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Involve Iraqis in postwar plans

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Is this the most sensible way to convince Iraqis and other Arabs that the United States doesn't want to subjugate them or control their oil? How can the United States democratize Iraq without Iraqis being in charge of the democratization process? Does the administration appreciate the intensity of internal opposition to its contingency plans? While U.S. officials are aware of the widespread conviction abroad that control of oil - not disarming Iraq - is the driving force behind U.S. policy, their plans reportedly envision raising revenues from oil sales not only for rebuilding Iraq but also for defraying some of the costs of the military occupation. Although last week Secretary of State Colin Powell stressed that oil will be used to benefit Iraqis, he did not deny reports, Newsweek said, about using oil money to pay for administration and occupation costs. U.S. officials don't seem to appreciate that democracy cannot be brought to Iraq by an outside power. Only Iraqis, with international assistance, can transform their country. Despite its half-hearted measures to prop up the Iraqi opposition (the United States has just begun the military training of some opposition fighters), the administration seems unwilling to create a transitional Iraqi government with real authority.

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