Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Campos and the Persistence of Myths

Local property professor and once a week op-ed writer, Paul Campos, starts this week's adventure in lefty logic well, pointing out the probability that Hillary Clinton's ideas about single payer universal healthcare would have ended poorly. But then he pens this paragraph.

Let's review here. This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Bush administration launching one of the biggest foreign policy disasters in the nation's history - the invasion and occupation of Iraq. That ongoing adventure has wrecked a country, killed hundreds of thousands of people, cost hundreds of billions dollars (and eventually perhaps $3 trillion), and created the world's largest refugee crisis (2 million Iraqis have fled or been driven from their homes).

These are indeed important lefty myths about Iraq, but most of them are flat out wrong and the rest of them badly need context to be meaningful.

I can't help his opinion about ending Gulf War I with the liberation of Iraq from the Hitler lite despot Saddam Hussein. That he fails to call it a liberation or acknowledge the pedigree of the war back to Saddam's real invasion for conquest of Kuwait, is a very real sign of the myth; but let's go to the facts as they exist in Professor Campos' mind--

"wrecked a country" What? Oil production and sales, up. Electricity production, up nationwide (down or flat in Baghdad and Tikrit). Telephones, internet connections, cars, students, TV and radio stations all way up. How is that wrecked? In what universe is that wrecked?

"killed hundreds of thousands of people" Ah, the totally discredited Lancet/Johns Hopkins remote survey. The actual figure is less than 45,000. Not hundreds of thousands, not a hundred thousand, not even half that. This is not opinion but fact. Why liberals cling to facts long ago debunked is well covered here by Dafydd at Big Lizards.

the liberation of Iraq will cost eventually (probably) "$3 trillion." Less than $500 billion so far, but that's a lot.

"created the world's largest refugee crisis" with 2 million people who have moved to other parts of Iraq or out of Iraq. It can't be the world's largest refugee crisis with only 2 million, because during Saddam's reign, nearly 5 million moved out of the country. Why wasn't that the biggest refugee crisis in the world? Many of them have returned and some of those who returned have moved again after al Qaeda in Mesopotamia tried but failed to ignite a civil war with the bombing of the al Askari mosque in Samarra. Now those who left the country are returning. Crisis? Humbug.

Let's look at the good from another lefty's view, Christopher Hitchens':

A much-wanted war criminal was put on public trial. The Kurdish and Shiite majority was rescued from the ever-present threat of a renewed genocide. A huge, hideous military and party apparatus, directed at internal repression and external aggression was (perhaps overhastily) dismantled. The largest wetlands in the region, habitat of the historic Marsh Arabs, have been largely recuperated. Huge fresh oilfields have been found, including in formerly oil free Sunni provinces, and some important initial investment in them made. Elections have been held, and the outline of a federal system has been proposed as the only alternative to a) a sectarian despotism and b) a sectarian partition and fragmentation. Not unimportantly, a battlefield defeat has been inflicted on al-Qaida and its surrogates, who (not without some Baathist collaboration) had hoped to constitute the successor regime in a failed state and an imploded society. Further afield, a perfectly defensible case can be made that the Syrian Baathists would not have evacuated Lebanon, nor would the Qaddafi gang have turned over Libya's (much higher than anticipated) stock of WMD if not for the ripple effect of the removal of the region's keystone dictatorship.

Any mention of the good by Campos? No, not a single admission. Why would we ever be convinced by so one sided an opinion based almost completely on false myths?



If you wish to drink bathwater and pretend it's champagne, be my guest. Campos is wrong. The figure I have read is 4 million Iraqis internally or externally displaced, a disproportionate # of middle and professional classes, teachers, doctors (20,000 of 34,000have left the country) etc. Out od a population of 38 million. Hey, whats 11% of the population between friends?

Better cite your sources on petroleum production and while you're at it, better cite statistics as to how much is being siphoned off. This is to be expected in an economy and a culture such as Iraq which fosters corruption. (If you wish me to explain that, I will.)

Of the Chaldeans thriving in Detroit, how many returned?

Here are the facts: As bad as the conditions were under Saddam, for the average Iraqi, they are worse now w/ respect to employment and basic necessities. How many IEDs are being planted not by raving ideologues, but by raving ideologues giving an average Joe a hundred bucks so the latter can feed his family?

Things in Iraq are so ducky we should all call the ministry of tourism to plan our next vacation.

Oh yeah, one more thing. This morning I read in that lefty, pinko rag called the Rocky Mountain News, that AQM did not exist b/f the invasion. Better set those fellow travellers straight.

Speaking of bath water, your reading it doesn't make it so, old friend.
I don't know how many Chaldeans returned.
They would have been foolish to do so (well, maybe from Detroit)
Most of the doctors in every country leave for other countries and more lucrative practices--we have more Canadian doctors than Canada. You're not reaching me with that stat, which you've used twice.
I did link to everything. That's what the different color, underlined means.
I don't believe you about Iraqis being better off under Saddam and more importantly the majority of Iraqis don't agree with you. More on that later.
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