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Old 12-10-2003, 09:37 PM   #16
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Everybody knew it would happen.

Doesn't matter. I'd rather have the Canadian policy and vision of the world than the American one and a billion bucks along with it. Every day of the world and twice on Sunday. As Bono said, "The world needs more Canadas."
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Old 12-10-2003, 09:41 PM   #17
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Do you think most Americans would want their Tax dollars going to companies from countries that politically opposed them in a war their country was fighting?
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:10 PM   #18
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Interesting development wrt debt forgiveness. The Russians have already said no.

From the New York Times:

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Bush Seeks Help of Allies Barred From Iraq Deals
By DAVID E. SANGER and DOUGLAS JEHL

Published: December 11, 2003


ASHINGTON, Dec. 10 — President Bush found himself in the awkward position on Wednesday of calling the leaders of France, Germany and Russia to ask them to forgive Iraq's debts, just a day after the Pentagon excluded those countries and others from $18 billion in American-financed Iraqi reconstruction projects.

White House officials were fuming about the timing and the tone of the Pentagon's directive, even while conceding that they had approved the Pentagon policy of limiting contracts to 63 countries that have given the United States political or military aid in Iraq.

Many countries excluded from the list, including close allies like Canada, reacted angrily on Wednesday to the Pentagon action. They were incensed, in part, by the Pentagon's explanation in a memorandum that the restrictions were required "for the protection of the essential security interests of the United States." [Page A18.]

The Russian defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, when asked about the Pentagon decision, responded by ruling out any debt write-off for Iraq.

The Canadian deputy prime minister, John Manley, suggested crisply that "it would be difficult" to add to the $190 million already given for reconstruction in Iraq.

White House officials said Mr. Bush and his aides had been surprised by both the timing and the blunt wording of the Pentagon's declaration. But they said the White House had signed off on the policy, after a committee of deputies from a number of departments and the National Security Council agreed that the most lucrative contracts must be reserved for political or military supporters.

Those officials apparently did not realize that the memorandum, signed by Paul D. Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, would appear on a Defense Department Web site hours before Mr. Bush was scheduled to ask world leaders to receive James A. Baker III, the former treasury secretary and secretary of state, who is heading up the effort to wipe out Iraq's debt. Mr. Baker met with the president on Wednesday.

Several of Mr. Bush's aides said they feared that the memorandum would undercut White House efforts to repair relations with allies who had opposed the invasion of Iraq.

White House officials declined to say how Mr. Bush explained the Pentagon policy to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, President Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany. France and Russia were two of the largest creditors of Saddam Hussein's government. But officials hinted, by the end of the day, that Mr. Baker might be able to show flexibility to countries that write down Iraqi debt.

"I can't imagine that if you are asking to do stuff for Iraq that this is going to help," a senior State Department official said late Wednesday.

A senior administration official described Mr. Bush as "distinctly unhappy" about dealing with foreign leaders who had just learned of their exclusion from the contracts.

Under the Pentagon rules, only companies whose countries are on the American list of "coalition nations" are eligible to compete for the prime contracts, though they could act as subcontractors. The result is that the Solomon Islands, Uganda and Samoa may compete for the contracts, but China, whose premier just left the White House with promises of an expanded trade relationship, is excluded, along with Israel.

Several of Mr. Bush's aides wondered why the administration had not simply adopted a policy of giving preference to prime contracts to members of the coalition, without barring any countries outright.

"What we did was toss away our leverage," one senior American diplomat said. "We could have put together a policy that said, `The more you help, the more contracts you may be able to gain.' " Instead, the official said, "we found a new way to alienate them."

A senior official at the State Department was asked during an internal meeting on Wednesday how he expected the move to affect the responses of Russia, France and Germany to the American request. He responded, "Go ask Jim Baker," according another senior official, who said of Mr. Baker, "He's the one who's going to be carrying the water, and he's going to be the one who finds out."

