It's been suggested that France, Germany and Russia might begin to be involved in the reconstruction of Iraq as they have requested by considering forgiving loans to Iraq.
This seems to be putting it extremely mildly by my lights. I don't see how they could even think about beginning to ask for a penny of repayment.
Monsieur de Villepin comes to Baghdad playing loan collecter. He shows up at the former Hussein presidential palace, now hosting a fledgling ministry of the new government. In Iraqi the guy says, "Brother, they moved and left no forwarding address. You might try looking in Syria for some your other partners. If you can get an address for any of them, call this beeper number at Tommy Franks' place. Everybody's looking for them." Then he'll probably be babbling something about Franks having negroes hiding in bowls of rice in Indochina waiting for Baathists.
Anyway, all those debts and contracts were with the Baath party. It's not like France was giving money or doing anything whatsoever to actually help the Iraqi people. How would this be THEIR responsibility? It's like some mobster has died, so his creditor goes to collect his debt from the shopkeepers the dead guy used to shake down. How is this legitimate?
My people are from Kentucky, so I may be a little slow on the uptake here. Are Iraqi citizens somehow expected now to pay the Germans for the nasty shit they sold Hussein to use in oppressing and killing them? This is akin to the practice of the Chinese government of sending a bill to the families of executed prisoners charging them for the price of the bullet.
Some countries bet on the wrong horse, and they lost. In this case, they acted in exceptionally bad faith in helping to prop up a particularly wicked dictator for reasons of protecting petty business interests. They valued their few lousy billion dollars in trade over the safety of the world or the good of Iraqis.
Now the longsuffering Iraqis should be expected to pay the French money because...?
Psst, the guy you're looking for is named 'Hussein'. You might try calling the front desk in HELL. Maybe he can wire you your money.