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New translation, the Magna Carta

the oppressed do not owe the debts of the oppressor

Four GoldenYak(tm) award 4yaks—recommended reading.

“Before the recent war in Iraq began, Iraqi exiles expressed their hopes for a democratic post-Saddam Iraq, including their hopes for the disposition of Saddam's debts. These Iraqis wanted the future administration of Iraq to review the debts accumulated under Saddam's regime, to pay back those loans that were used for benign purposes, and to repudiate those that were used for objectionable purposes.

“Their argument rang true to those who understood the inherent moral position of their case. How offensive it would be to Iraqis to be forced to repay the French, the Russians, and others who had helped Saddam oppress them. The Iraqi argument also captured the attention of governments and the press, particularly as the west learned that the Iraqi approach has a basis in law - it reflects a 100-year-old legal principle that has come to be known as the Doctrine of Odious Debts.

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