The Economist Rips Bush, Neocons on Iraq

Saturday, April 07, 2007 at 09:00 PM

Once a cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq, the U.K.'s The Economist magazine has really changed its mind.

In a special report titled Mugged by reality (an apparent play on the old saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality), the March 22 edition of the magazine offers up this grim assessment excerpted below (emphasis added):

"NEMESIS" was the word The Economist printed on its front cover four years ago, when jubilant Iraqis, aided by American soldiers, hauled down the big statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Firdos Square ... How different it looks four years on. The invasion has been George Bush's nemesis as well as Saddam's. The lightning conquest was followed by a guerrilla and then a civil war. Talk of victory has given way to talk about how to limit a disaster. The debacle has cut short the careers of Donald Rumsfeld and Tony Blair, poisoned the Bush presidency and greatly damaged the Republican Party. More important, it has inflicted fear, misery and death on its intended beneficiaries. "It is hard to imagine any post-war dispensation that could leave Iraqis less free or more miserable than they were under Mr. Hussein," we said four years ago. Our imagination failed. One of the men who took a hammer to Saddam's statue told the world's media this week that although Saddam was like Stalin, the occupation is worse. ...

The Islamic Republic [of Iran] is the big winner from Mr Bush's war. But neither Iran nor any regional power apart from al-Qaeda has an interest in the complete collapse of Iraq. The Iranians in particular worry about what the Americans might do in such a circumstance. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, calls America "a wounded tiger", all the more dangerous for its sudden weakness. Such has been Mr Bush's failure that the autocrats of the Middle East say that they are trying to rescue Iraq from America and America from itself. It really is a debacle.

Too many people in Washington were fixated on proving an ideological point: that America's values were universal and would be digested effortlessly by people a world away. But plonking an American army in the heart of the Arab world was always a gamble. It demanded the highest seriousness and careful planning. Messrs Bush and Rumsfeld chose instead to send less than half the needed soldiers and gave no proper thought to the aftermath.

What a waste. Most Iraqis rejoiced in the toppling of Saddam. They trooped in their millions to vote. What would Iraq be like now if America had approached its perilous, monumentally controversial undertaking with humility, honesty and courage? Thanks to the almost criminal negligence of Mr Bush's administration nobody, now, will ever know.

Complementing the special report is a sidebar captioned "Iraq's own voice," which surveys how 2,000 Iraqis across all 18 provinces felt about various security issues in 2007, and how they felt about the same issues in 2005 or, in some instances, 2004. Among the results:

  • In 2005, 6 percent felt not very safe at all in their neighborhoods; in 2007 that figure rose to 33 percent.
  • In 2005, 65 percent somewhat or strongly opposed the presence of coalition forces in Iraq; in 2007, that figure was 78 percent.
  • In 2004, only 17 percent thought that attacks on coalition forces were acceptable; in 2007 that opinion was shared by a majority -- 51 percent.
  • On the issue of what type of government would be best for Iraq now, support for a democracy fell from 57 percent to 43 percent, while support for an Islamic state rose from 14 percent to 22 percent, and support for a strong leader who would rule for life rose from 26 percent to 34 percent.

Comments

I have to laugh, as PBS reprises the heroic saving of Bosnia from "ethnic cleansing." A horrible civil war, still going on, and which had the "cleansing" take place on both sides; although the Serbs were much better armed, up until Clinton rearmed the Bosnian Muslims.

Of course, Saddam's efforts at genocide were much larger in extent and on two fronts: Kurds and Shiites. Daily rapes by Baathist 'council' members; *special* advisors to Saddam, were also much more egregious than Serbian/Bosnian civil war. But, that makes no difference to the partisan power mongers here in the United States. They can't allow any recognition of, or comparison with, the Democratic efforts to involve us in foreign wars, but must instead revile and defame their successful political opponents, if ever they achieve any hint of victory. They must even subvert any victory by actively attempting to cause failure and retreat; abandonment of our responsibility to others in fostering democracy, individual liberty and freedom from terrorist oppression.

