Friday, April 30, 2004

Paul Krugman - Reality in Iraq

For those of you who don't know Paul Krugman, he is one of the clearest thinkers and writers on the left side of the political spectrum today. As a Princeton Economics Professor, he was originally pegged by the NY Times to write opinion columns about economic and monetary issues. However, since The Times hired him, he has refused to keep his expressed opinions within those narrow boundaries. As we all know, economics and politics are inextricably linked. In any case, Krugman raises the hackles of the RNC with almost everything he prints. Here are some exerpts from todays column.

"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." That's from George Orwell's 1946 essay "In Front of Your Nose." It seems especially relevant right now, as we survey the wreckage of America's Iraq adventure.


All the information I've been able to get my hands on indicates that the security situation in Iraq is really, really bad. It's not a good sign when, a year into an occupation, the occupying army sends for more tanks. Western civilians have retreated to armed enclaves. U.S. forces are strong enough to defend those enclaves, and probably strong enough to keep essential supplies flowing. But we don't have remotely enough troops to turn the vicious circle around.


But bear in mind that right now the U.S. is still planning to hand over "sovereignty" to a body, yet to be named, that will have hardly any power at all. For practical purposes, the U.S. ambassador will be running the country. Americans may believe that everything will change on June 30, but Iraqis are unlikely to be fooled. And by the way, much of the Arab world believes that we've been committing war crimes in Falluja."