Jewish World Review April 11, 2003 / 9 Nisan, 5763
Planning future of Iraq, world
That sure was fun.
Let the celebrating and looting begin. Saddam and his lovely boys - or their body parts - are still MIA. But Baghdad is ours.
You'll be able to read all about war's end next week. But as we await the appearance of Saddam paraphernalia on eBay, Time, Newsweek, Fortune and Business Week already are thinking about what comes next.
Everyone always said peace would be the tricky part of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." Why, it'll take our foreign policy engineers in Washington at least a month or two to transform Saddam's totalitarian satrapy into a model democracy the whole angry Arab world can look up to and want to destroy.
Whoops. Make that a decade or two. The Marines haven't issued a parking ticket yet, and Time says already we've got a serious rift in the Bush administration, where Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell are fighting over control of the joystick of American foreign policy.
See, Time explains in "Clash of the Administration Titans," Rumsfeld the Hardliner is a "unilateralist," which essentially means he thinks America can and ought to do whatever the heck it wants in the world (e.g., Gulf War II).
And Powell the Moderate is an internationalist, which essentially means he thinks America should be part of a world that seeks stability and peace through interlocking alliances, multilateral entanglements and international organizations (e.g., NATO and the always popular United Nations).
Rumsfeld and Powell have always been as incompatible as hawks and doves. Now, as Saddam's statues are toppled, Rumsfeld and his raptors want the United States to run Iraq, which they think can be quickly turned over to a set of former Iraqi exiles.
Powell and his brood want to bring in the United Nations. But hardliners - who Time says would love to bop over to Iran or Syria for a little democracy transplanting - say the U.N. will only bring complications.
Don't worry. Our leaders will do the right thing. Meanwhile, what about the war's effect on our soporific economy? Fortune's optimistic March 31 cover package - written weeks ago - says the economy isn't really that bad and sees slow, stable growth and lower oil prices after we win the war.
Newsweek's Jane Bryant Quinn, meanwhile, is so gloomy about the present in her column she doesn't even think Iraq's oil will save us from oil shortages in the long run. And although Business Week's "How War Will Reshape the Economy" is more substantive, it's as gloomy.
War's not the engine of economic prosperity it once was thought to be, but Biz Week notes that the short-term upsides to Gulf War II will be a boost in defense spending and more jobs for homeland security.
In the more-important long run, however, war, instability and tighter government restrictions on the free movement of money, people and ideas around the world inevitably make things more expensive, smother innovation and result in lower standards of living for everyone.
Which is why Biz Week thinks the last victim of the war in Iraq and the global tensions it'll bring might be America's economy, whose 1990s boom was based on peace and a steadily decreasing role of government in the economy.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Bill Steigerwald is an associate editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Comment by clicking here.
04/04/03: Newsweeklies come back with graphic look at war
03/28/03: Newsweeklies try to keep up with TV war coverage
03/26/03: Wen Ho Lee whistle-blower says beware of China
03/21/03: America's ready for war ... and peace
03/18/03: Baseball limping, not dead … 10 minutes with author Andrew Zimbalist
03/14/03: Vanity Fair gets us ready for month's big event
03/11/03: A road map for Iraq's liberation devised by James Madison? … 10 minutes with James S. Robbins
03/06/03: Iraq war will come and go before we know it
02/28/03: America takes time out for swimsuits
02/26/03: 'We shall be seen as liberators' .... 10 minutes with noted Brit commentator David Pryce-Jones
02/21/03: Terrorism one of many losing battles
02/14/03: Editors planning for the day after Gulf War II
02/12/03: The 'religiosity' of Ronald Reagan … 10 minutes with author Paul Kengor
02/10/03: Should the shuttle crash be the end of NASA?
02/06/03: Dear Joan ...
01/31/03: Newsweek, Nation ponder pros, cons of Gulf War II
01/24/03: 'Original' ideas follow New Deal philosophy
01/22/03: When handicapping 2004, watch the economy: Ten minutes with … Charlie Cook
01/17/03: New Republic fans hatred for SUVs
01/14/03: 10 minutes with Santorum on ... taxes, steel and Lott
01/10/03: Newsweeklies move on to latest menace
01/07/03: The best of the Q&As
12/30/02: Rosie's demise tops list of 2002 highlights
12/23/02: GOP must stick to its principles: 10 questions for ... Bill Kristol
12/20/02: Lott fiasco uncovers bigger problem
12/18/02: Free markets king in Sweden, at least for a day: Ten minutes with …. Donald Boudreaux
12/13/02: Corruption of Indian casinos no surprise
12/06/02: Giving credit to young philanthropists
12/02/02: Ten minutes with …. Chris Matthews
11/26/02: It's critical to memorialize communism's victims: 10 minutes with … Lee Edwards
11/22/02: JFK's secret health woes are revealed
11/19/02: It's best to contain Saddam: Ten minutes with … Col. David Hackworth
11/15/02: Brushing up on the affairs of a wild world
11/12/02: Make Dems filibuster … 10 minutes with … Robert L. Bartley
11/08/02: National Geographic: Urban overpopulation is good
11/05/02: The bloody consequences of a broken INS: Ten minutes with … Michelle Malkin
11/01/02: Going to pot; thank heaven for media overkill
10/29/02: It's all about federalism: Ten minutes with … Jonah Goldberg
10/25/02: Frank Sinatra, Kurt Cobain, Mad Magazine will never die
10/22/02: Here's why Orwell matters: Ten minutes with … Christopher Hitchens
10/18/02: The sniper knocks Iraq off the covers
10/15/02: Iraq, oil and war: 10 minutes with ... economist/historian Daniel Yergin
10/11/02: England's gun-control experiment has backfired
10/04/02: Buchanan the media baron?
09/27/02: Analyzing Esquire, GQ is not for the squeamish
09/20/02: CEOs: The rise and fall of American heroes
09/13/02: Skeptics remind U.S. to calm down
09/10/02: 'A failure to recognize a failure': 15 minutes with ... Bill Gertz
09/06/02: Rating the 9-11 mags
08/30/02: Bad trains, bad planes, and bad automobiles
08/28/02: Baseball, broken, can be fixed: 15 minutes with George Will
08/16/02: 9-11 overload has already begun
08/13/02: Tell us what you really think, Ann Coulter
08/09/02: A funny take on a new kind of suburb
08/02/02: It's not the humidity, it's the (media) heat wave; the death of American cities
07/12/02: Colombia's drug lords are all business
07/09/02: If capitalism is 'soulless' then show me something better: 10 minutes with … Alan Reynolds
06/25/02: Origins of a scandal: 10 minutes with … Michael Rose
06/21/02: 9/11 report unearths good, bad and ugly
06/18/02: The FBI is rebounding … 10 Minutes with Ronald Kessler
06/14/02: U.S. News opens closet of Secret Service
06/11/02: 10 minutes with … William Lind: Can America survive in this 'fourth-generation' world?
06/07/02: America, warts and all
05/30/02: FBI saga gets more depressing
05/13/02: The magazine industry's annual exercise in self-puffery
04/30/02: 10 Minutes with ... The New York Sun's Seth Lipsky
04/26/02: Will the American Taliban go free?
04/23/02: 10 minutes with ... Dinesh D'Souza
04/19/02: Saddam starting to show his age
04/12/02: Newsweek puts suicide bombing in perspective
04/09/02: How polls distort the news, change the outcome of elections and encourage legislation that undermines the foundations of the republic
04/05/02: Looking into the state of American greatness
03/25/02: The American President and the Peruvian Shoeshine Boys
03/22/02: Troublemaking intellectual puts Churchill in spotlight
03/20/02: 10 minutes with ... Bill Bennett
03/18/02: Suddenly, it's cool again to be a man
03/12/02: 10 minutes with … Ken Adelman
03/08/02: TIME asks the nation a scary question
03/05/02: 10 minutes with ... Rich Lowry
02/26/02: 10 minutes with ... Tony Snow
02/12/02: Has Soldier of Fortune gone soft?
© 2002, Bill Steigerwald