Post-War Requirements
for an honorable end to the war

Once the "political" war is ended, indicating to Iraqis and the world that the U.S. has no intention of continuing the occupation or of controlling Iraq, a vastly different environment is created on the ground. Such an environment will facilitate negotiations for withdrawal of troops and the engagement of Iraq's neighbors and the U.N. in beginning to repair the damage done to the country, with an aim to re-employing the Iraqi workforce and encouraging the return of emigrants. There is much to be said about such plans, but for now we focus on the rebuilding and employment of Iraqis.

A "Marshall Plan" for reconstruction

Honorably and responsibly ending the political war means abandoning the basic Bush/neocon war aim to achieve and maintain a permanent American military occupation of Iraq. The primary American post-war responsibility is to recognize that, if we accept the fact that beginning this war was a disastrous mistake that was wrong -- morally, politically, legally -- then we owe the Iraqi people significant reparations. These are an essential aspect of honorably and responsibly ending the war.

This will create an entirely different military and political environment both inside Iraq and in the whole Middle East. A responsible and honorable plan for American post-war relations with Iraq requires a clear recognition of this new situation, in which the U.S. has three basic responsibilities -- in cooperation with the U.N. -- to help Iraq to:

  1. Achieve a full-employment economy as soon as possible -- jobs are peacemakers;
  2. Reconstruct its industrial infrastructure, particularly its oil industry, which provides the main income for its national government;
  3. Reconstruct its public service infrastructure -- electricity, fuels, potable water, sewage disposal, garbage collection, etc.

These three are clearly interrelated. Note that this list does not explicitly refer to providing security, training Iraqi army and police forces, or dealing with refugees, militias, corruption, religious conflict and other commonly-mentioned concerns of those advocating gradual and partial American troop withdrawal. A clear change in American intentions that ends the occupation and provides American aid in a true rebulding effort can be expected to remove many of the security issues that would seem to demand our involvement.

The "moral" imperative such a plan is not the only imperative. People aware of world history can recall the situation between the two World Wars, when Germany, already on its knees at the end of the first war, was held there by the post-war arrangements, and became a willing reponder to one of the most dangerous demagogues of recent history, bringing us the second, far more destructive war.

The Marshall Plan that rebuilt Western Europe was in part a result of that earlier lesson learned -- solid support of a war-torn country's recovery is a good financial investment, if your aim is to avoid future war. And the plan worked. There isn't solid data available for what the unemployment rate was in West Germany immediately after the war, but it was undoubtedly extremely high. Yet three years later it had dropped to less than 4%, thanks in large part to the Marshall Plan.

Iraq's present unemployment rate is estimated at over 50% -- double that of the worst year of the Great Depression of the 1930's that ravaged American society. This is generally recognized, even by our generals, as a key cause, both directly and indirectly, of a large part of Iraq's violence, corruption, and religious conflict. A massive reconstruction program that creates a massive number of new jobs that enables millions of people to honestly and honorably finance their family's food and rent would also be likely to cause a sea-change in the security and sectarian environment. The movement toward greater security, along with the diminishing options of the expatriates, will be a strong incentive for the expatriates' return to Iraq, where they will be greatly needed in the process of national reconstruction.

If the basic political war is ended very quickly, so that expensive American offensive military operations can also be ended quickly, and rapid American troop withdrawals are also started very quickly, then even "Marshall-Plan"-size reparations specifically designed to make possible very rapid Iraq recovery in all three of its major focuses could be easily financed out of immediate "peace dividend" financial savings. Moreover, the UN, Arab League, and most of Iraq's neighbors have also offered to help -- as soon as the U.S. ends its illegal occupation.

Contact:   info (at)
Invitation to join this effort