Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today's Infamous Anniversary

6 years ago tonight we went to war in Iraq. Editor & Publisher's Greg Mitchell marks the anniversary with a reminder of how right a progressive and one of the few critics in the media was on that night a half-dozen years ago:
In his regular [NY Times] column, [Paul Krugman] hit nearly every nail on the head in predicting what would follow. Yet consider the scorn he has had to endure from so many in the years since, who got it nearly 100% wrong.

Here are some brief excerpts.

"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."


"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 ... nor, as we've just seen, is military power a substitute for trust ...

"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" ....

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.
I remember that I was at home in bed recuperating from a ghastly injury six years ago, and my generally depressed mood considering my personal circumstances made me a resigned realist about the powers and their wars for oil. I couldn't hear guys like Paul Krugman at the time for the din of sabers rattling to march off to the desert. I appreciate Greg Mitchell calling them to mind on this anniversary, especially now that the chickens are coming home to roost with the global economic downturn.

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