Monday, October 30, 2006
A Hungry Mob is a Angry Mob
The most revealing statistic about Iraq is not the spiraling death toll but the unemployment rate, which is conservatively estimated to be around 30 to 40 percent, and has not moved much in the past two years. Given that conditions are almost normal in the Kurdish north, that means the rest of the country has an unemployment rate closer to 50 percent. Whatever we have been doing in Iraq, it is not translating into peace, normalcy and jobs. In parts of the Sunni Triangle, reports suggest that unemployment is more than 70 percent. If you think that Iraq's tumult is a product of its culture, religion and history, ask yourself what the United States would look like after three years of 50 percent unemployment. Would there not be civil strife in Manhattan, Detroit, Los Angeles and New Orleans?
70 percent unemployment in certain Sunni areas is just mind boggling. 50 percent in non-Kurdish Iraq ain't exactly encouraging either. Makes you wonder about the decision to pursue the de-Baathification policy right down to the lower levels - not to mention the disbanding of the Iraqi army.On the other hand, Bush said we're winning so it's hard to say.