In what might be called the mother of all surprises, Iraq's economy is growing strong, even booming in places.
It may sound unreal, given the daily images of carnage and chaos....
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.
How? Iraq is a crippled nation growing on the financial equivalent of steroids, with money pouring in from abroad. National oil revenues and foreign grants look set to total $41 billion this year, according to the IMF. With security improving in one key spot—the southern oilfields—that figure could go up.
Not too shabby, all things considered.
"Mother of all surprises", "Unreal"; absolutely shocking!
Bizzyblog mimics Newsweek's amazement at this reality: Double-Digit Growth and Reaganesque Tax Cuts Are Happening WHERE? and says:
Iraq's economic growth and wouldn't be so "startling" if it were reported more than once, oh, every 11 months or so.
Oh yes, and then there's this from Gateway Pundit:
Lawk Salih has this good news story from Iraq...The Iraqi soccer team just did a better job unifying Iraqis than the government has done in three years!
BAGHDAD — Army Lt. Ali Mustafa is ready for tonight. He has two clips loaded with bullets. He hopes to have a chance to empty them.
If Iraq's soccer team wins its match against Qatar tonight, he'll join thousands of other Iraqis in celebratory gunfire.
"The formation of our national team is a big blow to terrorism and sectarianism," says Mustafa, 30, a Shiite. "The power of football can unify all honest people of this country."
I could ask sarcastically why it is that we just don't hear much about this sort of thing...but what would be the point?
Instead we get stories like this one, highlighting a type of error the military might make during a war that doesn't seem so very awful in the great scheme of things (except for the person who was detained by mistake); or this one celebrating the ongoing cuteness of the antiwar movement.
Ask yourself which of the four stories above fit the preconceived leftist "template" that the MSM is trying to foist on the American public, and which stories go counter to that template. Then you will understand why Newsweek was so amazed.
Personally, I'm amazed that they even printed the story, though as Tom at Bizzyblog points out, once every 11 months or so they seem to make some mistakes themselves and let some good news filter out, almost against their will.
If the antiwar movement really stood for anything except appeasement or the enabling of terror and fanaticism, then this would not just be clever parody, and I might have less contempt both for them and the MSM.