A New Chapter in Iraq

Posted by Thomas R. Nides
November 22, 2011
Iraqi Works in Blacksmith Shop

Just five years ago, civil war threatened to engulf Iraq. More than 140,000 U.S. troops were stationed throughout the country battling an insurgency that many predicted would prevail.

Yet today, after enormous sacrifices from the Iraqi people and American troops and civilians, Iraq is a country transformed. In our efforts to help, we have used the full range of our civilian resources -- what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton likes to call "smart power" -- to help Iraq become a sovereign, stable and self-reliant country. While Iraq still faces significant challenges, today it is poised to become an important American partner in the strategic heart of the Middle East. And America's troops will be home by the end of the year.

That means it's time to start thinking of Iraq not as a war but as a country. And at a time when Americans' economic needs are great, Iraq's fast-growing economy can create opportunities to help our own recovery.

Few are aware that Iraq is actually projected to grow faster than China or India during the next five years. Iraq is already one of the world's leading oil exporters, and it will be ramping up production in the years ahead. As it does, not just oil companies stand to benefit. Iraq is investing billions to rebuild just about every sector of its economy -- including its utilities infrastructure, transportation network, education, health care, agriculture and telecommunications systems. Iraq also has one of the largest customer bases in the entire Arab world.

Today, companies from China, France, Germany, Turkey and Iran are lining up to do business. We are working to make sure that American companies can seize these opportunities, too.

From November 1 to November 10, for the first time since 1988, the United States showcased its businesses, universities and tourism organizations at Iraq's annual flagship trade event, the Baghdad International Trade Fair. After years during which Iraq's security was the first, second and third question on people's minds, this was a symbol of how far we have come.

Under the USA Pavilion at the fair, our Embassy in Baghdad housed a dozen Fortune 100 companies, as well as business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce. The trade fair was not a small gathering: It attracted more than one million visitors.

Honeywell, for example, established offices in Baghdad in 2010 and opened a new office in Basra this month. Microsoft is opening training centers to gain a foothold in Iraq's growing business sector and its market of 30 million potential customers. The Boeing Co. has contracted with the Iraqi government to deliver thirty 737 and ten 787 airplanes, and General Electric Co. has billions of dollars in contracts with Iraq for turbines that will help improve the national electricity grid. Each of these deals will help Iraq stand on its feet. And each will create well-paying jobs in America. Over the past couple of years, as Iraqi security forces have taken over responsibility for internal security, violence has remained at historically low levels since its peak in 2007. That said, terrorist attacks are still part of Iraqi life. Not all companies will want to invest in such an environment, but we will support those that do. We and the Iraqis recognize much more needs to be done.

Iraqis have work to do in other sectors as well. We are working with Iraqi banks to embrace international banking practices. We are engaging Iraqi leaders in business and government to fight and end the corruption that exists at all levels of the Iraqi economy. And we are partnering with Iraq's military and police forces to continue to improve their human rights record.

A great deal of work lies ahead for Iraq and for the companies hoping to do business there. When you consider how far Iraq has already come from its darkest days of war, these tasks no longer look quite so daunting.

This is a moment when the needs of the Americans and Iraqis point us in the same direction: to seek business opportunities in Iraq. If we can export our expertise, innovation and quality products to Iraq, that will create jobs from Boise to Baghdad.

Americans and Iraqis have made heroic sacrifices to help us reach this point in Iraq. For both nations, the memories of war are still fresh. It's time to begin a new chapter -- one that will help Americans and Iraqis prosper together.

Note: This entry was first published on Politico.com.

Comments

Comments

Amin S.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
November 22, 2011

Amin S. in Washington, D.C. writes:

Homerun for NUSACC. A++

Zharkov
|
United States
November 23, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

The same business deals could have been made with Saddam Hussein. The extent of a self-imposed obligation to liberate people from their governments remains unresolved and raises many questions such as:

1. Was forcing democracy onto Iraq worth the cost of American lives, and if so, why not continue this idea in Saudi Arabia?

