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Excluding countries that opposed the war in Iraq from reconstruction

By maxwell edison ·
Excluding countries that opposed the war in Iraq from those that will reap the largest profits in the country's reconstruction is "perfectly appropriate and reasonable," a White House spokesman said yesterday.


or tiny:


Should this indeed be the policy?

Is this fair?

Will this, after all is said and done, really be the case?

What will be the long-term repercussions?

(My thoughts later.)

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How Stupid

by Oldefar In reply to Excluding countries that ...

I find the policy as reported to be foolish on several aspects.

First off, the policy seems to make the action in Iraq based primarily on business opportunity. There are a number of morally valid reasons for the coalition actions to remove Saddam. Business is not one of them. The policy taints the reputation of all 63 coalition nations by implying profit was one of their key justifications.

Second, the policy equally taints the reputation of many nations that opposed coalition action in Iraq. The moral high ground they once could claim is lost with their outrage at being excluded from prime contractor status. Canada, France, Germany, and Russia exposed their own focus on self interest with their reaction to this policy.

The whole issue could have been avoided with a simple alternative approach. Reward those who risked life and treasure by adding a participation factor to the bidding, similar to the way veterans receive a small ?bonus? point when applying for government jobs. All things being equal, the bidding firm from the coalition country wins over the neutral and opposition firms, and neutral country firms win over opposition country firms. However, any firm can win with a significant business advantage (value) over other firms. This would reward coalition members and allow opposition nations to hold on to their supposed moral position while still insuring Iraqis are getting a legitimate reconstruction effort.

The long term repercussion is in the perception of people everywhere. By creating a fight over money, greed becomes the common denominator of all governments. What a setback for humanity, what an opportunity for those who would impose their own brand of morality on others, what a shameful commentary on mankind.

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Some Points:

by maxwell edison In reply to How Stupid

1. The countries who opposed the war in Iraq, did more than simply "oppose" coalition efforts. They attempted to undermine, or otherwise create obstacles in the effort. One has to wonder, how many lives could have been saved had these countries done the right thing, rather than simply serve their own financial interests. And when I say, "do the right thing", I not only mean in the liberation effort, but also as it pertains to over twelve years of UN resolution violations, about which these countries did nothing - except help Iraq violate, of course.

2. The restriction does not prevent companies from these countries (France, Germany, Canada, Russia) from bidding on projects as sub-contractors, but only as general contractors. (A fact I have yet seen reported anywhere in the news. Gee, I wonder why?)

3. The restriction does not prevent companies from these countries (France, Germany, Canada, Russia) from bidding on projects on which they have existing interests and/or infrastructure. For example, the French would be prevented from bidding on the construction (as the general contractor, not as a sub-contractor) of a NEW power plant. But if an existing French built power plant is in need of repair, the French could indeed bid, as a general contractor, on that particular project. (Another fact I have yet seen reported in the news.)

4. The restrictions are not set in stone. The door is not totally closed on the issue, but is, most likely, being used as leverage to entice some of these countries to forgive existing Iraqi debt, something the French, Germans and Russians have been reluctant to do. The new Canadian prime minister, for example, has been told by President Bush that things could be worked out to include the Canadians, at some time and to some degree, in the reconstruction.

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except help Iraq violate, of course.

by Oz_Media In reply to Some Points:

"which these countries did nothing - except help Iraq violate, of course."

1) US oil conglomerates knew EXACTLY WHO'S oil they were buying and how it was aquired. The US is as much at fault of breaching sanctions as any smaller country that survived by selling the Sanctioned oil to the USA.

"(A fact I have yet seen reported anywhere in the news. Gee, I wonder why?)"

2&3)I assume your are referring to American news, which is Republican fed to turn the people AGAINST the allies in order to accept the US ignoring thier Allies, how many US citizens have slammed Canada, Germany, Russia and France for NOT joining the effort. They must appear as the enemy in order to justify such ridiculous actions.

Just the next chapter in a very predictable story. Can't we just skip to the last page already and get it over with?

