Monday, December 18, 2006

Money Talks in Iraq

Newsweek reporting that Iraq's economy is booming.

"Civil war or not, Iraq has an economy, and—mother of all surprises—it's doing remarkably well. Real estate is booming. Construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors are healthy, too, according to a report by Global Insight in London. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 34,000 registered companies in Iraq, up from 8,000 three years ago. Sales of secondhand cars, televisions and mobile phones have all risen sharply. Estimates vary, but one from Global Insight puts GDP growth at 17 percent last year and projects 13 percent for 2006. The World Bank has it lower: at 4 percent this year. But, given all the attention paid to deteriorating security, the startling fact is that Iraq is growing at all."


Interesting because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Interesting because no one else is reporting this. Interesting because it contradicts the conclusions of the Iraq Study Group.

No, it doesn't mean everything is just swell in Iraq. But it is encouraging, because when people are making money they tend to be too busy to kill one another.

All the more reason we should encourage this trend as much as we can.

I think Senator John McCain has it right too -- send additional troops into the Iraq to cripple the insurgents and sectarian militias.

Then follow up with LOTS of economic building.

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