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Companies in anti-war countries barred

Iraq Anti-war Foreign Countries Barred

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#1 FlatlandDan

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 11:08 AM

Just picked this up on the news....

Link

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The Pentagon has drawn quick criticism for formally barring companies from countries opposed to the Iraq war from bidding on 26 reconstruction contracts.

The decisions stops companies from countries such as France, Germany and Canada — strong allies of the United States through most of the latter half of this century — from trying to land contracts worth $18.6-billion (U.S.).


Comments?  More links?  Anything?

I admit that my news source is rather bias, but I was interested in getting reactions quickly...

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#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 11:11 AM

Quote

Companies in anti-war countries barred

Quote

but I was interested in getting reactions quickly

Here's one:

Good.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 10 December 2003 - 11:11 AM.

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#3 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 11:13 AM

Here's a slower reaction:

If it costs a few extra bucks and it's a choice between France and England? England wins every time.

The coalition countries stepped out on a limb for US interests, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with giving them preferential treatment.

It also gives a substantial bargaining tool; if countries want in on the contracts, they can join the coalition and provide material support.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#4 G1223

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:10 PM

Wow you mean France who mishandled the oil for weapons..I mean oil for food program is being barred from getting their hands into the new ogvernment? Gee what a pity. Russia the suppliers of IR goggle to the Iraq has also been barred. That just breaks my heart. That is my reaction.

Now as to thinking about it. France was supplied a number of questionable items to theIraq government in the past  has been barred. That might be prudent.
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#5 FlatlandDan

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:11 PM

So what you are saying is that you support private individuals not being able to bid on a contract because they live in a nation that didn't support the war? I'm not talking about crown corperations (I can understand them being barred, on some levels), but about companies who deal with international contracts.

:suspect:

Also, is there any presidence for this?  I'm just wondering if this is a common thing these days...

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#6 G1223

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:17 PM

Dan outside of Bill Gates and the Russian who is in Jail (his name I cann't remember) are the only inviduals who could bid on these contracts in the first place.
Youare talking corporations not invidual people.
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#7 FlatlandDan

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:21 PM

Perhaps if you read the entire post G, you would realise that I speak of entities that are not crown corperations.  These would be owned by PEOPLE.

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#8 Godeskian

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:26 PM

Seems petty

I mean, it's not as if regular companies can alter their goverments stance on the war.

England proved that much

I mean, you aren't actually punishing the goverments that opposed you, but taking it out on the citizenry who are CEO's, who frankly, in most nations in the western hemisphere, have as little ability to influence the goverment as the people in Iraq did.

edited to add: I am too referring to companies that are not owned or controlled by the goverments in question.

Edited by Godeskian, 10 December 2003 - 12:28 PM.

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#9 G1223

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:29 PM

I did Dan. I took Indviduals to be single people. If you had said What about multinational Corportaions that have HQ's in France being barred I would taken it  another way.

Symantics aside France took a deliberate stand against the US it is paying the price. Or is there to be not fallout for supporting Saddam?
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#10 FlatlandDan

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:32 PM

^^^

Would this be a good time to point out who supported both Osama and Saddam?

I didn't think so.

-Dan

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But oh, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light."
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#11 Atavus

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:33 PM

Personally, I think it's a bad idea. Why should an individual be punished for something his government did, one that he possibly didn't even elect. In Germany for example, Chancellor Schröder only narrowly won the election, so it's very possible that the Pentagon is punishing people/workers who voted for the CDU, a party which supported the war.

I can also understand preferring coalition country workforce, but completely barring non-coalition countries seems a bit extreme.
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#12 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 12:53 PM

FlatlandDan, on Dec 10 2003, 10:11 AM, said:

So what you are saying is that you support private individuals not being able to bid on a contract because they live in a nation that didn't support the war? I'm not talking about crown corperations (I can understand them being barred, on some levels), but about companies who deal with international contracts.

:suspect:
Yes, because it's not just the corporation; the dollars (via taxes, wages, reinvestment, etc.) go to a country as a whole.

This money will eventually flow and find itself mostly in the economy of the country the corporation reperesents... which means the choice may be between ultimately helping France or helping England. I don't think that's a hard choice.

