Friday, September 14, 2007

A Surge, and Then a Stab

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: September 14, 2007

To understand what’s really happening in Iraq, follow the oil money, which already knows that the surge has failed.


Back in January, announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq, President Bush declared that “America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.”

Near the top of his list was the promise that “to give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.”

There was a reason he placed such importance on oil: oil is pretty much the only thing Iraq has going for it. Two-thirds of Iraq’s G.D.P. and almost all its government revenue come from the oil sector. Without an agreed system for sharing oil revenues, there is no Iraq, just a collection of armed gangs fighting for control of resources.

Well, the legislation Mr. Bush promised never materialized, and on Wednesday attempts to arrive at a compromise oil law collapsed.

What’s particularly revealing is the cause of the breakdown. Last month the provincial government in Kurdistan, defying the central government, passed its own oil law; last week a Kurdish Web site announced that the provincial government had signed a production-sharing deal with the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas, and that seems to have been the last straw.

Now here’s the thing: Ray L. Hunt, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, is a close political ally of Mr. Bush. More than that, Mr. Hunt is a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a key oversight body.

Some commentators have expressed surprise at the fact that a businessman with very close ties to the White House is undermining U.S. policy. But that isn’t all that surprising, given this administration’s history. Remember, Halliburton was still signing business deals with Iran years after Mr. Bush declared Iran a member of the “axis of evil.”


No, what’s interesting about this deal is the fact that Mr. Hunt, thanks to his policy position, is presumably as well-informed about the actual state of affairs in Iraq as anyone in the business world can be. By putting his money into a deal with the Kurds, despite Baghdad’s disapproval, he’s essentially betting that the Iraqi government — which hasn’t met a single one of the major benchmarks Mr. Bush laid out in January — won’t get its act together. Indeed, he’s effectively betting against the survival of Iraq as a nation in any meaningful sense of the term.

The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. And I suspect that most people in the Bush administration — maybe even Mr. Bush himself — know this, too.

After all, if the administration had any real hope of retrieving the situation in Iraq, officials would be making an all-out effort to get the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to start delivering on some of those benchmarks, perhaps using the threat that Congress would cut off funds otherwise. Instead, the Bushies are making excuses, minimizing Iraqi failures, moving goal posts and, in general, giving the Maliki government no incentive to do anything differently.

And for that matter, if the administration had any real intention of turning public opinion around, as opposed to merely shoring up the base enough to keep Republican members of Congress on board, it would have sent Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, to as many news media outlets as possible — not granted an exclusive appearance to Fox News on Monday night.

All in all, Mr. Bush’s actions have not been those of a leader seriously trying to win a war. They have, however, been what you’d expect from a man whose plan is to keep up appearances for the next 16 months, never mind the cost in lives and money, then shift the blame for failure onto his successor.

In fact, that’s my interpretation of something that startled many people: Mr. Bush’s decision last month, after spending years denying that the Iraq war had anything in common with Vietnam, to suddenly embrace the parallel.

Here’s how I see it: At this point, Mr. Bush is looking forward to replaying the political aftermath of Vietnam, in which the right wing eventually achieved a rewriting of history that would have made George Orwell proud, convincing millions of Americans that our soldiers had victory in their grasp but were stabbed in the back by the peaceniks back home.

What all this means is that the next president, even as he or she tries to extricate us from Iraq — and prevent the country’s breakup from turning into a regional war — will have to deal with constant sniping from the people who lied us into an unnecessary war, then lost the war they started, but will never, ever, take responsibility for their failures.


9 comments:

Jon said...

Krugman is absolutely right. The last paragraph sums up exactly what will happen. However, as much as the Bush administration may want to dump this catastrophe on the next president and then shout blame for losing the war, I do anticipate this will long be remembered as Bush's War, his legacy having been wrought by death, treasure, and lies.

Jerry said...

cheap wedding gowns,
discount bridal gowns,
China wedding dresses,
discount designer wedding dresses,
China wedding online store,
plus size wedding dresses,
cheap informal wedding dresses,
junior bridesmaid dresses,
cheap bridesmaid dresses,
maternity bridesmaid dresses,
discount flower girl gowns,
cheap prom dresses,
party dresses,
evening dresses,
mother of the bride dresses,
special occasion dresses,
cheap quinceanera dresses,
hot red wedding dresses

传斌 said...

replica Watches
replica Watches
replica Watches
fake Watches
knockoff Watches
replica Rolex Watches
replica Breitling Watches
replica Cartier Watches
replica Omega Watches
replica Tag Heuer Watches
replica Bell & Ross Watches
replica Panerai Watches
replica IWC Watches
replica Patek Philippe Watches
replica Chopard Watches
replica Gucci Watches
replica Corum Watches
replica Montblanc Watches
replica Jacob & Co Watches
replica A.Dunhill Watches
replica A.Lange & Sohne Watches
replica Alain Silberstein Watches
replica Audemars Piguet Watches
replica B.R.M Watches
replica Baume & Mercier Watches
replica Blancpain Watches
replica BMW Watches
replica Breguet Watches
replica Burberry Watches
replica Bvlgari Watches
replica Chronoswiss Watches
replica Concord Watches
replica D&G Watches
replica De Witt Watches
replica Dior Watches

Anonymous said...

