informative book. If you want to know what went wrong in Iraq just grab this book today for it is quite an eye opener. You will see some parallels on what Saddam did in Iraq with what our government is doing with Malaysia.Prepare ti be flabbergasted at the sheer incompetence of the Bush administration handling of post war Iraq too. I still can't believe that they did some of things they did like total disregard of cultural sensitivities and Geneva Convention, Bottom line is, Imperial Life in The Emerald City is a book for WARFAGS like me and those interested in history. Grab it now from all good book stores.