Congressman Jim Leach says the billions President Bush has requested for rebuilding Iraq should be given in the form of a loan. Leach says what’s done for the good of the Iraqi people — things like construction of schools and repair of electrical grids — then they ought to pay through it in the future through their oil revenues. He says it will be a matter of debate. Leach says while he finds the loan idea attractive, he concedes it is a controversial move opposed by the Bush Administration. Leach says Iraq has the capacity to repay the loan because of its oil reserves. Leach last week called on the Bush Administration to transfer civil governance of Iraq to the United Nations while the U.S. retains command of military operations. Leach says it’s important to “de-Americanize” the situation as rapidly as possible. Leach says the longer the U.S. remains in total control, the deeper anti-American sentiments become in the region. Leach says the last thing we want is for Iraq to become a “clash of civilizations” which pits Christians against Muslims.
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