Tuesday, March 25, 2008

US presence in Iraq: Like the Olympics?

My first post in a while! (College work is getting the best of me.) But, that is besides the point.

Recently I was reading the New York Times and came across this article:
Iraq, $5000 a Second? written by Nicholas Kristof.

At one part in the article, Kristof quotes Nobel Prize Winning Economist, Joseph Stiglitz and he states that the Iraq War most definately had a hand in the increased oil prices and the economic downturn. He also says,

Moreover, money spent on Iraq did not stimulate the economy as much as the same dollars spent at home would have done. To cover up these weaknesses in the American economy, the Fed let forth a flood of liquidity; that, together with lax regulations, led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom.

I tend to agree with Stiglitz, while Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs International disagrees with the connection. He says that the money could have been used to elevate the problems in the economy, but that they were not directly linked. This seems proposterous to me!

War and economic downturns seem to go hand in hand. The amount spent on the Iraq War is staggering, topping off at over 500 billion dollars! Does Hormats not remember what happened after World War I? The fact that only shortly after World War I, there was a depression in the economy as many nations were in enormous amounts of debt. It seems rather narrow minded to state that the Iraq War has NOTHING to do with the present situation in the United States now.

Kristof does make a good point near the end of his article when he states that all the money going towards the Iraq War, could be put towards something constructive such as improving healthcare, curing Malaria, etc. etc. The Iraq War spending is fairly useless. The American Government might as well burn $5000 dollars a second! They have made no headway in Iraq, and continue to force the subject. It is almost like they cannot see the forest through the trees.

The last comment that Kristof makes is to remark that the US has started borrowing. That is, many foreign countries hold some part of the cost of the war being waged. This is exactly what Britain had to do in World War II, when it took loans from the United States. Now the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, as the US has become the borrower not the lender.

Until the US government can see past their 'so called' quest to rid this world of terrorism, and focus on the people of their country, the country will continue to faill into the 'black hole' that has become the Iraq War. The Iraq situation is not like the Olympics where you spend a lot of money, and it brings tourism, and attention to your 'city.' There is no justification for the Iraq War, and it is not portraying the United States in a positive way. I say that the United States should stop waging war on their facade of 'creating security,' and focus on more important things like Kristof points out. If they can't even do that, then why not focus on the Olympics, it is one of the only things that the Americans succeed at when they enter it (unlike Iraq and Afghanistan. That is not to say that they were justified to wage war in these areas).


Caledonian Jim said...

The most breathtaking thing about Bush and Blair was the total lack of a post-war strategy other than a vague notion to exploit . In the case of Bush, ignorance might be an excuse but Blair had no such excuse . The UK was well versed in Irqi affairs and history . Even Vietnam had a raison d'etre at first but Iraq did not .

Don said...


May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,