We’re restricting Iraqi rebuilding contracts to coalition countries. That’s pretty short-sighted. Bush’s take on it:
“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.”
Actually, I expect Bush to choose the course which results in high-quality reconstruction at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer. I suspect that opening the bidding to more firms will lower the costs. I would prefer, thusly, not to exclude non-coalition firms.
I also find it deeply ironic that the latest Halliburton story is breaking today. Seriously. Open the bidding up to everyone. The guys we’ve chosen so far are gouging us.
Now, if I was thinking globally — and I’m told we invaded Iraq for the Iraqis — I’d also be a little bit worried about the best interests of the people who live there. It seems not entirely impossible that, among the companies best suited for this kind of reconstruction work, there might be some French or German or Canadian companies. It seems not impossible that, by imposing this restriction, we might be causing some degree of difficulty for the Iraqi people. It’s almost enough to make one think that the motives behind this war might have had something to do with US interests all along.
I’ll finish up with the always-evasive Scott McClellan’s Wednesday press conference.
Q: In the case of Canada, Canada contributed troops to Afghanistan, lost troops in Afghanistan in an accident by U.S. troops, which politically made it very difficult for them to contribute to Iraq. And they’re being punished for not being able to provide —
MR. McCLELLAN: In the war on terrorism, there are a lot of countries participating in those efforts, and we appreciate that. There is a very large coalition of countries across the world that are fighting the war on terrorism and making sacrifices. There were — there was a decision made by coalition forces on Iraq and there are a number of countries that have been helping from the beginning. There are a number of countries that have been sacrificing on the ground in defense of freedom and in an effort to build a better and safer world. And we’re talking just about the U.S. taxpayer funding here, which is a significant amount of money from the U.S. taxpayers.
Scott! It’s OK with me! Open up the bidding so Halliburton can stop charging way the hell too much for gas…
Crap. The White House isn’t listening.