You are browsing the archive for Economics.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Google Is a Tricky Case but Conservatives Please Stay Strong — Reject the Temptation to Regulate the Internet

December 12, 2018 in Economics

By John Samples

John Samples

Everyone involved in politics has bad days, when one’s interests
conflict with one’s ideals. Some conservatives had a bad day on
Tuesday when Google CEO Sundar Pachai appeared before Congress to
respond to allegations of anti-conservative bias at Google.

Since at least the presidency of Ronald Reagan, conservatives
have stood for limited, constitutional government. That commitment
has not always been easy. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
voted to protect flag burning as free speech even though he hated
the desecration of the flag. If conservatives don’t stand strong
— even in tough cases — for limited government, who
will?

Content moderation at big tech companies certainly looks like a
tough case. On the one hand, conservatives have long supported a
free market where entrepreneurs and CEOs, not politicians, decide
how to run businesses.

If conservatives don’t
stand strong – even in tough cases – for limited government, who
will?

On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg, noted earlier this year that
the people who work in Silicon Valley generally lean to the left.
So do university employees, and conservatives are well aware of the
problems posed by the left’s dominance on campuses.

So conservatives are tempted to use the tools of big government
to make sure Google and Facebook don’t restrict speech that
their employees do not like. We saw some conservatives giving in to
temptation during the Pachai hearings.

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said Congress should make sure
Google’s search “is never used to unfairly censor
conservative viewpoints or suppress political views.” I
thought the Fairness Doctrine was done away with during the Reagan
administration because that conservative president believed in free
speech! The conservative ideal of the free market in searches and
speech means Mr. Pachai is accountable to his customers — not
to Congress.

Rep. Steve King, R.-Iowa, demanded that Congress have access to
the social media history of content moderators at Google. He
continued, “If that doesn’t solve this problem, the
next step then is to publish the algorithms. If that doesn’t
happen, then the next step down the line is Section 230.”
(Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides liability
protections which prevent social media firms from being held
legally responsible for user-generated content.)

Let’s be clear here. Rep. King is saying the federal
government should force private individuals to disclose their life
online to achieve “fairness.” If that fails, the
federal government should take control of private property (the
code for Google’s search function) and make it public,
thereby destroying much of its value. Finally, if all else fails,
Rep. King wants to end that part of current law (Section 230) which
experts say has protected speech from …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

If You Thought Scrooge Was Bad, Consider the Victorian Home

December 12, 2018 in Economics

By Chelsea Follett

Chelsea Follett

We owe many popular Christmas traditions to
Victorian England, from carols and decorated trees to gift-giving.
These cheerful traditions stand in stark contrast with our
recognition of the nightmarish working conditions at the time. In
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, for example, the
miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge exemplifies the alleged spirit
of the Victorian age: heartlessness, he maintains, is good for
business.

Underneath the veneer of destitution and exploitation of the
era, however, things were changing for the better. The unlikely and
seldom acknowledged benefactor of the poor in 19th century Britain
was the factory.

When asked to picture a scene of horrifying working conditions
during the Victorian era, most people conjure up the image of a
19th century factory. Yet the life of a housemaid was, at that
time, far bleaker than that of most “factory girls.”
That is one of many surprising insights that can be found in Judith
Flanders’ fascinating book, Inside the Victorian Home:
factories helped improve working conditions, especially for
women.

Why, for young women
especially, factory work was preferable to domestic labor in
Dickensian times.

In 1851, one in three women between the ages of 15 and 24 in
London worked as a domestic servant. Their work was often
excruciating, and it is no wonder that many of them rushed at the
opportunity to join factories and leave domestic service.

First, consider how health conditions differed for factory and
domestic workers. An average housemaid “had less fresh air
than a factory worker,” according to Flanders. The kitchens
and sculleries of well-to-do Victorian homes, where the servants
spent much of their time, were particularly unhygienic. Rats were
tolerated, as servants focused their efforts on the more numerous
threat: bugs. The typical “kitchen floor at night
palpitate[d] with a living carpet” of cockroaches, and the
typical kitchen ceiling was crawling with beetles. When the author
Beatrix Potter visited her grandparents’ home in the summer
of 1886, her servants “had to sit on the kitchen table [while
working], as the floor heaved with cockroaches.”

As if the health hazards weren’t bad enough, consider the
exhausting working hours. A typical housemaid “did at least
twelve hours of heavy physical labor every day, which was two hours
more than a factory worker (four hours more on Saturdays).”
Also, unlike most factory workers, house servants rarely had
Sundays off. A typical servant’s workday began at six
o’clock in the morning at the latest, no later than
five-thirty in the summer, and didn’t end until ten at night
— at the earliest. Working from five in the morning until
midnight was not unheard of. Servants faced an almost
impossible-to-complete list of …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Washington’s Short-Term Thinking Won’t Head off the Coming Debt Crisis

December 12, 2018 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

Recently, The Daily Beast reported that when President
Trump was briefed early last year about the future consequences of
the federal debt, he replied bluntly, “Yeah, but I
won’t be here.”

It would be easy to shake our heads at yet another example of
the president’s inability to think beyond the present. But
Trump is hardly alone in his disregard for our looming debt crisis;
with characteristic pithiness, his dismissive response expressed
the basic attitude of most Washington lawmakers.

Lawmakers and President
Trump must look beyond their own immediate political prospects to
imagine the country they’ll leave behind.

Yet, if we don’t stem the rising tide of red ink it will pose an
intolerable burden for our kids and grandkids. But to be fair to
lawmakers, they’re not wrong: The bill for our profligacy
won’t come due until well after the next election. Our children and
grandchildren don’t vote. And anything done today to fix the
problem — raising taxes, cutting spending, reforming
entitlements, etc. — will anger one group or another of
Americans who do vote.

