February 23, 2006

So, will the Iraq civil war have any impact on consmer psyche?

Muhammed cartoons. Iran's leader preparing the world for the hidden mullah. Hamas coming into power. Syria ready to go. Venezuela's Chavez threatening to pull his oil. And a collapsing American presidency.

It's go time. Blowing up this shrine will have worldwide impact. Like blowing up the Wailing Wall (and better prepare yourselves for that day)

Unfortunately folks, Bush & Co have led us down a road that of course the smart folks in the room could see before we started the trip. The dolts - "they'll greet us as liberators" crowd - didn't see it coming. Didn't read their history. Didn't understand the country, or the people. Probably the same folks who predicted a "housing bubble soft landing".

Remember, HP is not Dem or Rep. Just a realist. And to keep this in the context of this blog, bottom line - people don' t shop for houses when the world spins out of control.

Iraq took a lethal step closer to disintegration and civil war yesterday after a devastating attack on one of the country's holiest sites. The destruction of the golden-domed Shia shrine in Samarra sparked a round of bloody sectarian retaliation in which up to 60 Sunni mosques were attacked and scores of people were killed or injured


Anonymous said...

I suppose this is becoming redundant, but consider the opposite view: international turmoil helps buoy US home prices. I don't have the finger energy to recreate the argument here, so I hope some of you saw the earlier threads on the same subject. Post-9/11 the world got a lot more dangerous? True? Post 9/11, the US housing market took off at a truly ridiculous pace. True? Sure, interest rates, bu7t c'mon, are you telling me recent history supports your argument, HP?

-me, the guy who has made this point before and is too paranoid to register a name.

Anonymous said...

Consider no one is going to buy a house if islamic terrorists bomb your neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Consider no one is going to buy a house if islamic terrorists bomb your neighborhood.

cereal said...

keith, i think you're giving the americans way too much credit. we can be in the middle of a nuclear attack and most of us will be busy watching desrerate housewives on the plasma. and cover up that lexus 300 so it doesn't get covered in fallout dust.

i wish i was kidding

devestment said...

At some point, to retain economic credibility The United States will have to cut spending and or raise taxes to balance the budget. In my past experience and memory of recessions starting in the 70’s, this takes a heavy toll on the economy. From my seat “the war on Iraq” isn’t accomplishing anything and Americans are clearly divided on the issue and performance of the current administration. I believe that the coming elections will spark argument about political issues especially spending and the war, that will change Americas optimistic economic attitude. I think it will get difficult to make big house payments as companies cut back and consumer spending slows. Bernanke claims that he can just run the printing presses, but he did not say that he can do it without a price.

devestment said...

"So, will the Iraq civil war have any impact on consmer psyche?"

Hell yes! They are pissed and I am afraid!

Anonymous said...

Consider no one is going to buy a house if islamic terrorists bomb your neighborhood.

Never mind an islamic terrorist bombing your neighborhood, I would worry more about our own goverment bombing our neighborhood.

AmazingRuss said...

I think this is the beginning of world war 3. The housing problem is about to become quaintly irrelevant, as millions of people get slaughtered.

You can bet that there are a bunch of apocolyptic whackjobs trying to get bird flu mutated to spread human to human as we speak...most probably the Iranians. I would guess that their nuke program is a smokescreen for their bioweapon program, which will reduce the population without destroying housing stock. Housing will probably be pretty cheap for the survivors.

(Adjusts tinfoil hat)

Anonymous said...

Tinfoil hat and straw.
Slightly used condition
Bring all offers.

brokersleaveyoubroke said...

Huh? What's going on? What civil war? FOX news says everything is OK and Bush has everything under control, no need to worry. You guys must be watching other networks that deal in reality. That stuff will make you crazy. watch FOX, don't worry, be happy.

Anonymous said...

The whole middle east can sink to the bottom of the sea and it would not impact my psyche. Liberal are idiots so lets get off this political crap and talk about housing market.

AmazingRuss said...

It's not a civil war...its a traditional Muslim sporting event.

Don't be judgemental.

John S said...