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American News

by TopesBlues In reply to except help Iraq violate, ...

"American news, which is Republican fed to turn the people AGAINST the allies in order to accept the US ignoring their Allies"....,Most of the American network news is extremely liberal and for the most part anti Bush

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Perhaps with all of YOUR channels

by Oz_Media In reply to American News

I can see this as true because you have more US channels than I do, I do see a very Republican slant to the Canadian news from the USA or from USA news that is networked here.

The print media is practically owned by Republican organizations as are many of the leading magazines. The sources of ownership were provided and well supported in another discussion, not be me but another peer.

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Oz - a challenge

by maxwell edison In reply to Perhaps with all of YOUR ...

I suggest that you don't understand the difference between "Republican" and "Democrat". I further suggest that you don't understand the difference between "conservative" and "liberal". I further suggest that you don't understand why a person might lean one way or the other, and why that person might overlook or dismiss the other perspective, or why there might be no middle ground. I suggest that you don't understand the difference between "left" and "right". I suggest that you wouldn't recognize a bias one way or the other if you saw it.

My challenge to you is to explain such things. Explain what "news" channels you are seeing, and be specific, and why you think they are biased, and which way they are biased. Explain what news organizations are biased towards the left, which are biased towards the right, and why. Include television, radio, and print media.

Are you up to the challenge?

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An addendum to the challenge

by maxwell edison In reply to Oz - a challenge

I further challenge you to explain such things without the benefit of ANY research whatsoever. Don't do any Internet searches. Don't refer to ANY other sources. Don't copy ANYTHING from ANYWHERE. Don't go back to ANY other discussion threads. Use only your own words. Use only your own thoughts. This is a closed book test, if you will. Of course, this part of the challenge relies totally on the honor system.

And to be fair, I certainly wouldn't ask you to do anything I wouldn't do myself. So if you would like, I'll do the same so everyone can compare our respective results. Moreover, if we need a "third party" to act as a go-between, I might suggest Julian might be interested in such a role. I might even go one step further, and suggest that Julian start a whole new discussion thread. It could be rather interesting, don't you think?

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First of all

by Oz_Media In reply to Oz - a challenge

I am not really interested in doing anything to appease you, that's completely impossible as you've proven time and time again.

Secondly, there is no question that YOU are more politically versed than I am, if that's what you are trying to prove.

Thirdly, I have been discouraged by yourself as well as others from speaking my mind as opposed to presenting only facts. You obviously haven't liked these facts and want some personal input instead.

Fourth, I thought I was done talking with you as you will never agree or credit me with anything even if I completely agree with you.

Lastly, why would you pick Julian (I assume you mean as a mediator as opposed to roaddog, guruofdos, JimHM, drvctrlgrl (sp?), or anyone else for that matter.

But in closing, rather than just play your head in the sand game, at least I responded as to why I won't play your game.

If such a discussion WAS started I may respond after seeing participation but not just to play a game or let the ever great Maxwell prove his bias once more.

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My answers

by maxwell edison In reply to Oz - a challenge

This was not intended to "appease" me or to play any kind of game, and I don't have anything to prove. It's just that, over the course of time, you've gone from one who claimed to be, shall I say, politically naive' and proclaimed to be proud of it, and you showed a disdain for the various political labels, to someone who throws labels around, tagging other people, tagging sources, making charges of political bias, and so on. So my suggestion to you was that you don't really understand what political bias is or is not, but yet you rely so heavily on such arguments.

Moreover, it has been you who has waffled back and forth when it comes to voicing opinion versus presenting facts. You've criticized both, yet relied on both. (You've even relied on "false facts".) I've always been a proponent of supporting one's opinion with verifiable facts. Opinion which is baseless of fact is really pretty worthless, at least as far as intelligent and productive discussion is concerned.

Your forth point, I guess I can't say anything about it. You'll think as you will. However, there has been an occasional glimmer of civility between us from time to time. But if you're not up to it, who am I to suggest otherwise.

