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Thursday, March 13, 2014

11 Years Ago: Krugman Warned of Aftermath of Attack on Iraq

Every year at this time I look back at the pre-war Iraq punditry--for much more on the media malpractice see my new book--of various NYT columnists this month (Brooks and Friedman bad, Dowd good) and now we get to Paul Krugman, a newcomer back then.  How'd he do?  Amazingly, even before WMD were not found, he was that rare U.S. pundit to write something like this, charging that from the Bushites "we got assertions about a nuclear program that turned out to be based on flawed or faked evidence; we got assertions about a link to Al Qaeda that people inside the intelligence services regard as nonsense. Yet those serial embarrassments went almost unreported by our domestic news media....And once the shooting starts, the already loud chorus that denounces any criticism as unpatriotic will become deafening."

Below are other excerpts from his March 18, 2003, column.
What frightens me is the aftermath -- and I'm not just talking about the problems of postwar occupation. I'm worried about what will happen beyond Iraq -- in the world at large, and here at home.  The members of the Bush team don't seem bothered by the enormous ill will they have generated in the rest of the world. They seem to believe that other countries will change their minds once they see cheering Iraqis welcome our troops, or that our bombs will shock and awe the whole world (not just the Iraqis) or that what the world thinks doesn't matter. They're wrong on all counts...
Meanwhile, consider this: we need $400 billion a year of foreign investment to cover our trade deficit, or the dollar will plunge and our surging budget deficit will become much harder to finance -- and there are already signs that the flow of foreign investment is drying up, just when it seems that America may be about to fight a whole series of wars.
Greg Mitchell’s book So Wrong For So Long, on the media and the Iraq war, was published last week in an expanded edition for the first time as an e-book.  

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