Loans, debt, and oil money

Comment on “So it is about $$$”

In response to my earlier post that I don’t think reconstruction money for Iraq should be in the form of a loan a reader asks:

As an aside, how do you feel about watching Iraqi oil revenues (when they start flowing) going to pay off their debt to France (and other anti-occupation/liberation nations), but none to ours?

He also notes that he’s not necessarily in favor of a loan, but that the concept that Iraqi oil money will go to pay off France (who opposed the invasion) and not the US (without which there would be no oil money). I agree with the sentiment. We have made a substantial investment in Iraq, in the form of lives, money, and lowered international prestige.

France and other nations who obstructed the liberation of Iraq stand to get paid for their loans. That certainly doesn’t seem right at all. What I would expect of them, as honorable nations who have recently approved of our actions in Iraq, would be a blanket forgiveness for all the loans and outstanding debts in lieu of a portion of the reconstruction money they would otherwise offer.

However, since it doesn’t really appear that any reconstruction money is forthcoming from any the “honorable” nations in question, I don’t expect anything meaningful. I mean, come on, we’re talking about France, here.

Does anyone expect anything meaningful from them?

UPDATE: Upon reflection, I’ve realized that what I would expect from us, as an honorable nation who did the right thing despite the lack of a United Nations seal of approval, would be reconstruction aid, not reconstruction loans. However, it appears that many in the Senate are dead set on forcing our nation to act dishonorably.

Also, the weight of loan repayments and war reparations in a nation wracked by harsh rulers and devastated by war doesn’t seem to work so well. Throw in high unemployment in the conquered nation plus an impotent international body and you’ve got a situation eerily similar to the years in Germany after the First World War. And we all know how that turned out.