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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:36 PM   #1
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Bush defends restrictions on Iraqi contracts

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/...cts/index.html

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Thursday defended his decision to exclude countries that did not support the U.S.-led effort to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from bidding on some $18.6 billion in reconstruction contracts.

But he added that he still wants those countries to contribute to Iraq's recovery by forgiving its debts.

"Men and women from other countries, in a broad coalition, risked their lives to free Iraq, and the expenditure of U.S. dollars will reflect the fact that U.S. troops and other troops risked their life," he told reporters after meeting with his Cabinet.

"The U.S. people, the taxpayers understand why it makes sense for countries that risk lives to participate in the contracts in Iraq. It's very simple.

"Our people risked their lives. Coalition, friendly coalition folks risked their lives and therefore, the contracting is going to reflect that, and that's what the U.S. taxpayers expect."

The policy excludes France, Germany, Russia and Canada from bidding on construction projects. In an awkward bit of timing, Bush on Wednesday appealed to the leaders of those same countries to help speed Iraq's recovery by forgiving debt the country owes them.

"It is in every nation's interest that Iraq be free and peaceful, and we welcome contributions," Bush said.

Bush said he spoke Wednesday with French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin -- all of whom opposed the U.S.-led war -- and asked them to meet with former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, Bush's special envoy on Iraq, about restructuring that country's debt.

Asked whether the exclusion of those countries from bidding on construction contracts violates international law, Bush said, "I don't know what you're talking about by international law. I better consult my lawyer."

The European Commission and World Trade Organization are investigating whether the exclusion violates international law.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Thursday that international law must apply to the awarding of contracts.

At a news conference in Berlin with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Schroeder said it was the task of all countries to help with reconstruction in Iraq.

"It makes little sense to discuss who can and who cannot individually participate economically in reconstruction," he said. "International law must apply here, and it does not help things to look backward. ..."

Annan called the decision "unfortunate."

"I believe it is time for us to work together to try to stabilize Iraq," Annan said. "Our decisions should be unified rather than divisive, and I think we would not characterize the decision taken yesterday as unified."

France has said that it will study the U.S. position in light of international law.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov was quick to point out his nation was still owed $8 billion from Iraq.

Exclusion stuns Canada
In Ottawa, incoming Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said the decision was difficult to understand because his country already spent $300 million to support Iraq and also has troops in Afghanistan.

"I find it really very difficult to fathom," said Martin, who will take the helm of Canada's government Friday from Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

"There's a huge amount of suffering going on there, and I think it is the responsibility of every country to participate in developing [Iraq]."

According to U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's memo posted on a Pentagon Web site, countries that either participated in the coalition effort or supported it -- including Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey and Japan -- were on the list of nations that could be awarded primary rebuilding contracts.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher added that while the prime contracts would go to coalition members, those companies could choose their own subcontractors.

"Subcontracting is open to companies from virtually all nations in the world," Boucher said.

In his memo, Wolfowitz said the list was restricted due to security concerns.

While "international support and cooperation are necessary for progress in Iraq, Wolfowitz said, it is "in the public interest" to limit the countries that can compete for contracts.

On Wednesday, a Pentagon spokesman said a postponement of bidding for 26 contracts was unrelated to the controversy over restrictions on which countries may compete for the deals. The bidding originally has been scheduled for Thursday.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:47 PM   #2
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...someone...please...stab..him...in...the..EYE. HARD. UNTIL HIS OCCULAR FLUIDS SHOOT FORTH WITH SUCH EXTREME VELOCITY IT BREAKS THE SOUND BARRIER. CONTINUE STABBING UNTIL HE IS DEAD.

God... dumbass.

Edit: I would've stated the obvious legality issue with this, but since the article already did, no point in doing so.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 07:53 PM   #3
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If you didn't help destroy/hurt it, you don't get to help in reconstructing/healing it.

Wow, makes sense. Not.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 08:10 PM   #4
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There are a lot of ways to look at this. On one hand no one should have invaded Iraq in the first place. But the coalition did, and pratically raped the country, it could use all the help it can get from the entire world at this point to get up and running. I think that the U.S. should just back out and let the rest of the world re-build Iraq. I don't trust Bush to do the right thing with the oil and setting up a government in Iraq.

