LOYALTY….You just have to love George Bush’s sense of gratitude and loyalty. We have a “coalition” fighting a war in Iraq, but when it comes to bidding on post-war reconstruction contracts that coalition suddenly shrinks to….the United States of America:

“In my organization of 350 U.K. major consultancies and construction firms, 84 have expressed a wish to go work in Iraq — and 50 have been there before,” said Colin Adams, chief executive of the British Consultants and Construction Bureau. Given Britain’s support for the war, he said, his members felt they should at least be considered for subcontractor work.

“There’s a feeling that not only is there some moral justice that we ought to be able to bid, but also common sense,” Adams said.

And why aren’t British firms allowed to compete? It gets even worse:

USAID administrator Andrew S. Natsios testified before Congress last week that secrecy was necessary because bidders had to look at “top secret” documents.

So the bottom line is that it’s OK for British soldiers to die on the battlefield along with ours, but their firms can’t be allowed to see top secret documents that we trust American firms to look at.

The Bushies are a real piece of work, aren’t they? I wonder how long before Tony Blair’s patience finally evaporates and he suddenly starts ranting gibberish on one of his his transatlantic chats with his friend W? It’s bound to happen sooner or later.