The free market in Iraq

Look out, free market coming through!

At the bottom of this little piece from The Scotsman:

Meanwhile, mobile-phone services were mysteriously available in Baghdad yesterday, bringing cellular service - banned under Saddam Hussein - to ordinary people in the Iraqi capital for the first time.

Officially, a tender for the three mobile-phone licences the US-led administration plans to offer across Iraq has yet to take place.

In other words while occupation forces are trying to set up the new addition to their mercantilist empire, some people are just doing what is necessary to make life and society better, without any centralized direction or even permission. In a land where landwire communications infrastructure has been little more than rubble for over a decade, cell phones are a quick and easy way to build up communications networks.

If licensing and nationalized services are the US government's idea of 'freedom and democracy' for Iraq, bring our boys and girls back home.

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In a land where landwire

In a land where landwire communications infrastructure has been little more than rubble for over a decade, cell phones are a quick and easy way to build up communications networks.

Yeah, isn't this essentially what happened in Somalia after US troops left also? I read an article a couple of years ago detailing wireless networks popping up and offering services cheaper than in many parts of the US.

This is tangentially related to a conversation on Transport Blog about ways to build infrastructure without coercion:

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