2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > War On Terror

We're only in it for the money

Wolfowitz gets them howling with a ruling on Iraq contracts.

10 December 2003

On the website of the Iraq Program Management Office, Paul Wolfowitz - the US Deputy Secretary of Defense - draws some lines in the sand...

On the one hand, Wolfowitz is keen to stress the rebuilding of Iraq is all about the immediate needs and political future of the Iraqi people:

In awarding the contracts, competition and the responsiveness to the needs of Iraqi people will be emphasized.

On the other hand:

It is necessary for the protection of the essential security interests of the United States to limit competition for the prime contracts of these procurements to companies from the United States, Iraq, Coalition partners, and force contributing nations. Thus it is clearly in the public interest to limit prime contracts to companies from these countries.

Odd that he should bother to give it this gloss. "Necessary"? "Essential"? Mr Wolfowitz doth protest too much. Why is he dressing this up as a "security" issue? He knows, we know, everyone knows this isn't about security.

And when he says of this limitation that it is in the "public interest", does he mean the public interest of the USA or the public interest of Iraq? It's a telling ambiguity. Either way, he glaringly fails to mention the "private interest" - which is what drives this whole ugly business. Does he think we're all twits?

At least he admits that the contracts act as an effective bribe: "The limitation of sources to prime contractors from those countries should encourage the continued cooperation of coalition members." What a self-satisfied little remark. Smirky.

All in all it's quite a self-satisfied document, with that repeated phrase: "prime contracts" - "prime" is such an ugly, lip-smacking word. It's the sort of word you'd normally attach to a plate of plump ribs. When you apply it to a contract to build an electricity substation, it just sounds smug.

The document has caused quite storm. Canada, Germany and the other black-balled nations (including Israel!) are furious at Wolfowitz about the ruling. Although do they honestly think he gives a shit?




Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved