Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The sooner we leave, the better.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An individual in an Iraqi army uniform opened fire on U.S. troops in Nineveh province Wednesday, killing two soldiers and wounding six others, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The U.S. military has not confirmed the identity of the shooter, but initial reports indicate the shooter was an Iraqi soldier, the military said in a statement.

The gunman was killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.

An Interior Ministry official said an Iraqi soldier in a joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol opened fire on a group of U.S. soldiers in the same convoy after one of the American troops slapped an Iraqi soldier.
Although Muhammad Cohen of Asia Times Online doubts we will leave anytime soon:
McCain said he would stay in Iraq for 100 years if necessary while Obama pledged to end the war. But often there's only one decision that a president can make, regardless of party or beliefs. So McCain or Obama would likely withdraw forces as quickly as the military says it's feasible without endangering American lives, ensuring the collapse of the US-installed political system, reigniting civil war, or increasing Iranian influence. Whatever Obama's intention, given those parameters, the war won't end anytime soon. Obama's supporters at home and abroad will be disappointed.
The war will cost us more than three trillion:
The Bush team, then, is not merely handing over the war to the next administration; it is also bequeathing deep economic problems that have been seriously exacerbated by reckless war financing. We face an economic downturn that's likely to be the worst in more than a quarter-century.

Until recently, many marveled at the way the United States could spend hundreds of billions of dollars on oil and blow through hundreds of billions more in Iraq with what seemed to be strikingly little short-run impact on the economy. But there's no great mystery here. The economy's weaknesses were concealed by the Federal Reserve, which pumped in liquidity, and by regulators that looked away as loans were handed out well beyond borrowers' ability to repay them. Meanwhile, banks and credit-rating agencies pretended that financial alchemy could convert bad mortgages into AAA assets, and the Fed looked the other way as the U.S. household-savings rate plummeted to zero.

It's a bleak picture. The total loss from this economic downturn -- measured by the disparity between the economy's actual output and its potential output -- is likely to be the greatest since the Great Depression. That total, itself well in excess of $1 trillion, is not included in our estimated $3 trillion cost of the war.
Just think of what we could have done with three trillion dollars for ourselves....

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