Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Ireland & Iraq

Stella Marie believes that the US is "probably a bit more saavy than given credit for, recognizes Ireland's fence sitting and leaves them out of the approved contract list for rebuilding Iraq". I'm sure she's deliberately understating that. To many people in Ireland the "Bush is a moron" idea of the US administration is not a subject of debate.

However, I suspect that what really happened is that the US was willing to do whatever the Irish government wanted on this issue. There are probably no Irish companies of sufficient size to bid on this work (or would want to), but by being left off the list it allows Ahern to be on the good side of France/Germany. In fact, having allowed the US to do what it wanted at Shannon and now by being on the good side of F & G Ireland is well placed to play that "bridge" role that Brian Cowen talked about for the EU Presidency.