2. How long can democracy last if Iraq's population was not particularly interested in fighting for it in the first place?

miltownkid
|
Wisconsin, USA
November 30, 2011

Miltownkid in Wisconsin writes:

We need a revised economic model. Focusing on growth is our problem. The name of the game is sustainability (for the EARTH). Google Guanxi. Then get some. I'm sure they have a word for that in Iraq as well.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 25, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Z,

If you look throughout history, the extent to which dictators impose an obligation on both the people of a repressive regime and other nations to remove them from power is two-fold,

A) That a people have the right to choose their destiny, means of self governance, and choice of leadership.

B) That achieving A above in almost all cases requires external assistance in one form or another.

In other words, one can force change of leadership, but democracy cannot be forced upon anyone as it requires a choice being made by the people to embrace such a form of governance or not as they so proceed to embrace their destiny free of the shackles of totalitarianism.

You know this very well so why do you persist on mischaracterizing the facts and the parameters of regime replacement therapy?

You have been on this blog as long as I- some 4 years now.

In my experience ( and I can cite any number of posts of your's from the archives to illustrate the consistant pattern of untruth you approach paticipation on this blog with) with having been on many blogs dealing with foreign affairs including this one, such a long term dedication to misrepresenting the facts deliberatly would cause any reasonable person to question your intent in doing so.

See from a statistical observation, most if not all who have a problem with US policy will get their ya ya's out for a period of time and then lose interest in the blog and move on.

I've seen this happen time and again on this and every blog I've ever participated on, but there are such things as professional "trolls" on blogs, who seek to discredit, distract, and decieve.

Which makes any reasonable person wonder if you simply get paid by someone to post the things you do here.

Well if that's the case then I'd say the person or gov. entity that is, is wasting his money on you.

And if you arn't, then you are wasting your time and effort.

An alternate point of view Z, can only be seen as credible if it works within the confines of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or it fails to have any effect on policy you may object to.

I say these things to you not in insult, but in rational observable data-born experience having read your posts for years, and observing the non-effectiveness of your efforts in the above three catagories.

My question to you is simply, "What are you getting out of this?""Have you achieved anything of worth by such means and methods?""Have you changed a single thing in all this time, or inspired this gov. to think?""When has anyone thanked you for your efforts?"

We both want change apparently, and we both see flaws in US foreign policy from differing viewpoints, your's seems to be from a completely negative aspect wheras your complaints come sans solutions, wheras I may not have the answers to the problems, but I'm brave enough to offer solutions within the context of policy considerations as they exist today.

You call yourself a patriot, a student of the Constitution of the United States, so let me ask you one further question.

"Would the United States have risen to prominence in the world at all had our founders taken your approach to achiving our independance?

I think not, as we'd still be under the rule of the throne of England as a colony of the commonwealth.

EJ

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
November 25, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

I tend to agree that a negative critique "sans solutions" is hard to appreciate whereas your analysis, your comments enrich the original posts often expanding the original subject.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 25, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Maureen in Mass.

Well I do appreciate the thought dear, not that I anticipate "behavior change" as a result of anything I might have to say...(chuckle).

Hope you had a great thanksgiving.

Best,

EJ

Zharkov
|
United States
November 26, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

@ Eric in NM, your response that you want change rather than the current mess is evidence that you sense something wrong. Good for you. You're making progress.

This blog should be filled with dissent and protest. It's the duty of loyal American citizens to protest. This government has violated international law by killing civilians by drone and executing prisoners of war, violated US and Mexican laws by running guns to Mexican drug cartels, violated the sovereignty of foreign nations, and violated the US Constitution on nearly a daily basis, and everyone should protest that.

Moreover, globalism is damaging governments and economies around the world. Globalism is destroying banking systems, confidence in our nation's currency, and limiting individual freedoms around the world while offering the pretext of helping humanity.

Globalist goals of linking governments and economies together into a world government are extremely dangerous goals for humanity and tens of thousands of people are complaining. I am one of them.

You may be just fine with that idea of having one group dictate the rules for every nation on earth and have no problem with them committing war crimes to accomplish that goal. Most Americans are not buying into that.

Don't worry, some in Congress had introduced legislation to make posting dissent on the internet into a crime, so you won't have Zharkov to kick around for long.

John P.
|
Greece
November 26, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Do you talk 2 Z?

