Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Democratic Approach to An Iraq Settlement:

August 31, 2005 @ 9:55 am

A proposal by former Democratic Senator Gary Hart is circulating amongst politcal activists, some of whom are well and truly annoyed at the party’s refusal (or is it simple inability?) to get a plan for getting out.

Here is what Hart is suggesting:

1. Establish negotiations with Sunni Arabs to agree to a mutual and speedy draw-down of forces. The U.S. will pull agreed numbers of troops out of an occupational role in exchange for insurgent disarmament and completely withdraw those forces as the insurgency abandons the use of force and joins political discussions;

2. Task former Sunni insurgent elements with the role of isolation and expulsion of outside, principally Saudi, jihadists;

3. Declare that the U.S. is not and will not construct permanent military bases in Iraq;

4. Replace U.S. occupation forces with NATO peace-keeping units which will oversee the training of Iraqi police and military units and move those trained units into the principal security roles, especially border control missions to seal Iraq off from outside jihadists;

5. Organize a genuine international reconstruction program for Iraq with European and Asian contracting companies involved in competitive bidding for major infrastructure (water, waste management, transportation, communications, etc.) projects;

6. Establish a Bank for Iraqi Reconstruction financed by all Western democratic governments to finance national reconstruction;

7. Create a new Iraq oil company, composed of a consortium of the Iraq Oil Ministry and major international oil producers to build modern production and distribution facilities and allocate revenues fairly to all Iraqis.

Gary Hart
August 26, 2005

My only complaint about this plan is that it does not strongly insist that since the destruction and suffering in Iraq is largely due to Bush’s bogus war the moral obligation is on us to finance the recovery. Will Western democratic governments rush to finance recovery? Frankly, my dear, I don’t think they’ll give a damn.