Opinion: Tom Foley’s time in Iraq, and why it matters

Susan Bigelow
Susan Bigelow

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

In 2003, President George W. Bush, fresh off the conquest of Iraq, needed a director of private sector development for the new Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which would govern the country from Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. He found an old Harvard classmate running a business specializing in corporate “turnarounds,” and offered him the job. Thomas C. Foley of Greenwich accepted.

Foley’s hire, given that he’d raised a ton of money for the 2000 Bush campaign, drew some speculation that it was a reward. … It’s surprisingly hard to pin down specifically what Tom Foley did in Iraq.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


11 responses to “Opinion: Tom Foley’s time in Iraq, and why it matters”

  1. anon

    Getting an assignment in Europe is a perk, Iraq is work.

    Connecticut residents know what a Malloy governorship does (not) do for an at-peace, asset-rich economy.

    Here’s an example of what Foley is capable of doing and in Iraq of all places-

    “A RAND Corporation report from 2009 argued that the CPA was at least partially successful in reviving Iraq’s economy, pointing to vast growth in post-conflict GDP. “The CPA achieved these results,” says the RAND report, “By curbing inflation, issuing a new currency . . . reducing external tariffs, reforming the banking system, expanding liquidity, and stimulating consumer demand.””

  2. Oyster

    The CPA also lost a pallet of American cash totalling $6 million. Nobody was prosecuted or even disciplined for deciding that it was smart to bring over stacks of shrink wrapped American bills and then leave it where the locals to make off with them to fund the opposition.

  3. Suzanne

    Selective quote. And just how did this work for Iraq? It appears Mr. Foley expected Western ideas of commerce to successfully make the streets of Baghdad flow with milk and honey. He blames Obama for the lack of his success yet his ideologies and “work”, without recognizing the existing culture, simply did not work. It must be nice to have the tools at one’s disposal to be “king of the forest” with the President’s endorsement no less. Mr. Foley’s presence there did more harm than good in the long term, which, I would say, was the conclusion of Mr. Bush’s “Victory”, flak jacket, aircraft carrier and all. CT is in the unfortunate situation of having a bevy of incompetents from which to choose to lead – not much else new on the political front here.

  4. One and Done

    @Suzanne, fortunately with the Bush regime out and Obama capitulating to terrorist factions, soon again women will revert to their proper place and become property. The girls schools will close again and another dictator will install a new reign of terror alla Saddam. You can then focus your attention on the evil Republicans here and their ghastly expectations that women pay a few bucks for their lifestyle choices rather than the taxpayers.

  5. Suzanne

    Pitiful. My sister FOUGHT in that war (as did two nephews)! Did any of your relatives? Our presence there did nothing, nothing for the United States except to lose countless lives. That those lives continued not to be lost we have Obama to thank. The continued tribal warfare that has been the tradition for thousands of years was not going to be stopped by Bush’s “Victory” nor the Tom Foley’s of this world who, apparently, believed that American commerce and ideals would always win out over longstanding structure. What hubris!
    You have very low expectations of women and their choices. I am assuming you are referring to Federally funded abortions? It takes two – men might try protective sex or not having sex at all when the ultimate outcome of biology is, well, biology. When you have a woman’s body and a vagina, then you can address this issue of your taxpayer monies going to women’s health.
    You might also want to check heavily skewed research dollars that go toward men’s health and health issues as opposed to women’s. *
    Republicans are not evil and I have never said as much: you assume. They are people like everyone with values I share sometimes and sometimes don’t. That that subtlety is lost on you, Mr. Black and White, One and Done man, is no surprise to me.

  6. anon

    @Suzanne you digress. This article was not about the pros and cons of Iraq war.

  7. One and Done

    Suzanne, First off, the fact that your relatives have volunteered doesn’t give you any higher ranking of opinion. Two, military casualties under Obama have far exceeded those under Bush. But let’s stay focused on the real point of the article, which is to somehow link the current failures in Iraq to Tom Foley. The current destabilization in Iraq is because of Obama’s policies and while he’s over here dividing this country on a bogus issue, real women and girls in Iraq are actually going back into the dark ages. Ask your relatives if they think their blood, sweat, and tears and the futures of these oppressed individuals is worth less than Obama’s political standing and stop blaming Foley and everything Republican for your short comings in life.

  8. Suzanne

    1. If you had read One and Done’s comment, anon, you would notice I responded to that.
    2. The Iraq war killed thousands of young women and men from our country. Mr. Foley went over there to “solve” the economic issues to “restore” a western-style commerce for the Iraq people. It was a failure. So was the war.

  9. Suzanne

    Try living with your nearest and dearest in harm’s way, then you can tell me if my opinion is more valid than yours One and Done. When one person in a family goes to war, everyone in that family does. These casualties are never counted.
    Obama inherited a non tenable situation from Bush just like LBJ inherited a non tenable situation from JFK. Both have been disastrous.
    You are so easy to conclusions but read so little: I did not say Tom Foley caused the failures in Iraq. I said his efforts were a failure. That is a fact as witnessed by the destabilization of the Iraqi economy today which I am sure was not part of his grand plan.
    Why you have to feel persecuted as a Republican I have no idea. I am so glad for your moniker, One and Done. My time is important to me – and no more of it is going to you.

  10. One and Done

    Suzanne, the volunteerism and sacrifice of your family doesn’t entitle you to restate facts as you see fit. Obama withdrew from Iraq which caused it to destabilize in only a few years, wasting your families efforts (as well as mine fyi).
    Your attempt to appear bipartisan and smear JFK is laughable. It is a fact of the historical record that JFK was drawing down forces of less that never exceeded 16000, in a war he inherited from Truman who gave it to Ike. Then JFK was assassinated and lo and behold within a few years LBJ, who’s buddies made a mint on war profiteering, increased to 200,000 in a few years leading up to the Tet offensive.
    The fact that Iraq’s GDP grew successively in every year Foley was on the CPA at least deserves a little credit. And credit should be given to the people who recently decided to give Iraq back to Al Qaeda and other militant groups. Just my prediction, but in a few years we’ll hear about humanitarian crises that put Syria to shame. You’ll probably still blame Foley.

  11. peter parker

    LOL, that’a all!

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