New Iraq

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The employment of the phrase New Iraq, or as is sometimes found The New Iraq, is often being used in the nominative sense to identify the "new" Iraq from the pre-war Iraq era that is commonly identified with the Iraq of Saddam Hussein. As exhibited in this article's "External Links" section, there are many references to the New Iraq to be found on the internet.

The phrase New Iraq is also being used as an adjective to differentiate current or anticipated government entitities, institutions, and organizations from earlier forms. For example, the Iraqi army is now being identified as the new Iraqi army. Although it is not being called the "New Iraq army" or "New Iraqi army," the differentiation is implied and clear. The former military consisted of special units, such as Saddam's Republican Guards and Fedayeen, which no longer nor, most likely, will exist again. Hence, there is a "new Iraqi army."

Another use for the phrase New Iraq may well originate with the hopes and dreams of the Iraqi people and other peoples of the Middle East. One cleric, who died during the shock and awe phase in Iraq, had expressed his dream for a New Iraq.

"Post-war Iraq" vs. "New Iraq"

The use of "Post-war Iraq" was loosely employed to identify Iraq as predicted, imagined, or speculated to exist following the fall of Saddam. Numerous media news items, whether on web sites or in print, discussed "Post-war Iraq" as if it were an entity. Once President George W. Bush declared hostilities to be at an end on May 1, 2003, the post-war era had arrived and discussion shifted to "reconstructing" or "rebuilding" Iraq, a concept which is still very much valid. The speculation of what the "new" Iraq would be or become had already begun. Many news articles and web sites provide coverage of the reconstruction and rebuilding.

Since hostitilies in reality have not ended, the use of the phrase "Post-war Iraq" is a bit misleading. During this current phase of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, there is a blurring of the edges between old institutions and identities and newer ones. Until more clear labels appear, much use will be made of "old" vice "new" in Iraq.

Another complicating factor in this "old/new" situation is the occasional use of "Free Iraq," which truly cannot exist under the tutelage of occupation forces in Iraq. The "free" obviously is being employed to mean "free of Saddam's rule."

Since the current Iraq suffers under a U.S.-led Occupation, one should wonder what new label will replace "new iraq" once the occupation is declared unnecessary.

In April 2004, Walden Bello, head of the International Parliamentary and Civil Society Mission to Investigate the Political Transition in Iraq, notes that "Bush and Bremer constantly talk about their dream of a "new Iraq." Ironically, the new post-Saddam Iraq is being forged in a common struggle against a hated occupation." [1]

Other Uses

  • New Iraq is an election slogan that current incumbent President Bush has introduced at a time when nothing in or about Iraq has changed.
  • Like PBS, media is using the phrase apparently to represent "Iraq after Saddam Hussein".
  • The U.S. State Department uses the phrase similarly.

Although early uses of the phrase are documented below, the first uses and origination of this phrase are yet unknown.

Publications on the "New Iraq"

Two publications stand out on the internet from the numerous news articles. The 2002 book How to Build a New Iraq After Saddam, as edited by Patrick Clawson, was published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Joseph Braude's The New Iraq: Rebuilding the Country for Its People, the Middle East, and the World was published in March 2003. Information about the latter can be found on Braude's web site newiraq.org. (In August 2004 Braude pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling Iraqi artifacts into the U.S and lying to Customs officials). [2]

A third publication is a chapter written by Daniel L. Byman -- Building the New Iraq: the Role of Intervening Forces -- published Summer 2003 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies at Georgetown University.

The American Prospect January 1, 2004 issue carries an article by Robert Dreyfuss titled "Phoenix Rising" which describes how a new 3 billion USD fund is being used toward the creation of a paramilitary unit manned by militiamen associated with former Iraqi exile groups. Experts say it could lead to a wave of extrajudicial killings. "They're clearly cooking up joint teams to do Phoenix-like things, like they did in Vietnam," says Vincent Cannistraro, former CIA chief of counterterrorism. Part of The New Iraq.

"The plan is part of a last-ditch effort to win the war before time runs out politically. Driving the effort are U.S. neoconservatives and their allies in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office, who are clearly worried about America's inability to put down the Iraqi insurgency with time to spare before November. They are concerned that President Bush's political advisers will overrule the national-security team and persuade the president to pull the plug on Iraq. So, going for broke, they've decided to launch an intensified military effort combined with a radical new counterinsurgency program."

Hostile Foreign Ownership at Gunpoint. "The port became a symbol of progress and independence, an achievement of the Iraqi revolution. Today Umm Qasr, under the US military occupation of Iraq, has become war booty."