A lot of these countrie's leaders put their reputation and populace on the line for Bush; this is a minor payback, and it still doesn't make up for their losses.

Quote

Why should an individual be punished for something his government did, one that he possibly didn't even elect.

We do that all the time, though. Tarrifs are allowed, and those hurt everybody outside a particular country. Embargos and sanctions are another recognized tactic, and those ultimately hurt the people for the actions of their government. Even the UN puts entire nations on watch lists-- up to and including trade sanctions-- for the actions of their government. Iraq itself is an example of this. Until recently, so was Libya.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#13 jon3831

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:00 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Dec 10 2003, 09:53 AM, said:

Yes, because it's not just the corporation; the dollars (via taxes, wages, reinvestment, etc.) go to a country as a whole.

This money will eventually flow and find itself mostly in the economy of the country the corporation reperesents... which means the choice may be between ultimately helping France or helping England. I don't think that's a hard choice.

A lot of these countrie's leaders put their reputation and populace on the line for Bush; this is a minor payback, and it still doesn't make up for their losses.
Bingo.

Nailed it in one.

Also:

Quote

However, countries that did not sent troops would be eligible for subcontracting work in Iraq.

Read: France, Germany and Canada can still get in, but they're not going to hold the prime contracts. Which is how it should be.
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#14 Uncle Sid

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:25 PM

It's interesting that, with all the people who like to point out Cheney's connections to Halliburton, that no one has the similar idea that corporations and businesses can affect another nation's political decisions.  I mean isn't this the basis of "evil corporate America" when it comes to looking at contributions and pressure groups?  

News flash, the only difference between US companies and foreign companies is certain, relatively miniscule facets of corporate culture that generally only end up affecting the people who work specifically for the organization.  For the most part a corporation is a corporation.  I know this very well because I have distinct memories of one of my jobs where my weekly staff meeting with my manager consisted of our team dialing up first London and then later on Paris.  In the end, there is little difference.  There are really big companies, especially in the EU, that have a huge amount of political clout and they use it.  Yet right now, the only corps that I have to listen to being called eeevvvvil, are US corps.  That's BS.

The fact is that the opportunities that exist in Iraq, such as they are, were opened by US, UK and some others taking this upon themselves.  Countries that decided to oppose our actions for quite definite economic and political reasons have no right to demand that their economies profit from this in equal share.  Not having an equal access to these new Iraqi opportunities isn't taking away business from these other corporations in places like France, it's just not giving them priority where their country didn't make any investment.  Is that wrong?  Certainly not.  

Its tough bananas for those companies that perhaps didn't oppose Coalition actions, but that's the way it goes.  Last time I checked, France was a democracy and Germany was too.  They don't like what stand their leaders took, then they can get new ones.  Chances are, though, that Chirac and Schroeder were reading opinion polls before all major decisions and so in the end, they did make the decisions that their people actually wanted.  France and Germany made a power play to try and to restrain the US for their own reasons, and it failed.  Now they're just paying the piper.  I have little sympathy for their whining afterwards.
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#15 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:46 PM

:cool: Jon.

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Uncle Sid: It's interesting that, with all the people who like to point out Cheney's connections to Halliburton, that no one has the similar idea that corporations and businesses can affect another nation's political decisions. I mean isn't this the basis of "evil corporate America" when it comes to looking at contributions and pressure groups?

That's an excellent point.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#16 Godeskian

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:48 PM

Uncle Sid, on Dec 10 2003, 07:25 PM, said:

Last time I checked, France was a democracy and Germany was too.  They don't like what stand their leaders took, then they can get new ones.
b*llsh*t

A company in Germany that was pro-US had no more power to impeach and replace Schroeder as the anti-war coalition movement in the UK had to remove Blair and put in a more pliant person

Democracy, as cute a concept as it might be doesn't work like that, and it's disenginious to suggest it does.

Edited by Godeskian, 10 December 2003 - 01:48 PM.

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#17 ZipperInt

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:50 PM

At first I thought it was a little petty of the US to take this action, but the more I think about it, they are definitely in the right to bar these countries from contract bids. Any country that didn't support the US during the Iraq war shouldn't expect to benefit from it after the dust has (kind of) cleared - the leaders of these countries made their decisions and now have to pay the consequences.

