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maroualle
December 12th, 2003, 03:06 AM
Gentlemen,
Please pay attention as this will be the first time that i agree with "W":

Bush Defends Barring Nations From Iraq Deals

"The taxpayers understand why it makes sense for countries that risk lives to participate in the contracts in Iraq," Mr. Bush told reporters after a cabinet meeting at the White House. "It's very simple. Our people risk their lives. Coalition, friendly coalition folks risk their lives, and, therefore, the contracting is going to reflect that."

Chirac, has been implicated in a huge tax fraud in france: unfortunatelly, a president cannot be cited in a court of Justice :-(, he saved his ass.)

Chirac and Schroeder are the Commander of the European ship, and believe we're sinking.....

Ninjahedge
December 12th, 2003, 01:30 PM
In all fairness, I think that his statement should be more along the line of "If these countries are not willing to help us NOW with the defense and policing of Iraq, we will not consider them for the chance at profiteering from the rebuilding."

They had every right not to want to attack Iraq, but saying "You did not attack, therefore you cannot plunder" is a bit assinine.

But since they have not offered any peacekeepers or other support AFTER the initial action, they should not be entitled to make any money off of it.

ZippyTheChimp
December 12th, 2003, 04:20 PM
A no peacekeeper-no contract rule would make sense. No matter what Rumsfeld says, more troops are needed to restore order, and the sooner the military presence becomes international, the better for Americans.

There is that $7 billion foreign debt by Iraq, mostly to France, Germany, and Russia.

Freedom Tower
December 12th, 2003, 04:58 PM
There is that $7 billion foreign debt by Iraq, mostly to France, Germany, and Russia.

That's the reason that France, Germany, and Russia didn't want to go to war. They said the United States was interested in oil, while in fact their reasons for not wanting a war was so they could get their money back. They were the ones whose opinions of the war was shaped by money! They knew if Saddam got overthrown they wouldn't see a dime of that money.

dbhstockton
December 12th, 2003, 05:27 PM
This whole contract debate has removed any doubt from my mind that this is an imperialist venture. The textbook definition of imperialism is when one "Great Power" uses force of arms to exclude the ecomonic competition of other "Great Powers." The Bush administration is basically saying "**** the international community. Forget free trade. We conquered this country, it's ours." It breaks my heart.

ZippyTheChimp
December 12th, 2003, 05:34 PM
That's the reason that France, Germany, and Russia didn't want to go to war.
That' true, but refresh my memory...Why did we go to war?

ZippyTheChimp
December 16th, 2003, 02:12 PM
December 16, 2003

France Gives Baker Lukewarm Commitment on Iraqi Debt

By CRAIG S. SMITH

PARIS, Dec. 16 — Former Secretary of State James Baker III received a tepid commitment from France and Germany today to help reduce Iraq's towering foreign debt, a legacy of Saddam Hussein's ruinous wars and the crippling economic sanctions that followed them.

The French did not offer to go beyond their previously announced plan to negotiate a debt reduction plan for Iraq within the framework of the Paris Club, a group of 19 industrialized countries that have jointly worked to alleviate the financial obligations of over-indebted countries since 1956.

"We agreed to reduce the Iraqi debt burden within the mechanism of the Paris Club if possible in 2004," Mr. Baker told reporters in the courtyard of Elysée Palace before leaving by car after meeting with President Jacques Chirac. Mr. Chirac made no comment.

In Berlin, after talks between Mr. Baker and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, a government spokesman, Bela Anda, said "Germany and the United States agree that a solution to the debt question is essential for the reconstruction of Iraq."

But a second spokesman said only that the United States and Germany would continue to have talks over Washington's decision to bar countries like France, Germany and Russia from bidding on reconstruction contracts in Iraq worth about $18.6 billion. The three countries all opposed the war.

Reducing Iraq's debt is critical to rebuilding Iraq's devastated economy.

Without clearing the country's books of some of the estimated $120 billion in outstanding loans, governments and companies will be reluctant to invest the amount of money needed to get the Iraqi oil industry back on its feet. In addition, much of any oil revenue the country generates will have to go toward interest payments.

Earlier this month President Bush named Mr. Baker as his special envoy to address the debt problem.

Mr. Baker is perhaps the perfect person for the job, having negotiated the restructuring of Latin America's mountain of debt in the 1980's.

