No Blood, No Pork


From the Associated Press:

Washington ? The Pentagon has formally barred companies from countries opposed to the Iraq war from bidding on $18.6-billion (U.S.) worth of reconstruction contracts.

A directive from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz limits bidders on those 26 contracts to firms from the United States, Iraq, their coalition partners and other countries which have sent troops to Iraq.

While theoretically satisfying, this is stupid for at least three reasons: 1) It screws over the Iraqi people and the American taxpayer, by making them pay above-market prices for reconstruction. 2) Assuming that it is remotely possible that the United States might some day be wrong about something it cares about, the ban incentivizes allies to swallow any potentially legitimate objections to American action, thereby stunting the flow of information. 3) It confuses companies with countries, which is a concept that should make true free traders wince.