Friday, June 24, 2005

Foreign Minister Krugman Emotes

Military analyst, and part-time economist, Paul Krugman weighs in with another emotion filled essay on Iraq and the evil Bush empire. Once again, things are disastrous, full of lies, arrogance, abuses of power, moral quagmires, and military collapses. You were expecting a denunciation of the Kolo Decision?


In this former imperial capital, every square seems to contain a giant statue of a Habsburg on horseback, posing as a conquering hero.

America's founders knew all too well how war appeals to the vanity of rulers and their thirst for glory. That's why they took care to deny presidents the kingly privilege of making war at their own discretion.

Ooh, what a grand imagery filled entrance. Someone has been reading his Frommer's guide. It is a good thing he wasn't in Srebrenica where every square contains a monument to the cowardice of western democracies to stand up to evil... but that is an aside. I just wonder where Krugman was when Congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Saddam, as opposed to "the kingly privilege of his own discretion"? He must have been off at lunch with Maureen Dowd or something.

It would have been an unprecedented abuse of power even if the war hadn't turned into a military and moral quagmire. And we won't be able to get out of that quagmire until we face up to the reality of how we got in.

Quagmire is of course the left's second favorite cliche on Iraq, next to "another Vietnam". And even better here we get the two for one quagmire, both a military and moral one. I am not sure how Krugman could claim we are in a moral quagmire though, since he insists there is no moral basis to the war to begin with. By his reasoning the moral imperative should be clear, not the complex predicament that constitutes a quagmire.

The administration has prevented any official inquiry into whether it hyped the case for war. But there's plenty of circumstantial evidence that it did.

Did he miss the nearly 600 page report on WMD intelligence leading up to the war? The distinguished professor must be too busy grading papers at Princeton to watch CNN.

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam," says the memo, "through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and W.M.D. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It doesn't get much clearer than that.

Actually it does get much clearer than that. For example, if Krugman would bother to explain that "fixed around" in British English means "bolted on", or "attached" not "altered" as an American would commonly understand it.

Then some asserted that it was "old news" that Mr. Bush wanted war in the summer of 2002, and that W.M.D. were just an excuse. No, it isn't. Media insiders may have suspected as much, but they didn't inform their readers, viewers and listeners.

Actually they did, as the National Review pointed out recently, the London Observer used language in a news report on the run up to the war, which was almost identical to that in the memo. And this was 3 years ago. Krugman is out to lunch once again.

On the other, they still have moderates and even liberals intimidated: anyone who suggests that the United States will have to settle for something that falls far short of victory is accused of being unpatriotic.

Ah, that famous rhetorical device, the strawman. Nobody is questioning your patriotism, just your judgment.

UPDATE: Don Luskin has the Krugman Fisk summary, including me. I see his point about being picky dealing with this, but hey, somebody has got to do the dirty work.