April 4, 2003
That Silver is For Us; Brilliant Congressmen Pass Bill To Bar France and Germany From Helping Rebuild

According to NPR, when Congress approved Bush's request for $75 billion today for the war, someone sipped in a rider barring France and Germany from being allowed to contract to rebuild . Some irate confressman said, "We're not sending our boys in harm's way so that the French and German can stand back and hold their hands out for ten pieces of silver!"

Um, that's a pretty effective stance. Except that Bush's plan to rebuild gives the lion's share of the rebuilding contracts to -- have you guessed it -- U.S. businesses! Our boys died to help put a couple of pieces of silver into some major CEOs' pockets. The Wall Street Journal reported:

The Bush administration's audacious plan to rebuild envisions a sweeping overhaul of i society within a year of a war's end, but leaves much of the work to private U.S. companies. . . .
[M]ore than $1.5 billion in work being offered to private U.S. companies under the plan, just $50 million is so far earmarked for a small number of groups such as CARE and Save the Children.

Also, isn't it a tad inconsistent to claim that the U.N. should have broad participation in rebuilding when you pass laws denying security council members the ability to allow their businesses to have a hand in the reconstruction? Might that not impede efforts to involve the U.N.?

Posted by Tom Burka at 8:49 AM in Commentary