Sunday, October 26, 2003

The price of unilateralism

The Madrid donor's conferance for Iraq has come up short, with most of the money being in the form of loans rather than grants. This is hardly surprising - after all, the US has decided to loan money rather than grant it, so they can hardly expect anyone else to freely hand over money when they're unwilling to do so.

Also unsurprising is the overall lack of international support for reconstruction. $5 billion of the total came from Japan, and another $5 billion from the IMF and World Bank. Britain, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have made sizable contributions, but other wealthy nations (such as France, Germany and Canada) are reluctant to fund the reconstruction effort while the US is still in charge. And of course, nobody is contributing any troops.

This is the price of unilateralism. Having gone to war against the will of the international community, Bush is now finding that he is going to have to clean up his own mess. Unfortunately, it seems likely that it will be US soldiers and taxpayers, rather than Bush and his cronies, who will be paying the true price.