Ideal and Practice

Last night Iraqi blogger Ali Fadhil leveled allegations ranging from incompetence to misrepresentation and fraud against Spirit of America, the American-based charity in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. I read Ali's weblog and contacted Glenn Reynolds, who responded, saying that he'd investigate. Today, Ali has clarified those charges. While Ali's claims, if accurate, illustrate a failure on the part of Jim Hake and his staff to effectively deploy charitable donations netted by thousands of sympathetic parties, mendacity on the part of Hake et al is not immediately apparent. Philanthropy in operation may be so different from the concept, so foreign to Iraqis that their initial collective response has been awkward and their work inefficient, and Ali may be unfamiliar with the often frustrating experiences and occasionally disappointing results of volunteer work with otherwise good intentions; or Spirit of America could be an organization far better at marketing than it is with managing works projects in a country that is both recovering from decades of modern totalitarianism and sitting at the center of the war on terror. Either way, explanations from Ali's brothers and Jim Hake should be forthcoming.

ONE REPLY: It appears that Jim Hake has responded in Ali's comment thread.

CONCLUDED: Omar and Mohammed answer.

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