Back to Index

IRAQ: Returning exiles

From Moscow, Cameron Sawyer says: "Those who put a lot of faith in the effectiveness of Iraqi exiles in rebuilding Iraq might heed the example of the Soviet Union. A lot of those who left the Soviet Union during the dark days of Communism prospered in the U.S. and other places, and were eager to come home and contribute both capital and knowledge to the task of rebuilding the new democratic, capitalist countries which emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In a few cases, returning exiles played a significant role -- Estonia, Armenia, Georgia. But most returning exiles were deeply disappointed. They were simply not accepted by the local population, who considered them out of touch, arrogant, and in some cases, betrayers. The same people who eagerly worked with, supported, and learned from Americans and other foreigners, who came to invest and build a new economy, were often deeply resentful of returning exiles. I will bet that we will observe something similar in Iraq, and from what I read in the media, no one on the American side suspects anything like this in the least".

RH: Reports from Iraq say that the reception given exiles is what Cameron predicted.

Ronald Hilton - 4/30/03