Buying time with other people’s money

GIS* statement by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

   The leaders of the G7, an informal bloc of industrialized democracies consisting of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, met last week in Ise-Shima, Japan. In their joint declaration, the seven heads of government, among other things, confirmed their commitment to Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity, pledging $3.6 billion to this task.

   For those who have been paying attention, it is already clear that the decision to create Iraq – taken by Britain and France after the Ottoman Empire collapsed – was a disaster. An artificial nation state was imposed on diverse ethnic and religious groups.

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   It is equally obvious that democracy cannot function in a multiethnic state – no matter how much the U.S. tried after the fall of Saddam Hussein – if the strongest ethnic group dominates the central government.

   The solution should have been either a far-reaching federalization or the dissolution of the country into new nation states. The G7’s decision shows that it is still committed to a failed structure and determined to prolong Iraq’s agony with money.

   Also meeting last week were the European Union finance ministers in Brussels. This time the recipient was Greece, which got 10.3 billion euros in bailout money.

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