In public, however, the White House defended the approach. Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said "the United States and coalition countries, as well as others that are contributing forces to the efforts there, and the Iraqi people themselves are the ones that have been helping and sacrificing to build a free and prosperous nation for the Iraqi people."

He said contracts stemming from aid to Iraq pledged by donor nations in Madrid last month would be open to broad international competition.

Richard A. Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said Wednesday that while the bidding restriction applied to prime contracts, "there are very few restrictions on subcontractors."

He also said the World Bank and International Monetary Fund "may have different, or their own, rules for how they contract."

When the committee was drafting the policy, officials said, there was some discussion about whether it would be wise to declare that excluding noncoalition members was in the security interests of the United States. As a matter of trade law, countries are often allowed to limit trade with other nations on national security grounds.

"The intent was to give us the legal cover to make the decision," one official said.

But the phrase angered officials of other nations because it seemed to suggest they were a security risk.

Moreover, the United States Trade Representative's office said on Wednesday that contracts with the occupation authority "are not covered by international trade procurement obligations because the C.P.A. is not an entity subject to these obligations."

"Accordingly, there is no need to invoke the `essential security' exception to our trade obligations," the office added.

That raised the question of why Mr. Wolfowitz included the phrase.

The Pentagon was already recasting the policy on Wednesday.

"Nobody had the intent of being punitive when this was being developed," said Larry Di Rita, spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

"This is not a fixed, closed list," he said. "This is meant to be forward looking and potentially expansive."
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Do you think most Americans would want their Tax dollars going to companies from countries that politically opposed them in a war their country was fighting?
I think we should do what's best for Iraq and it doesn't matter where it comes from. Or have we forgot what this is about?
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:25 PM   #20
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Being a security risk makes absolutely no sence, especially if you're allowing them to be sub-contractors. This is just pettiness that will further the gap between these nations in our future. Way to go.
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Old 12-11-2003, 12:16 AM   #21
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Well, the money for the contracts comes from the US Government which is of course US Tax Payers money. I think most Americans including myself would like to give AMERICAN companies their money to help rebuild Iraq as opposed to French Companies. Whats wrong with giving US Companies, US Tax dollars as opposed to giving it to French and German companies?
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Old 12-11-2003, 12:26 AM   #22
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Originally posted by STING2
Well, the money for the contracts comes from the US Government which is of course US Tax Payers money. I think most Americans including myself would like to give AMERICAN companies their money to help rebuild Iraq as opposed to French Companies. Whats wrong with giving US Companies, US Tax dollars as opposed to giving it to French and German companies?
Then by your definition just limit it to American companies, contractors and subs.

But what if one of these "security risk" companies can do the same quality work for cheaper, isn't that better for Iraq?
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Well, the money for the contracts comes from the US Government which is of course US Tax Payers money. I think most Americans including myself would like to give AMERICAN companies their money to help rebuild Iraq as opposed to French Companies. Whats wrong with giving US Companies, US Tax dollars as opposed to giving it to French and German companies?
But why do you want to spend 100 million on a contract for an American company when a French or Canadian company can do it with the same quality for 60 million? If you care about the wellbeing of the Iraqi people you award contracts to the lowest bidder, not to your expensive buddy.

C ya!

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Old 12-11-2003, 09:42 AM   #24
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Popmartijn,

"But why do you want to spend 100 million on a contract for an American company when a French or Canadian company can do it with the same quality for 60 million? If you care about the wellbeing of the Iraqi people you award contracts to the lowest bidder, not to your expensive buddy."

It is not a question of the well being of the Iraqi people since its NOT THEIR MONEY that is being spent here. Plus, there are 63 countries in the Coalition, and most of them could easily outbid any Canadian or French company if were talking about price.

The USA provides excellant quality as I'm sure Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom would too. Most of NATO is apart of the Coalition. So is Australia and Japan.

I want to see American companies and AMERICAN workers get this money! Its worth it to pay top dollar to get the best, plus it goes to people I would like to see recieve MY MONEY.

