Presented by Lapham's Quarterly and the Institute for the Future of the Book

Table of Comments

Total Comments in Report: 92

Comments on

3. Economics

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It may be “fortunate” indeed for Iraq that “global energy prices have been higher than projected,” but of course it has done nothing for American consumers. This speaks to a contradiction at the heart of the Study Group’s plans. It forsees an Iraqi economy that continues to be oil-driven…just as a broad consensus is emerging in the U.S. and the West that we must finally wean ourselves from our dependence on oil.

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Here the report neglects to mention one, additional economic disaster: the fantastical, laissez-faire regime that Paul Bremer attempted to foist upon Iraq during his term as viceroy. Once again, ideology topped any pragmatic effort to resurrect Iraq, as the Bush administration tried to impose all of its most cherished ideas of privatization–ideas that it had so singularly failed to push through in the United States. For an excellent account of how Bremer’s new model economy managed to simultaneously raise unemployment and discourage both domestic and foreign investment during this critical period, read Naomi Klein’s article, “Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in the Name of a Neocon Utopia,” in the July 24, 2004, Harper’s Magazine.