His current trip is only the opening phase of what will most certainly be a marathon effort to pare the Iraqi debt down from what Paris Club members and other creditors are readily willing to give.

The Bush administration would like to see Paris Club countries cancel as much as 90 percent of the Iraqi debt due them, treatment that in the past has been reserved for so-called heavily indebted poor countries, mostly aid-dependent nations in Africa. With the world's second largest proven oil reserves, Iraq is unlikely to qualify for that description.

The best deal the Paris Club has ever cut with a developing country was a 66 percent debt reduction for the former Yugoslavia after the ouster of President Slobodan Milosevic.

But the Paris club holds less than half of Iraq's outstanding debt and without substantial write-offs by the country's other creditors, even that deal would leave Iraq with a hobbling burden of old loans.

French officials said there had been no effort to tie a more aggressive debt reduction to lucrative reconstruction contracts in Iraq, from which French companies have been excluded because of past opposition by Paris to the American-led war.

Chancellor Schröder, however, is expected to push Mr. Baker for a reversal of the American decision to exclude German companies from reconstruction contracts in return for cooperation on more aggressive debt relief. The German leader said last month that he favors forgiving some of Iraq's debt to help the country's economic recovery.

Gernot Erler, deputy leader in Parliament of the Social Democratic Party, told German radio today that the chancellor "will have to ask Mr. Baker questions" about the reconstruction contracts.

"This will certainly be a topic of these discussions," Mr. Erler said.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company



December 16, 2003

OP-ED COLUMNIST

Patriots and Profits

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Last week there were major news stories about possible profiteering by Halliburton and other American contractors in Iraq. These stories have, inevitably and appropriately, been pushed temporarily into the background by the news of Saddam's capture. But the questions remain. In fact, the more you look into this issue, the more you worry that we have entered a new era of excess for the military-industrial complex.

The story about Halliburton's strangely expensive gasoline imports into Iraq gets curiouser and curiouser. High-priced gasoline was purchased from a supplier whose name is unfamiliar to industry experts, but that appears to be run by a prominent Kuwaiti family (no doubt still grateful for the 1991 liberation). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents seen by The Wall Street Journal refer to "political pressures" from Kuwait's government and the U.S. embassy in Kuwait to deal only with that firm. I wonder where that trail leads.

Meanwhile, NBC News has obtained Pentagon inspection reports of unsanitary conditions at mess halls run by Halliburton in Iraq: "Blood all over the floors of refrigerators, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars, rotting meat and vegetables." An October report complains that Halliburton had promised to fix the problem but didn't.

And more detail has been emerging about Bechtel's much-touted school repairs. Again, a Pentagon report found "horrible" work: dangerous debris left in playground areas, sloppy paint jobs and broken toilets.

Are these isolated bad examples, or part of a pattern? It's impossible to be sure without a broad, scrupulously independent investigation. Yet such an inquiry is hard to imagine in the current political environment — which is precisely why one can't help suspecting the worst.

Let's be clear: worries about profiteering aren't a left-right issue. Conservatives have long warned that regulatory agencies tend to be "captured" by the industries they regulate; the same must be true of agencies that hand out contracts. Halliburton, Bechtel and other major contractors in Iraq have invested heavily in political influence, not just through campaign contributions, but by enriching people they believe might be helpful. Dick Cheney is part of a long if not exactly proud tradition: Brown & Root, which later became the Halliburton subsidiary doing those dubious deals in Iraq, profited handsomely from its early support of a young politician named Lyndon Johnson.

So is there any reason to think that things are worse now? Yes.

The biggest curb on profiteering in government contracts is the threat of exposure: sunshine is the best disinfectant. Yet it's hard to think of a time when U.S. government dealings have been less subject to scrutiny.

First of all, we have one-party rule — and it's a highly disciplined, follow-your-orders party. There are members of Congress eager and willing to take on the profiteers, but they don't have the power to issue subpoenas.

And getting information without subpoena power has become much harder because, as a new report in U.S. News & World Report puts it, the Bush administration has "dropped a shroud of secrecy across many critical operations of the federal government." Since 9/11, the administration has invoked national security to justify this secrecy, but it actually began the day President Bush took office.

