ASK Commentary
October 26, 2002 

World Bank Ready to Rebuild Iraq

Breaking News for October 26, 2002 - Assistance Promised

Even Before the War

Powerful non-governmental organizations are already gathering resources and making plans to "rebuild Iraq" even before the worst fighting has begun. Hopefully a war will be avoided, but it is remarkable that such interest is being shown regarding Iraq. One such organization is the World Bank. The bulk of money at the World Bank comes from the taxpayers of the United States in guaranteed loans. You can be sure that organizations that supply food, medicine and other humanitarian relief will also be ready to help.

The following article was downloaded from www.Arabia.com. The portion relevant to Iraq is below:

WORLD BANK READY TO REBUILD IRAQ IN CASE OF A WAR - October 14, 2002, 06:03 PM - CAIRO (AFP)

"World Bank President James Wolfensohn said here that his institution would be ready to take part in financing the reconstruction of Iraq in case of war.

"Typically, the bank is involved ... in the reconstruction, we are not a peacemaker," he said at a press conference at the end of his four-day visit to Egypt.

"I give you examples from Bosnia, Afghanistan and East-Timor: the bank comes in after the conflict, and seeks to help", he said.

"When the conflict is over, we can reconstruct", he added.

"But Wolfensohn refused to say whether he believed the current crisis with Iraq would develop into war, and expressed hope that it would not."

[Mr. Wolfensohn's statement was prompted by two brief comments made weeks before at a World Bank press conference held at their headquarters in Washington D.C. See under the "Transcripts" listing for September 26, 2002 at, http://web.worldbank.org.]

While we all pray and hope that events will not involve war, but rather a "rumor of war" (Matthew 24:6), and that the issues can be settled peacefully (and evil removed), surely the people and government of the United States will assist the people of Iraq any way they can, just as they have assisted the people of Afghanistan and other victims of war and disaster with generous humanitarian aid.

The people of Iraq are the best educated, most cosmopolitan people in the Middle East. It is hoped that a change in government that will allow freedom to benefit these capable people.

One thing can be counted on, the large infrastructure for oil production will be rebuilt and brought "on-line" as soon as possible, so that the people and the government of Iraq can benefit from the income of oil sales to the United States, Europe and Japan, which would in turn benefit the politics and economies of those countries. Companies will flock to Iraq to sell their wares to newly opened markets, funded by new oil money. The money from the sale of oil from Iraq will go to more peaceful uses than for the buying of weapons and armies which are horrifically expensive-and dangerous.

Keep in mind also that a large percentage of the American military forces to be engaged in the area believe in God. In fact the percentage of such belief is likely to be greater than in the general population of the United States. Going in harm's way tends to make men and women more introspective and think about ultimate and important things, like God. The effect of serving and possibly fighting and dying in "biblical" lands will not be lost on many of the soldiers there.

After events settle down in Iraq, look for archeology to return to Iraq in a big way some 1-2 years after the confict has concluded.

As you read in the October 2002 Newsletter and articles ("The Rebirth of Babylon" by Ernest L. Martin and "The Rebuilding of Babylon" by F.E. Marsh), the Bible says that Babylon will be rebuilt in the future. At first, the rebuilding may take an historical and archeological direction, but later Babylon will become a commercial a nd financial center of the world as predicted in the Bible, particularly in Revelation 18.

David Sielaff david@askelm.com

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