Having a new president gives hope for a better image abroad but ultimately our foreign policy will have a greater impact. Sen. Collins and two Democratic senators authored a bill that was recently passed into law.
This bill requires the Iraqi people to spend their oil revenue to help pay for reconstructing their country; this saves Americans billions, which is good. However, the general rule of thumb is that if you break something, you are responsible for fixing it, not the victim.
After the initial shock and awe campaign, the U.S. Agency for International Development gave most of the reconstruction contracts to U.S. multinational companies such as Haliburton and Bechtel, excluding Iraqis. These companies have overcharged U.S. taxpayers and often failed to meet contract obligations. This new law requires Iraqis to pay these same companies for reconstructing their country – this is unfair. This law is reprehensible because it shows no acknowledgment or ounce of compassion for the harm that we have inflicted on Iraqis. This is the kind of foreign policy that hurts our image around the world.
If we want to save money, we should set a time table to withdraw U.S. troops. If we want to gain respect or to improve our image, then we could begin with paying for the reconstruction and reparations to the Iraqi people.