Written by U Ne Oo on 2006-02-10
When I am trying to devise exit strategy, as a grassroots activist of course, the three important factors firstly come into my mind:
1. The continuing presence of American and British troops in Iraq is fuelling the insurgency. The Iraqi people, along with the Resistance, do not accept the occupying American and British troops in any shape or form. Therefore, any successful exit plan must be starting with un-conditional withdrawal of US/UK invasion troops from Iraq.
2. An immediate withdrawal of US/UK invasion troops from Iraq will create a power vacuum. There is a likelihood of internal chaos, lawlessness and violence occurring in Iraq if US/UK troops were to leave immediately. Should chaos and violence engulf the country, a danger of the elected representatives and newly emerged Iraqi government being decimated. Therefore, a sizable stabilising military force under the United Nations must be deployed as the US/UK troops begin to leave Iraq.
3. Most importantly, we cannot expect the US/UK governments to make the initiatives for any exit plan from Iraq. Neither the initiative will likely to be coming from the besieged United Nations. The initiative must have to come from the democratically elected representatives of Iraqi people. Only if the elected Iraqi MPs make first move on the exit plan, the rest of the world (EU/Arab League/ASEAN) will likely to follow the suite.
RECOMMENDATION TO IRAQI PARLIAMENT
1. The elected representatives of Iraq must firstly call on the governments of United States and Great Britain to unconditionally withdraw the occupying troops within six-months;
2. The elected representatives of Iraq must call upon the United Nations, the European Union, the League of Arab States and ASEAN to provide troops to operate under the UN command, which are necessary to stabilise the country.
3. To create a different atmosphere from the US/UK armed occupation, no "white-faced" troops should be allowed to operate under the United Nations. Instead, only the troops from far eastern countries operate under the United Nations command.
4. The Iraqi parliament should not accept any troop contribution from neighbouring Arab States. This is to avoid any possible future political and military complications between neighbouring states (remember the case of Syria and Lebanon). Iraq's neighbouring Arab states, however, should send military-observer-missions to oversee the United Nations' military operations.
5. With the United Nations supervision and help, the new Iraqi government/parliament must setup the Iraqi military and police forces. Once the proper command structure between new Iraqi government, new Iraqi military and police forces were established (may take 8-12 months) the United Nations troops should withdraw.
6. The elected representatives of Iraq must demand war compensation from the American and British governments for the illegal invasion, damages to the properties and the loss of lives (How about 5 Trillion USD?). No business from US/UK/AU should be allowed to operate in Iraq unless the war compensation is paid.
7. The EU, Arab League and China should consult about financing the UN military operations. The new Iraqi government may later reimburse as appropriate.
RECOMMENDATION TO ARAB LEAGUES AND OPEC
Since the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, the governments of United States and Great Britain have never indicated they will leave Iraq anytime soon. Despite continuing insurgency, and climbing death-toll of the US/UK troops, these governments showed no signs of withdrawing from Iraq. The League of Arab States, along with OPEC must therefore put pressure on the US/UK governments to withdraw their troops from Iraq. One justifiable action that OPEC and Arab League can take is to raise their oil price (how about 75 USD/bl ? ) until such time as the American and British troops withdraw from Iraq.
WHY A GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE ?
When talking about exit strategy, there has been frequent criticism made by political establishment on the anti-war campaigners as being childish or naive because of the demand to "bring troops home". On the other hand, those people in political establishment have been failing to provide an exit strategy of their own. [Is there any surprises ?, an exit strategy won't be found, because no one is looking for it]. I hope this article will shut up those critics, while stimulating more debate on a proper exit strategy from Iraq.