The New York Times > International > Middle East > Reality Intrudes on Promises in Rebuilding of Iraq: “More than a year into an aid effort that American officials likened to the Marshall Plan, occupation authorities acknowledge that fewer than 140 of 2,300 promised construction projects are under way. Only three months after L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator who departed Monday, pledged that 50,000 Iraqis would find jobs at construction sites before the formal transfer of sovereignty, fewer than 20,000 local workers are employed.

Inside the high-profile Doura plant, American-financed repairs, originally scheduled to be completed by June 1, have dragged into the summer even as the demand for electricity soars and residents suffer through nightly power failures.

At the same time, an economy that is supposed to become a beacon of free enterprise remains warped by central controls and huge subsidies for energy and food, leaving politically explosive policy choices for the fledgling Iraqi government.

While the interim government has formally taken office, the reconstruction effort ? involving everything from building electric and sewage plants to training police officers and judges ? is only beginning. “


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