Originally Posted by Kylilin
If you gave these same people jobs that paid well, common sense would dictate that potential terrorists would rather make money and support their families by working rather than strapping a bomb to their chest and running into a cafe full of Jews in Tel Aviv.
Well, except that in this scenario, the "terrorists" are doing this because the Israelis have walled them in and separated them from their farms/livelihoods.
Iraq sits atop the world's 2nd largest oil reserves. Clearly if there were some way to break the in-fighting/power struggle, Iraq would be a very rich nation. Of course, if they opted to socialize their oil revenues (the way Iran tried in the 1950's) then what? Would we try to overthrow that government the way we did Iran? Look where that got us (hostage situation in 1979 which eventually put us in bed with Saddam Hussein by way of "damage control")
No foreign investment. "Thanks, Haliburton, for all your help. This compensation should be more than sufficient to cover your expenses. Take care"? What happens if Hally-B says "no thanks" then is forceably expelled? Would that be viewed as an act of international aggression and a justification for war? Would an independent (i.e. not beholden to the U.S.) Iraqi government pose a threat to Turkey or Saudi Arabia (our allies)?
What if an independent Iraq decided to bury the hatchet with their old enemy Iran (Ahmadinejad recently visited his neighbors and was warmly recieved)? Would that be a good thing or a bad thing for Isreal (a country that we currently send more than 3 billion dollars in direct aid to every year)? Some would probably point out that Israel has a very sophisticated military force whereas the Iraqi are struggling to build their military. I bet Iran and N.Korea (Russia? Venezula?) would be willing to help them establish a military force.
I guess the point of this rant is to point out that the U.S. has absolutely no intention of estabilishing a truly independent democracy in Iraq. A truly independent democracy in Iraq could be very bad for us. What we want is a pro-U.S. goverment that is hobbled by the fact that it's infrastructure is almost entirely owned by U.S. interests (compliments of the no-bid contracts parsed out to Halliburton and their subsidaries) and was installed before the gov't itself (P.S. clearly this isn't imperialism, btw).
So while I agree that religious fundamentalism is a problem, I don't think that somehow eliminating it is going to somehow resolve the economic problems that you accurately highlighted above. Thanks for reading.