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This New York Times article ( "U.S. Weighs Takeover of Two Mortgage Giants" - 7/10/08) is typical of how the corporate media omit underlying causes in reporting on current economic difficulties.

You can see how the Iraqtastrophe is impacting events, but you have to think very carefully while you read. Here's one example, a sentence starting the second paragraph:

The companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been hit hard by the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

Let's review three of the ways that the war on Iraq has contributed to this foreclosure crisis.

- The resulting increase in oil prices has pushed some people who were near default on their mortgages over the edge.

- The rising oil prices and increased budget deficits have slowed the overall US economy down. Newly unemployed people are much more likely to lose their homes to foreclosure.

- Higher oil prices have increased trade deficits. Those deficits, along with growing budget deficits, have resulted in a falling dollar. A weak dollar is unattractive to foreign investors, including risk tolerant ones that otherwise might be interested in buying heavily discounted US mortgage paper.

Now, let's review a paragraph later in the article (bolding mine).
The companies are by far the biggest providers of financing for domestic home loans. If they are unable to borrow, they will not be able to buy mortgages from commercial lenders. In turn, that would make it more expensive and difficult, if not impossible, for home buyers to obtain credit, freezing the United States housing market. Even healthy banks are reluctant to tie up scarce capital by offering mortgages to low-risk home buyers without Fannie and Freddie taking the loans off their books.

One of the reasons capital is so scare is that the Bush regime is borrowing so much money to pay for their colonial occupation of Iraq. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been borrowed to feed this fiscally voracious war, money which is unavailable for home and commercial credit.

Obviously, Iraq isn't the only cause of our economic difficulties. Financial market deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, and other policies which shift wealth from the middle class and the poor to the super rich all are important as well. Yet, how can we have an informed political debate if so much of what is ailing us is kept off of the metaphorical table?

Some opponents of the war say that the vast majority of Americans are not sacrificing anything to the war in Iraq. It certainly is true that military members and their families make much larger sacrifices than everyone else. However, all of us are sacrificing for this unpopular war. We are just being lied to about it.

Iraq is a proverbial "elephant in the living room" of American economic discussion. Our nation better start talking about it.



  1. Unknown Says:
  2. Good point, one thing the Bush regime has done is divorce the consequences from the prosecution of the war. Exposing the cause and effect is vital for people to see the real cost of war. The extent that corporate media doesn't do that does in part indicate the extent they approve of the war, want to avoid elite peer disapproval and profit from it. And yes misinformed people will be directed to blame scapegoats for their problems and not the 'elephant in the room'. McCain's spiteful econ guy Gramm is a good example of that, it also suggest this is the beginning of end stage neoliberalism the authoritarian capitalist/corporatist warfare state, some corporations have already managed to have their crimes retroactively dismissed by a cooperative poltical class. That is another cost of war too, the law, liberties.

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Hey Lib, I have come to the realization of the MSM in America this week. I have been making a similar point in my blog that the media is no longer concerned with informing but just wants to meet the bottom line and keep those ratings up.

    When the conservatives did not have control of the media, we have to go back a few decades for that, we would have had reporters tying in the Iraq war to the current financial situation but because it is not PC to continually criticize the Iraq War, we just have this magical financial crisis but no connection what so ever.

    This is just going to be a continuation with Senator McCain, hopefully people realize this and vote for someone else.

  5. Unknown Says:
  6. Great writeup Libhomo!

    The Iraq War has also contributed by way of the stop-loss bullshit they are pulling on National Guard soldiers. Those guys aren't making the same money the regular army guys are..and in fact many of them are losing their homes too.

    Its all SO fucked up. Less than 3% of Americans have a family member that has 'served' so as far as contributing..the vast majority of Americans have not, in that specific way.

    Yes, we all are suffering the causal effects of these fucked up wars.

    Btw..you asked on my blog how to access the YouTube vids I created. Here is my homepage on YouTube. Hope you aren't peeved about them.


  7. Unknown Says:
  8. Would you allow me to crosspost this writeup at my group blog Sirens Chronicles? Its so spot-on.

  9. "Iraqtastrophe"-great word, I may have to use it soon.

  10. libhom Says:
  11. rickb: You are right that liberties are being thrown out in the post 911 era. I remember when the rightists kept saying "they hate us for our freedom" while working to take our freedom from us.

    crian: With Obama's waffling on Iraq, I'm not sure he will stop the war either. We better fight like hell to get him to if he gets elected, and the pressure needs to start now.

    Dusty: Thanks for the URL. There were some important points that I wanted to discuss enmeshed in one of your videos at greater length, and I expect that this will be the case with others.

    Feel free to crosspost this at Siren Chronicles. Sounds like I'll be a "guest blogger." :)

    Dr. Monkey: Thanks, I'll have to use it again myself.

  12. Unknown Says:
  13. Yep, your a guest blogger Libhomo..but only because you refuse to write for Sirens on a regular or semi-regular basis, kind sir. ;)

    Just a gentle dig ok?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    If such people, as those who wanted war
    Against Iraq, are Christian, I am not.
    Such acts have driven more from the church door
    Than proselytizing which belies such rot.




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