How about the obvious (aka the Den Beste plan): US military government, later replaced by a representative democracy? Later as in when the oil proceeds have rebuilt the country instead of supplying palaces and gold-plated Rolls Royces to Daddy Saddam? Iraq would be a rich country, if it weren’t for Saddam’s excesses. Afghanistan is dirt poor, with no natural resources to speak of, which is why it’s filled with powerhungry warlords, and why you can’t really do anything but pour in aid packages. All Iraq needs is sensible management of its resources.
So what if there are Taliban remnants attacking US bases in Afghanistan? How on earth does this translate to Iraq, a mostly secular country run by a single dictator? There are few who hold any power in Iraq, and they can be dealt with. The rest live in abject poverty caused by those few. They’re mostly not religious nuts there. A benevolent, temporary occupation that vastly increases the quality of life, and helps turn Iraq into a successful nation will not breed any enemies.
The Marshall and MacArthur plans worked on Germany and Japan. Those were countries filled with nationalistic fervor, and they were bombed halfway to the stone age. Both flourished. Nothing so drastic will happen in Iraq. There are no Iraqi patriots. The war will be won quite easily. The costs of rebuilding and modernizing do not have to be paid for by American taxpayers. The costs will be covered by the Iraqi’s oil. Which, contrary to No Blood For Oil propagandists, will not be simply taken. Iraq will be allowed to sell it.
And how does this tie into the War on Terror? Who funds the Wahhabist madrassas that preach hate of the west and jihad? Who funds Al-Qaeda? Who stirs up the biggest shitstorms in the region? The House of Saud. In case you haven’t noticed, the US Military is shipping out of Saudi Arabia. When Iraq is occupied, it will serve as a base in the region. The dependence on Saudi oil will diminish, and they can be safely dealt with, as well as other hostile governments in the region. Iran will probably see a revolution soon, if not, it will be dealt with too, in time. The only way to stop terror is, like lefties love to say, getting at the root causes. The root causes, however, are criminal dictators who both impoverish their people as well as fund the madmen driving them into suicidal fervor. The only way to stop terror is to destroy and rebuild much of the Middle East.
At least, that’s what I think. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong and Rummy’s just got a really itchy trigger finger or Dubya’s pissed cause Saddam tried to kill his daddy.