Saturday, September 17, 2005

Reconstruction in Iraq: Making Progress Even from A Liberal Viewpoint

I found an interesting article, “The State of Iraq” in the International Herald Tribune on September 10 (also the New York Times on September 9). This article is written by Michael O’Hanlon and Nina Kamp, respectively a Senior Fellow and a Senior Research Assistant at the Brookings Institution. I would like to show you some impressive statistics in this post, because the table of the original essay is not displayed in the link.

Improved items

Gross Domestic Product ($ billion):
18.4 (pre-war)―>12.1 (August, 2003) ―>21.1 (August, 2004) ―>25.0 (August, 2005)
Non-oil Gross Domestic Product ($ billion):
2.0 (August, 2003) ―>8.3 (August, 2004) ―>10.9 (August, 2005)
Telephone Subscribers:
830 (pre-war)―>800 (August, 2003) ―>1,460 (August, 2004) ―>4,180 (August, 2005)

Moreover, there were no trained judges when the occupational rule began, but now, there are 400. It is very important to notice the rapid rise of non-oil GDP. Currently, oil production has not risen to pre-war level. When oil industry has been reconstructed, Iraqi economy will improve dramatically. If the constitution is approved, and the new regime starts, people in the future will evaluate this regime change an epoch-making success.

Of course, terrorists are still rampant, and electricity production does not meet the demand. The media tend to emphasize these negative aspects, and criticize the US-led coalition. However, statistics tells that the state of Iraq is improving, despite some difficulties.

Michael O’Hanlon, the author, opposed the Iraq War. In addition, the Brookings Institution is rather Democrat. Viewpoints and analysis in this article are completely different from those of the Bush administration. Even from such liberal perspectives, some aspects in Iraq are improving. Remember!