Tuesday, February 18
$26 billion Bribe for Turkey's Support, February 16, 2003

Along with selling out the Kurds, Bush is offering Turkey $6 billion in direct grants and $20 billion in loan guarantees to get that country's backing for war.

Let's be clear what this means-- almost all international support for Bush is probably based on either threats of economic retaliation or promises of help in the future, one reason Bush's support is so concentrated in former East Bloc countries like Bulgaria desperate for foreign aid.

What's so telling is that despite Bush's corruption of foreign aid programs in support of his war aims, he still can't assemble any serious support for his argument beyond Britain's Tony Blair.

Let's just refer to Bush's global support as the Coalition of the Bribed.

Update: Give Turkey credit. They are at least being smart enough to take advantage of their leverage, given Bush's desperate need for support, to demand a decent bribe for their support. The Turkish government has delayed a vote by their parliament until Bush ponies up more money.

If Turkey decides that a promise from Bush is not enough, but demand that Bush push the aid through Congress first, that could confront the White House with a situation they desperately want to avoid-- essentially a new vote in Congress to directly authorize war with Iraq, including part of the looming price tag that his foreign aid promises, the war itself, and occupation will burden the US budget with.

Posted by Nathan at February 16, 2003 10:02 AM
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