Democrats plan to push legislation this spring that would force the Iraqi government to spend its own surplus in oil revenues to rebuild the country, sparing U.S. dollars.-- ANNE FLAHERTYBet you never thought you’d see that title here, but when you’re right you’re right. I thought that I would never see anything positive come out of a Committee Chaired by Democrats about the Iraq war but this one thing did.
Iraq has about $30 billion in surplus funds stored in U.S. banks, according to Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and this is one point that we can all agree, Iraq should use those funds to rebuild their country.
I believe everyone agrees that the American tax payers have shouldered tremendous financial and personal cost in this 5 year war and Iraq is not exactly cash strapped. What the Democrats are proposing is not only acceptable but sensible in this regard.
Iraq is looking at a potential boon in oil revenue this year, possibly as much as $100 billion in 2007 and 2008. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is having to buy its fuel on the open market, paying on average $3.23 a gallon and spending some $153 million a month in Iraq on fuel alone.This recommendation is but one of the positive developments coming out of the SASC hearings the other is Gen. Petraeus’ professional assessment of the war.
Petraeus is recommending to the President the withdrawal of the 20,000 extra troops. Beyond that, the general proposed a 45-day period of "consolidation and evaluation," to be followed by an indefinite period of assessment before he would recommend any further pullouts.
Democrats should accept this aspect of Gen. Petraeus’ plan too; it wouldn’t hurt to be right twice in the same day now would it?