Iraq has received foreign aid worth close to $US100 billion ($128 billion). Where has it gone? The corruption watchdog Transparency International is warning that the new Iraq could become "the biggest corruption scandal in history".
"Iraq is like a sick camel," says one Iraqi businessman. "If it is healthy, no one can kill it. But when it is sick on the ground, the camel dies by a thousand knives."He tells the story of a recent tender:
Mr Jawad, a Shiite with no brief for his former leader, says: "I'd say that about 10 per cent of business was corrupt under Saddam."
That's probably an underestimation, but Mr Jawad is making a point: "Now it's about 95 per cent - we used to have one Saddam, now we have 25 of them."
"The work was worth about $US15 million. But the minister's staff wanted a rake-off of about $US40 million - so they advised the bidder to inflate the price to $US70 million, so that they could have their cut and the bidder would make a good profit too."