Me thinks some of you have your tin foil hats on too tight. The Iraq war is almost 100% ignored in this country. It'll have no effect on anything except to further bloat our national debt.

AmazingRuss said...

I dont know about that...all you have to do is bring up the war to start a major argument in almost any social situation.

Iraq is only the beginning...Iran is next, and Russia is backing them. Kind of interesting that Russia has started up R&D again on creating warheads that can dodge our missile defense.

We were averaging a major war every 40 years up until recently...we're way past due. I think war is like forest fires, except applied to the human population. If the underbrush isn't burnt off periodically, it gets big enough that the trees are threatened when it finally does go.

And us? We're just the critters in the underbrush.

Jiggles McBlogger said...

There's so much going on it's hard to keep track of. Bush and Co. will attack Iran in late March / early April after Iran sets up their oil bourse where oil is sold in Euros and not the USD. They're willing to sell anything and everything to get the security council to stand aside: more outsourcing for India, and look for China to get a piece of our auto industry. Who knows who started this Iraq turmoil ... could be Sunnis, could be Shiites who want a civil war they think they could win with Sadr's followers and Iran's backing.

Iran has played the Iraq war masterfully from a geopolitical perspective. The Iran attack will trigger a dollar crisis and who knows what will happen to the housing bubble then.

Anonymous said...

"Iraq took a lethal step closer to disintegration and civil war yesterday after a devastating attack on one of the country's holiest sites."

As far as I can tell, every piece of junk architecture in Iraq is described by Muslims as one of their "holiest" sites. Hyperbole is the norm. Remember at the start of the war when the state museum was ransacked and looted? Well, according to museum authorities, "thousands" of "priceless" artifacts had been stolen, but when I looked at the lists, I quickly realized that each shard of some old broken jar was counted as a separate "priceless" artifact, and that the entire museum collection was probably worth less than one could find in almost any decent history or art museum in any medium-sized American city.

We made a terrible mistake going into Iraq. There is no way to impose Democracy on savage, primitive peoples who have no such concept, and who are more concerned with imagined sacrilege than with the endless torture and murder of human beings.

Islam very well could be the destruction of Western Civilization. Instead of wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on insane, ungrateful religious fanatics, our idiotic government should be cleaning up its own mess. Bush's constant Arab boot-licking and retarded comments about the "great religion" of Islam are beyond comprehension. There is absolutely NOTHING great about Islam, except its own hubris, and the egos of its demented, superstitious minions.

Last week, Muslim leaders in Russia and Europe called for the execution of all gay people by beheading, dismembering, or burning--claiming that this was mandated by the Koran. I wonder if attitudes like this might not explain Bush's groveling.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately folks, Bush & Co have led us down a road that of course the smart folks in the room could see before we started the trip. The dolts... Remember, HP is not Dem or Rep.

Do you see the irony? The contradiction? 'No, I'm not D or R, its just that the current administration, to a man and top to bottom, is full of -insert ad hominem attack-.'

I understand the desire to blame someone, esepcially someone who you didn't or wouldn't vote for, even better someone with the percieved power to organize some grand scheme. Before your otherwise excellent blog devolves into conspiracy theories and tinfoil hats, you should keep partisanship out of it.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the people blasting Mr. Bush above, and I'm not partisan at all (I voyted for Nader). The fact is, Bush is an idiot, and functionally illiterate. He's milked the terrorism card to death and I, for one, am sick of it. After 9/11 when he discovered his (previously dismal) popularity raiting soaring as a consequence of taking a stand against terrorists, I knew he would exploit the issue forever. And, indeed, since 9/11 he has been unable to give a single speech in which terrorism doesn't feature, even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic.

If this dufus cared about terrorism he wouldn't pander to Muslims, or big business with financial interests in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. He wouldn't allow millions of illegal aliens to come across the border as cheap slave labor.

In my lifetime, we've a had several awful presidents, but Bush is, without question, the worst. This moron isn't a president, but a puppet, incapable of a single thought not written for him in advance, and STILL bungled when he repeats it.

Grown men who shoot tame birds and other creatures for entertainment are FREAKS. If I had the chance, I would tell this horror to his face what an appalling excuse for a human being he is. He can take his f---ing bible and the f---ing Koran and cram them both where Jerry Falwell has his lips firmly planted.

