The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

122º and Baghdad is without electricity

Jul 28, 2003

When the summer is at its warmest in the area around Baghdad, one of the hottest places in the world, the lack of electricity makes life impossible for many Iraqis. Besides the lack of drinkable water (since the majority of water comes from water purification plants that depend on electricity), the cutoff of electricity stirs up the discontent of a population which has suffered since the beginning the horrible consequences of this filthy war.

The provisional government speaks of sabotage and has promised to reinforce the security of power installations. But at the same time it warned that at least three years will be required to reconstruct 17,000 electric towers of the Iraqi network destroyed by bombing.

The U.S. company Bechtel, known for its ties to the Bush administration, last April received the "electric production" part of the profitable reconstruction contract. Charged with restoring the electric network, up to now it has done absolutely nothing. The director of the Baghdad power plant explained that Bechtel was given a list of urgent materials needed and tasks to be done to get electric production up and running. But Bechtel has brought in no material, nor has it done anything.

Unlike the period of intervention when the U.S. and British forces sent vast amounts of military materiel to conquer Iraq, the U.S. has made no effort to bring in the technical means needed for the population to live.