Sunday, October 12, 2003

Congressman Kucinich's (D-OH) plan to get the US out of Iraq:

" * The President must go to the UN and announce the US intention to hand over all administrative and security responsibilities to the UN. The UN would help Iraqis move quickly toward self-determination.
* The UN, not the US, will administer Iraq’s oil revenues. It will be necessary to renounce clearly and unequivocally any interest in controlling Iraq’s oil resources.
* The UN will administer contracts to repair Iraq. War profiteering will no longer be practiced by the White House. It will be necessary to suspend all reconstruction contracts and close the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, because of the suspicion caused by the sweetheart deals that the Administration has given to large American corporations. In its place, the UN would help Iraqis administer funds to employ Iraqis to repair the damage from the invasion.

"Bring US troops home as UN peacekeeping troops rotate into Iraq: The goal is to bring all US troops home by the new year, but in any case, to bring them home as quickly and as safely as possible with a planned and orderly withdrawal.

"As soon as practicable after this address, the UN Security Council would ratify a new resolution on Iraq that would deploy a multinational force under UN mandate to keep the peace in Iraq while the interim Iraqi government receives UN support and a new Iraqi government is elected. It is my hope that within one month, the first UN troops and support personnel will arrive in Iraq, and the first US troops will be sent home. UN peacekeeper troops and Iraqis who are commissioned as police and military will replace the US (at a rate of two UN peacekeepers for every three US troops). In place of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority, the UN will open an office to provide administrative support to the Iraqi Governing Council, which will direct the repair to infrastructure damaged by US invasion in the immediate term. In two months, the UN will begin to conduct a census of the Iraqi population to lay groundwork for national elections. At the same time, new temporary rules for the election will be promulgated, guaranteeing universal suffrage on a one-person –one vote basis. During the transition period, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the American and UN force commanders for a turnover period will settle the question of who commands the troops. The MOU will specify who is to be in charge in case an incident happens during that period. These might be local agreements such as have been used before or they might be for the entire area of operations. By the end of month three, all US troops will have returned home.

"In month four, a major milestone will be reached when Iraqi sovereignty is established for the first time. A nationwide election will take place to elect representatives to a Constitutional Convention. The Constitutional Convention will have two duties: 1) elect a temporary Prime Minister who appoints a cabinet to take over responsibility from the Iraqi Governing council, and 2) draft a national constitution. Accountability of this Prime Minister is achieved by virtue of the fact that he can be recalled by a majority of the Convention.

"In one year, there will be nationwide elections pursuant to the new Constitution, which will install an elected government in Iraq."

This is by far the most practical and detailed plan I have yet seen to get the US out of Iraq. In addition to that, it even delivers as well as could be done on the otherwise not-credible stated US goal of creating democracy in Iraq. However, the business parties (Republican and Democrat) could not consider this unless they become convinced that the costs of maintaining the occupation exceed the profits or potential profits to be generated, and also convinced that Kucinich's plan is the only viable way to exit Iraq. The Bush Administration may have an additional problem in that such a plan would involve an unacceptable loss of face and ideological humiliation for the neo-conservatives.

The Australian government should be asked to consider the Kucinich plan and whether to support it or something like it in appropriate international forums such as the United Nations, and whether it should recommend directly to its ally the US that it be adopted as a necessity.

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