"The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority. Unrestrained political authority, though it be confided to masses, cannot be trusted without positive limitations, men in bodies being but an aggregation of the passions, weaknesses and interests of men as individuals." ~ James Fenimore Cooper
A Glimpse of Utopian Post-War Iraq
Since "accomplishing" our mission in Iraq almost three years ago, what plans do we have for the nation-building phase? Well, the government has all sorts of social experiments lined up to foist upon the newly "liberated" Iraqi people.
The project overview shows that the State Department began planning for the transition in Iraq no later than October of 2001 (Overview, p. 6). One can assume this project came about because a "military government idea did not go down well" (Overview, p. 11).
Because the "Iraqi regime's crimes against humanity are some of the worst in world history" (Transitional Justice, p. 6), a new justice system must be set up to deal with those crimes. Part of that process includes setting up "Truth Committees" which will "do everything necessary to reveal the truth with regard to abuses that do not amount to international or major crimes" (Transitional Justice, p. 7).
One section of interest is the Report on the Proposed Amnesty Law:
Forgiving and pardoning the crimes that were committed is a difficult and hard burden that is borne by both the victim and the victimizer. The Victimizer will have deep pangs of conscience and guilt for what he has done. He realizes that he was instigated by false and misleading slogans ' The victimizer becomes deeply involved in and fully convinced of what he does. Sometimes, the victimizer even resorts to the mediation of others to win such a position that brings him status and power in a society that fears and that is awed by tyrannical power. The victimizer tries to profit from his post and enjoys many privileges. He abuses his powers, which have been put above the law. However, the victimizer eventually realizes what his sinful hands had committed in the dungeons and torture chambers and the true policies and practices of the regime are eventually bared before his eyes. (Transitional Justice, Appendix Q (No. 17))
Naturally, this doesn't apply to those who invade sovereign countries and kill tens of thousands of civilians in the name of democracy'even if such actions were carried out due to faulty intelligence. They have no guilt and are therefore in no need of forgiveness.
What kind of society can we expect to see in post-war Iraq ? For starters, there will be free education. "Free" from cost:
All tuition at universities and technical institutes shall be absolutely free to the students and their families who win places at the institution's courses on the basis of merit. (Education, p. 1)
And "free" from government interference:
It is useful to encourage private schooling in post Saddam Iraq to give parents choices in selecting their children's education. Private schools need to be financially independent but regulated by the government to prevent the spread of hate and bigotry in one form or another. Religious and ethnic educations fall under private schooling. (Civil Society Capacity Building , p. B6)
There will be freedom of religion:
It is utmost important for the government to remove its interference from all religious organizations and establishments and let them evolve, grow and flourish under certain guidelines meant to prevent the decimation (sic) of hate and bigotry. (Civil Society Capacity Building , p. B6)
There will also be freedom of the press:
After a change of regime in Iraq the media will soon be at the centre of everyone's worries and hopes, no matter how this regime change comes about. The media will be, by their nature, intermediaries between any government and the people. (Media, p. 1)
The process of sorting out the journalists who cannot be rehabilitated will be necessarily messy and rehabilitation will take considerable time. The old hands and the former opposition or expatriate journalists who will move into Iraq will need to find ways to work together. (Media, p. 2)
New forms of propaganda are totally out of the question, even with the best of intentions, if only because very essential practical information on health, food, employment, elections and justice issues will have to be given to the people through the media. The help the media can give in keeping the social peace (which is actually their natural role in a democracy) and preparing for elections etc. is too important to be spoiled by a continued lack of trust from the public. (Media, p. 3)
And since the Iraqis will have freedom of association, they will be free to belong to the private social or cultural club of their choice'provided the club is registered with the government ( Civil Society Capacity Building , p. B6).
Instead of the low tax policy that kept the dictatorial regime in power (Economy and Infrastructure'Tax Policy: Guidelines for the Transitional Government of Iraq, p. 2), post-war Iraq will have a progressive income tax system like we have in America :
Income Tax: Brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 40%)
- ' 10% for more than US$ 2500 and less than US$ 5000
- ' 15% for more than US$ 5000 and less than US$ 7000
- ' 25% for more than US$ 7000 and less than US$ 10000
- ' 40% for more than US$ 10000
- ' Low income: less than US$ 2500
- (Economy and Infrastructure'Tax Policy: Guidelines for the Transitional Government of Iraq, p. 3)
It goes without saying that there will also be taxes on things like interest on savings, capital gains and inheritance. Only the best for those who have escaped tyranny!
What has been presented here only scratches the surface. Take the time to read more about what our beloved government is planning on doing for (or to) the Iraqi people.
You see, the problem isn't with having government in control of everything; you just need to have the right kind of government in control of everything. And with this Western brand of freedom on the march, post-war Iraq should be a veritable utopia'assuming, of course, it isn't ripped apart by civil war first.