They must post negativism in any and every form to accomplish defeat for the entire USA, in order for their party to profit by this war and its abject failure ...

Active treason, if you were to post a blog asking for such comments.

And the previous comment has what to do with the act that The Economist, once the biggest booster ofinvading Iraq, now considers that invasion and occupation to be a huge blunder?

--Lee Russ

L.R. asks, "And the previous comment has what to do with the act that The Economist, once the biggest booster ofinvading Iraq, now considers that invasion and occupation to be a huge blunder?"

Are you attempting to provide a forum for discussion, or are you only interested in responses which agree with your political efforts in producing this propaganda?

I suspect the latter, because each response from you is personal, and avoids the contentions presented in rebuttal. Of course, the effort of the Economist is to discredit the effort to protect the lives and freedom of over 13 millions of its Iraqi citizens from a vast MINORITY who are trying to rule by force; using human sacrifice to establish Sharia: religious law.

For the Economist, it isn't a matter of sales for their rag, is it? More an editorial choice from fellow defeatists; those who want to profit politically from losing this war ... and their internet stooges who will pick up the story to foster abandoning our allies and millions of Iraqis to the rule of human sacrifice ...

"each response from you is personal"

How is asking for an explanation of your comment "personal?" I did not, and do not, see the relevance of your comment to the original post.

"Of course, the effort of the Economist is to discredit the effort to protect the lives and freedom of over 13 millions of its Iraqi citizens..."

And The Economist would do that why? For circulation? Are you familiar with the magazine? It's viewpoint is strongly pro-globalization, pro-free market, pro what it considers freedom. And it take many an unpopular stance in furtherance of its agenda. I doubt that building circulation has anything to do with its reversal of position on Iraq. If you have any evidence to the contrary, please supply it.

Frankly, I don't see anything in either of your comments that strikes me as an effort to promote discussion. A story about how a prominent conservative magazine now considers Iraq a debacle draws a reference to PBS and Bosnia--???

My request for clarification draws a comment accusing me of getting personal and not wanting a discussion, along with a recitation of Saddam's evils. I fail to see how the severity of Saddam's violence, etc., has anything to do with whether things in Iraq are now a debacle. If you can explain the relevance, please do.

Lee says, "And The Economist would do that why? For circulation? Are you familiar with the magazine? It's viewpoint is strongly pro-globalization, pro-free market, pro what it considers freedom."

I think that their editorial policy changes to reflect the customer base they consider their own. They do so by "polling" that base and determining from averaging and analysis of the watered down opinion what the sense of the public is, hopefully. It fosters and supports "progressiveness." What a surprise, eh?

"Frankly, I don't see anything in either of your comments that strikes me as an effort to promote discussion. A story about how a prominent conservative magazine now considers Iraq a debacle draws a reference to PBS and Bosnia--???"

Your effort is to politicize and criticize the conduct of US military operations; while attempting to promote retreat and abandonment of Iraq. My rebuttal can certainly notice the hypocrisy of Democratics who try to subvert the success of Republican presidents in trying to protect US security and help millions of Iraqis gain freedom from Islamic fundamentalist use of human sacrifice to gain political power.

You are apparently unable to rebut on point, so you direct your comments to personal criticisms ... and which are obvious to any objective observer!

"My request for clarification draws a comment accusing me of getting personal and not wanting a discussion, along with a recitation of Saddam's evils. I fail to see how the severity of Saddam's violence, etc., has anything to do with whether things in Iraq are now a debacle. If you can explain the relevance, please do."

Okay. Your use of the word "debacle" leads the inference that Iraq has become a failure, and along with your use of cut&paste emotionalism from a "progressive" foreign publication. However, that use of a negative adjective reveals your desire to follow through on the Democratic effort to force a retreat from Iraq and a consequent abandonment of its population to the whims of those who practice human sacrifice and prove that political power issues from the barrel of a gun, or large IED.

You are actively trying to destroy the will to fight such acts and actions on the part of neolithic, cement-for-brains religious fanatics who want to establish their religious law, worldwide.

