Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Krugman's Desperation

Paul Krugman must be the only human being alive who thinks the French are tougher than the Americans. Even the French themselves don't think that. That's why they call us "cowboys." Krugman thinks that the French showed more toughness in the former Yugoslavia, where, he argues, the Americans were tough only from bombing at 10,000 meters. But the French have serviceable Mirage jets, so why don't they bomb from 10,000 meters too? Why did it take the U.S. to bring a semblance of order to the former Yugoslavia?

Moreover, Krugman begins his piece by arguing that the war against Iraq will put America in financial distress. The ostensible theme of the piece is that we are wimps not only in war, as we go after Iraq instead of Al Qaeda (supposedly), but also in not facing up to our financial difficulties. But if we are risking our financial security, isn't this an argument that we are indeed willing to make difficult sacrifices? Krugman doesn't say.

Everyone should remember this outlandish piece and send Krugman an email the next time he calls Bush a cowboy and his foreign policy reckless. Let's not allow the New York Times to have it both ways, calling the administration both wimpy and aggressive. As an economist, a student of the dismal science, it is safe to assume that Krugman has more logic than this piece displays. Therefore, we may be justified in attributing it to his desperation as a liberal. These are, after all, difficult times for the left.


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