Quote:
"The U.S. people, the taxpayers understand why it makes sense for countries that risk lives to participate in the contracts in Iraq. It's very simple.

"Our people risked their lives. Coalition, friendly coalition folks risked their lives and therefore, the contracting is going to reflect that, and that's what the U.S. taxpayers expect."
George Bush just being himself again. A majority of the people in the United States don't want to see U.S. troops there anymore, nor do they support the war. What makes Bush think that the American people want to pay for the war? My parents sure don't since they don't even support it, and a lot of people feel the same way.

Quote:
But he added that he still wants those countries to contribute to Iraq's recovery by forgiving its debts.
Anyone else think Bush is counterdicting himself here? He might as well then just let everyone else in on the reconstruction too. Some of these countries excluded from the list are to be owed a huge amount of money from Iraq. If I were one of these countries excluded from the help list like France or Germany I would tell Bush no to forgiving the debts.

I realize that these countries didnt do anything to help, but that is their right, and this is just rubbing it in their face in the worst way possible. They obviously want to help if they want to make a deal out of with Bush, so Bush might as well let them.

Important to note by the way, 23 of the 68 countries (according to abc news, just saw this on T.V.) that get to help Iraq did not send troops or give money, they just publically endorsed the war.

what really baffles me is why Canada is not allowed to help. They gave over 300 million dollars and many troops to the coalition.

The way I see it is that George Bush is still bitter about France, Germany, Russia, and the others against his invasion. This is a horrible idea George Bush is doing. These other countries can provide a lot to re-building Iraq.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 08:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namu
If you didn't help destroy/hurt it, you don't get to help in reconstructing/healing it.

Wow, makes sense. Not.
Yup, we went in there, blew the place up. Stomped all over it. Raped, pillaged, ate babies, and built a secret pipeline that pumps oil to the refinery underneath the White House.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 08:40 PM   #6
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SlayerDragon, I don't think you can decently say the Iraqis are better up now. The only good thing this war has done was end the US-waged embargo that killed so many civilians there.

In unrelated news, Halliburton is accused of overcharging for Iraq's oil. I think the correct term is "raping the deads".
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 08:45 PM   #7
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You want to know why many countries are angry? Bush administration asks countries to donate millions and billions of dollars to help reconstruction of Iraq in the recent Iraq Donation Fund Raiser thingy. Then Bush spits back in their faces saying "Thanks for your money, oh by the way, none of YOUR companies can bid for contracts because you didn't support us going to war. Ha! Ha! Suckers."

Sorry to my american friends here, but I think Bush has got to be the worst president you ever had. And he's bringing down the good name of America with him in the eyes of The Rest Of The World to an all time low.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 08:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kray
And he's bringing down the good name of America with him in the eyes of The Rest Of The World to an all time low.
Color me surprised. No, please, really. Go find a f*cking Crayola crayon (or perhaps some crayon manufactured in your country if it pleases you) with a color called "surprised" and color me with it. By all means, I insist.

Since when does the rest of the world need an excuse to go "OMFG USA SUCKS!" Whoop-de-freakin' doo. Bush is the President of the United States of America. He is not President of the Entire World. He doesn't need to make the rest of the world happy.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlayerDragon
Since when does the rest of the world need an excuse to go "OMFG USA SUCKS!" Whoop-de-freakin' doo. Bush is the President of the United States of America. He is not President of the Entire World. He doesn't need to make the rest of the world happy.
I think that he does need to make the rest of the world happy since he did get involved with "trying" to help the world. The U.S. can't just please it's self, it has to please the whole world since it has trade relations and other deals with other countries. It is the same thing that goes for all countries.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 09:11 PM   #10
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Still no WMD's found after 223 days but US says they are "on the right side of the history.", while others like France, Germany, Russia, wanted more time for inspectors. It proves that they were right being patient and therefore must be punished. It would be quite funny if it wasnt a fascist method.