Do you know what "Z" means in the SPN laundry bis? (LOL)

“Which makes any reasonable person wonder if you simply get paid by someone to post the things you do here.”

Let him (Z) write…

Who is reading? Nobody!

We read what make us think!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 27, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

I figured I'd give Zharkov another chance after having cut him off for two solid years, but he still can't answer my questions and thinks writing deliberate untruth is "dissent".

And no I don't know, why don't you clue me in to the "SPN laundry bis" reference.

Anyway, I guess I'll just cut him off from any conversation with me for another two years since he never answers my questions anyway...(chuckle).

Now, I happen to agree with him on this (maybe the only post of his in 4 years that is self-evident truth), but he must have forgotten he said it.

---

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Non-violent struggle is effective only if tyrants are reasonable men. I suggest reading the American Declaration of Independence for instructions on dealing with oppressive governments.

Posted on Tue Oct 28, 2008

"http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/entires/q_encourage_democracy/"

---

@ Z, I'm not interested in kicking you around dude, I'm just holding you to account for the thoughts you post here.

Instead of taking things so personally, you might stop and consider why I'm encoraging you to improve your participation on this blog and get the most out of it by being effective and respected for what you have to contribute in debate.

But it's not a citizen's job to protest per se, but to inspire this gov. to think. Protest is simply in the eye of the beholder of complaint, but it by iself offers no solution to it.

And if your complaint is falsly derived, then you lose credibility and no one will listen to it.

So I posted the one good assesment and related suggestion you've offered over the last 4 years so everyone (including you) can do a comparitive analysis of "The extent of a self-imposed obligation to liberate people from their governments remains unresolved..." as being self-evident, self-imposed hypocracy in print.

See, in order for you to start making sense, I believe you need all the help you can get!

You can thank me later for this when you figure this one out for yourself.

Now if you post the bill # and the sponsors of the legislation that you claim would interfere in a person's right to free speech and "dissent" I'll be happy to personally read them the riot act on everyone's behalf including your's, but until you do, I just have to assume from experience that you are making this up as well, since your track record on this blog for telling the truth is inconsistant at best, and does cause folks to legitimately question your intent.

EJ

Zharkov
|
United States
November 28, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

@ John in Greece, to answer your question, my pay is your reply, so thank you for reading my posts.

There are people whose job is to read my posts and we both know I have a captive audience.

Their only choice is whether to put my thoughts on the web or not. Some things I write never made it onto this blog. I've got a lot to say but my schedule is very busy so I have to condense much of it.

What we have done to Afghanistan and Iraq is an international crime. Afghanistan had no opium fields until we invaded, and now the poppies run as far as one can see. Iraq's farmers were told to buy GMO seeds after their crops and orchards were bulldozed away.

Reuters reports that there is a bill in Congress authorizing the imprisonment of Americans in America without hearing or trial.

Another proposed Bill authorizes the arrest of Americans for posting information that contradicts (embarrasses) the US government or which government agents consider to be mistaken.

I'm not a fan of mass murder, assassinations, illegal wars, suppression of our civil rights, secret agreements and secret organizations, and assorted crimes that go with terrorism-pretext "nation-building" and globalism.

I don't need to be paid to say so, unlike our government agents who are paid to misinform us (search: Operation Mockingbird).

Zharkov
|
United States
November 28, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

@ Eric in NM, you're the one who asked me not to address you further, and I duly ignored your request.

It's a shame that you don't know what our government is doing, but you might Google "Operation Mockingbird" and discover why you don't know.

Protest is what our Constitution was all about - the right of protest is protected by the 1st Amendment. It's #1 in the Bill of Rights for a good reason. "Petition for Redress" is a protest, a complaint, not a suggestion for improvement.

The US Constitution is a limit on government power, not a grant of power to citizens.

It presumes citizens have all the power and only loan a portion of that to government. Only the anti-Americans here believe the opposite.

Zharkov
|
United States
November 28, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

It's laughable how you folks can miss this stuff:

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday.

The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.”

Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

whether87
November 29, 2011

W.W. writes:

a new chapter in Iraq : Babylon Akkadian city state welcoming the aliens from neptune ;)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
November 29, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Ah Z, but protest is only one way a citizen can inspire his /her government to think, thus you have narrowed the possibilities of doing so for yourself to only that of a negative form- a complaint, but not for me or anyone else do you get to do that.