Replica Handbags
Fake Handbags
Knockoff Handbags

Replica Louis Vuitton Handbags
Replica Gucci Handbags
Replica Chanel Handbags
Prada Handbags
Replica Fendi Handbags
Replica Dolce Gabbana Handbags
Replica Chloe Handbags
Replica Jimmy Choo Handbags
Replica Thomas Wylde Handbags
Replica MiuMiu Handbags

Replica Balenciaga Handbags
Replica Coach Handbags
Replica Lancel Handbags
Replica Hermes Handbags
Replica Marc Jacobs Handbags
Replica Anya Hindmarch Handbags
Replica YSL Handbags
Replica Mulberry Handbags
Replica Givenchy Handbags
Replica Valentino Handbags
Replica Versace Handbags
Replica Cartier Handbags
Replica Marni Handbags
Replica Bottega Veneta Handbags
Replica Loewe Handbags
Replica Kooba Handbags

Replica Bally Handbags
Replica Burberry Handbags
Replica Christian Dior Handbags
Replica Juicy Couture Handbags
Replica Ferragamo Handbags
Replica Celine Handbags

Anonymous said...

catch sight of inn leeway
[url=http://vimeo.com/user4498961]lowest prices hotels
[/url]hotel motels
best concision class airline
motel cost bot
[url=http://www.earthday.org/users/48490]cheap 5 star hotels
[/url]motel diana
prices on hotels
hotels close to assay
[url=http://www.fairview.org/cty/members/klemot/default.aspx]hotel price bid
[/url]booking number
budget-priced hotels in south strand
concision stratum syndrome
[url=http://www.youthcabinet.org/profile/Josh]the jet hotel
[/url]demurrer
nice economical houses
airlines
[url=http://www.beautyresearch.com/blogs/alexa/archive/2010/08/15/hotels-and-accomodations.aspx]charles hotel
[/url]catch sight of caravanserai extent
budget motor hotel
for twopence airport motel
[url=http://www.mazdacommunity.com/profiles/blogs/special-hotel-offers-or]cheap hotels ca
[/url]affiliated to asia online booking
accomodations economical
aruba hotel deals

Anonymous said...

student accommodation
[url=http://vimeo.com/user4498961]find a cheap hotel
[/url]find b & b deals
matrix bantam tourist house agreement
favour in the lake district
[url=http://www.earthday.org/users/48490]5 star hotel cheap
[/url]airline booking codes
base flights canada
all comprising deals
[url=http://www.fairview.org/cty/members/klemot/default.aspx]hotel latin quarter
[/url]dalan new zealand pub
swaythling quarters
correct traffic board
[url=http://www.youthcabinet.org/profile/Josh]hotel frances
[/url]housing for unrefined return
airplane tickets
nj quarters
[url=http://www.beautyresearch.com/blogs/alexa/archive/2010/08/15/hotels-and-accomodations.aspx]hotels the
[/url]cheapest deals
uncommonly cheap hotels
measure against hotels
[url=http://www.mazdacommunity.com/profiles/blogs/special-hotel-offers-or]cheap los angeles hotels
[/url]shield handling software
hotels accomodation
new zealand pub prices uk

Anonymous said...

new zealand pub booking calligraphy
cheap hotels in kl
bed price command
at lodging packages
for a song shelter alarms
cheap maui hotels
bed charme
unearth motel
ratings airlines
hotel prices in jamaica
airline guide
cabins conformity
gordes
budget hotel prices
pension deals australia
tight vancouver hotels
hotel suites deals
ginger hotel
booking trips
the entrance accommodation
tuppence flights usa
cheap seattle hotels
maratea
from deals
hard-cover compromise

Anonymous said...

new high tech online casinos
gambling internet online
www casino line ca
online casinos accept epassporte
blackjack download trial online casino demo
let loose bingo instead unfettered lolly
sweepstake computer gambling suppliers new location
casino game online table
info north carolina tombola
australia online casino gambling
john duffy conley sports gambling
buy sweepstake tickets online affiliate
online casino sportsbook
online gambling revenue 2004
tombola canada
joint venture online casino concepts
affects internet gambling
picking captivating lotto numbers
casino gambling online
microgaming online casino
louisiana lottery results
free online casino slots downloads
players online gambling
california state lotto
One dollar deposit online casino
how prevent gambling
tournois de poker en ligne
slots onlinegambling
internet gambling losses
rustic blackjack table
gambling machines
casino cyber gambling online
on casino gambling

Anonymous said...

casino inc pc games
diamond gal casino
free fifty play video poker
download jackpot shindig vacancy gadget casino
casino games seeing pc
no limit poker tournaments live ohio area
practice casino card games
hotels impending mohegan sunna casino
gambling links
no save casinos ready-made gratuity standards
online casinos mega slots no deposits
europe internet gambling laws
platinum perform upon casino
gambling casinos texas
bingo cedar deposit texas
millionaire casino
extra desktop casino games playfulness
132 eldon depression cars
texas hold back em chips sale casino style
venetian reserve casino
internet gambling exertion
las vegas county casinos
online casino vacancy
pool abrasion tickets
casino chips cost guide
casino royale soundtrack download
powerball tombola iterative numbers
bourbon casino las vegas
wendover gambling casinos driving sceptically lake city
igt slot machine sales