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Old 03-20-2008, 10:27 AM
Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan is offline
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Quote:
Things to Come
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: March 18, 2003
Of course we'll win on the battlefield, probably with ease. I'm not a military expert, but I can do the numbers: the most recent U.S. military budget was $400 billion, while Iraq spent only $1.4 billion.

What frightens me is the aftermath -- and I'm not just talking about the problems of postwar occupation. I'm worried about what will happen beyond Iraq -- in the world at large, and here at home.

The members of the Bush team don't seem bothered by the enormous ill will they have generated in the rest of the world. They seem to believe that other countries will change their minds once they see cheering Iraqis welcome our troops, or that our bombs will shock and awe the whole world (not just the Iraqis) or that what the world thinks doesn't matter. They're wrong on all counts.

Victory in Iraq won't end the world's distrust of the United States because the Bush administration has made it clear, over and over again, that it doesn't play by the rules. Remember: this administration told Europe to take a hike on global warming, told Russia to take a hike on missile defense, told developing countries to take a hike on trade in lifesaving pharmaceuticals, told Mexico to take a hike on immigration, mortally insulted the Turks and pulled out of the International Criminal Court -- all in just two years.

Nor, as we've just seen, is military power a substitute for trust. Apparently the Bush administration thought it could bully the U.N. Security Council into going along with its plans; it learned otherwise. ''What can the Americans do to us?'' one African official asked. ''Are they going to bomb us? Invade us?''

Meanwhile, consider this: we need $400 billion a year of foreign investment to cover our trade deficit, or the dollar will plunge and our surging budget deficit will become much harder to finance -- and there are already signs that the flow of foreign investment is drying up, just when it seems that America may be about to fight a whole series of wars.

It's a matter of public record that this war with Iraq is largely the brainchild of a group of neoconservative intellectuals, who view it as a pilot project. In August a British official close to the Bush team told Newsweek: ''Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.'' In February 2003, according to Ha'aretz, an Israeli newspaper, Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq the United States would ''deal with'' Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Will Iraq really be the first of many? It seems all too likely -- and not only because the ''Bush doctrine'' seems to call for a series of wars. Regimes that have been targeted, or think they may have been targeted, aren't likely to sit quietly and wait their turn: they're going to arm themselves to the teeth, and perhaps strike first. People who really know what they are talking about have the heebie-jeebies over North Korea's nuclear program, and view war on the Korean peninsula as something that could happen at any moment. And at the rate things are going, it seems we will fight that war, or the war with Iran, or both at once, all by ourselves.

What scares me most, however, is the home front. Look at how this war happened. There is a case for getting tough with Iraq; bear in mind that an exasperated Clinton administration considered a bombing campaign in 1998. But it's not a case that the Bush administration ever made. Instead we got assertions about a nuclear program that turned out to be based on flawed or faked evidence; we got assertions about a link to Al Qaeda that people inside the intelligence services regard as nonsense. Yet those serial embarrassments went almost unreported by our domestic news media. So most Americans have no idea why the rest of the world doesn't trust the Bush administration's motives. And once the shooting starts, the already loud chorus that denounces any criticism as unpatriotic will become deafening.

So now the administration knows that it can make unsubstantiated claims, without paying a price when those claims prove false, and that saber rattling gains it votes and silences opposition. Maybe it will honorably refuse to act on this dangerous knowledge. But I can't help worrying that in domestic politics, as in foreign policy, this war will turn out to have been the shape of things to come.
Via: Krugman's blog on NYT's

I hate when people claim that no one understood the problems that would arise wrt Iraq. Many people knew, they were just shouted down by the angry propagandists that helped sell this disaster. It was patriotic to want an Arab bloodletting. Well, you got it.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:01 AM
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Everybody knew there would be some level of "problems with postwar occupation", which Krugman mentions in half a sentence here. These are a minor part of Krugman's column. His main worry is that his prediction of a "series of wars" has come true? It doesn't look like it from here. The closest we seem to be to a potential war is in Iran, and, contrary to what Krugman thought, it appears that the Europeans are talking at least as much about the idea that military action might be necessary as the Bush administration. And the "loud chorus that denounces any criticism as unpatriotic" did not exist when he wrote this article and does not exist now. Overall, looks like a pretty poor prediction of things to come.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:20 AM
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Standtall Standtall is offline
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I wanted to dissect this piece a bit because it seems to me that what he calls "play by the rules", I would call give in to other countries demands.

Victory in Iraq won't end the world's distrust of the United States because the Bush administration has made it clear, over and over again, that it doesn't play by the rules.

Remember:
this administration told Europe to take a hike on global warming, --> I think this means that they did not sign Kyoto, which I believe was the correct move. Those that did sign it are breaking the rules and those that are not party to it are polluting at record volume. Also, didn't Bill Clinton also not sign it for 8 years? When was it it written?

told Russia to take a hike on missile defense, --> I don't know much about this, but it seems that Russia, who was broke wanted the US to also stop spending money on defense? I give this one a big "Whatever"

told developing countries to take a hike on trade in lifesaving pharmaceuticals, --> No free drugs from the US? I am ok with that as a national policy.

told Mexico to take a hike on immigration, --> If you want to come to the US you need to follow US laws? Well duh.

mortally insulted the Turks --> I don't know what this is about.

pulled out of the International Criminal Court --> I think US soldiers should face US laws. So I am ok with this one too. I don't want to cede legal rights to other countries.


-- all in just two years.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:44 AM
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kolya23 kolya23 is offline
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"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-Hermann Goering, at the Nuremburg Trials
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kolya23 View Post
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-Hermann Goering, at the Nuremburg Trials
Yeah, tell them they are being attacked. That was a hard sell as the thousands died on 9/11.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:46 AM
SamTheEagle SamTheEagle is offline
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Bush = Hitler.

Wow, that didn't take long.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:55 AM
Westley Westley is offline
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Wow, took 2 minutes for kolya to be denounced for his lack of patriotism, almost a new record.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:04 PM
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The Diabolical Biz Markie The Diabolical Biz Markie is offline
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Quote:
Will Iraq really be the first of many? It seems all too likely -- and not only because the ''Bush doctrine'' seems to call for a series of wars. Regimes that have been targeted, or think they may have been targeted, aren't likely to sit quietly and wait their turn: they're going to arm themselves to the teeth, and perhaps strike first. People who really know what they are talking about have the heebie-jeebies over North Korea's nuclear program, and view war on the Korean peninsula as something that could happen at any moment. And at the rate things are going, it seems we will fight that war, or the war with Iran, or both at once, all by ourselves
Great prognostication

It looks like Iraq was, in fact, not the first of many.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:13 PM
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kolya23 kolya23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamTheEagle View Post
Bush = Hitler.

Wow, that didn't take long.
not quite. more like Fox News = Goebbels
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:16 PM
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The Diabolical Biz Markie The Diabolical Biz Markie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Standtall View Post
Yeah, tell them they are being attacked. That was a hard sell as the thousands died on 9/11.
Yes, but convincing them that the innocent peace-loving muslims were responsible was a feat of extraordinary proportions, for which I give my Jewish overlords much credit...OOOPS did I say that out loud?
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“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"--Joe Biden
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