Blogs: The Skeptics

Why the South China Sea Verdict Is Likely to Backfire

Americans Did Liberate Iraq. They Just Failed to Protect It.

The Skeptics

So yes, these leaders should be held to account, as well as their closest ideologues who followed them. But if we hold these men accountable, where was the justice following the Volcker report, that detailed how Saddam successfully used oil revenues to circumvent sanctions and split the UN Security Council, with considerable success, and even as Iraqis starved? The UN takes significant responsibility for this shameful episode. Companies have been fined for corruption involving Oil-for-Food program, but politicians shrugged off the report, even as it became clear how Kofi Annan’s son benefited from OFF funds. How can the West, and the UN, atone for what amounts to a catalogue of disaster in Iraq going back decades?

Atonement should be in the forefront of politicians’ minds at the donor conference for Iraq on July 20 when the United States and a number of European countries will gather to raise funds to rebuild areas liberated from ISIS. What we are looking at now, after decades of failed policies, should go beyond funds to rebuild shattered cities and beyond the current war on ISIS. After sanctions, a cruel and fumbled UN led policy, the blundered post war planning and before then, widespread international support for Saddam, it is time for the international community to think in terms of compensation. Iraq desperately needs help in rebuilding human capacity if it is to have any chance to avoid yet another crisis after ISIS. The United States should immediately send specialist help to assist the clear up of areas contaminated with DU. The wider international community can take far more Iraqi students in higher education and civil service training courses, given that $7 billion has already been spent on the war on ISIS, seven times the amount spent on aid. By comparison, funds for capacity building are paltry.

When Saddam was in power, Iraq had no chance, but since then Iraq has had a fighting chance to move on, despite immense struggle. Bringing Iraq back into the community of nations was never going to be easy after decades of wars and dictatorship, but the best approach is to realise that many nations, who have a vested interest in Iraq’s contribution to global energy supplies, also played a role in my country’s decline.

If the international community, so historically connected to Iraq's decades of tragedy, are not prepared to compensate Iraqis in endless legal battles, then they should at least uphold the moral responsibility to repent for the grave mistake of supporting Saddam, and to do so by fully backing Iraq now. This is the atonement Iraq deserves.

Luay al-Khatteeb is a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University (SIPA). Follow him on Twitter: @Al_Khatteeb.

Image: American soldiers in tanks entering Iraq, 2003. Wikimedia Commons.

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Tim Kaine: Hillary's Reliable Choice?

The Skeptics

So yes, these leaders should be held to account, as well as their closest ideologues who followed them. But if we hold these men accountable, where was the justice following the Volcker report, that detailed how Saddam successfully used oil revenues to circumvent sanctions and split the UN Security Council, with considerable success, and even as Iraqis starved? The UN takes significant responsibility for this shameful episode. Companies have been fined for corruption involving Oil-for-Food program, but politicians shrugged off the report, even as it became clear how Kofi Annan’s son benefited from OFF funds. How can the West, and the UN, atone for what amounts to a catalogue of disaster in Iraq going back decades?

Atonement should be in the forefront of politicians’ minds at the donor conference for Iraq on July 20 when the United States and a number of European countries will gather to raise funds to rebuild areas liberated from ISIS. What we are looking at now, after decades of failed policies, should go beyond funds to rebuild shattered cities and beyond the current war on ISIS. After sanctions, a cruel and fumbled UN led policy, the blundered post war planning and before then, widespread international support for Saddam, it is time for the international community to think in terms of compensation. Iraq desperately needs help in rebuilding human capacity if it is to have any chance to avoid yet another crisis after ISIS. The United States should immediately send specialist help to assist the clear up of areas contaminated with DU. The wider international community can take far more Iraqi students in higher education and civil service training courses, given that $7 billion has already been spent on the war on ISIS, seven times the amount spent on aid. By comparison, funds for capacity building are paltry.

When Saddam was in power, Iraq had no chance, but since then Iraq has had a fighting chance to move on, despite immense struggle. Bringing Iraq back into the community of nations was never going to be easy after decades of wars and dictatorship, but the best approach is to realise that many nations, who have a vested interest in Iraq’s contribution to global energy supplies, also played a role in my country’s decline.

If the international community, so historically connected to Iraq's decades of tragedy, are not prepared to compensate Iraqis in endless legal battles, then they should at least uphold the moral responsibility to repent for the grave mistake of supporting Saddam, and to do so by fully backing Iraq now. This is the atonement Iraq deserves.

Luay al-Khatteeb is a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University (SIPA). Follow him on Twitter: @Al_Khatteeb.

Image: American soldiers in tanks entering Iraq, 2003. Wikimedia Commons.

