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Instapundit directed me to a Balloon Juice post about the Senate conversion of $10 billion in Iraqi reconstruction into a loan.
Iraq currently struggles under almost $200 billion in debt, most of it to France and Germany for Saddam's military hardware. Prior to this, the Bush administration had been working towards agreements to retire some or all of this debt, efforts which may or may not have ever been successful. They would have allowed the Iraqi people to avoid shouldering the cost of their own prison and bleeding themselves dry to pay back Saddam's enablers and co-conspirators. The 51 senators who committed this embarrassment have made this nightmare a certainty now. Not only that, but now they will have to pay for their own liberation, after 12 years of being starved almost into genocide by the Western nations, ahead of investing in their own indepedence, their own security, and their own ability to discourage terrorists from gaining a physical and intellectual foothold.
I'm not prepared to say that this is traitorous, as some do, but it is so incredibly self-defeating and hypocritical it staggers the mind to conceive. Democrats in particular have been chanting the "No Blood for Oil" message since last year, but now they're out to grab all they can get. Before the war, they claimed to be opposed to war in order to protect the civilian population, but they have no compunction now about sucking their blood while they're struggling to stand on their own feet for the first time in decades. So much for being the party of compassion!
And for a laugh, check out Senator Evan Bayh's twisted logic on why he co-sponsored this amendment:
One of the amendment's co-sponsor, Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, said it was designed not to saddle Iraq with more debt, but to encourage other nations, including France and Germany, to forgive debts incurred during Saddam Hussein's dictatorship.
"How would they feel if the rest of the world had demanded repayment of Nazi debt, or Vichy debt?" Bayh asked.
Senator, what makes you think that France and Germany, who bitterly opposed the war precisely to protect those credits, will agree to simply erase all that debt so that the United States can get their $10 billion back? On which planet does this make any sense at all? The Vichy and Nazi arguments made perfect sense yesterday, when we weren't imposing our own debt onto the backs of the abused Iraqis. Now it's just a cruel joke, since the Nazis imposed severe debt on the Vichy government in the form of reparations after June 1940, effectively forcing the Vichy French to pay for the German occupation. If this is the level of intellectual thought available in the Democratic Party, let's all hope that they spend the next election cycle learning some very hard lessons.
In the meantime, let's hope that sense and compassion rules the day at the conference committee and this amendment gets the treatment it deserves, and that the 51 senators who pulled this stunt get clear messages from their constituents about their behavior.
UPDATE: I've sent a modified version of this post to Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton, who voted for the loan amendment. If you'd like to contact your Senator, click here to find the correct web page.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on October 17, 2003 7:15 PM
» Congressional Con Game from PhotoDude's Weblog
Congressional Con Game - Congress thinks they're running a con game, and we're all suckers. I don't know what else to call it when you wage two wars against a country (both of which were approved by Congressional vote) that play havoc with its infrastr... [Read More]
Tracked on October 18, 2003 9:20 AM
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