Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Iraq Study Group Report, Part 2
I just saw an interesting interview with James Baker and Lee Hamilton on The Lehrer News Hour and the two were surprisingly candid and not just blowing smoke with a lot of politician-speak. One thing emphasized, especially by Hamilton, was how important it was that our support of the Iraqi government be conditional on their making progress on specific milestones rather than unconditional. Making rewards, support, etc. conditional on work, achievement, etc. is a fundamental part of the American Ideology. How many times have we heard that if say, workers are 'given' unemployment insurance this will create the 'moral hazard' of their not wishing to work! But the Personal Responsibility Crusaders (thanks to Jacob Hacker for this phrase) of the Bush administration seem to entirely forget this fundamental principle of the American Creed when it comes to the Iraqi government. The American taxpayer is being asked to support them to the tune of several billions of dollars per month until they are successful and secure, no conditions or strings attached. Apparently there's no 'moral hazard' or 'perverse incentive' that Iraqis will get used to our money and support and continue to squabble among themselves indefinitely and fail to be motivated to solve their own problems. This is just another example of how thoroughly inconsistent pseudo-conservatives are, their only principle is remember your 'talking points' and repeat them at every available opportunity.