Peter Galbraith explains the reality of the Iraq debacle

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This week has seen a number of extremely troubling developments in Iraq. In addition to the usual high number of bombings and killing of civilians and police, the Turkish military attacked positions inside Iraq. Meanwhile, the latest parliamentary rules adopted in Iraq eliminate the representation that was previously offered to religious minorities in the country, including the Iraqi Christian community. For an excellent discussion of the reality in Iraq, see Peter Galbraith’s article from the New York Review of Books, “Is This a “Victory”?”

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21935

Many seem taken aback by the depth and severity of the current financial turmoil. I was among several economists who saw it coming and warned about the risks.

There is ample blame to be shared; but the purpose of parsing out blame is to figure out how to make a recurrence less likely.

President Bush famously said, a little while ago, that the problem is simple: Too many houses were built. Yes, but the answer is too simplistic: Why did that happen?

One can say the Fed failed twice, both as a regulator and in the conduct of monetary policy. Its flood of liquidity (money made available to borrow at low interest rates) and lax regulations led to a housing bubble. When the bubble broke, the excessively leveraged loans made on the basis of overvalued assets went sour…

Read the entire commentary on CNN

Harvard Business School Magazine review of 3 Trillion Dollar War

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Totting Up the Bill for the Iraq War
http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/bulletin/2008/september/ib_bookshelf.html

Insurgents re-emerge as Petraeus Leaves

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Bombings Kill at Least 32 in Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/article/bombings-kill-least-32-iraq
Saad Abdul-Kadir and Hamid Ahmed, The Associated Press: “Bombings in Baghdad and northeast of the capital killed at least 32 people Monday, Iraqi officials said, the latest in an apparent bid by insurgents to chip away at growing public confidence in recent security gains.”

Violence rising again in Iraq

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We keep being told that the level of violence in Iraq is decreasing, but there are still daily bombings and suicide attacks across the country. In the past 24 hours: On Friday September 12th, at least 30 people were killed and 45 wounded in a suicide bombing in the town of Dujail – where as usual, the bomber targeted innocent people in a market attempting to buy food for their evening meal.

Six more people were killed and 50 wounded in Tal Afar on Saturday, September 13th where a suicide car bomber apparently staged a traffic accident in order to draw more innocent bystanders into the explosion. This is the same city where suicide bombers have attacked the market during the past month.

Also on Saturday, attackers set off bombs near two major shrines in the holy city of Karbala, killing at least three people and wounding 15 others. The bombs went off near the Imam Hussein and Imam Abbas mosques — two of the holiest shrines for Shiite Muslims. The people killed and wounded included women and children making pilgrimages to the shrines.

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