"The decision to bar war opponents like France, Russia and Germany from the contracts generated outrage in Europe and triggered new transatlantic tensions.
The timing of the announcement created a new challenge for Bush, coming as he prepared to send former Secretary of State James Baker to France, Germany and Russia as well as Italy and Britain to seek debt restructuring for Iraq. "
Did it occur to them that Bush's refusal to allow "old Europe" in on the Iraqi reconstruction gold rush could be an effective negotiating ploy for the debt reduction effort? No contracts for you, but we'll consider it if you forgive Saddam's existing balance. Maybe.