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Articles & Commentary

  • 18 September 2002: "How to Build a New Iraq After Saddam" by Ellen Laipson and Rend Rahim Francke, Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
  • 2 January 2003: "The New Iraq", Center for Religious Freedom, Freedom House.
  • 19 February 2003: "Oil majors stake claims to new Iraq" by Leigh Thomas, AFP.
  • 27 February 2003: "Bush: New Iraq, New Region" by Ron Hutcheson and Martin Merzer, Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • 28 March 2003: "Awaiting the New Iraq", wbur Boston.
  • 13 April 2003: "Carving Up The New Iraq" by Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald (Scotland).
  • 15 April 2003: "The Blueprint for Building A New Iraq. Stability and Prosperity Linked to Free Markets, Democracy" by Competitive Enterprise Institute Staff.
  • 21 April 2003: "Iran and the New Iraq: Convergence and Divergence in Interests" by Bijan Khajehpour, EurasiaNet Commentary.
  • 23 April 2003: "Bush team may ride wrong horse in new Iraq" by John Marshall, The Hill.
  • 25 April 2003: "Hussein-era veterans take power. US construction of a 'free and democratic Iraq' is relying on some of the worst elements from Hussein's regime" by Julie Flint for IWPR.
  • 29 April 2003: "RIAA's Rosen 'writing Iraq copyright laws'" by Andrew Orlowski, The Register/UK: "Chief executive for the Recording Industry Association of America, Hilary Rosen, is helping draft copyright legislation for the New Iraq..."
  • 5 May 2003: "Arab Press Review: The New Iraq" (Extract from an article by Jordanian writer Nasuh al-Majali entitled A Reading Of The New Scene In Iraq that was published in the Jordanian daily al-Rai on 28 April."
  • 7 May 2003: "Rebuilding Iraq's Sports Teams. With U.S. Assistance, Iraqis Will Revamp Their Athletic Program" by Warren Richey, The Christian Science Monitor.
  • June 2003: "The Gulf Arabs and the New Iraq: The Most to Gain and the Most to Lose?" by Sean Foley, Middle East Review of International Affairs.
  • 22 June 2003: "Anarchy Engulfs the New Iraq. The war ended 10 weeks ago, but neither peace nor freedom prevail as the US struggles to keep control" by James McGowan, Sunday Herald (Scotland).
  • 11 July 2003: "Soldiers help to build the new Iraq. Hard work in the scorching sun" by Neil Atkinson, The Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
  • 16 July 2003: "The Face of the New Iraq" by Claudia Winkler: "Free Iraq's first delegation to the United Nations includes a longtime diplomat for Saddam Hussein." The Iraqi Governing Council selected "a veteran of Saddam's foreign ministry is troubling. Akila Al Hashimi, an Iraqi diplomat for more than a decade, reportedly worked closely with Saddam's faithful deputy Tariq Aziz on at least one project."
  • 19 July 2003: "New Europe within the New Iraq. Peacekeepers of cannon fodder?] by John Horvath, Telopolis (Germany).
  • 23 July 2003: "A great day for new Iraq", number-10.gov.uk: "The deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein is a 'very, very important move forward', Prime Minister Tony Blair has said."
  • 12 August 2003: "One Hundred Days in the New Iraq" by Mel Sembler, U.S. Ambassador to Italy.
  • 13 August 2003: "Statement by Christopher W. Dell, U.S. Ambassador, U.S. Embassy, Luanda" published in Jornal de Angola: "Today, August 8, marks the hundredth day since the end of major military operations in Iraq. This is a good time to recognize the full meaning of the fact that 24 million Iraqis are free from oppression for the first time in decades."
  • 10 September 2003: "Analysis: Arab League admits 'new' Iraq" by Roland Flamini, UPI.
  • 15 September 2003: "Arab rulers leery of new Iraq role model," chinadaily.
  • 29 September 2003: "France And Germany: New Iraq Doesn't Need You! Go Home!" by Grant Swank, American Daily.
  • 23 October 2003: "Don't cripple new Iraq with war debt", Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  • 29 October 2003: "New Iraq 'well on way to becoming Islamic state'" by David Rennie, The Daily Telegraph.
  • 5 November 2003: "Goodwill is fragile in new Iraq. A new market was built, then sacked this weekend by US troops" by Howard LaFranchi, The Christian Science Monitor.
  • 9 November 2003: "The New Iraq Will Be 'the Beacon of Freedom, Democracy, and Respect to Human Rights in the Middle East'", Kuwaiti Daily Al-Siyassa.
  • 16 November 2003: "The New Iraq Is Grim, Hopeful and Still Scary" by John F. Burns, New York Times.
  • 20 November 2003 (cache file): "Impact of 'the new Iraq:' oil and gas pipelines in the Middle East", The Daily Star Online Opinion.
  • 22 November 2003: "Communists take to religion in new Iraq" by Andrew Hammond, Dawn.
  • 15 December 2003: "We Caught the Wrong Guy" by William Rivers Pitt, TruthOut.com. A "must read" article.
  • 18 December 2003: "Iraqi Scientists Now on U.S. Payroll" by Barry Schweid, AP: "Hundreds of Iraqi scientists and technicians who the Bush administration says worked on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs for Saddam Hussein will be paid by the United States for their role in postwar projects, partly to keep the Iraqis from selling their expertise elsewhere. ... The two-year program will begin with a $2 million U.S. contribution, and the United States may provide as much as $20 million more later, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Thursday. ... That would prevent the scientists from helping 'countries of concern or groups of concern,' he said."
  • 18 December 2003: "U.S. to Fund 'Redirection Training' for Former WMD Scientists in Iraq. Programs to focus on contributions to peaceful reconstruction priorities," U.S. Department of State.
  • 18 December 2003: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan "Calls for Meeting in Mid-January with Iraqi Council, CPA. Seeks clarification of U.N. role in Iraq until June 30, 2004" by Judy Aita, U.S. Department of State.
  • 22 December 2003 (Issue): "Iraqi Vice: Locals are calling it 'the bad side of freedom': pills, porn, prostitution and booze are rampant now. And it's not only the radicals who blame America" by Christian Caryl, Newsweek.
  • 1 June 2004: "Iraqis fail to regain control of oil revenue" by Ahmed Janabi, aljazeera: "The latest Iraqi attempts to recover control of the country's oil revenues from the United States appear to have hit a dead end with a special delegation being rebuffed in its bid to secure UN help."