Why Did We Wait 3-1/2 Years to Start This?

One has to begin concluding that a shit-load of morons were heading up the team to bring democracy to the Middle East. That bodes ill for the consequences of this new-found intelligence.

To Stem Iraqi Violence, U.S. Aims to Create Jobs
By Josh White and Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 12, 2006; A01

As Iraq descends further into violence and disarray, the Pentagon is turning to a weapon some believe should have been used years ago: jobs.

Members of a small Pentagon task force have gone to the most dangerous areas of Iraq over the past six months to bring life to nearly 200 state-owned factories abandoned by the Coalition Provisional Authority after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Their goal is to employ tens of thousands of Iraqis in coming months, part of a plan to reduce soaring unemployment and lessen the violence that has crippled progress.

Defense officials and military commanders say that festering unemployment — at 70 percent in some areas — is leading Iraqi men to take cash from insurgents to place bombs on roads or take shots at U.S. troops. Other Iraqis are joining sectarian attacks because their quality of life has slipped dramatically, officials say.

Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the top U.S. field commander in Iraq, said that tackling unemployment could do far more good than adding U.S. combat troops or more aggressively pursuing an elusive enemy. He said the project to open the factories and stimulate local economies is long overdue and was born “of desperation.”

“We need to put the angry young men to work,” Chiarelli said in a phone interview from Baghdad. “One of the key hindrances to us establishing stability in Iraq is the failure to get the economy going. A relatively small decrease in unemployment would have a very serious effect on the level of sectarian killing going on.”

Read the rest here.

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