On issue of reconstruction of Iraq after war sample essay
One year after the war on Iraq was launched; the promise of improved human rights for Iraqi citizens remain far from realized, concludes a new report by Amnesty International. Twelve months on from the invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition, the Iraqi people still suffer from serious human rights violations. The past year has seen scores of unarmed people killed due to excessive or unnecessary use of lethal force by Coalition forces during public demonstrations, at check points and in house raids.
Thousands of people have been detained, often under harsh conditions, and subjected to prolonged and often unacknowledged detention. Many have been tortured or ill-treated and some have died in custody. Violence is endemic, whether in the form of attacks by armed groups or abuses by the occupying forces. Millions of people have suffered the consequences of destroyed or looted infrastructure, mass unemployment and uncertainty about their future. There is little or no confidence that all those responsible for human rights abuses, both past and present, will be brought to justice.
After a year of war, lawlessness, spiralling violence and economic hardship, Iraqis face an uncertain future. For the next year to be better than the last, the occupying forces, Iraqi political and religious leaders and the international community must make a real commitment to protecting and promoting human rights in Iraq. A year after the war began Iraqi civilians are still being killed every day. Over 10,000 Iraqi civilians are estimated to have been killed since 18 March 2003 as a direct result of the military intervention in Iraq, either during the war or during the subsequent occupation.
The figure is an estimate as the authorities are unwilling or unable to catalogue killings. Scores of civilians have been killed apparently as a result of excessive use of force by US troops, or have been shot dead in disputed circumstances. No US soldier has been prosecuted for illegally killing an Iraqi civilian. Iraqi courts, because of an order issued by the US-led authority in Baghdad in June 2003, are forbidden from hearing cases against US soldiers or any other foreign troops or foreign officials in Iraq.
In effect, US soldiers are operating with total impunity. Iraqi civilians have also faced danger in the form of attacks, apparently carried out by armed groups that have been a growing feature of life in Iraq since the occupation began. The attacks have targeted the US military, Iraqi security personnel, Iraqi-controlled police stations, religious leaders and buildings, media workers, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies. They have resulted in the deaths of at least hundreds of civilians.
To the extent that these bombings are part of a widespread or systematic attack on the civilian population of Iraq in furtherance of an organization’s policy, they would constitute crimes against humanity. The lack of law and order continues to be a major concern in many areas of Iraq. Ensuring justice is fundamental for the countless victims of human rights violations in Iraq. Iraqis have suffered decades of grave violations by their government as well as abuses committed during the course of several conflicts, including the recent war and its aftermath.
Fundamental changes to Iraq’s legal, judicial and penal systems are needed. Human rights must be at the centre of all efforts to rebuild and reconstruct Iraq. A failure to fully protect human rights in the process of change would be a betrayal of the Iraqi people, who have suffered so much in the past. CURRENT RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT The hopes to American and British plans of reconstruction of Iraq have cast serious doubts whether it will serve the rights of the Iraqis or the economic ends of US and UK.
George Bush and company having a clear idea of the destruction they will unleash on the Iraqi people is beyond doubt. However, that does not deter them from following this disastrous course of action. The US government is prepared to spend around $12bn on attacking Iraq. So far it has only offered $65 million to provide them with the basics of life. This $65 million is expected to last less than 6 months but that is all right according to the calculations of the Bush administration.
By then, the world media would have moved on to some new crisis, just as Afghanistan is now relegated to the inner most pages of newspapers. This $65 million should help contain the misery of the Iraqi people within some parameters for the brief period of time that they expect the world to pay attention to Iraq. The real “reconstruction” of Iraq has the US and UK, along with their cronies, salivating. In the name of reconstruction they will receive lucrative contracts for their respective private sectors.
In the case of Iraq, the oil company Halliburton, which incidentally was headed by US Vice President Dick Cheney between 1995-2000, has already been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to clean up the Iraqi oilfields after the devastation of war, especially if a retreating Iraqi army puts them to fire. Other American and British oil companies are likely to exert complete control of Iraqi oilfields. Since the market for oil is relatively price-inelastic, and does not lend itself well to brand differentiation, control of supplies is everything in this industry.
The prizes don’t come any bigger than the Iraqi oilfields. Other equally substantial payoffs await these companies in the future. For instance, apart from the immediate profits and control of natural resources, first mover advantages in these markets are bound to be enormous. As Steven Schooner, a George Washington University law professor maintains “the most sophisticated firms that come in first, and establish good will with the locals obviously will reap huge benefits down the road. These are going to become brand names in Iraq.
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