Anonymous said...

" There is no way to impose Democracy on savage, primitive peoples who have no such concept"

My dear, that's about as comical as it gets. Babylon (modern day Iraq)was the cradle of civilization and had mastered the sciences and mathematics when your European ancestors were still eating worms and living in caves. Furthermore, Iraq was a secular country with a fascist dictatorial government, not a religous theocracy. Thirdly, religion is merely a tool used to galvanize people into kicking out the occupiers of their country. Would you like Chinese tanks rolling down your streets in Podunk, Idaho? Or would you say "Give me liberty or give me death"? Fourthly, you can thank the wonderful British colonialists for the mess you see in the middle east today. Some 'Lord Asswipe of Shropshire' decided to play with his crayola crayons on the map one day without any contemplation as to the ethnic makeup of the populations of the countries he was 'creating' for British oil interests, of course. Finally, all this talk of democracy is for twinkie eating, nascar watching dolts like you. Reality is that dictatorships are far more easy to deal with and manipulate than democracies. Read the history books. In every instance where Middle Eastern countries have tried to implement democratic forms of government, people like Kermit Roosevelt and his CIA cronies have orchestrated coup d'etats and replaced the democratically elected leaders with puppet lackeys who are will to bend over and take up the shoot and let the brits and yanks crank up the faucets on what they refer to as 'our oil'. So unless you're willing to dump your Hummer or Ford Destroyer and ride your friggin bicycle to work, shut your twinkie hole!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
An anonymous Anonymous writes:

"My dear, that's about as comical as it gets. Babylon (modern day Iraq)was the cradle of civilization and had mastered the sciences and mathematics when your European ancestors were still eating worms and living in caves."

Sorry SWEETIE, but who gives a flying f--k about ANCIENT history, when it is MODERN Iraq and MODERN Iran (formerly Persia)that are so dreadful? Why not throw in Egypt, King Tut, and his father (a monotheist) to prove your argument that Middle Eastern cultures are advanced?

I didn't say the government of Iraq was theocratic, I said the people of Iraq are religious lunatics. As soon as we rushed in an toppled their dictator, every religious faction in the country took this as a cue to go bonkers.
We should never have gone there in the first place.

The scientifically advanced civilization you equated with modern Iraq does not exist. Islam destroyed it, along with the cultures of many other "advanced" societies. I say these people are primitive in the extreme, and they further prove this every single day.

I think it especially significant that when Muslim fanatics kidnap and behead people, and blow up innocent women and children, the worldwide Muslim community says NOTHING, but when a newspaper runs harmless cartoons, Muslims riot in the streets, killing more innocent people. When perceived sacrilege is of greater concern to the people than murder and mayhem, you do not have a high civilization: you have a religious lunatic asylum.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I don't have a Hummer, and I pretty much walk everywhere I go, DARLING.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. More please.

Anonymous said...

From the L.A. Times:

Tim Rutten:
Regarding Media
When writing truth is a crime
February 25 2006

Timidity and indifference are a lethal combination.

"It was bad enough when, one after another, major American and Western European news organizations capitulated to violent Islamic extremists and refused to let their readers or viewers see any of the cartoons depicting Muhammad that have triggered what amounts to a pogrom against Danes and other Westerners across the Muslim world. This craven abrogation of the standards by which news judgments normally are made was matched by the cringing, minor-key response that passed for diplomacy on the part of Washington and most of the European governments.

"The Western news media's stampede for safety has created quite a draft, and left to swing in the wind are the courageous Arab journalists who printed some of the cartoons in connection with stories and editorials denouncing the violence.

"To its credit, the New York Times this week reported that 11 journalists in five Mideastern countries now are facing prosecution for fully reporting this story. One of them is Jihad Momani. The government of the U.S.'s close ally, Jordan, thinks he committed a crime when he wrote:

"'What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras, or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony?'

"Truth inconveniences tyranny.

