Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/25/chambers_barrett_lebanon/

Bush tasks tech execs with rebuilding Lebanon

From Silicon Valley to Bekaa Valley

By Joe Fay

Posted in Financial News, 25th September 2006 10:47 GMT

George Bush has unveiled his latest initiative to bring peace to the Middle East - despatching a pair of top notch Silicon Valley execs to advise war torn Lebanon on reconstruction.

Bush has sent a presidential delegation to Beirut, Lebanon, with a brief to "visit areas affected by the recent conflict and to meet with Prime Minister Siniora and business leaders to discuss rebuilding priorities".

The team will also encourage Americans to donate to a reconstruction fund for Lebanon.

As well as assistant secretary of state Dina Powell and US Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman, the delegation will include Cisco CEO John Chambers and Intel chairman Craig Barrett.

El Reg has to confess its ignorance of Barrett and Chambers' previous form bringing peace to the world's troubled spots, or their qualifications for clearing countless cluster bombs someone happened to leave lying about southern Lebanon.

However, we do know that Chambers is the model of Southern charm and gentility, so once he starts passing round the mint juleps, we're sure the region's warring parties will soon all be getting along like a house on fire.

As for Barrett, we seem to remember past Intel Developer Forums pushing the fact that he, er, loves to fish. And during his time as CEO at Intel he certainly pumped plenty of capital into building new fabs. Unfortunately, some of them were to build Itaniums.

Other members of the delegation include Ray Irani, chairman, CEO and president of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and Yousif Ghafari, chairman of GHAFARI Inc.

Ghafari's appointment leaves us quite mystified. His firm describes itself as a "solutions provider for facilities, process and people", boasting they "can integrate architecture and engineering service for buildings, with manufacturing engineering and professional staffing services".

Why on Earth would they want to bring someone along who knows how to put up buildings quickly?

They could have someone who really knows about bringing people together and building trust – Steve Ballmer perhaps, or even Patricia Dunn. ®