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By Daniel Tencer (source: The Raw Story )

Washington Post political correspondent David Broder has kind words for President Barack Obama in in his opinion column Sunday, arguing that it isn’t the president’s fault the economy is stuck in reverse.

But the four-decade-plus veteran of Washington politics offers a startling solution to the president’s political and economic woes: March off to war with Iran.

The president, who is “much smarter” and “more inspirational” than any of his opponents, could benefit from a confrontation with Iran because it would strike up a war machine that would pull the US out of economic stagnation, Broder argues.

He writes that there are “essentially” two ways that an economy can be grown: Through the natural economic cycle, and through war.

Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

“I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected,” Broder qualifies. “But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.”

Broder’s column has come in for almost instant criticism from economic and political policy experts. In a blog entry entitled “Has David Broder Lost His Mind?,” Foreign Policy managing editor Blake Hounshell writes that Broder’s proposal is “crazy for a number of reasons.”

One is that markets don’t like tensions, and certainly not the kind that jack up oil prices. Second, World War II brought the United States out of the Great Depression because it was a massive economic stimulus program that mobilized entire sectors of society. Today’s American military has all the tools it needs to fight Iran, and there isn’t going to be any sort of buildup. Hasn’t Broder been reading his own newspaper? The Pentagon is looking to find billions in cuts as it confronts the coming world of budget austerity.

Writing at the same magazine, Marc Lynch argues that Broder’s column is “an interesting study in how really dumb ideas bounce around Washington DC,” and asserts that the Obama administration finds such an idea “ridiculous.”

[I]t’s not an idea which seems to have any support at all in the Obama White House. … [T]he Obama team can see perfectly clearly that the American people have no appetite for a third major war in the Middle East and that launching a war with massive strategic consequences for short-term political gain would be epically irresponsible. … Even if they were primarily interested in their electoral fortunes in designing Iran policy, they would quickly see that such [a strategy] would wipe out their support on the left and gain absolutely zero votes on the right.

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research argues that Broder’s idea for government-driven stimulus isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t need to be military in nature.

“If spending on war can provide jobs and lift the economy then so can spending on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating our kids. Yes, that’s right, all the forms of stimulus spending that Broder derided so much because they add to the deficit will increase GDP and generate jobs just like the war that Broder is advocating (which will also add to the deficit),” Baker writes.

But the harshest criticism comes from Matt Duss at ThinkProgress.

“Especially in light of what has just occurred in Iraq, what kind of moral degenerate seriously suggests we get ready to do it again in neighboring Iran, just as a way to spur job growth?” he asks. “The kind who writes a regular column in the Washington Post, apparently.”

Read Broder’s full column here.

6 Comments

  1. Ross on the 03. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    David Broder is a disgrace.The reason for his war mongering is to save the arses of the elites who created the GFC for profit and the false flag terror of 911.War will distract the population from their economic woes and save the scumbag Wall Street Kleptocracy.

    Even George Bush is trying to be apologetic about the lies of the WMD’s not found in Iraq.Bush was just the puppet like Obama is now.Bush knows he will be the sacrificial lamb like Saddham to take the heat of the elites.The growing public awareness has caught them all off guard.War is seen as their escape from justice.

    Washington Post seemed to have deleted this article from it’s archives.Try accessing it through their paper.

  2. j r on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Why doesn’t the US just declare war on the rest of the planet? Then we could really clean up.

  3. Rehmat on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    David S. Broder (born 9/11-1929), the Jewish columnist with the Jewish-owned The Washington Post, writing under the heading “How Obama might recover” said that Barack Obama should bomb Iran to boost American economy and get re-elected in 2012.

    “Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve,” he wrote.

    I remember reading a similar economic predictions from neocons (mostly Jewish) ahead of Afghan War (2001) and Iraq War (2003).

    It’s interesting to note that while the US economy is in recession, thanks to wars for Israel (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza) and US$968 billion bail-out for The (Jewish) Wall Street. Some American economy-pundits predict that it’s going to cost American taxpayers more than US$3 trillion for the US wars for Israel in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Dean Baker with the Center for Economic and Policy Research had this to say to the ‘Iranophobe’ David Broder: “So, we have two routes to prosperity. We can either build up our physical infrastructure and improve the skills and education of our workers or we can go kill Iranians. Broder has made it clear where he stands”.

    Contrary to America’s financial mess – IMF in its 2010 report said that Islamic Republic even under 30-year western sanctions – has become the third largest exporter in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia ($242.5 billion) and UAE ($220.3 billion). Iran’s export stood at US$95 billion. Iran’s non-oil export has already passed US$14.3 billion during the current year.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/broder-war-with-iran-will-get-obama-re-elected/

  4. Benjamin on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    It’s true – there won’t be an unemployment problem if all the unemployed are drafted and then die in a war! Problem solved!

  5. Benjamin on the 04. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    It would be interesting to see how the economy does when a couple flaming oil tankers are blocking the Strait of Hormuz though. If we were lucky, half of the Saudi refineries would have gone boom too.

    Yup, I bet the economy would be doing real swell.

  6. D Costa on the 05. Nov, 2010 remarked #

    Just imagine this war rheotoric of David Broder against a nation that has done no wrong to America! These people dont think twice about the value of human life when it comes to non-Jewish people. The only country that deserves a war from America is Israel based on all the crime Israel has perpetrated against America and the rest of humanity. Iraq and Afghanistan did not hurt America on 9/11. Israel did. Egypt, Syria, Labanon did not bomb the USS Liberty, Israel did. Israel also did the Lavon Affair.

    Muslims have done no harm to America. Our problem is the Jewish problem. Arabs are not spying on America. US congress and senate dont have Arabs. Neither does Hollywood.

    Somebody need to watch the safety of John Boehner [R-Ohio] who will be the speaker of the house in 2011 unless Jewish conspirators kill him in an plane crash or a car accident or even get him murdered like they murdered JFK so that Eric Cancer can be the speaker of the house.

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