Monday, November 23, 2015
The blighted city | The Economist: "Basra should be Iraq’s most successful province. It lies furthest from IS’s front lines and has a tradition as the country’s most cosmopolitan city. It remains the country’s dynamo. It has Iraq’s only ports, and oil production that generates around 95% of the government’s oil revenues. But four decades of war, sanctions, occupation, neglect and Shia infighting have rendered it decrepit and dysfunctional. Its utilities are worse than those of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, which is controlled by IS. Power cuts last most of the day. The water is stickily saline. The air is acrid from oil plumes and from sewage that dribbles into collapsed canals which once saw Basra called “the Venice of the East”. Cholera is back. “Our health was better under sanctions and Saddam Hussein,” says a local councillor."
at 5:46 PM