Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Joshua Marshall writes:

Department of intra-administration coordination, subdivision of one hand knowing what the other's doing ...

As we noted yesterday, Bush family fixer James A. Baker has been given the task of cajoling states that are owed money by Iraq into either forgiving or generously restructuring Iraq's debts.

Near the top of that list of state creditors are France, Germany and Russia.

Now we hear that Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has just signed a directive barring French, German and Russian companies from competing for the $18.6 billion of Iraqi reconstruction contracts for "the protection of the essential security interests of the United States."


Luckily, Baker and Wolfowitz are such close pals and ideological soul-mates. So I'm sure they'll be able to work it out.

Such close pals? I've made mistakes before in detecting sarcasm before, but even I can see this one. Marshall goes on to point out that either this means that Bush wants, somewhat implausibly, to help strengthen Iraq's bargaining position vis a vis their debts to Russia, France and Germany, or he just wants to stick it to the Europeans again. I would've liked to see one of the dem candidates mention this in tonight's debate in New Hamphshire. I suppose one of them may have, as I missed a bit in the middle.

More on the debates later.