September 12, 2002


Eight ways to rebuild Iraq (James Bennett, 9/7/2002, UPI)
[A]nglosphere this week proposes eight rules of thumb for an occupying power in Iraq.

Rule One: Plant oak trees. The first task of an occupier is to destroy the hope of the adherents of the past dictatorship that the occupiers can be outwaited, chased away by the inflicting of casualties, or otherwise survived. Send a message that the occupation may outlast their natural life. Plant oak trees to shade the walk of the occupation commander -- 20 years later.

Rule Two: Guarantee external frontiers. For the peace of mind of Iraq's neighbors and the Iraqis themselves, and to avoid unneeded conflict, make it clear that the allied occupation forces are not going to carve up Iraq. Turkey should not have to fear a Kurdish state on its frontier; Iraqis should know that they are guaranteed protection against foreign incursions.

Rule Three: Don't try to synthesize an Iraqi nation. [...]

Rule Four: Think Switzerland, not France or Germany. [...]

Rule Five. Get out of Baghdad. [...]

Rule Six: When in doubt, privatize. [...]

Rule Seven. Tolerate no nonsense. [...]

Rule Eight: The Golden Rule. That is to say, he who has the gold makes the rules. In this case it's the oil. The occupation authorities should retain direct control over the oil fields, sell the oil and disburse the revenues in block grants to the cantons, keeping only operating expenses and reparations for victims of Saddam and his terrorists' aggression.

Tom Roberts sent this one, but I'd beg to differ with a few. Firstly, the suggestion in Rule One that we plan on being there twenty years later is ridiculous. Not only is it a bad idea there's just no way the American people have the stomach for such an occupation.
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 12, 2002 11:37 PM
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