"In Yemen, three journalists already are in jail and a fourth is a fugitive. A local imam says, 'The government must execute them.' Their crime? Writing editorials that urged fellow Muslims to avoid violence and to accept an apology from the Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, which first published the cartoons.

"Eleven journalists facing prison, perhaps death, for the crime of publishing sense and where are the outraged editorials in American and European newspapers? Where are the letter-writing campaigns and protests on their behalf from their colleagues in the United States?

"This indifferent silence is all of a piece with the way in which the major Western news organizations have treated the ongoing story of the Iraq war's appalling toll on the journalists trying to inform the world about what's going on there. That's not to argue that the killing of reporters or cameramen is any more lamentable than the deaths of Iraqi civilians or the coalition's servicemen and women. Still, as advocates for — and beneficiaries of — a free press, Western news organizations ought to take some responsibility for defending the principle that makes their service to society possible.

"Dead journalists are free to do whatever it is that dead people do, but it certainly isn't journalism.

"It isn't as if the Western and, particularly, the American press haven't reacted to the deaths and injuries of some of their colleagues in Iraq. When ABC anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman were badly wounded there, for example, there was so much wall-to-wall coverage you'd have thought somebody from Dubai had tried to buy a piece of an American port.

"Consider the difference this week when three journalists working for the Dubai-based television news station Al-Arabiya were murdered while reporting from Samarra. Correspondent Atwar Bahjat, 30, cameraman Khaled Mahmoud al-Falahi, 39, and engineer Adnan Khairallah, 36, were shot dead by unidentified gunmen while trying to cover the destruction of the Golden Mosque. Bahjat, formerly a popular correspondent for the Al-Jazeera satellite network, was the seventh female journalist to die in Iraq since the American invasion.

"The killings, which brought to seven the number of journalists killed in Iraq since Jan. 1, were strongly condemned by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists and by Reporters Sans Frontieres, but barely noted in the American news media.

"There's an unpleasant reason for that. According to Reporters Sans Frontieres, 82 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the American-lead invasion began three years ago. Of all the foreign news organizations working there, al-Arabiya has suffered the heaviest losses. Six members of its staff have been murdered.

"But, the news organization that has suffered the heaviest losses isn't based in the Gulf, London or New York. Its headquarters is in — of all places — Baghdad. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, 10 employees of al-Iraqiya television have been murdered.

"Just imagine what would be happening on this country's editorial pages and television stations if 10 correspondents from the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times or ABC or Fox News had been killed?

"Similarly, of the 38 journalists kidnapped in Iraq since the war began, five were killed. Four were Iraqis and one was Italian. Every editorial page editor in America can tell you about Jill Carroll, the Christian Science Monitor reporter currently being held by insurgents somewhere in Iraq. Next time you meet one of these people, ask them to name one of the Iraqis who were murdered in similar circumstances.

"If 20th century journalism had patron saints, one surely was Albert Camus, who was forced to leave his native Algeria for writing in defense of his Muslim countrymen's rights. In occupied France, he joined the underground Resistance newspaper, Combat, and a collection of his work from those desperate wartime years recently has been published. Among the many memorable things he wrote is this: 'What is needed today are men who will speak up clearly and pay up personally.'

"Is that not precisely what the dead and jailed journalists of the Arab world — men and women — now are doing?

"Honoring their sacrifices through expressions of solidarity isn't just the right thing to do; it's the smart card to play.

"The Muslim Arab world desperately needs change because without it there is no hope. Without at least some semblance of a free press there will be no change. Ignorance and hopelessness go hand in clammy hand. One of the grim lessons of these last few years is that a globalized world can no more contain ignorance and hopelessness than it can quarantine disease.

"Arab journalists and their counterparts throughout the Muslim world willing to speak up at all deserve the full measure of their Western colleagues' support not only because they are defending one of the fundamental principles that make a civil society possible, but also — and most important — because they are agents of transformative hope.

"The jihadis, who have more to fear from hope than they do from all our weapons, know this, and so they kill independent Muslim journalists. The corrupt and sclerotic regimes in power across the Middle East who fear change more than hell know this, so they throw independent editors and reporters into prison. . . ."

I stand by what I've said concerning Mr. Bush and Islam. They are revolting.