Juan Cole reminds us of some of the things the nations we cut out of the Iraq pie have done for us:
It transpires that the Pentagon order denying Iraq reconstruction contracts to France, Germany, Russia and Canada was issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. It created enormous anger in the US allies of NATO. They feel that they have been putting themselves out there for the US, and are now being screwed over. Germany has been spending extra money and military resources on guarding the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa from al-Qaeda incursions. Germany, France and Canada all have troops in Afghanistan risking their lives for the US (al-Qaeda has not blown up any tall buildings in Toronto). Even outside NATO, Russia acquiesced in letting the US move into Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, traditional Russian/Soviet spheres of influence, for its war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
We’re also asking them to forgive Iraq’s foreign debt. So we’ve gotten favors from them in the past, and we’re asking them for big favors down the road, but we’re still acting like petulant children.