Sunday, November 21, 2004

Let's All Be Friends Now

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, left, and his German counterpart Hans Eichel, shake hands during the G20 conference of finance ministers and central bank governors in Berlin on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004. (AP Photo/Stephanie Pilick, pool)
Normally, I do not agree with the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, not do I typically agree with their fiscal policy.  Today, however, I find myself in the doubly peculiar situation of agreeing with both. 

The picture shows our Secretary of the Treasury shaking hands with Hans Eickel.  I'm not sure what the handshake was about, but it occurred after the US and Germany agreed to forgive Iraq of a significant fraction of their international debt.  It is nice to see some altruistic spirit on the part of our leaders.

France is on record as expressing reluctance to go along with the deal, stating that Iraq has oil and "development potential," such that they should be able to repay the debt. 

This was an incredibly shrewd move on the part of Mr. Snow.  Presumably, the move either was prompted by -- or, at least, approved of by -- President Bush.  It shows a remarkable degree of foresight.

Foresight generally is lacking in the current Administration.  This time, I have to give them credit: the really are on top of this one.

After all, it may not be long before the United States of America is unable to repay its international debt; Mr. Snow may very well have to jet around the world, begging for the same kind of deal that was granted to Iraq.  I guess I understand the handshake now.