Make Iraq pay for war, U.S senator says
Paul Koring, Washington
The Globe and Mail, August 2, 2002, p. A9
Rebuilding a post-Hussein Iraq as a civil, democratic society could could hundreds of billions of dollars, take a decade and require large numbers of troops and civilian specialists to stay on for years, a U.S. Senate panel was told yesterday.
And one senator suggested that Iraqis might be required to pay for the transformation of their society and the rebuilding of the country’s shattered economy, as well as any war to topple President Saddam Hussein.
“As part of our plan for Iraq, in addition to identifying the political leadership and the coalition and building democracy, we’re going to run the oil business…we’re going to run it well, we’re going to make money, and it’s going back to help pay for the rehabilitation of Iraq,” Senator Richard Lugar said.
Mr. Lugar, a senior Republication on the Senate foreign relations committee, acknowledged that his suggestion was “provocative”, but said “It’s not economic imperialism.”
Iraq sits on the world’s second-largest oil reserves, after Saudi arabia and at full production could generate vast wealth…
Although the Bush administration insists it has made no decision to wage war to topple Mr. Hussein, and that other means remain as plausible options–including diplomatic, economic and political pressure–the mood in Washington is increasingly bellicose and resigned to a lack of support from allies.
Winning the peace, building a democracy in Iraq, would be more difficult than winning a war, said Senator Joseph Biden, Democratic chairman of the committee. “In Iraq, we cannot afford to replace a despot with chaos”, he said…
The United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003.