Hope is Not a Scarce Resource in Iraq

By John Filson, for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews). Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

US President Barack Obama recently confirmed that he will bring US troops home from Iraq by the end of the year and, at the same time, reiterated that the United States will remain committed to an Iraq that is “stable, secure and self-reliant”, with institutions that are “just, representative and accountable.”

The future of Iraq, however, hinges not on the status of US troops or its deep oil wells but on whether Iraqis can muster a sense of hope in their collective future.

Iraqis waiting for hours in line for gasoline or fanning away flies until the electricity comes back on are understandably sceptical of government promises. They bear the scars of their own government’s dismal history. They also believe the United States has its own interests in mind, and does not have unlimited political will to slough through decades of messy, expensive problem solving.

Many Iraqis believe life has not improved since 2003, the start of the Iraq War that led to the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Unemployment, poor infrastructure and simmering social divides are daily tensions that have prevented families from relaxing. There is no safe traffic system, no clean legal system, no inclusive political system and no fair economic system.

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