And I picked Julian for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is his knowledge of, and background in journalism. Not only does he have a great understanding of such things, but I think he might enjoy it to some degree. And even though I think he is sometimes swayed by political bias in the media, he's savvy enough to see it. Another reason I suggested him is that he wouldn't be someone who might be prone to take my side, so to speak. Whereas RoadDog or Jim are closer to sharing my political ideology, Julian is probably closer to the opposite end of the political spectrum. Actually, I think Julian would be easier on you than he would be on me, especially since you both share a disdain for President Bush. The other two you mentioned, one of them, guru, hasn't been around for a while and he isn't really a political animal. As for Denvrgrl (or whatever the handle is), I think she's a little too naive' to have a full understanding of a lot of things. She, like many others, seems to base political opinion on emotion rather than reason. But it wouldn't have to be anybody, for that matter. In fact, just for grins, I might just start a thread myself.

But I'm not surprised that you're not up to the challenge. Your lack of consistency in such matters makes it clear that you would struggle with such an undertaking, and you might have to admit that you've been mistaken far too many times than you would care to admit.

You said that you wouldn't want to see "the great Maxwell prove his bias". Well, I don't need to prove my bias, I admit to it. But unlike you, my bias is based on well thought-out reason; it's based on a core set of principles; and it's consistent. Bias, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing, as you've suggested. But if a person can't rationally and consistently explain his bias, and especially if a person can't admit his bias, his opinion is not much better, at least not any more consistent, than the color of a chameleon.

An analogy would be if I, for example, dissected and argued with everything you said about promoting heavy metal bands. What I know about such things you could shove into a thimble and it would rattle like a BB in a box car. Kinda' like your knowledge of politics in the world arena. The difference is, I admit my ignorance while you try to fool everybody into thinking that you know what your talking about.

But, oh well, I tried to give you an opportunity to show me I was wrong. And I tried to do in a very civil and most intriguing way, don't you think?

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NO I don't Max.

by Oz_Media In reply to Oz - a challenge

Your post is riddled with little pot shots as usual that show me that you are not interested in opening a discussion rather than taking further potshots.

I have admitted to NOT caring about politics and not following US or Canadian politics to any depth. THe past year on this forum has opened my eyes to many things American. When was the last time I called you a pig headed, arrogant and undereducated? OK you got me on that one, but I have learned a lOT about US politics as a result of these discussions.

Being a resident in a socialist driven country, having been told that I am a Socialist Liberal Demorcat and having a left-wing accepting public, I must say I sway to left-center.

Understanding, again from here as well as other sources, that the US is corporately or RIGHT-WING driven, as is the presidency, how am I to see eye to eye with someone right-center or Republican?

We live in different countries with different, make that almost opposite political views, although we sometimes see some common ground when discussing more 'CENTERED' topics.

I used to speak as I felt, very socialist 'people' thing to do. You refused to accept a personal opinion as valid unless backed with fact, as you do now. I then started to look for sources that echoed MY feelings so as to offer s link to someone else's thoughts as opposed to my own, it seems more accepted.

Duering this time, I uncovered some interesting facts and reports that I saw completely eye to eye with, this is now wonrg as I am being accused of not speaking my mind and looking for information to make me seem intelligent. I always thought individual thought was intelligent whereas just copying links was weak and unintelligent (sheep).

You seem to have been upset that someone was trying to extinguish your patriotic rants and taunts at the world and quickly took to attacking my character as opposed to my thoughts. I think my analogy, only from meeting and dealing with Americans, that Americans aer sheep and followers to the government set you off. You firmly belive in your government and it's stand in the world.

Now you must admit, there have been 'commoners' who have solidified my point by saying things like "if it wasn't for us, you'd be speaking German" , "We saved your *** once and you're lucky", "why is it always America helping others and others whining about it" etc.

I have met more of these people than politically firm people such as yourself and that therefore explains my thoughts toward MANY or even MOST Americans as blind followers.

