As Steven Taylor noted yesterday, President Bush has appointed James Baker to deal with Iraq’s debt. Sean Hackbarth wonders why Iraq should have to pay debts incurred by Saddam at all. This is a good question indeed. As I noted a couple months ago, loans to Saddam could very well be considered odious debt.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Perhaps the US should push (in the UN, at the G8, and elsewhere) to relieve the Iraqi people of all debts incurred by Saddam which involved the purchase of weapons or the construction of his palaces, which cannot reasonably be considered “public works.” I’d love to see the French and Russians squirm when US negotiators say that the people who were persecuted by Saddam’s weapons and lived in the shadow of his monuments shouldn’t have to pay for their implements of torture or symbols of their oppression.