Defense Skirts State in Reviving Iraqi Industry

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, May 14, 2007.

  1. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #1
    wash post

    simply unbelievable. at least it would be if i hadn't lived through the last 6 years.
     
  2. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Sounds like a good plan, putting the Iraqis to work. How does that expression go? "Idle hands..."
     
  3. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #3
    Sounds like State was just positive that investors would be ready to jump right in[I/] to a former warzone to invest in substandard factoriesthat were recently state-owned and falling apart.

    It's a lot more profitable to invest in armored car factories in the US and sell the military weapons to fend off pissed Iraqis than it is to invest in low-margin clothing factories in Iraq. Besides, employing Iraqis would cut into your weapons sales to the US military. I notice Halliburton didn't build any leather coat factories...
     
  4. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #4
    I was trying to remember what it was that Arabs were good at manufacturing and drew a blank.:confused:
     
  5. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    haha, I think its textiles. Rugs. Plastics. I think Jordan is big in pharmaceuticals. Thats all that comes to mind right now. At any rate I'm sure they could find something to do.

    If al Qaeda was smart they'd try to take over the world not by blowing up cars and people, but by making goods and building factories and educating their women. They could probably do real well.
     
  6. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    You two are priceless. Ho ho ho. Foreign policy with a sense of humour.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    Can't have government-owned companies just starting back up under a Conservative Commander Guy's watch. The Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth would crucify him.

    No sir, gotta be free-market all the way. In fact, let's send a few young "loyal Bushies" from some evangelical college program to run the show and by God it'll all be fine. Just another data point showing that you don't need competence to win a war -- you just need to believe hard enough that everything will turn out OK.
     
  8. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #8
    And yet other than terror and Islam, you couldn't provide an example of what they export either.:rolleyes:
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    Ah, but only one of you tried... :rolleyes:
     
  10. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #10
    Sounds like obeygiant not only tried but identified several major Arab industries accurately. :rolleyes:

    The real problem here is the Administration, as far as I understand, refuses to change course on this! I heard on NPR this morning (I think--just had a baby--my mind isn't exactly as sharp as was a few weeks ago) that State/AID refuse to put effort (money) into supporting Iraqi state-owned industries. And that Bremer thinks that his biggest accomplishment in Iraq was instituting a flat tax. They still want it to be a haven of free-market capitalism in the Middle East.

    On second though. That probably was his biggest accomplishment.
     
  11. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    regarding the apparently willful confusion on what iraqis or, rather offensively, all arabs produce:

    1. wikipedia is your friend
    2. obviously iraqis were producing *something* before the war, otherwise there wouldn't be any factories (2nd grade logic there)
    3. years of sanctions would result in factories being rundown and needing parts, one needn't resort to racism to explain it

    it makes me rather sad that the "arab as bogeyman" propaganda not only took hold, but after the tactics and fear mongering of this administration has been laid so bare, that it's still effective. makes me wonder how gullible some people really are.
     
  12. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #12
    Actually they dont produce much. If you look it up Arabs never be came very industralized and thats one of the major gropes with the region that oil money is never used to diversify the economy, UAE did do that though and Kuwait to an extent. The only factories prior to the 90s were those practically directly funded by Saddam and Oil Money. Saddam ran a very socialistic ball game. He paid for much of the economy. But there is very little in terms of exports of manufactured goods from the Middle-East. Food items, tapestry, garments are pretty much the full of it. And even though the rascists remakrs if any should be dropped, its hard to yell at them for lying or following propaganda. Because clearly it is the truth. For Instance:

    Bahrain:

    Industries: petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pelletization, fertilizers, offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing, tourism

    Exports: petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum, textiles

    Mostly petroleum, some banking, repair, and a lot of construction.

    Aluminum makes up about 8-11% of exports. 65% is oil. The rest Textile.

    Saudi Arabia:

    Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals; ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics; metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction

    Exports: petroleum and petroleum products 90%

    Once again petroleum dominated. Good amount of repair ad construction. Some basic Industry.

    Clearly no major Exports beyond petroleum.

    Kuwait:

    Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials

    Exports: oil and refined products, fertilizers

    Same pattern.

    Yemen:

    Industries: crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement; commercial ship repair

    Exports: crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish

    Wow. Once again ship repair, aluminum, textiles, largely oil and a good amount of construction. A pattern anyone? Lets try to see a "good" middle-eastern country in terms of economic diversity.

    UAE:

    Industries: petroleum and petrochemicals; fishing, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, commercial ship repair, construction materials, some boat building, handicrafts, textiles

    Exports: crude oil 45%, natural gas, reexports, dried fish, dates

    Same exact pattern.

    As you can see clearly, the trend in the middle-east is to have a oil-dominated economy with strong consturction industries, ship repairing (i wonder why) and almost nothing else. That is the truth. No propaganda.
     
  13. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    thanks for the list. our conclusions seem to be different, however, on arab countries "not producing much". i assert there is a lot of industry in the M.E.

    it's not, as some contend, all "sands and huts".
     
  14. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #14
    Well Im glad your conclusion is different. If you want to scold people or even tell them what to do with any hope of actually persuading them you should put up a list. Lets see some evidence. They never said "sands and huts". You did!

    They said textiles, food, and tapestry. Which is the most of it. Do you have any prove otherwise or do you merely feel good about yourself that you think you are chiding people to do the right thing? Cause I love people who think they are defending the right thing..... merely in their conjectures and conclusion. Personally, I like facts. As I have clearly demonstrated. ;)


    I'm sorry I guess I forgot to mention those are all taken directly from the CIA factbook without any editing. So... those are facts.
     
