By Ken Krayeske • 10:20 AM EST
Tom Foley gives a press conference at the Connecticut state capital, March 3, 2010. Photo by Christine Stuart, courtesy of CTNewsJunkie.
Ed’s Note: This is Part III of a four-part interview with Tom Foley, Republican candidate for Governor of Connecticut. Part IV of the interview with will be published on March 10, 2010.
Part I, published the week of February 10, 2010, featured some of Foley’s ideas about voter participation, being an ambassador to Ireland, and UConn’s tuition increase.
Part II, published the week of February 17, 2010, scratched the surface of his participation as the Director of Private Sector Development for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from August 2003 through March 2004.
Economist Peter Galbraith's critique of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq does not sit well with Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley.
Foley, of course, was a high ranking official with the Coalition Provisional Authority from August 2003 through March 2004. After his stint in Iraq, he became the Nutmeg state's chair to re-elect Bush.
Foley's official title with the CPA was Director of Private Sector Development, and Foley disputes any contention that his job was to privatize Iraq's almost 200-state owned industries, even though his boss, L. Paul Bremer, admitted more times and places than I can fit here that the CPA sought to privatize the Iraqi economy.
Galbraith's book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War without End, published in 2006 by Simon & Schuster, has received minor criticism outside of Foley.
Michael M. Gunter reviewed Galbraith’s book for the Middle East Journal in September 2006. Gunter said despite Galbraith's overreaching title, the book was a "devastating critique of… US cronyism and ... even outright corruption."
"Written in a journalistic, even polemical style lacking any scholarly documentation and limited in its bibliography, Galbraith's treatise reads more like a lengthy editorial," Gunter wrote. "Nevertheless, it is a well-written, intelligent one that makes many valid and disturbing points that need to be aired."
Of Foley, Galbraith wrote: "Tom Foley, a top Bush fundraiser with no experience in handling economic transitions (and no knowledge of Iraq) was put in charge of privatizing Iraq's industry." (p. 126).
Foley's response: "He's wrong. I wasn't put in charge of privatization. My job was private sector development. My job was to begin laying the foundations for a private sector economy in Iraq. A small part of that responsibility was to put together a plan for privatizing state owned enterprises."
For example, Foley said that there wasn't a credit based banking system in Iraq.
Isn't that a reflection of Islamic culture and sharia law that frowns on charging interest on loans, I asked.
"It is a reflection of a dictatorship," Foley said. "Loans are extended on credit worthiness. In a dictatorship, loans are extended on how well you know the dictator. They had no ability to assess credit and rank credit and credit worthy borrowers. Saddam and his lieutenants ordered the banks to make loans."
Interview with Tom Foley, Part III continued...