Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Boom Outside Baghdad

Interesting article today by Amir Taheri.
Newsweek has just hailed the emergence of a booming market economy in Iraq as "the mother of all surprises," noting that "Iraqis are more optimistic about the future than most Americans are." The reason, of course, is that Iraqis know what is going on in their country while Americans are fed a diet of exclusively negative reporting from Iraq.
I've long held the belief that things are better in Iraq than has been reported. About 25% of the country is fully under Iraqi control (including security) and another 55% of the country has Iraqi security forces in the lead. The economy is doing well in those areas and that is taking away incentive to join insurgents (an unemployed man is more likely to be dissatisfied).

Right now Iraq would be the number one issue in any national US election but if things are allowed to progress the way they have for another year and a half - then Presidential hopefuls in 2008 may have to look elsewhere for a cornerstone issue. The one thing that could change that is a widening of the war into Iran or Syria which is exactly why the administration is doing its level best to ignore the acts of war that Iran continues to commit.

In fact if things remain the same - I would look for talking tough on Iran to be a big selling point for the Republican nominee in 2008.

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