Those who supported the ouster of Saddam Hussein do no favors to the Iraqis by downplaying the Bush administration’s mistakes and failures in Iraq. Joshua Marshall quotes from a Financial Times article about US subcontractors in the country hiring cheap South Asian labor instead of Iraqis– a huge number of whom are unemployed. A US Army colonel cited the need to protect American forces.
But one of Marshall’s correspondents— an American expat living in the United Arab Emirates– says the reason for importing South Asian workers to Iraq is simply that it’s cheaper than hiring locals.
As Harry’s post about the new Iraqi blogger suggests, good things are happening there. But passing over jobless and desperate-to-work Iraqis in favor of imported labor is not the way to win hearts and minds. As Marshall says, “None of this is pretty.”