Uncle Sam, not Aunt Patsy

Andrew Sullivan presents a forceful defense of President Bush’s sensible decision to exclude French, German, and Russian contractors from Iraq. He writes:
“What a relief to hear the president forthrightly defend his decision to bar Germany, France and Russia from competing on Iraq reconstruction contracts. There is a difference between being magnanimous and being a patsy. Germany, France and Russia are completely free to donate money and troops to help Iraq’s transition away from a dictatorship they defended and bankrolled. (They have, of course, delivered nothing.) But, after doing everything they could to undermine the U.S. at the U.N. and elsewhere in order to protect their own favored dictator, they have absolutely no claim on the tax-payers of the United States. The idea that we should reward them for their obstructionism out of our own coffers on the same terms that we are rewarding countries that gave money and lives to help the liberation is a preposterous one. It’s tantamount to inviting exactly the same kind of intransigence and betrayal in the future. France in particular went much further earlier this year and last than simply opposing the U.S. on Iraq. The French government did all it could to rally world opinion, lobby foreign governments, and delay the war to Saddam’s benefit in order to isolate and humiliate the U.S. They didn’t just object; they opposed, plotted and lied to our faces. Forgetting this is absurd. Rewarding it is obscene. The president is right. Let the real allies of the U.S. benefit from the alliance. Let France, Germany and Russia live with the consequences of their own moral bankruptcy and strategic error. The alliance is indeed not what it was. Nor can it be. And the responsibility lies squarely in Paris, Berlin and Moscow.”

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