February 9, 2003

PERSONAL DEBT VS. PUBLIC:

The Rat That Roared: Jacques Chirac has a lot of Gaul. (CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, February 8, 2003, Wall Street Journal)
We are all aware of the fact that French companies and the French state are owed immense sums of money by Saddam Hussein. We all very much hope that no private gifts to any French political figures have been made by the Iraqi Baath Party, even though such scruple on either side would be anomalous to say the very least. Is it possible that there is any more to it than that? The future government in Baghdad may very well not consider itself responsible for paying Saddam's debts.

It is intolerable that democratic successors to a fascistic cult of personality be held responsible for the debts of the old regime. If the people of a nation had no say about incurring the debt, how can they be held liable for it? Let the French go begging and let's see how eager they are to assist other totalitarians. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2003 7:30 AM
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