Vive Le Canada

The Iraq War Is A Huge Success
Date: Sunday, July 30 2006

The Economics of Creative Destruction

By Aseem Shrivastava

“If he that shared the danger enjoyed the profit, and, after bleeding in the battle, grew rich by the victory, he might show his gains without envy. But, at the conclusion of a ten years' war, how are we recompensed for the death of multitudes, and the expense of millions, but by contemplating the sudden glories of paymasters and agents, contractors and commissaries, whose equipages shine like meteors, and whose palaces rise like exhalations!

“These are the men who, without virtue, labour, or hazard, are growing rich, as their country is impoverished; they rejoice, when obstinacy or ambition adds another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh, from their desks, at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure, and cipher to cipher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament, and computing the profits of a siege or tempest.” Samuel Johnson

07/29/06 "Information Clearing House" -- - The secret of capitalist success, the great economist Joseph Schumpeter famously argued, is “creative destruction”. The dynamics of capitalist competition generate technological innovations at a rapid clip, each superior method causing the obsolescence of prevailing techniques, old machines giving way to new in a ceaseless cycle of growth and prosperity.

Imperialistic wars, Schumpeter believed, were signs of atavism, harking back to humanity’s more anachronistic, primitive impulses. However, he failed to see that such wars brought forth another form of creative destruction which capitalism finds most handy in its onward march.

The reigning view among most critics of the war on Iraq is that it has been a fiasco. No weapons of mass destruction were found, nor any link with the terrorists who plotted 9 -- 11. Most importantly, more than 3 years after Bush declared the end of the war, the insurgency in Iraq is stronger than ever. Undeclared civil war is threatening to break up the country. Hundreds of thousands of innocents may have been murdered by the American invasion, in addition to the deaths of over 2500 US soldiers, and the end is not in sight. So, it has become a commonplace to suggest that the whole enterprise has been a disaster from all possible points of view.

This is a fundamentally mistaken view, a victim of the red herrings thrown at the public by Washington warlords and their ideologues.

Is there reason to believe that the war, far from being a disaster, has actually proceeded quite well from Washington’s point of view? That the view that the war has been a fiasco is merely a convenient smokescreen of innocence helpful to keep in check public perceptions of the monstrous crimes of leaders in Washington and London?

First, and easily forgotten, the obvious success of the Iraq adventure has been to get rid of that rotten dictator Saddam Hussein. Democracy has dawned on an Islamic land. Thanks to American blessings, people can now elect their own representatives to govern them, even if they get their heads blown off every now and then when they step on to the streets.


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