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#18 Uncle Sid

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 02:10 PM

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A company in Germany that was pro-US had no more power to impeach and replace Schroeder as the anti-war coalition movement in the UK had to remove Blair and put in a more pliant person

Heh, I wish you'd tell that to the people in the US who think that our politicians dance on little strings pulled by corporations.  


Quote

Democracy, as cute a concept as it might be doesn't work like that, and it's disenginious to suggest it does.

You're looking at this far, far too narrowly.  For one thing, I'm not talking about impeachment or anything of that sort.  Indeed, that's ridiculous.  However, even Bush is moved by opinion polls and research.   More to the point, the legislators who support him are up for re-election every two years and campaign contribution checks come through all the time, one way or another.  There are very distinct ways to send a message even to a head of government if you are a business.

Perhaps it's trite to say that they can just get another leader, although in the long run, they can.  However, the bigger point is that the reason Chirac, et al. were able to make these moves is that they already had the backing of public opinion.  If there was a shift of even a relatively small minority, however, Chirac may not become unelected, but his actions might have been curtailed enough to have the US at the very least, not look unfavorably on French contracts, for instance.  I am certain that mere lukewarm neutrality on France's would have avoided this issue, as in the scheme of things, while they did not support the US directly, they are still strategic allies.  

Yes, the anti-war people couldn't throw out Blair, but they certainly had an effect on Blair's position of trying to restrain what was viewed to be some unilaterial facets of the Bush administration's foreign policy.  Any sort of concerted repudiation of the Chirac position from inside of France would have had an effect.  So while it is possible on an individual level to commiserate with French businesses, as a whole they didn't do anything at all to prevent this.

Edited by Uncle Sid, 10 December 2003 - 02:12 PM.

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#19 Godeskian

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 02:28 PM

Quote

Heh, I wish you'd tell that to the people in the US who think that our politicians dance on little strings pulled by corporations. 

chuckle, I wish i could live that long to tell not just the Americans but the Europeans I know who feel the same way.

Quote

Yes, the anti-war people couldn't throw out Blair, but they certainly had an effect on Blair's position of trying to restrain what was viewed to be some unilaterial facets of the Bush administration's foreign policy.  Any sort of concerted repudiation of the Chirac position from inside of France would have had an effect.  So while it is possible on an individual level to commiserate with French businesses, as a whole they didn't do anything at all to prevent this.

possibly, but a the same time the opinion polls conducted in the UK were almost evenly divided between pro- and Con folk, and Blair ignored them. Members of his own party objected, some even resigning, and he ignored them.

I'm not as familiar with French efforts during the leadup, but as far as the Uk was concerned, Blair did appear to ignore everyone in favor of going to war.

: Shrug : Maybe I am looking at this too narrowly, but i have no faith whatsoever left in the UK goverment. even with half of the population against some decisions, they push through with them. Why should I assume that if it happens for relatively unimportant things, it won't happen for important decisions.

While I imagine major business could affect a change over the long term, it's not as if they actually have any true power in UK goverment, at least not over the kind of time that the leadup to the war in Iraq had.

Maybe it's different in the US

#20 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 02:38 PM

Three cheers on this policy!

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Gode: I mean, you aren't actually punishing the goverments that opposed you, but taking it out on the citizenry who are CEO's, who frankly, in most nations in the western hemisphere, have as little ability to influence the goverment as the people in Iraq did.

Actually those governments are getting punished.  They won’t have that extra revenue flowing into that corporation and then into their economy.  In addition they won’t have that extra revenue to tax.  

Quote

Flatlanddan:
Would this be a good time to point out who supported both Osama and Saddam?

I think it would get pointed out back as a case of look who kicked Saddam out of power when much of Europe supported him remaining in power.  

Quote

Gode: A company in Germany that was pro-US had no more power to impeach and replace Schroeder as the anti-war coalition movement in the UK had to remove Blair and put in a more pliant person

I guess they should have put more funding and work into supporting the opposition then.  The simple fact though is the government of Germany will still benefit from even a contract to a pro US company.
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