Monday, April 25, 2005



"The world has an opportunity -- and a RESPONSIBILITY -- to help the Iraqi people build a nation that is stable, secure, and free."
— GWB, 16 October 2003

Even in Baghdad it is evident from the hundreds of bodies arriving at the mortuary that this has become one of the most violent societies on earth. The Iraqi Body Count figure is probably much too low, because US military tactics ensure high civilian losses a bizarre aspect of the war is that US commanders often do not understand the damage done by their weapons in Iraq's close-packed cities.

US firepower, designed to combat the Soviet army, cannot be used in built up areas without killing or injuring civilians. Nevertheless, a study published in the Lancet saying that 100,000 civilians have died in Iraq appears to be too high. But the lack of definitive figures continues to dehumanise the uncounted Iraqi dead. As Dr Richard Garfield, a professor of nursing at Columbia University and an author of the Lancet report, wrote: "We are still fighting to record the Armenian genocide. Until people have names and are counted they don't exist in a policy sense."

The immunity of US troops means that there is nothing to inhibit them opening fire in what for them is a terrifying situation. For all their modern armament they are vulnerable to suicide bombers and roadside bombs. In the first case the attacker is already dead and in the second the man who detonates the bomb is probably several hundred yards away and in cover. With nobody else to shoot at it is the civilians who pay the price.
Patrick Cockburn, 24 April 2005

"I'm asking all Americans to examine this plan and I'm asking for your support. The Constitution charges the Congress with the RESPONSIBILITY to write our tax laws. And I respect that responsibility. But it is my obligation to lead, and that's what I'm going to do. My plan is good for the long-term health of our economy. It is good for the businesses that create jobs. It is good for America and for the American families that make our country so unique and strong."
— GWB, 5 February 2001

According to John Snow, the Treasury secretary, the global economy is in a "sweet spot." Conservative pundits close to the administration talk, without irony, about a "Bush boom."

Yet two-thirds of Americans polled by Gallup say that the economy is "only fair" or "poor." And only 33 percent of those polled believe the economy is improving, while 59 percent think it's getting worse. . . .

The administration's upbeat view of the economy is a case in point. Corporate interests are doing very well. As a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, over the last three years profits grew at an annual rate of 14.5 percent after inflation, the fastest growth since World War II.

The story is very different for the great majority of Americans, who live off their wages, not dividends or capital gains, and aren't doing well at all. Over the past three years, wage and salary income grew less than in any other postwar recovery - less than a tenth as fast as profits. But wage-earning Americans aren't part of the base.
Paul Krugman, 25 April 2005