The Corner

Debt Relievers, Too

Another email: “As much as I respect George Will, he is wrong, wrong, wrong on this issue. The people of Iraq had zero say in how Saddam’s dictatorship mismanaged the nation’s finances, so why should they be responsible for any foreign debt? It is perfectably acceptable for the citizens of democracies to held

responsible for the financial decisions of their governments; the citizens,

after all, bear some degree of the responsibility for their elected leaders’

decisions. But it is morally wrong to apply the same standard to people

living under the brutal regime of sadistic thugs. I have no sympathy for

Iraq’s creditors (how do you say ‘boo-hoo’ in French?) The French, German,

and Russian governments knew who they were getting in bed with and what a

lousy credit risk Saddam’s regime was. If caveat emptor applies to you and

me, it should apply to the fools who extended credit to a gang of criminals.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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