To top it all off, after 9/11 the U.S. media — which eagerly played up the merest hint of scandal during the Clinton years — became highly protective of the majesty of the office. As the stories I've cited indicate, they have become more searching lately. But even now, compare British and U.S. coverage of the Neil Bush saga.

The point is that we've had an environment in which officials inclined to do favors for their business friends, and contractors inclined to pad their bills or do shoddy work, didn't have to worry much about being exposed. Human nature being what it is, then, the odds are that the troubling stories that have come to light aren't isolated examples.

Some Americans still seem to feel that even suggesting the possibility of profiteering is somehow unpatriotic. They should learn the story of Harry Truman, a congressman who rose to prominence during World War II by leading a campaign against profiteering. Truman believed, correctly, that he was serving his country.

On the strength of that record, Franklin Roosevelt chose Truman as his vice president. George Bush, of course, chose Dick Cheney.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Freedom Tower
December 16th, 2003, 04:39 PM
That's the reason that France, Germany, and Russia didn't want to go to war.
That' true, but refresh my memory...Why did we go to war?

Since you ask, I'll remind you why we went to war. The reason is that Saddam did not comply with resolution 1441. If you want to know why 1441 was ever put in place there are many reasons. First of all we did not know if Saddam had completely disarmed or not. Secondly, we had some information he was supporting terorrists. Third (this is where the first two come together), after 9/11 we realized that an insane dictator with WMD and terrorist connectinos is a very, very big deal. So 1441 was put in place to disarm him. He didn't comply so we went in.

In addition, barring countries who didn't support the war and went to extreme measures to stop it is not at all imperialistic. We are allowing all the countries who did support us to send their companies to rebuild. Yes, it is a big "**** you message", but not to the international community, only to those in the international community who did their best to stop the removal of that psychopath.

ZippyTheChimp
December 16th, 2003, 04:54 PM
Oh I see. I thought that since no WMD were found, or no terrorist connections - other than those that poured into the country after we arrived - that Bush & Co changed it to bringing democracy to the Iraqi people.

It keeps changing, and I get confused.

Freedom Tower
December 16th, 2003, 08:05 PM
I understand what you are trying to say about how the goals "keep changing". I gave you the reasons we went in to BEGIN with. In the beginning it definately was WMD, and terrorist connections that made us go in. It isn't that Saddam didn't have those things, just that we haven't found them YET. Because we haven't found them, YET, the focus was switched to a secondary goal (or what started out as a secondary goal), freedom for the Iraqi people. When the Weapons are found, unless they've been buried somewhere, you will probably hear again how WMD was the main goal. WMD and terrorist connections are still the main goal, no doubt, but they are being portrayed less important than Freedom for the Iraqis, just because Iraqi Freedom is going a lot better than the WMD hunt. However, I guess you haven't paid too much attention to the news. I read an article about a week ago about how we have caught about 11 Al Qaeda in Iraq so far. If I find it I will be sure to post it. With regards to WMD, it was Saddam's job to show us he got rid of it, not our job to hunt for it. He wasn't giving it up to the UN so he wasn't cooperating.

ZippyTheChimp
December 16th, 2003, 08:29 PM
So now we're on plan B, and if we don't find WMD (plan A), we'll continue with B.

So if we conclude plan B, the Iraqi people will have some sort of democracy. The Shiites comprise the majority of the population, and have suffered the worst oppression, particularly religious persecution, by a secular regime (forget Hussein's late hour religious posturing).

Is it difficult to imagine that this voting society, much of which has grievances to settle, may elect a fundamentalist theocratic government? Is there any chance the U.S. would permit that? I very much doubt it.

We will end up installling someone like that Iraqi-American businessman (I forget his name) who probably knows more about Brooklyn than Bagdad.

maroualle
December 17th, 2003, 01:41 AM
LOL :) :)

Freedom Tower
December 17th, 2003, 04:05 PM
There is no doubt that we would not allow a fundamentalist islamic government, and I'm glad we wouldn't allow it. We already have seen how dangerous those can be.(Taliban in Afghanistan) We are going to install a democracy with a constitution in which people are elected. Even if a shiite was elected it would not be with a fundamentalist government. The way the government will be set up is probably going to, in some way, be similar to ours in which even a President who is a certain religion would not force the whole country to be that religion.

