Now Washington bans Russian companies from Iraq - after asking for help in reconstruction Washington, under the regime of george W. Bush, never ceases to amaze the world by shooting itself in the foot.
After inviting the international community to help in the rebuilding of Iraq after having flouted international law with its shocking act of butchery, the illegal invasion of Iraq, and making a mockery of international law by forging documents and inventing lies to create a causus belli, Washington now states that the reconstruction contracts worth 18.6 bn. USD can only be awarded to the countries which supported the invasion.
Washington does not use diplomacy, debate and discussion in pursuing its foreign policy but rather, cajoling, bullying and bribery. "If a country wants to contribute forces to Iraq...they would immediately be eligible for this consideration (i.e. contracts)", stated Pentagon spokesperson Larry Di Rita to the press.
The carrot and stick method of diplomacy might work well in Washington but in the civilised world outside, in the world which follows the norms of international diplomacy and bases its external policy on the proper forums of debate, respecting the UN Charter, such practices and such attitudes are taken as confrontational, belligerent and wholly unacceptable.
While a second batch of contracts worth 13 billion USD are available for countries that did not support the war at an international donors' conference in Madrid, Washington's habit of dividing the international community along the lines of "either you are with us or against us" creates bad feeling because neither Washington, nor any other single state, has the moral or legal right to dictate its terms to the other members of the international community from a position of superiority.
The further request made by Washington to Moscow, that Russia pardon Iraq's 120 bn. USD debt, goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. This absurd plea was met with an adequate reply from Russian defence minister, Sergei Ivanov, who declared that Iraq is not a poor country and "Russia will not pardon the debt".
George W. Bush and his regime are walking steadily into isolation from world public opinion and the international community as a whole. At a time when the world is trying to unite, Washington divides. At a time when the world is trying to find common ground through debate, discussion and dialogue, the basic principles of democracy, Washington turns its back on the UN Security Council, launches a savage attack against a sovereign nation, targeting and destroying civilian infrastructures in a shocking act of butchery, murdering tens of thousands of innocent people in the process.
Now we see Washington's true mettle. After the lying, forgery, deceit and mass murder, we see Halliburton, Richard Cheney's former company, being awarded the petrol transportation contract from Kuwait to Iraq on an exclusive basis for more than twice the price of other competitors. How many other contracts will Halliburton pick up, after the unilateral exclusion by Washington of sovereign members of the international community?
Washington does not have the right to decide what happens in Iraq, just as it did not have the right to attack outside the auspices of the UNSC. Until the crisis management process is handed back to this organization, the actions of Washington in this area have no validity or legal basis whatsoever.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia