Iraq is in the midst of civil war, we're told. We've already lost in Iraq, we hear. All that's left is to figure out a graceful exit, the media talking heads solemnly intone. Yet every now and then a dissonant note seeps through the despair and defeatism. Newsweek, of all people, has such a story here. The title? Iraq's Economy is Booming. Given what the MSM report every day who would have thought that?
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.
Things in Iraq are not all rosy, of course, but neither is the picture anywhere near as dismal, evidently, as the American public is being led to believe. We can win in Iraq. It just takes a little more steel in the spine than many of our politicians and media types have shown so far.
In his outstanding book America Alone, Mark Steyn quotes Goh Chok Tong, the prime minister of Singapore in 2004, who, while on a visit to Washington, observed that "The key issue is no longer WMD or even the role of the U.N. The central issue is America's credibility and will to prevail." Exactly so, but, unfortunately, neither of those assets is much in evidence in either the Democrat party or the establishment media.