Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Iraq's Professional Diaspora

Yesterday's WaPo has a distressing article describing Iraq's brain drain. Professionals are being targeted by thugs and terrorists for kidnapping and worse, resulting in an exodus of Iraq's most intelligent and experienced citizens. The most anguishing quote comes from the wife of an Iraqi businessman, Um Mustafa:
I've been through four wars. I never, never felt like leaving before...Now, life in Iraq has become unsafe. I don't feel safe in my own bedroom -- or in the whole country.
Human capital maybe the most important asset a society has, if Iraq loses theirs, what chance does it have of becoming a middle-class democratizing country? Worse,the NYTs was reporting yesterday that:
The first official history of the $25 billion American reconstruction effort in Iraq depicts a program hobbled from the outset by gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic infighting, secrecy and constantly increasing security costs, according to a preliminary draft.
These two articles demonstrate that we are consistently failing our moral obligations to Iraq's population. Can they ever trust the U.S. again?