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Friday, February 21, 2003

Great column from Paul Krugman!


Some excerpts:
Some observers also point out that the administration has turned the regular foreign aid budget into a tool of war diplomacy. Small countries that currently have seats on the U.N. Security Council have suddenly received favorable treatment for aid requests, in an obvious attempt to influence their votes. Cynics say that the "coalition of the willing" President Bush spoke of turns out to be a "coalition of the bought off" instead.
...
President Bush promised that our interest wouldn't end once the war was won; this time we wouldn't forget about Afghanistan, we would stay to help rebuild the country and secure the peace. So how much money for Afghan reconstruction did the administration put in its 2004 budget? None. The Bush team forgot about it.
...
So there you have it. This administration does martial plans, not Marshall Plans: billions for offense, not one cent for reconstruction.
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Turkey has reportedly been offered the right to occupy much of Iraqi Kurdistan. Yes, that's right: as we move to liberate the Iraqis, our first step may be to deliver people who have been effectively independent since 1991 into the hands of a hated foreign overlord. Moral clarity!
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If this all sounds incredibly callous and shortsighted, that's because it is. But then what did you expect? This administration doesn't worry about long-term consequences just look at its fiscal policy. It wants its war; there's not the slightest indication that it's interested in the boring, expensive task of building a just and lasting peace.