I think that many democrats, not all, but many have treated the war in iraq like a joke. They make good news sound bad and whenever there is good news, like the capture of Saddam, they claim that we had him in captivity the whole time but didn't go public about it. Between Jim McDermott's apalling comments, and now Madeline Albright's ridiculous comments, I can not tell which is worse. Decide for yourself. Found this following article at www.foxnews.com.

Albright: Bin Laden Comments Were 'Tongue-in-Cheek'

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (search) insisted Wednesday that she was just kidding when she wondered aloud whether the Bush administration is holding Usama bin Laden (search) captive, waiting to break him out at the best political moment.

It was a "tongue-in-cheek comment and was not intended in any other way," Albright told Fox News.

But witnesses to Albright's comment said the ambassador did not appear to be joking Tuesday when she suggested President Bush may reveal bin Laden's capture as an "October surprise" (search) before next November's presidential election.

Albright was in the Fox News studio's green room waiting to appear on an evening program when she made the remark.

"She said, 'Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Usama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?'" said Fox News analyst and Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke. "She was not smiling."

Two makeup artists who prep the guests before their appearances also reported that Albright did not ask her question in a joking manner.

Democrats have long attacked Bush for his conduct in the war on terror, but conspiracy theories are gaining in frequency. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a presidential candidate, has several times suggested that Bush was told in advance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks by Saudi Arabia.

After Saddam's capture last weekend, Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott (search) made the charge that Bush staged it to win points at home.

Colleague Rep. Norman Dicks, D-Wash., scolded McDermott for the comment, and the White House said it would not address such charges.

"I don't think I have to dignify every ridiculous comment that's made out there," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist predicted political fallout would follow Saddam's capture. Frist, R-Tenn., said some Democrats would readjust and adopt new strategies, even to the point of diminishing the significance of Saddam's capture.

Political strategists have added that conspiracy theories do nothing to help the political debate, and warned Democrats to be careful in their allegations.

"Maybe [McDermott] is trying to be coproducer with Oliver Stone (search) of his next conspiracy movie," said James Lake, a former adviser to President Reagan. "It certainly fits into that category and I think -- to go a step further -- I think former Secretary of State Madeline Albright is walking on very thin ice here to suggest that the president already has Usama bin Laden captured."

"I think it is probably not a good thing to do this," said Elaine Kamarck, former senior campaign adviser to Al Gore. "I remember years ago when we made one attempt to kill Usama bin Laden by sending that missile into Sudan, all the Republicans said, 'Oh this was Bill Clinton's way of diverting attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.' That was unfair at that time, and frankly, I think accusations that somehow we have Usama and President Bush is holding him for political purposes, I think that's unfair at this time."

As for bin Laden's whereabouts, Turkish intelligence officials told the Associated Press that bin Laden recently proposed attacking a military base used by U.S. troops in Turkey, but tight security around the facility forced the terrorists to go after softer targets instead.

Terrorists then bombed two synagogues, the British consulate office and a British-owned bank in Istanbul. In those attacks, Muslims were killed, angering the Al Qaeda (search) leaders, according to the Turkish officials.

Bush said in a television interview Tuesday night that the Al Qaeda leader is still on the run, but vowed again that the United States will capture him.

Fox News' Brit Hume and Kelly Wright contributed to this report.

ZippyTheChimp
December 17th, 2003, 07:17 PM
There is no doubt that we would not allow a fundamentalist islamic government, and I'm glad we wouldn't allow it. We already have seen how dangerous those can be.(Taliban in Afghanistan) We are going to install a democracy with a constitution in which people are elected.
Keep reading this until you see the inconsistency.

Jasonik
December 17th, 2003, 07:31 PM
picky...picky :wink:

maroualle
December 18th, 2003, 01:57 AM
There is no doubt that we would not allow a fundamentalist islamic government, and I'm glad we wouldn't allow it. We already have seen how dangerous those can be.(Taliban in Afghanistan) We are going to install a democracy with a constitution in which people are elected. [/quote]

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Hmm who are you (i mean the US gov, not you as a person) to decide if a democracy is needed yes or no?They have another culture, another way of life. Saddam is an asshole, that we definitely know but getting rid of him doesn't mean that we have to change their culture & roots......
Bush is an asshole and a liar, that we definitely know ( :D ) but getting.....

I like America more than everything but i will never support your president based on what i've seen so far (internal and external affairs)