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May 18, 2004


Brad DeLong

Everrrryyyy time it raaaiiiinnnnssss...
It rains Ahmed Chalabis from heaven...

Patrick R. Sullivan

Why am I still surprised at a professional economist abandoning the elementary concepts of his trade? After all the times I've seen it, I still marvel at people who should know better, generalizing from unrepresentative specifics.

Is the insurgency in Iraq any worse than, say, "Bleeding Kansas" prior to our Civil War?


Uhh, Patrick, much as I would like to be reassured, telling me that Iraq today is no worse than the Civil War pre-cursor in the US may not be the way to do it.


TM, why not?


Hmm, what am I missing here? Saying that Iraq looks like the US pre-Civil War is not reassuring because the Civil War was long and bloody? That's my guess, anyway.

Cecil Turner


I may be a terminal optimist, but I just don't see the doom and gloom. The only way we can lose this thing is by running away, and there's no sign of that happening. Much has been made about US public opinion turning against the war, but the headlines obscure the only important metric: most don't want to cut and run.

Besides, we're in the late innings. The uptick in violence prior to sovereignty transfer has come and was defeated handily. We'll probably see another attempt, but the decision has been made for most Iraqis: they're not going to join a mass uprising. And without that uprising the bad guys can't win.

Sovereignty transfer is an important milestone. Elections are another. If we can keep the lid on for another few months, we win. And every indication is that we can.

Patrick R. Sullivan

What's this, the usually astute Minute Man missing the point? Maybe there's hope for the Red Sox this year after all.

How about, we've seen much worse in our history than what confronts us in Iraq, and we survived rather handily a civil war of our own. And without any help from a superpower--which Iraq has...in abundance. So, why can't we see similar success for them in the offing?

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