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December 10, 2003
Axis of Weasels Aren't Preferred Providers

Surprise, surprise! The Defense Department doesn't want to contract with French, German, or Russian companies in the rebuilding of Iraq:

France, Germany, Russia and China -- countries that strongly opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq -- are not on a Defense Department list of countries eligible to compete for $18.6 billion worth of contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Countries that either participated in the Coalition effort in the war or supported it -- including Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, Turkey and Japan -- are on the list, which was in a memo posted on the Pentagon Web site Tuesday.

Be prepared to hear a whole lot of blathering from leading Democrats on this issue for the next few weeks, demanding that the Bush administration quit insulting our "friends" and to quit making the list unilateral. However, if they do, the Bush administration can point out that 63 countries are on the approved list, including a number of Arab countries.

Procurement specialist Prof. Steven Schooner from George Washington University said it was "disingenuous" to use national security as an excuse and predicted an angry reaction from those nations excluded.

"This kind of decision just begs for retaliation and a tit-for-tat response," said Schooner, according to Reuters.

Didn't these countries made enough money supplying the apparatus that oppressed the Iraqis? I don't really care if they're angry; they couldn't be counted on to assist us anyway, especially France. Besides, I somehow doubt that the Iraqis really want to have Saddam's enablers around to "help" them. France, Germany, and Russia have been "helping" the Iraqis into mass graves for years now. If they feel differently, the Axis of Weasels can deal directly with the Iraqis in July, but somehow I think their standing will not have improved much by then, if at all.

UPDATE: Go see QandO for Jon's take on this. He makes an excellent point about power politics, and let's not forget, we didn't start that game.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 10, 2003 5:54 AM

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