Monday, July 06, 2009

MAKING IRAQ SAFE FOR MR. MOHSIN

NY Times - A baker scraping by when American tanks rolled into Baghdad, Mr. Mohsin recently spent $50,000 to throw a one-night bacchanal at the exclusive Hunting Club here. When guests visit his second home, in Baghdad, he proudly shows off the two peacocks he imported from Dubai, to join a menagerie of exotic birds that he sometimes gives away to friends.
"I have four cars," he said proudly. "The Land Cruiser cost $80,000."

The car is parked on a street still littered with debris and lined with blast walls from the sectarian war that was fiercely fought in his neighborhood, Mansour. Fingering his gold watch - the one he is wearing costs $2,000; he reserves a $20,000 timepiece "for big parties" - Mr. Mohsin said that only in America, or an American occupation, was his story possible.

Every war has its spoils, and while much has been written about the multinational corporations whose profits soared as the battle raged, there are also hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people like Mr. Mohsin.

There is no suggestion that he did anything illegal, but in his description of the rise of his business, the Future Company, it is possible to see writ small how such vast sums of money from American taxpayers and the treasuries of other countries could have been poured into Iraq with so little to show for it.

Even an American contract for something as simple as hauling gravel has brought Mr. Moshin tens of thousands of dollars.