  15. zimv20 thread starter macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    in this thread, yes, but it's been said by others in the past couple years.
     
  16. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #16
    Are you seriously trying to suggest that the CIA factbook is a reliable source of information.:rolleyes:
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    So was the presence of WMD in Iraq. QED.
     
  18. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #18
    Ok. I could look it up in Wikipedia. It would be the same thing. As if the export products of a nation is really going to be lied about just because its the CIA. Honestly there is a difference between shaky intelligence on WMDs that isnt corooborated and economic products. Is that even a joke? Oh did you hear. The CIA said Nigeria was selling Iraq cake! No not yelllow cake, just regular desserts. Sometimes people are skeptical for the wrong reasons. Come on people, some common sense.

    Wiki:

    Bahrain:
    Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 61%, aluminum 7%

    Saudi:
    Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair

    Exports: petroleum and petroleum products

    Hmmm... corroborated evidence. I dont suppose that gives a claim more validity.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Sorry, I can't help it: the phrase "CIA Factbook" just sounds so much like an oxymoron these days.
     
  20. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #20
    The CIA didnt do half bad during the Iraq War. They persuaded Bush to turn down much of his rhetoric cause they couldnt corroborate it. The then CIA director in his memoirs noted how he was intense pressure form the administration to come up with evidence proving a case against Iraq. And really couldnt find much. THen they were told to find anything, mere scraps. And they said heres scraps, but we dont support any of them as legit. The administration took it and ran. Actually Colin Powell's speech at the UN was supposed to be a lot more hard hitting, but the CIA protested saying they couldnt back most of that stuff at all let alone on trumped up claims. So they said they wouldnt back the speech and thus Colin wouldnt be allowed to say CIA in the speech. But the administration put so much intense pressure that finally they came to middle-ground. They toned down the speech and half-heartedly approved it.
     
  21. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #21
    Have you ever considered why these countries aren't industrialised (leaving aside for the moment the broader question of whether industrialisation is a good thing).A quick read of the areas history especially as regards colonialism may well prove beneficial.The CIA and it's expertise at psych-ops (a term that only the US military would invent mangling of the English language at it's finest),which the well know Fact-book is,sure a lot of it's figures are in the right ball park its the political slant that is insidious.
     
  22. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #22
    You'd think with all that sand they'd be able to turn out some killer glasswork. :D

    On a more serious note, provided I remember my AP European History from in high school at least halfway accurately, one of the reasons the ME didn't develop industrially the way the West did was that they never really needed to. Geographically, they occupied the sweet spot between the trade flowing east out of Europe et al and the trade flowing west from Asia.
     
  23. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #23
    Ummm... not sure who this is pointed towards, but I'll take it. Yup, I know why. Cause much of the colonizing powers, US, Britain, and France, or their dangerously close roles after colonization officially ended tried to not emphazie industralization. In many parts they wanted to merely reap the oil while having the people of those countries pay them for all the little manufactured bits from oil expertise to regular old tupperware. (actually Iran imports oil overall because they dont have enough refineries in their country due mainly to the British and the US always wanting to have a hand in the refinerey bit of its production line).

    So the main reaons behinds the non-inudstralization of this area is mostly due to the pressure Western forces excerted on them to not diversify their economies. Of course its a bit naive to put all the blame on them. Their is little will or impetus to carry out the reforms either way partly due to the almost scared view many Arabs have of using Western technology (they arent afraid they just are disgusting in following int heir footsteps). While the far east is more than happy and loves to follow in the US's footsteps down to the churning out billions of tons of CO2. ;)

    Plus for the past two decades little effort has been made by the ruling class beyound really a portion of the ruling class in Saudi Arabia, full-heartedly in UAE, and sort of slantitly in Iran, to push economic reforms and industrialization. In the UAE half the reason they aren't pushing it full steam is they lack the human expertise in terms of educated individuals. Their education system is rather shoddy and somewhat like Saudi Arabia's focuses less on Science and Math and the little bits to make a machine work creating individuals ill-suited to help in these fields. Iran sort of has the opposite problem. They have the educated talent, they just seem to have a hard time diversifying with so little trade activity outside of oil. (but its improving, Iran is the new site of a Renault manufacturing plant! The french really do have a very different sort of relationship than Anglo-saxon colonizers. But anyways....) Its somewhat bleak. And the blame could be spread around. But that still doesnt change the fact that industry is weak in the Middle-East and the only people who can change that are the people of the Middle-East by setting aside blame and working towards the goal of developing their economy. They should take a cue from Chinese boys who will do anything to work for Intel.
     
  24. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #24
    Chef Medeski, one major flaw in your methodology is that you are looking at exports. They manufacture plenty of things for their domestics markets that they don't export. Also, there are plenty of manufactures that aren't considered significant enough to make those very general lists. Look up the USA on the same list and see how many things aren't mentioned.

    Examples:

    Egyptian cars:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasr_(car_company)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_American_Vehicles
     
  25. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #25
    Chef you seem to be agreeing it's the ruling class who have help back the countries in question and I'm guessing also agreeing about who armed and placed them in power.The way the area will be able to improve it's living conditions is for the people to rid themselves of the twin yokes of government and religion (aint going to happen in my lifetime).However in the short term seizing control of their own resources would make things easier and provide a economic buffer for development (not necessarily industrial).The major problem is the most powerful forces in the world are extracting oil to bolster their own ruling classes and are fully prepared to defend their interests at whatever cost,the lives of their own country people not the least of them.So in the long term the interests of the ordinary people of the Middle East and the West are the same,unfortunately as yet those people cannot see that.Incidently I've spent some time in Iran and most people I meet were resourceful,intelligent and open to new ideas not something I can say about most of the western countries I've lived in.
     

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