And before protest and armed struggle, the colonials tried simply talking and reason...and common sense to the British.

Same as we did Saddam before even the first gulf war Z, so please, your logic simply doesn't stand up.

Oh I suppose you feel you are in detention without charge in the "Soviet Utopia of America" ( the place you claim to be coming from on your Pravda profile -or were I haven't botherd to see if youi've updated that lately) and then why are you free to give voice to your illogic still eh?...quite a stretch and a gaping hole between your statements and the truth dude.

Actually you did not ignore the request Z, as we've not had a direct exchange of ideas like this for two years until I responded to one of your post a week or so ago, but you are still a waste of time, wasting your time, or simply getting paid to waste other's time, so my social experiment has concluded and I'll check back in another two years to see if you've corrected your malfunction of reasoning yet.

So have a nice life deluding yourself all you percieve to be regarding this government's policies is in violation of your liberties and justice, and rights as a citizen...if you feel hindered in your persuit of happiness, it is only you that imposes such limitations upon it, not the law.

And by the way Z, you should know by now that If you want to live life like it was a government conspiracy, I don't care. Just don't try and dump a load of BS on me, because I'm not buying it, so peddle your Ron Paul lovin' poor, poor, pitiful patriot act victimized diatribes on someone else.

Anytime you get stopped and pulled over by a cop in your you are being temp detained without charge, but then he/she will tell you why you are being pulled over and given a warning or a ticket or arresting you, depending on the severity and the circumstances of such reason or probable cause for pulling you over.

You must be a very unhappy person, believing the things you do. If I went on believing such negativity BS like you do, I would have started an armed revolution in this country by now and be on the FBI's 10 most wanted list, but you are living in mental hiding for fear of some form of retribution from this gov. that will never come upon you.

And that is laughable. Like "Chicken little"

Actually it's kind of sad really.

One thing I know Z, is that when folks ignore my advice or request to consider my words to them, they generally find cause to regret not doing so without my doing a thing directly to cause that karma to manifest in thier lives...or regarding policy.

It's a good thing they listen on occasion, as John in Greece put it to WW on another thread...I've proven that folks do according to him.

Considering the fact that over 1000 separate terrorist incidents have been thwarted in the US since the patriot act was enacted, and some have not, it is true that America is part of the battlefield.

I don't know why you have trouble seeing that or accepting that folks may know better than you that is the case, and how to deal with it so we don't lose a city to nuclear terrorism. But you don't have a viable alternate solution for that either, just as Ron Paul was left in debate with mouth agape when 'ol Newt G. told him that we need to catch them before they have the chance to do that, not after.

So, I have no problem with what folks need to do to prevent that, but since you do, don't complain to me about that because if folks listened to you, that would have already happened.

Saddam would still be in power, Bin laden would still be running loose instead of fish food, Ghaddafi would be hunting down "rats" in Bengazi instead of dead and buried, and you'd be a lot happier I suppose, but then your idea of being a patriot and mine just arn't compatible in practical application.

If you feel the need to have the last word, by all means go for it, but this is as much advice as I'm going to give you for all the good it would do you, like so many pearls before swine.

Actually you're just helping me prove my points every time you object to what I post on this blog, so you do whatever you wish, it's a free country, and in New Mexico, freedom of speech is just a matter of giving a fool all the rope he needs to hang himself with, and we'll gladly lend it to him free of charges.

No one is going to imprison your thoughts except you.

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
November 29, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A.

Keep the change...

"Who is reading [you]? Nobody!"

You have made a mistake "writer". Sometimes selling books is useful, but the most important is people who buy them to read the books.

I mean, to make them think and maybe reconsider.

The good part in your case is that you make us believe and believe and still believe in what we thought it was right in the first place.

So, Yes! you work hard for the RUB but you have no cent, as wisely Eric says.

So, again, keep on rub...ing, your Russian coin!

we really thank you for this...

And if things go worst (you never know) apply in Iran.gov, North Korea.gov, even the Palestinians, if you find where their tribe is.

Plenty of money when you "protest".

No money when you say the truth...

But that's OK with US!

.

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