by John Hawkins | December 10, 2003 9:20 pm
Our fairweather friends who were shut out of the prime contracts in Iraq have started complaining about how we’re going to spend OUR MONEY. How dare we reward nations like Poland and Australia that risked their blood and treasure to support us while penalizing nations like France and Germany that did everything they could think of to undercut us?
I can’t tell you how ridiculous some of their complaints sound. Just listen to this one…
“German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said at a press conference in Berlin, “we noted this report with astonishment and will talk about it with the American side.” German government spokesman Bela Anda said the list “is not acceptable.”
They call Americans “arrogant,” but the Germans are telling us what we want to do with our own money “is not acceptable.” Well if I may quote Montgomery Burns, “Oooh, the Germans are mad at me. I’m so scared! Oooh, the Germans! Uh oh, the Germans are going to get me!”
Here’s another one…
“The exclusions contrasted with recent signals that the U.S. was seeking to mend relations with countries that opposed the war, said Francois Gere, director of Paris-based research group Institute of Diplomacy and Defense.
“This seems to be a total contradiction with the U.S. government’s stated aim of internationalizing Iraq’s reconstruction and seeking help from as many countries as possible,” Gere said. “If they want a global effort, then they have to provide some incentives.”
But incentives are exactly what we are providing…to our allies. We’re giving them a reward for sticking with us and incentive to go in with us again if need be. As far as countries like France, Germany, and Canada go, the build-up to the war in Iraq was more than a year long and the war has been over for more than six months. If they haven’t gone along with us by now, giving them a shot at some plum contracts they’ve done nothing to earn isn’t going to help either.
I think it’s pretty apparent that trying to build up “good will” with nations like Germany, France, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, etc, is pointless. When it comes to our country, the only question that they seem to care about is, “what’s in it for us”? Given that, we need to reward them when the help us and either ignore or punish them when they don’t. Since they weren’t with us in Iraq, they got the stick, not the carrot. Maybe next time — and there is always a next time — they’ll decide to be on the right side of history instead of sitting on the sidelines.
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