Monday, April 27, 2009

Iraq Wants Us To Leave? OK.

I am just looking over this article where Iraq is now dictating where and when US troops are to intervene. You know what that sound like to me? It sounds like they think they are ready to stand on their own. So forget “pulling back” get out. Save the money.

"The general position of the Iraq Defense Ministry is to keep the timings in the withdrawal pact that American troops withdraw from Iraqi cities and not enter the cities unless they get Iraqi approval," al-Askari said.

Send them an apology for the ruthless ignorance of our former administration. Now it is time for them to take their own destiny into their own hands. Pack up our shit, and move out. It really is that easy.

There is a joke I heard once about the NY giants. The Giants were threatening to move at the end of a particularly bad season. It seemed that the move was eminent. The NYer’s were pissed off. They wanted them to move right then.

Whatever is going to happen in Iraq is going to happen whether we are there or not now. Our economy is tanking, and every cent we need to fix our own problems. (and yes, don’t buy into the occasional hype I have seen briefly over the last few weeks that things are looking up.) We have other national security issues to deal with in Pakistan especially. It might be time for use to commandeer their nuclear arsenal until they can prove that their government is on stable ground.

But really, at the point Iraq are delivering us ultimatums, it is time to say, “Here you go”. As a prediction, I believe that it will most certainly succeed for up to 3 years, then fall into chaos, and by the middle of the next decade we will see a ruler there that will make Saddam look like a choir boy. Then again, I made that assertion the moment I heard the congress give the president the capabilities to go there in the first place.

As a final note, we really can’t afford to have these soldiers come back to this economy and be unemployed, but there is plenty of rational work to be done elsewhere. Even if it is just Mexico.

1 comment:

AnarchyJack said...

Welcome back, Dwight,

I'm not sure why we're still in Iraq. No one inside Iraq asked us to come. Not that they minded having Saddam Hussein forcibly removed; it was the root planing that hurts your jaw for about a day until you realize how good it feels not to have the calculus irritating your gums. Good times. The heroes of the Sunni Awakening are now running from both Al Qaeda and the Iraqi government, sleeping in ditches by day and traveling under cover of darkness at night. It sounds like the plot to a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western: the terrorists on one side, the fragile Iraqi government on the other and the Sunni militant in the middle? Uh-n, too dangerous.

I was never a fan of us being in Iraq in the first place. Frankly, it never made any sense, other than the cronyistic nature of the no-bid contracts that were going to Blackwater, Halliburton and the like; it was Bush and Cheney's own little Keynesian economic project, which kept the economy from collapsing until . . . well, until it collapsed in spite all the government investment in the private sector.

I don't suppose it had anything to do with the fact that many of the corporations that have profited from the war in Iraq have been outsourcing a sizable portion of their production overseas--a strategy which takes government dollars from our economy and filters it through corporate coffers into reduced payrolls in developing nations, so payroll turnover is spent there, instead of here. Frankly, the the only way they could keep it going here was to convince the Wal-Mart employee that s/he could afford (and deserved) a split-level, five bedroom/three bath house with a Hummer, an Escalade and a pair of snowmobiles/motorcycles in their three car garage.

The problem with the kind of market correction that we're going through (which is exactly what this is: in what universe is a cramped, two bedroom, one bath in East LA worth $600,000?) is, how do you stimulate lending when the prime rate is already hovering around zero and most of the potential borrowers are leveraged to the point that they couldn't borrow their best friend's lawnmower?

And capital? What capital? It's all borrowed money--every dime. Remember the good old days when savings accounts would yield 4.1% per annum? It was 3-7 per cent less than inflation, but at least capital was something other than a promissory note. People had savings accounts because they could earn money on them and banks had capital because they didn't expect savings account holders to give their money away.

The solution isn't hard to grasp, but it'll be painful for years to come, because inflation--as bad as it's been--will skyrocket. In order to attract savers, the fed will have to raise the prime rate so that interest rates will pay a reasonable return on savings. All of this will take time and it will cost more just to live than ever before. But when you're in a hole, you have to, at some point, stop digging, even when you're halfway to China and you forgot to bring your trusty ladder. The one thing we have going for us is how many of us wound up in the hole together. It is that "hole unity" shared by all Chrysler employees that made it possible for the company to survive: the Union is buying controlling interest of the automaker--not something GM employees could ever dream of doing, even if 21,000 of them weren't losing their jobs.

I guess there are some advantages in being small enough to fail, after all.

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