Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Supports Loans for Iraqi Reconstruction Preconditioned on Past Debt Forgiveness

Fall 2003

The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) supports the current Congressional plans to have a major part of the money for the reconstruction of Iraq take the form of loans rather than grants. In that way the Iraqi people have a greater stake in their own future. We further support the proposal that with every dollar in grant aid to Iraq, an equal amount be set aside, allocated, and used for the needs of Americans here at home. While we celebrate the liberation of an oppressed people, we must not neglect the needs that continue to challenge our resources at home. Before any moneys are voted for Iraqi reconstruction, however, it is imperative that onerous loans from France, Germany, Russia, etc., dating back to the cruel regime of Saddam Hussein, be forgiven so that a new democratic regime is not saddled with the debt imposed upon it by its ruthless dictator. As with Chapter 11 corporate reorganization, a new, free, and democratic Iraqi government must be able to play on a level playing field to ensure the development of a strong democratic society. The JWV supports an amendment in Congress to bar any U.S. funds from being used to pay past debts, but those debts will still be hanging over any new regime as a threat to its needed resources. It appears that those nations which refused to fight for Iraqi democracy are only looking to take money for past deals. If a new democratic society is to rise from the ashes of the old regime, it must have a clean slate on which to write the future of a new, democratic country freed from the dictatorship and from the debts of the old regime.

 

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