Wednesday, December 24, 2003
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Good news and bad news on international support for Iraq
Bad news -- the Gulf states are not planning on forgiving either Iraq's debts or its reparation payments anytime soon, according to the Financial Times:
posted by Dan on 12.24.03 at 11:15 AM
I suspect the bad news isn't as bad as it might seem. The Iraqis still have the implicit out that they can simply renounce the debts (there's a better word but I'm hypocaffeinimic and can't think of it.) They don't need the Saudis for much of anything. The Saudis don't have much in the way of leverage on us: they need our money to keep their economy afloat, and we've got a perfectly lovely friendly source of oil coming along.
In the mean time, the Saudis have added another straw to the camel.
And he's starting to sweat.posted by: Charlie on 12.24.03 at 11:15 AM [permalink]
“It's a question of dialogue among nations, and I don't think that an effective dialogue can take place unless there's a sovereign Iraqi government. When that government comes, we are ready to discuss these issues," Prince Saud said....”
This is a minor flap. Prince Saud al-Faisal is merely maneuvering for a better negotiating position. Our government has to stand firm and refuse to be played for a fool. Senator James Baker should remind him that America is protecting his rear end. Without us, he is toast! We have the stronger hand in this dispute---and should not hesitate to use it.
Isn’t it ironic that this member of the Saudi royal family has the nerve to speak about political autonomy and freedom? This is true chutzpah. Is he trying to be a comedian? Also, some of the present Iraqi leaders are women. When will this occur in the sovereign nation of Saudi Arabia?
Agreed that the debt flap is not serious. The sovereign government in Baghdad, once in place, will tell the rest of the Gulf states to stick it.posted by: Chrees on 12.24.03 at 11:15 AM [permalink]
Luckily, Saudi Arabia isn't a Paris Club member, as this might have provided the perfect escape-hatch for the French, Germans and Russians with respect to the public commitments they've made; as Daniel Davies has pointed out on Crooked Timber, Paris Club rules require unanimity.posted by: Abiola Lapite on 12.24.03 at 11:15 AM [permalink]
The United States must respond to the horror at Fallujah.These people must not be allowed to act for the whole of the Iraqi people.Find every face in all the photos and put them away, far away.We should keep food and water and any other comfort from them.Those young boys in the photos are the next Saddam.God will bless our America and it's people.posted by: Fed Up on 12.24.03 at 11:15 AM [permalink]
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