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Hillary Will Undo Kerry's Progress With Iran

The Skeptics

So yes, these leaders should be held to account, as well as their closest ideologues who followed them. But if we hold these men accountable, where was the justice following the Volcker report, that detailed how Saddam successfully used oil revenues to circumvent sanctions and split the UN Security Council, with considerable success, and even as Iraqis starved? The UN takes significant responsibility for this shameful episode. Companies have been fined for corruption involving Oil-for-Food program, but politicians shrugged off the report, even as it became clear how Kofi Annan’s son benefited from OFF funds. How can the West, and the UN, atone for what amounts to a catalogue of disaster in Iraq going back decades?

Atonement should be in the forefront of politicians’ minds at the donor conference for Iraq on July 20 when the United States and a number of European countries will gather to raise funds to rebuild areas liberated from ISIS. What we are looking at now, after decades of failed policies, should go beyond funds to rebuild shattered cities and beyond the current war on ISIS. After sanctions, a cruel and fumbled UN led policy, the blundered post war planning and before then, widespread international support for Saddam, it is time for the international community to think in terms of compensation. Iraq desperately needs help in rebuilding human capacity if it is to have any chance to avoid yet another crisis after ISIS. The United States should immediately send specialist help to assist the clear up of areas contaminated with DU. The wider international community can take far more Iraqi students in higher education and civil service training courses, given that $7 billion has already been spent on the war on ISIS, seven times the amount spent on aid. By comparison, funds for capacity building are paltry.

When Saddam was in power, Iraq had no chance, but since then Iraq has had a fighting chance to move on, despite immense struggle. Bringing Iraq back into the community of nations was never going to be easy after decades of wars and dictatorship, but the best approach is to realise that many nations, who have a vested interest in Iraq’s contribution to global energy supplies, also played a role in my country’s decline.

If the international community, so historically connected to Iraq's decades of tragedy, are not prepared to compensate Iraqis in endless legal battles, then they should at least uphold the moral responsibility to repent for the grave mistake of supporting Saddam, and to do so by fully backing Iraq now. This is the atonement Iraq deserves.

Luay al-Khatteeb is a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University (SIPA). Follow him on Twitter: @Al_Khatteeb.

Image: American soldiers in tanks entering Iraq, 2003. Wikimedia Commons.

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Ignore the Pundits: The Apocalypse Isn't Approaching

The Skeptics

So yes, these leaders should be held to account, as well as their closest ideologues who followed them. But if we hold these men accountable, where was the justice following the Volcker report, that detailed how Saddam successfully used oil revenues to circumvent sanctions and split the UN Security Council, with considerable success, and even as Iraqis starved? The UN takes significant responsibility for this shameful episode. Companies have been fined for corruption involving Oil-for-Food program, but politicians shrugged off the report, even as it became clear how Kofi Annan’s son benefited from OFF funds. How can the West, and the UN, atone for what amounts to a catalogue of disaster in Iraq going back decades?

Atonement should be in the forefront of politicians’ minds at the donor conference for Iraq on July 20 when the United States and a number of European countries will gather to raise funds to rebuild areas liberated from ISIS. What we are looking at now, after decades of failed policies, should go beyond funds to rebuild shattered cities and beyond the current war on ISIS. After sanctions, a cruel and fumbled UN led policy, the blundered post war planning and before then, widespread international support for Saddam, it is time for the international community to think in terms of compensation. Iraq desperately needs help in rebuilding human capacity if it is to have any chance to avoid yet another crisis after ISIS. The United States should immediately send specialist help to assist the clear up of areas contaminated with DU. The wider international community can take far more Iraqi students in higher education and civil service training courses, given that $7 billion has already been spent on the war on ISIS, seven times the amount spent on aid. By comparison, funds for capacity building are paltry.

When Saddam was in power, Iraq had no chance, but since then Iraq has had a fighting chance to move on, despite immense struggle. Bringing Iraq back into the community of nations was never going to be easy after decades of wars and dictatorship, but the best approach is to realise that many nations, who have a vested interest in Iraq’s contribution to global energy supplies, also played a role in my country’s decline.

If the international community, so historically connected to Iraq's decades of tragedy, are not prepared to compensate Iraqis in endless legal battles, then they should at least uphold the moral responsibility to repent for the grave mistake of supporting Saddam, and to do so by fully backing Iraq now. This is the atonement Iraq deserves.

Luay al-Khatteeb is a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy of Columbia University (SIPA). Follow him on Twitter: @Al_Khatteeb.

Image: American soldiers in tanks entering Iraq, 2003. Wikimedia Commons.

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