Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Pentagon's Million-Dollar Magic Carpet Ride

Hop aboard, American taxpayers. I'm glad you didn't need the money for anything else.

"The Pentagon is poised to award a one-year, no-bid contract worth about $1 million to Tremayne Consulting to expand the market for Afghan carpets"

I think American taxpayers are feeling a bit walked on at the moment.

You know, the Afghan rug trade was DOING JUST FINE before the AmeriKan invasion and occupation.

Actually, it was the
DRUG TRADE that was hurting, but that is rolling great guns now, cui bono?!

"US hopes to revive Afghan rug trade" by Glenn Kessler, Washington Post | August 22, 2010

WASHINGTON — Afghanistan is a nation of weavers, with some 1 million people helping to hand-knot intricate patterns of delicate wool.

Yes, and from the limited number of MSM photographs I nave seen they come in all varieties of color.

But it is also a nation at war — one that lacks factories and the equipment that would suit a proper industry.

Says who?

Btw, same could be said about AmeriKa now after all the off-shoring and outsourcing from a "nation at war."

Nearly all rugs made in Afghanistan are shipped to Pakistan for washing and finishing — then relabeled Pakistani.

Now, US officials, hoping to stem what they see as a huge loss of potential income and jobs for Afghans, are getting into the rug business.

Don't you wish they WORRIED ABOUT YOUR JOB and YOUR FACTORY, Americans?

Don't you wish we had LEFT the AFGHANS ALONE and NOT INVADED THEM over a LIE?

The Pentagon is poised to award a one-year, no-bid contract worth about $1 million to Tremayne Consulting to expand the market for Afghan carpets, a senior defense official said, speaking anonymously under rules set by the Pentagon.

The project is modeled on an initiative in Iraq, where the Pentagon sought to rebuild the carpet business after Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, disbanded all state-owned enterprises. And, just as in Iraq, the Pentagon is turning to the same specialist — London-based Richard Ringrose, for many years the vice president for Oriental carpets at New York’s ABC Carpet.

Did you ju$t hear the cha-ching of a ca$h regi$ter?

The Iraqi carpet factories had existed mainly to supply cheap, synthetic carpets for the palaces of Saddam Hussein.

Right, they had no other markets or customers.

Wouldn't that have been an industry worthy of dying like the man?

Or was it more important for $omeone who is well-connected to get paid?

How is that Iraqi carpet business?

Booming like the car bombs, is it?

In Afghanistan, the challenges are different. There is no Afghan brand for rugs on the worldwide market. And instead of mass-production factories, the country has a cottage industry of weavers working mostly out of their homes....

In other words, they are living the way we were meant to live.

Ringrose, who recently set up Tremayne for the Afghan contract, obtained a Defense Department contract for Iraq to help introduce the use of natural fibers and new designs, including a project to recreate the Mesopotamian design of the legendary Pazyryk rug, the oldest surviving knotted rug in the world....

I'm sorry, Americans, but this smells like a waste of taxpayer dollars to me.

This as Iraqis have limited electricity and lack sewage treatment?

These are the priorities of the Pentagon?

Ringrose, under Pentagon contracting rules, was prohibited from speaking publicly with a reporter.


Regarding RUGS?

What is that, some sort of national security secret now?

The defense official and a person involved in the contract said that Ringrose would seek in the next year to establish training facilities for washing and trimming in Mazar-e Sharif and Herat, where much of the Afghan carpet weaving is centered.

Nothing but a glorified laundromat!

He will also create an Istanbul hub where foreign buyers unwilling to travel to Afghanistan could examine the merchandise....

All at taxpayer's expense.

The 2006 report, however, noted that Pakistan dominates the washing and trimming business because it has several advantages over Afghanistan, including lower wages and warmer weather, allowing for quicker drying.

And plenty of water.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy said officials in Islamabad were not worried that the project would hurt the Pakistani carpet trade.