I completely disagree with GWB and his policies of late. I completely disagree withthe POSED reason for war. I comletely disagree that America is the best place to live n the world (by the way, even with such a miniscule population, Canada was chosen as the second favorite place to live on the globe again this year), I guess Iraq was number one.
These are MY thoughts and feelings.

Now lets see what I have read and how well I understand your basic political positions in the US.

Right-wing is represented the capitalist corporations and big money in the USA. Left-wing will never be a strong opposition because of this, just as right-wing is a vast minority in Canada.

Republican government is right-wing and therefore the leader of the Republican government is also right-wing. Corporate America is right-wing, therefore large corporations and BIG BUSINESS in America must also be right-wing biased.

Network TV and the US media constitutes some of the biggest corporations in the US as well as the major oil companies.

Reporters are generally Left-wing because of having a more worldy viewpoint and subjusction to people storie more than corporate stories.

If the Reporters are saying that they are being heavily censored by thier editors and the White House censorship, is it not reasonable to conclude that the left is being controlled by the right? Especially since left is a minority in the USA. Then would it not also be resonable to conclude that the Right-wing media, will show a positive bias toward right-wing, Republican or GWB?

This isn't for oil they say? GWB was born in a puddle of oil, some of the largest companies in the US are also OIL companies. They supprt GWB, they have billions to help with supporting him.

Iraq cut off Americas oil. America buys oil from those who trade with Iraq for oil.
would it be so ridiculously 'naive' to then put two and two together and surmise that GWB has an interest in gaining a better deal for his greatest supporters?

So how does GWB aquire a better and cheaper source of a LOT more oil than it presently receives? Either makea deal with Saddam, impossible, or get rid of the one person standing between him and oil.

Now you can't go invading counties just to get the oil, that's terrorism in itself. GWB needed to find fault with Saddam and Iraq that would be great enough to justify action.

UN inspectors WERE finally allowed to inspect for WMD, Saddam was opposed to having US members of the UN inspecting, not inspections themselves. The UN then discovered several (a dozen I think) warheads that were unused but MAY be used as WMD if the right payload was added. He obtained these by trading with Russia as a result of the UN's oil-for-food program. GWB wanted to inspect all goods in and out of Iraq under the OFF program and took 18 months to inspect a dellivery of medical supplies and food going to Iraq. This pissed off the Iraqi's and once again UN inspectors were asked to leave.

GWB then started claiming that they had WMD and the people of America were at risk of a possible attack from WMD and that Saddam was not cooperating.

Other countries thought the UN had been successful in its inspections as they had already uncovered these empty war heads and wanted them to continue on a successful mission.

GWB wouldn't stand for this and ordered attack.

I know this is very simple to one such as yourself and I beg for your acceptance of my humble theories. I also know that you disbelieve and will discredit my statements or my character as a result.

Again, I knew none of the details but I didn't belive a word Bush said from the get go. You insisted that I proved my THOUGHTS, however you're supposed to do that, so I found several sources (you don't buy the political stand of such sources so they are easy to discredit in the US). You then start saying that I'm not speaking my mind and simply posting links to sources I don't understand, although I agree with MANY (not all) of thier views.

As I'ce said so many times before Max, what makes you happy? What can one do to possibly have a discussion with you without the NEED to agree or be shunned?

If I was Pro-Bush and totally Pro the war, you would have never questioned my sources, ideas and thoughts. No matter HOW they were formed.

Because I oppose GWB, you expect me to explain why, I explain why and you tell me to prove it, I prove it and you tell me to form my OWN opinions.

You can't accept opposition in any way it seems, whether from the heart or from agreement with facts.

How about I do this.

Max, I completely agree with your political views in every aspect of the term. I love the way your president runs the country and I believe he can do no harm. I wish I was American too so that I could live under your Republican government instead of this carefree BS that Canada tries to sell us. I uess in some way you could say, I'm REALLY jealous of America and it's highly educated people who so justly kill one another when they are imposed upon.

God Bless America, and nobody else.

Thank you, I see the light, and you have converted me.

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