In the car just a minute ago, I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about the issue of denying Iraq contracts to companies from countries that did not support the US position on invading. He said, “They have engaged in no behavior that deserves to be rewarded.”
To you and me, the issue of contracts to rebuild Iraq would seem to involve diplomatic relations, preservation of our relationships with Europe and the rest of the world, international law, logic, fairness, competitive bidding, and especially “common sense” — that further pissing off our allies does us no good, and in fact endangers us because these countries may not be there for us when we really DO need them because of some REAL threat we might someday face.
This is an excellent opportunity to encourage people to read George Lakoff’s book Moral Politics! From this book you will gain understanding of how the right-wing mind works. Lakoff shows how, for the Right, this is a moral issue. All arguments of logic, fairness, or anything else, pale in comparison to the moral issue of rewarding what they regard as bad behavior! This is the Right’s version of “common sense.” It doesn’t matter what the future consequences of breaking with decades of international relationships might bring. In fact, the concept of international law itself is objectionable to the Right because it leads to situations where we violate the Right’s moral values.
Update – Richard, in the comments, makes a VERY GOOD point! Rush is saying here that the contracts are being used as REWARDS for behavior. So what behavior is Halliburton being rewarded for?!! Very good question.