U.S. Must Repair Iraq’s Infrastructure, Or Else …

Any observer can see that over the past five years, Washington has tried to ally itself with all parties in Iraq. At the height of hostilities, the U.S entered into alliances with every possible faction in order to put itself in a position to escape its predicament.

Although at one point, through its former civil administrator Paul Bremer and over Iraq objections, America preferred some factions at the expense of others [Shiites over Sunni Baathists], believing that this policy would rapidly restore safety and security to parts of Iraq, but also knowing that other areas of Iraq would be set ablaze [Al Anbar, for example].

Then came American attempts to correct this abnormality, which created yet another problem … Factions of the armed resistance agreed to negotiate as a single unit – but only on the condition that in matters of concern, it would be Washington that they would deal with rather than the Iraqi government [Again, Al Anbar is a perfect example].

This reinforced the fact that Washington had become the common political denominator for all sides, just as it had become the common military denominator when government factions had to stabilize the situation on the ground. Since the resistance believes that the government forces they confront are controlled by the occupier, the best option for both sides is to meet with Washington.

During the transition toward a U.S. withdrawal, the question is this: How can Iraqis turn the huge numbers of military forces that occupy the country to their advantage, and then make use of American assistance to rebuild the country afterwards? And by rebuilding, we do not refer to the recent embezzlement of $20 billion [in U.S. aid], but the actual rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure …

Since America destroyed Iraq’s basic services, it’s not out of kindness that they should compensate us for our tremendous losses. Furthermore, there is a dire need for a rapid restoration of basic services like water and electricity … and unless the American side comes through in this regard, they shouldn’t expect Iraqis to seek close ties with them in the future.

One thing we can say with certainty that the [Iraqi] government has had nothing to do with any attempts to restore basic services. We know this by the way it deals with the issue as a partisan, sectarian political arrangement.

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