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Monday, May 14, 2007
No: I do not agree in the least, not in the least. This is a terrible article. I am astonished at the wording of the opening 2 paragraphs which slants to assuming there was and has been voter fraud. Phooey.
May 14, 2007
Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals
By Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein - Washington Post
Nearly half the U.S. attorneys slated for removal by the administration last year were targets of Republican complaints that they were lax on voter fraud, including efforts by presidential adviser Karl Rove to encourage more prosecutions of election- law violations, according to new documents and interviews.
Of the 12 U.S. attorneys known to have been dismissed or considered for removal last year, five were identified by Rove or other administration officials as working in districts that were trouble spots for voter fraud -- Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; New Mexico; Nevada; and Washington state. Four of the five prosecutors in those districts were dismissed....
[Thoroughly awful article....]
Notice however this fine article on what is our insanity:
May 14, 2007
Defense Skirts State in Reviving Iraqi Industry
By Rajiv Chandrasekaran - Washington Post
Paul Brinkley, a deputy undersecretary of defense, has been called a Stalinist by U.S. diplomats in Iraq. One has accused him of helping insurgents build better bombs. The State Department has even taken the unusual step of enlisting the CIA to dispute the validity of Brinkley's work.
His transgression? To begin reopening dozens of government-owned factories in Iraq.
Brinkley and his colleagues at the Pentagon believe that rehabilitating shuttered, state-run enterprises could reduce violence by employing tens of thousands of Iraqis. Officials at State counter that the initiative is antithetical to free-market reforms the United States should promote in Iraq....
We have, from the beginning, from the insane tragic appointment of a Viceroy to rule Iraq, been intent on colonizing Iraq. This has been an occupation, a colonization, and a resultant destruction of Iraqi society, and physical, psychological, moral and material self-destruction for Americans.
Juan Cole has from the beginning of the occupation of Iraq written of American disdain for Iraqi society, and especially of Iraqi economic organization, which was of course evident by the ignoring of all looting in Iraq other than looting of the oil ministry when the tragic insane occupation began. Well, at least Iraq has been made more capitalist than capitalist....
Later, I will find related notes but from the beginning of the occupation we have sought to turn Iraq from socialist to capitalist, whatever this could possibly mean. Almost immediately, I remember, we essentially forbid labor unions, but the capitalizing of Iraq was a given and even such a forbidding of unions gained almost no attention. I would notice the lunatic Brooking's reports on economic progress, that was regress, in Iraq, and wonder at the blindness as we had methodically taken apart Iraqi economic institutions, and who at Brookings could notice.
Notice not just the ideological insanity over how to capitalize Iraq; sort of how to make Iraq more capitalistic than America, so America can in turn learn from copying Iraq. Rather notice how the State Department would undermine the Defense Department, and the politics of personal destruction being practised. Then, since we have so long criticized Defense, remember who is the Secretary of State, who was previously National Security Adviser, who directs the course of the State Department.
Joseph Heller alone could catch the craziness of the ideological battle on Iraq that I need to keep more clearly in mind, though keeping such craziness in mind takes a Joseph Heller. Catch-22....
Interestingly, we have enough problems in America that surface repeatedly from privatizing or capitalizing services with minimal or no checks. Notice the tragedy at Walter Reed Hospital. Imagine privatizing Iraq, destroying even the check of unions, with no checks otherwise.
Remember when we were listing how many schools were being painted? We must leave Iraq, immediately.
The bureaucratic knife fight over the best way to revive Iraq's moribund economy illustrates how the two principal players in the reconstruction of Iraq -- the departments of Defense and State -- remain at odds over basic economic and political measures. The bickering has hamstrung initiatives to promote stability four years after Saddam Hussein's fall.
Under pressure from Congress to demonstrate progress on the ground, the military often favors immediate solutions aimed at quelling violence. That has prompted objections from some at State who question the long-term consequences of that expeditious approach.
In recent months, the two departments have squabbled over the degree to which Iraqi farmers should be aided by subsidies and tariffs. They also remain at odds over State's desire to deploy reconstruction teams to two Shiite-dominated provinces in central Iraq. Defense officials are balking at providing robust security for the teams, preferring to deploy as many troops as possible in Baghdad. State contends that well-protected American civilians in those provinces will build relationships with future Shiite leaders.
"There has been a surprising degree of venom and hostility" between the departments, said a senior U.S. government official involved in Iraq policy.
The dispute between State and Brinkley has become so pitched that he has effectively stopped working with the U.S. Embassy and is setting up his office elsewhere in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.
"We tend to not deal with them very often," Brinkley said of embassy officials. "We have our own mission, and we do our own thing."
Although the embassy's charg? d'affaires, Daniel Speckhard, said Brinkley "has the support of the embassy," Brinkley travels to factories without embassy personnel in tow and holds his own meetings with Iraqi trade, commercial and banking officials. He has also organized trips for U.S. business executives to Iraq and has encouraged deals between Iraqi state-owned firms and U.S. corporations.
Brinkley, who was interviewed in Washington, said he expects several factories to reopen this summer. By year's end, he envisions Wal-Mart stores selling made-in-Baghdad leather jackets and other U.S. retailers stocking Iraqi loafers, hand-stitched carpets and pinstripe suits.
Disagreements among Americans about how to deal with Iraq's government-run businesses began shortly after U.S. forces arrived in Baghdad in April 2003. The first U.S. adviser to Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Minerals, retired ambassador Timothy Carney, wanted to reopen many of the country's 192 state-owned factories, which, according to the World Bank, employed more than 500,000 people before the war.
But the U.S. occupation administrator, L. Paul Bremer, deemed that to be bad economic policy....
We too could aspire to be Viceroys of Iraq. We have been and are practically and morally insane, and must leave Iraq immediately.
Again, I need to emphasize how profoundly important this article is as economic, as economic-philosophy, as a reflection of historical and contemporary American international economic-philosophy. Were the issue of colonizing or occupying Iraq * not so dire, the article would still be a reflection on why so much of development economics has been, as Brad DeLong has written, so frustrating.
* I was recently criticized at table for even using the word "occupying" for what we are about in Iraq. So, in my accomodating way, I have been using "colonizing."
Also, the reflection of self-defeating conflict in developmental ideology is why I have been convinced that China offers a prime suitable eclectic development model for a South Africa or Brazil or Mexico or India....Post a Comment