Second thing that noone is talking about is that if you get a contract your workers will get killed by Iraqi guerilla, just as Red Cross and UN was! So basically "disagreers" dont get to bid on suicide contracts. That's another surreal and yet funny thing.

If I was Canada, France, Germany, Russia I'd pull all troups from Afghanistan and pull out all money that helps those missions as well as support on so called "war on terrorism"....and play the "no one's a bigger idiot than me" racing game.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 09:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlayerDragon
Bush is the President of the United States of America. He is not President of the Entire World.
Thank god for that.


Quote:
He doesn't need to make the rest of the world happy.
That's where you're wrong. No country, no matter big or small can live in this world in isolation. You need trade for your economy (and to give people jobs, which reduces crime rate etc), peace for stability and goodwill for basically everything else. America's foreign policies have a much greater impact on the lives of regular american that you realise. One could argue that Sept 11 is a result of a "failed" foreign policy in the middle east (e.g. excessive support of Israel etc), but I don't want to go into that.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 10:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kray
Thank god for that.




That's where you're wrong. No country, no matter big or small can live in this world in isolation. You need trade for your economy (and to give people jobs, which reduces crime rate etc), peace for stability and goodwill for basically everything else. America's foreign policies have a much greater impact on the lives of regular american that you realise. One could argue that Sept 11 is a result of a "failed" foreign policy in the middle east (e.g. excessive support of Israel etc), but I don't want to go into that.
I realise that, but he still doesn't have to make the rest of the world happy. I am not preaching isolationism. What I am saying is, as the most powerful country on the planet, the USA doesn't need to cater to everyone else, and I get tired of hearing that we should.

I also have to agree with Doc on the fact that whoever does do the work, is sure as hell going to see some casualties.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 10:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlayerDragon
I realise that, but he still doesn't have to make the rest of the world happy. I am not preaching isolationism. What I am saying is, as the most powerful country on the planet, the USA doesn't need to cater to everyone else, and I get tired of hearing that we should.

I also have to agree with Doc on the fact that whoever does do the work, is sure as hell going to see some casualties.
So, do you admit that this war was for selfish reasons?

Being the world's only superpower, and at the same time preaching being the ultimate land of freedom and democracy, kinda carries a "moral responsibility"... and that's what exactly makes the USA to have to make the rest of the countries in the world more or less "happy"... and even more when it is invading another country and having hundreds of military bases all around the world.

Otherwise all the kids will gangup to beat up the abusive big kid, sooner or later.

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As for the contracts, it's shamefull to see that Iraqi's future is in these kinda hands. Their oil is supposed to pay the rebuildings right?.... wouldn't it be fair to let them choose?... and if that's not possible, wouldn't it be fair to let the best Corp. in terms of price/quality ,from any place of the world, get the contract; instead of reducing the range of choice to only 7 countries (and who would dare to say to a few campaign contributors ).

Shouldn't Bush instead be worried about the Iraqi's having to pay the rebuildings of their own things in the least expensive way for them? I think the´ve already paid enough with poverty, hunger, blood and suffering.

Isn't kinda cheap and dirty to put money over the hundreds of those dead American soldiers that gave their own lives with the purpose of freeing the Iraqis in exchange of nothing?
Does Bush think that a human life has a monetary equivalence?
Have all the American citizens paid the Iraqi liberation to receive something in exchange? - anyone wanna answer?

Maybe he's thinking he invented the business of the millenium....(do I need to explain wich?)
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"we should establish and maintain a strong US military presence in the region, and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests [sic] in the Gulf - and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power".- 1998. Letter by the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz funded lobby group advocating the American world dominance. Project for The New American Century.

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Old 11th Dec 2003, 10:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namu
If you didn't help destroy/hurt it, you don't get to help in reconstructing/healing it.

Wow, makes sense. Not.
so you're saying that countries that didn't take the risk and spend the money in the first part of the operation should get the money to help rebuild it? I know you all hate Bush, I'm not a fan of the guy either (although, I don't like what I've seen of Dean either, and it looks like those are going to be my options ) but this is one thing that he's done which DOES make sense.

