The Corner

Contract Ban

Cry me a river, France (and Canada and Germany and Russia). You didn’t merely complain about the Iraq war–you tried to rally the world against it. Now that the country is liberated, you want to cash in with reconstruction contracts. But the Bush administration isn’t letting you, in a new directive. Democrats are already describing this as an act of vengeance; Joe Biden calls it a “gratuitious slap.” But it’s really a forward-looking policy, because it may teach America’s fair-weather allies that their actions have consequences. In the meantime, reconstruction contracts won’t lack for bidders: In addition to the United States, there’s Britain, Australia, Spain–the list is long. And a lot of Iraqi sub-contractors will be involved as well.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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