December 10, 2003


Ha ha ha to you, stupid non-coalition countries:

The Pentagon has barred French, German and Russian companies from competing for $18.6 billion in contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, saying the step "is necessary for the protection of the essential security interests of the United States" ... only companies from the United States, Iraq and 61 other countries designated as "coalition partners" will be allowed to bid on the contracts.

And we’re one of them. War! What is it good for? Big Australian contracts. Say it again!

Posted by Tim Blair at December 10, 2003 11:14 PM

this is one of the finest pieces of news all year, right up there with the the re-introduction of quisp cereal. simply wonderful

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 10, 2003 at 11:48 PM

And you can hear their whinging from here! They are screaming that it is unfair...

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at December 10, 2003 at 11:49 PM

France, Germany and Russia have all had more than enough involvement in Iraq wouldn't you say?

Posted by: gaz at December 11, 2003 at 12:05 AM

Good point, gaz. They can't complain now about not getting any contracts, not when they've been feasting on them for years.

Posted by: tim at December 11, 2003 at 12:43 AM

France and Germany have already said they aren't going to send any people to Iraq. Now they are upset that they won't be allowed to send people to Iraq, and are demanding to be allowed to do so. Next Bush will say "Ok", and France and Germany will send in 100,000 troops to help with the effort. Dam, that Bush is such an idiot.

Posted by: Charles at December 11, 2003 at 01:02 AM

This kind of thing happens to me all the time!

The Story of My Life

Posted by: Little Red Hen at December 11, 2003 at 01:31 AM

I like your story, Little Red Hen. Months ago, I was thinking about suggesting that bloggers send copies of the book to Colin Powell. Maybe he could've handed them out at the UNSC.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at December 11, 2003 at 02:05 AM

First of all, you gotta pay to play. Free riders need not apply.

Secondly, you need to be an ACTUAL ally of the US and the coalition, not a backstabbing pseudo-ally.

Thirdly, well...we never liked you guys anyway.

Posted by: mojo at December 11, 2003 at 02:49 AM

Hang on there. Where can I get Quisp cereal, Mr. Bingly? (The French probably eat Quake).

Posted by: JohnO at December 11, 2003 at 02:57 AM

This is like something from Frank J.:


Posted by: Donnah at December 11, 2003 at 03:12 AM

johno - i can buy it at my local acme. you can also order it at
but the loonytune in me prefers acme products...

and i think you're right about the quake issue

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 11, 2003 at 03:14 AM

Exactly where is the 18.5B coming from, anyway? I'll bet all but a little is US foreign aid to Iraq. How much aid have France (spit), Germany, and Russian put in the pot? I'd be willing to let them bid for that amount. So, how much is it? Anybody? Anybody? (Sounds of crickets chirping.) Bueller?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at December 11, 2003 at 04:10 AM

Canada is not mentioned in the original article but the new PM is baffled by this approach.

Plus the article makes it clear that Canada will be a strong US ally from 2050 through 2099. Iraq should be rebuilt by then.

Posted by: dazed at December 11, 2003 at 04:14 AM

ooh! i hadn't noticed that canada was on the list! hee-hee!

i'm gonna go buy me some more shiraz

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at December 11, 2003 at 04:49 AM

Well, Canada has contractors in place. Or rather, sub contractors (and sub sub contractors) hired by Canadian companies are there.

Posted by: Geoff Matthews at December 11, 2003 at 07:31 AM

Before anyone gets excited, this is NOT UN money, EU money, Russian money, or comercial money.
It is US taxpayer money and we can spend it any fargin wa we wish!

The frogs are free to spend their own money in Iraq with Russian, Canadian, Ugandan, Cameroonian or even German companies.

Posted by: Ed at December 11, 2003 at 07:38 AM

How come Australia doesn't get a mention in this article's list of "approved" countries? Britain, Poland, Italy, Turkey, but not us? Pffft.

Posted by: Jethro at December 11, 2003 at 08:20 AM

A genuinely capitalist arangement would be to get maximum return for the US taxpayers' dollar, thus the tenders should go to whoever gives best value.

I dare say that the current arrangement, masquerading as patriotism, will simply be cronyism.

I am reminded of Bismarck at the end of the Franco-Prussian war. The Kaiser suggested that the toasts be drunk in Sekt (German bubbly). Bismark said that his patriotism did not reach as far as his stomach, and stuck with the superior product produced by those cheese-chomping surrender monkeys.

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 11, 2003 at 08:25 AM

Contrary to what you may have heard, there's more to Americans than greedy capitalism. This is not a capitalist issue, it's a national security issue. It shows countries like France that we only reward our real allies, thus encouraging them to put their money (i.e. troops and other support) where their mouth is.

And Americans' patriotism does, in fact, reach as far as our stomachs. French wine imports dropped off a lot after the war, in favor of Australian wines among others.

Posted by: Katherine at December 11, 2003 at 08:37 AM

The US administration, in general terms, does not want allies or friends. It wants client states.

A peson who does not agree with you is not necessarily your enemy.

Real friends can say to each other "I don't think that is the best thing to do".

GWB has an of upwardly moving approval rating of 55% at the moment, thus millions of US citizens who are not happy with everything GWB does. Are they all enemies of the state?

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 11, 2003 at 09:19 AM

People are reprinting my life story without my permission. This really sticks in my craw.
Copycat Infringement

I think Peggy Sue's sweet on Duck.

Posted by: Little Red Hen at December 11, 2003 at 12:48 PM

Peggy Sue,

These restricted countries said that they wanted nothing to do with Iraq -- fine. We haven't sactioned or penalized them in any way, we've simply accomodated their desires. Either you're in or out, but it's 100% either way. No one is suggesting that these countries be compelled to suppport our actions, but it would seem highly hypocritical of these countries to want to profit (from US taxpayer dollars) from a war they deemed unnecessary -- how could anyone who opposed the war believe that that is legit?


Posted by: Jerry at December 11, 2003 at 01:48 PM

Make money out of wars when we are not prepared to fight in them?

Heavens, who do think we are, Swiss or Swedes?

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 11, 2003 at 03:31 PM

Check out, we have a great poli cartoon up about the "Red hen" stuff:

Posted by: Jettison at December 11, 2003 at 03:32 PM