Having France and Germany as part of the process would not make any difference when it comes to price and quality. 63 countries and most of NATO is plenty.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Popmartijn,

"But why do you want to spend 100 million on a contract for an American company when a French or Canadian company can do it with the same quality for 60 million? If you care about the wellbeing of the Iraqi people you award contracts to the lowest bidder, not to your expensive buddy."

It is not a question of the well being of the Iraqi people since its NOT THEIR MONEY that is being spent here. Plus, there are 63 countries in the Coalition, and most of them could easily outbid any Canadian or French company if were talking about price.

The USA provides excellant quality as I'm sure Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom would too. Most of NATO is apart of the Coalition. So is Australia and Japan.

I want to see American companies and AMERICAN workers get this money! Its worth it to pay top dollar to get the best, plus it goes to people I would like to see recieve MY MONEY.

Having France and Germany as part of the process would not make any difference when it comes to price and quality. 63 countries and most of NATO is plenty.
Sting you are contradicting yourself. You keep saying you want your US tax dollars to go to US companies, but then you go on to point out how many other countries are on the list. So if the US tax dollars are going to go to one of these other countries on the list, then it defeats your argument. If that's the case, then go ahead and let anyone bid and see what happens.

By the way when has this country kept it's spending only within US companies? Why start now? This is just hatred for the countries, don't try and disguise it as anything else.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:00 AM   #26
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It just amazes me to think that some countries believe they have a right to US funds....
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:18 PM   #27
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


We are debating Iraq....and I find it VERY interesting that many of the countries that wanted nothing to do with the war and want nothing to do with stablizing Iraq now PROFITED and VIOLATED UN resolutions over the last 12 years. Now they want to be included.
This sounds like a contradiction on the part of these countries who want to profit, but not "invest" or contribute. The very same contradiction the US lives with everyday in terms of it's economic prosperity. There is no high and mighty road for the US to take here.

Like BonoVox Supastar said, at least be honest about what this is. "Security threats"? How is Ottawa a security threat to the US?

And finally, let's be clear. I would never argue Iraq would be better off with Saddam in power. However, it is still fair to question the motives of the invasion.

In the end, I agree with what Anitram said. I would rather have a Canadian vision of the world than these contracts as well. My only hope is that Canada still contributes the $300 million to rebuild Iraq and keeps our troops in Afganistan, depsite the pettiness of the US government.
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:25 PM   #28
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
It just amazes me to think that some countries believe they have a right to US funds....
Another very good point......

Many of these countries (Canada excluded) have refused to participate in the rebuilding.

Why should the 86Billion of US $$$$ (MY TAX $$$) go into the pockets of countries that have not only refused to send troops to help remove Saddam, but they now refuse to send troops to help keep the peace even with UN Endorcements, and refuse to send $$$.

Sorry....Why should my $$$$ wind up in their pocketbooks?
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:30 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
It is not a question of the well being of the Iraqi people since its NOT THEIR MONEY that is being spent here. Plus, there are 63 countries in the Coalition, and most of them could easily outbid any Canadian or French company if were talking about price.
And this, indeed, is the point! This is the reason why the motives of the war are questionable!

If the war was about democracy, freedom, overthrowing dictatorship, then this money would come with no strings attached. If this is not a question of the well being of the Iraqi people, then what is it? I find it mind boggling that you could even say that and not question the intentions of the Bush government.

It appears to be a question of the well being of American (and the "willing's") corporations.
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Old 12-11-2003, 05:47 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
It just amazes me to think that some countries believe they have a right to US funds....
I personaly don`t think we have the right,..but the iraqies have the right for the best deal. This money is not about helping Iraq but it is helping the American contractors who probebly are sponsors of the Bush re-election propaganda circus,...
And do you realy believe that there is no payback time for the Iraqi people ? The cheap oil is on his way,....

I realy do not understand why the European countries are so angry, even the countries, who are on the list of the willing , have no chance to get big contracts, only the leftovers.
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