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Barring Foes of War (from taking our money)
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So France, Germany, and Russia are pissed off again, this time because we're not going to let them bid for lucrative rebuilding projects in Iraq.

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."

And I would call both Schroeder and Annan's comments "unfortunate". It makes little sense to discuss who can and who cannot individually participate economically in reconstruction? Who the hell is Schroeder kidding here? Nobody's saying they can't participate in the reconstruction of Iraq. If fact, that's what the coalition has been asking for all along.

What we're saying is, you want to help, great...but we're not going to reward you financially, with U.S. taxpayer's dollars, for showing us absolutely no support for the effort in the first place. France, Germany, and Russia are perfectly welcome to spend their own damned money, but I'm perfectly happy with my government not forking my money over to a French construction company.

Here's what the Canadian Prime Minister-elect said:

"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.]"

If relieving suffering is really what you care about, and it truly is the responsibility of every country to participate, then why the hell are we footing the bill for all these reconstruction efforts?

Canada has donated $300 million already, which is greatly appreciated. But why then are they whining about some sort of quid pro quo arrangement now if all they really thought it was their responsibility to help, not because of monetary rewards from lucrative contracts, but because it was the right thing to do?

Man, that's charity for you.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for the countries not on the list. They're still welcome to help, at their own expense. But my money sure as hell shouldn't go into their coffers.

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