Of course, that is just the consequences of your freedom of speech, and you can avoid responsibility for subversion and tacit treason by pretending that your attempts to profit politically from losing this war is actually "patriotism." Of course, it is "patriotism" to only Democratics, and doesn't include any Republican fascist, evil, warmongering, murdering, and mean-spitited Republicans, Bushs, Limbaughs, Hannities ...

... them you want to shut-up, muzzle, ban, boycott like Hillary and all the fellow hypocrites have done to Fox News, while Pelosi scurries to meet with a terrorist suporting Syria, and yearns for an invitation from Iran and their idiot despot!

Talk with terrorists and turn your Democratic noses up at fellow Americans ... that's the People's Progressive Democratic Party ... uber alles ...

" them you want to shut-up, muzzle, ban, boycott like Hillary and all the fellow hypocrites have done to Fox News, while Pelosi scurries to meet with a terrorist suporting Syria, and yearns for an invitation from Iran and their idiot despot!

Talk with terrorists and turn your Democratic noses up at fellow Americans ... that's the People's Progressive Democratic Party ... uber alles ..."


I think that pretty much demonstrates "Visitor's" reasonableness and desire for a discussion. All vitriol all the time, all insult all the time, while claiming to be insulted by the vitriol of others and wondering why no one wants to "discuss" the issue.

Uber alles, indeed.

The Economist as a "progrssive" publication." That's interesting. Progressive compared to what? Uber alles?

Lee responds, "I think that pretty much demonstrates "Visitor's" reasonableness and desire for a discussion. All vitriol all the time, all insult all the time, while claiming to be insulted by the vitriol of others and wondering why no one wants to "discuss" the issue."

I don't 'claim' to being insulted, because I am not insulted by the comments. However, it is justified to notice that the putative insults aren't presumed from previous commentary and, or is their characterization(s) supported; merely assumed. That is not debate, and whereas supported characterizations and conclusions are acceptable in debate; however insulting those results in commentary might be. I've done formal debate, so your I'm-rubber-you're-glue effort to mimic PeeWee is specious and inane, although very well imitated.

"Uber alles, indeed."

I have to laugh! The Leftist blogs have called the rightwing "nazis" in one way or another since the 2000 election, but get their nappies in a bunch when replied to in kind.

"The Economist as a "progrssive" publication." That's interesting. Progressive compared to what? Uber alles?"

The socialist movement of the NAZI was considered "progressive" by them, of that there is no doubt. And as for the "Economist," I wonder if you know the answer to your own, previous, question?

Maybe this will 'remind' you? According to its contents page, the aim of The Economist is "to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress."

However, what is 'progress?' Is it progress to undermine the will to resist terrorism? Is economic security and progress helped or hindered were Iraq to devolve into tyrannical, jihadist rule? Would Iraq's neighbors be encouraged in their strategic economic future by having ... say ... an Iranian controlled Shiite warlord dictating Iraq's relationships; local and international?

Of course, and once again just my opinion, but to me that isn't a suitable editorial attitude which promotes 'progress.' It seems more like reducing the present chance for democracy and replacing it with, at best, a theocracy equivalent to the philosophy of the Inquisition and which enforces its laws with barbarism. It seems more like cowering in fear from the horrors of human sacrifice and the 'magic' that entails. A 'magic' which forces them to criticize those fighting the use of human sacrifice to advance secular power in Iraq and change-their-minds about the correctness of that endeavor.

Their idea of 'progress' is now retreat, and along with their ilk here in the United States. Of course, here in the US, the 'ilk' are actually working towards a victory, if they can force a loss in Iraq. Republicans will then be made responsible for the failure, and Democrats will win by subverting our will to resist those who wish our genocide and the genocide of our allies ...

Syria will rejoice and invite Nancy back to discuss her reward, and the reward for the Democrats. If the Baathists regain control in Iraq, she might even become the wealthiest woman in the world, but even if Iran establishes hegemony, she will have helped World Jihad immeasurably, along with her party.

Allah Ahkbar