2002 October 29 Tuesday
David Warren: UN Disagreement Over Iraq Is Economic

If David Warren is right (and this argument seems very plausible) the disagreement between the US and France and Russia boils down to a question of money. France and Russia want guarantees of debt repayment and future business from Iraq that are too big for the Bush Administration to accept. The Bush Administration already faces an enormous economic and especially political and cultural challenge in rebuilding Iraq and has decided it can not afford to tie Iraq down too much with obligations to France and Russia:

They want clear but not public guarantees that they will be able to recover their own national interests, including vast debts owed them by Saddam, from any new Iraqi regime; and they want the right to participate as full partners, not in any invasion of Iraq, but in the fruits of such an invasion (i.e. their shares of contracts and influence in Iraqi reconstruction).

The United States will not give such guarantees, and does not believe it wise to mortgage the future of Iraq in such ways. At root, the United States has long-term ambitions for the reconstruction of Iraq as the first truly functioning constitutional democracy in the Arab Middle East, pour encourager les autres. The Bush people will not attempt this extremely difficult task -- similar in scope to the democratization of Germany or Japan after the last World War -- with their arms tied behind someone else's back.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 29 10:25 PM  UN, International Institutions


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