Now, giving the contracts to his friends companies and major contributors, regardless of who had the best bid, THAT is what you should all be pissed about. This would be like you and another guy being at a 7-11 being robbed, and you attack the robber, subdueing him until the police arrive, then the other guy getting a reward for his capture when all he did was go hide in the ice-cream freezer.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 10:56 PM   #15
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Everybody needs to realize that USA and UK did as many dirty afairs as France Russia and Germany did with Saddam, if not more. They all have their hands dirty with Iraqi ppl's blood. So moral isnt a word to use in the same sentence as names of those countries when talking about Iraq.
Who cares about contracts in a lawless occupied country? Only theifs.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 11:10 PM   #16
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The way things unfolded they probably shouldn't have gone in, especially alone. France, Germany, etc still refuse to send any peace-keeping force to help while the Iraqi forces are being assembled and trained. Regardless of whether it was right or wrong in the first place, the only way that they are interested in getting involved is in the one way that will pad their own pockets. If they were to send some forces to help with the current needs over there, then I would say open up the bids to them. That would get a lot of American forces out of the country and make people here a lot happier, gaining more support for him for the election. However, he really doesn't seem to have any sort of ability when it comes to diplomacy. Even now we're sending forces over there. A friend of mine that was my roomate last year is leaving next month and is scheduled to be there for a year.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 11:25 PM   #17
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Some ppl think that oil-halliburton theory is far from the truth. Im not one of them. USA is trying to lessen the dependance on Sauid oil and its doing that by ocupying Iraq. Anyone that really thinks that Bush & co care about Iraqi freedom, must be totally dumb or on drugs.

Soldiers/Iraqi lifes are like flys on the wall for them. Its all about rich Americans getting more rich.
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 11:42 PM   #18
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I'm glad to see that there are at least some (scant few) people with some rational molecules in their body (ie: Clayeth) who can see the logic in this decision. Now, let's go with an analogy... on second thought, no, how about the pure facts?

The US has put it's money and it's lives on the line (sound familiar europe) and made the hard choices that many countries simply refuse to make for no other reason than disdain for the US/complacency/appeasment *what 12 resolutions later?* (or those who made more of a profit leeching off Iraqi oil "for food" and selling them missiles *cough* france/germany/russia). So, the "prodigal countries" come back to the front door with hands open, after the US and it's allies have done all the initial "dirty" work that everyone else is so superior to, and expect hand outs?! You can't even get any acknowledgment from the naysayers regarding the mass graves or the many, many months that Iraq paid France, Germany, and Russia to stall the UN (after all, keeping Saddam in power meant that he *might* even pay back his debts to those countries).
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 11:47 PM   #19
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I don't see the problem in letting them help re-build Iraq. I mean it is rebuilding, it's not like they are trying to steal all the oil, and even if they were so what? The U.S. is obviously trying to do the samething. That is why I think Bush wont let France or the others in on it. Why else would Bush not let them in? They want to help.

What about Canada? They helped, why cant they get in on it? What about these 26 other countries that only publically said they support the way but they did nothign else? They are in on it, why? They didnt do anything, how is that fair?
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Old 11th Dec 2003, 11:51 PM   #20
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Doc, as an aside to your comment on the US's greed, I'll submit to you this: We simply want to have free trade of goods, ie: oil--the oil we showed the middle east how to drill, without having some d#ckhead terrorists who use their religion as an excuse, and threatening violence against sovereign nations such as Saudi Arabia if they do not fund them with millions if not billions of dollars. It's so easy for them to say the US is "the great satan" since we are thousands of miles away, and the people of the middle east only know what they are told, and the most ignorant ones go on the suicide missions. We pay for their oil, and for that we should be killed?

The US is just a scapegoat that the terrorists can use to extort the countries of the region to give them money. If they do not fund them, they would be targets as well (ie: turkey). Saudi is stepping up it's efforts, and is starting to become a target of Osama, but with 700+ Saudi "princes" there will always be some schmoe willing to pay $$ to stay alive.
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