Thursday, December 11, 2003

No Sale

From the Toronto Star re the previous post, it’s not going over too well with some Canadians:

Canada’s prosperity hardly hinges on picking up a chunk of Iraq’s reconstruction program. But U.S. President George Bush makes no friends here by spitefully freezing us out of the bidding for contracts.

Certainly, he has chosen a graceless way to welcome incoming Prime Minister Paul Martin, punishing Canada for being a principled ally and even implying that we’re a threat to U.S. “security interests.”

In a crude display of pettiness that Martin, like many Canadians, finds hard to fathom, Bush has barred countries that did not take part in the war on Iraq and which aren’t keen to be occupiers, from bidding for $18 billion in U.S.-funded contracts to patch the place together. This cold shoulder is “totally appropriate,” the White House insists.

Nice try, folks. But no sale.

Along with most of the world, Canadians differed with the Bush administration on the need to attack Saddam Hussein’s regime. But we have been a staunch ally where it matters. We don’t deserve to be stiffed for our principles, or bribed to park them at the door.

On the other hand, when Iraq collapses into even more chaos and misery after Bush pulls the troops out just in time for the election, the Canadians won’t be left holding the bag.