20th Anniversary of the Second Gulf War

Published: Thu 16 March 2023
Updated: Fri 17 March 2023
By steve

In Markets.

The US is an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery”

Guess who said that!

Rudy nails it, again

Screaming Red Flags.

20 years ago this week Blair committed Britain to joining the USA in invading Iraq

Neil MacKay attributes the war to energizing the SNP. I don’t know enough about Scottish politics to know whether or not that’s right, but I do know that this act gave rise to Corbyn and was very helpful to Cameron.

This is not the time to assess the success of the war, but clearly the high hopes of the Bush regime in 2003 were not met. The purging of the civil service of members of the Ba’ath Party, as I understand it, lead to the rise of ISIS, and the general instability in the Middle East through much of the 2000s.

Clearly, Saddam was a murderous dictator, but as always the removal of a dictator does not automatically lead to democracy. It is much more likely to result in an even worse regime. I think that a democracy tends to come about when there there is a struggle between two powerful factions for the control of a country. The idea that a country can actually be run by its citizens, in a sort of government by opinion poll, is utterly unworkable, in the absence of representatives who are above reproach. If there is one thing I have learned in my long life, it is that no human is above reproach, and so true devolution of power to the people is impossible, but if there are two reasonably balanced factions, the outcome of their attempts to enroll as many voters as possible to their cause can lead, slowly to democracy. When a country is invaded, and the existing government disposed of, and replaced by a puppet regime, this clearly cannot happen.


Stocks went up. The removal of the $250K limit on FDIC insurance, and the underwriting of banks purchases of long-dated treasuries (QE by another name) worked its magic, and all risk assets went up, although another bank, in effect, had to be rescued (this time by the megabanks, who are the principle beneficiaries of the Treasury’s ‘backstop’.) Read all about it, here.

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