Because most lawmakers indulge such a short-sighted,
self-interested stance, however, the federal deficit will exceed
$779 billion this year and top $1 trillion in the next. The
national debt now exceeds $21 trillion. And it will get worse. The
federal debt will double as a percentage of the economy within the
next 30 years. Within the next 75 years, the debt could exceed a
phenomenal 600 percent of GDP, according to the Committee for a
Responsible Federal Budget.

Interest on the debt is already the fastest-growing portion of
the federal budget, and as interest rates begin to rise, it will
skyrocket even faster. Within the next five years, interest on the
debt is expected to be larger than the defense budget. By 2050, it
will exceed Social Security spending, and, by 2070, it will exceed
spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare combined. No matter
what your political perspective or policy priorities, that can’t be
an enticing prospect.

Yet the Trump administration and its congressional allies
continue to pursue a policy of increasing both domestic and defense
spending, protecting entitlements, and reducing taxes. (One can at
least claim that the tax cuts have increased economic growth in the
short term: Despite the cuts, revenues are still up by roughly 1
percent this year.)

Now we are approaching yet another government showdown. Congress
has only been able to pass seven of the required twelve
appropriations bills it must pass by December 21 to avoid a partial
shutdown over Christmas, although the remaining five are expected
to be rolled into a single spending …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Nationalism and Populism Detrimental to Freedom

December 12, 2018 in Economics

By Tanja Porčnik, Visio Institut

Tanja Porčnik and Visio Institut

With the rise of nationalism, populism, and hybrid forms
of authoritarianism, freedom has been for years under assault in
many parts of the world.

Unsurprisingly, among the countries with the most
substantial deteriorations in freedom in recent years are Turkey
and Poland, both experiencing evident weakening of the rule of
law
, contracting religious freedom, and attacks on freedom
of expression.

Today we are releasing the fourth annual Human Freedom Index, the most
comprehensive measure of freedom ever created for a large number of
countries around the globe. The report documents global
freedom on a continuing decline since 2008
, the earliest
year for which a robust enough index could be produced.

Freedom has indeed taken
root in various societies, and it is also spreading in numerous
countries around the globe.

On a country level, we have seen the most significant
deteriorations during this time in Greece, Brazil, Venezuela,
Egypt, and Syria. Also, notably, Russia’s rating fell from
6.53 in 2008 to 6.27 in 2016; Hungary’s rating fell from 8.05 to
7.74
; Argentina’s score dropped from 7.04 to 6.47; and
Turkey’s rating decreased from 6.92 to 6.47 (between 2011 and 2016,
Turkey’s rating decreased even more markedly, falling from 7.22 to
6.47).

On a positive side, countries that saw improvement in their
level of human freedom most since 2008 are Côted’Ivoire, Angola,
Zimbabwe, Taiwan, and Lesotho.

Freedom has indeed taken root in various societies, and
it is also spreading in numerous countries around the
globe
. Notably, New Zealand tops the Human Freedom
Index
rankings this year, followed by Switzerland.

Both outperform Hong Kong, whose ranking and ratings continue to
drop in light of ever-increasing interference and perceived
interference by mainland China in Hong Kong’s policies and
institutions, including infringements on freedom of the press and
the independence of the legal system.

Other selected countries rank as follows: Australia (4th),
Canada (5th), the Netherlands and Denmark (tied in 6th place),
Ireland and the United Kingdom (tied in 8th place), and Finland,
Norway, and Taiwan (tied in 10th place), Germany (13), the United
States and Sweden (tied in 17th place), Japan (31), France and
Chile (tied in 32nd place), Italy (34th), South Africa (63rd),
Mexico (75th), Indonesia (85th), Argentina and Turkey (tied in
107th place), India and Malaysia (tied in 110th place), Russia
(119th), China (135th), Pakistan (140th), Saudi Arabia (146th),
Iran (153rd), Egypt (156th), Iraq (159th), Venezuela (161st), and
Syria (162nd).

The freest countries in Eastern Europe include Estonia
(ranked 14 globally), Lithuania (20), the Czech Republic (21),
Latvia (23), and Romania (24)
. The least free country in
the region is Belarus (128) preceded by Russia (119), Ukraine
(118), Moldova (75), and …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Fateful Arrest That Could Poison America’s Relationship with China

December 11, 2018 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Amid controversy over a maybe yes/maybe no ceasefire in Donald
Trump’s trade war with China, the United States engineered
the arrest by Canada of a top Chinese executive for allegedly
busting U.S. sanctions on Iran. The detention sparked outrage in
Beijing, which threatened Canada with “grave
consequences” if Meng Wanzhou is not released.

Huawei Technologies Co. is one of China’s international
behemoths, a telecom firm that now sells more smartphones than
Apple. The arrest of Meng, the founder’s daughter and
Huawei’s chief financial officer, was not for committing a
genuine crime against Americans, but rather for allegedly lying
over Huawei’s connection to another firm that did business in
Iran. The Trump administration is determined to dragoon other
nations into its anti-Tehran crusade.

Washington’s use of its economic clout to coerce the rest
of the world reflects extraordinary hubris. Americans would be
outraged if another nation did the same to us.

By busting Meng Wanzhou,
Trump is signaling that he expects to dictate to every nation, no
matter how powerful.

In recent years, the United States has imposed sanctions on
numerous nations, including Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar,
Russia, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia. Increasingly Washington insists
that the rest of the world follow America’s lead or else. It
seemed radical when the 1996 Helms-Burton Act targeted foreign
firms trading with Cuba. Since then, secondary sanctions have
become commonplace, the economic weapon of choice against Sudan
(since lifted), North Korea, Syria, and Iran. Against that latter
nation, Washington currently is using U.S.-dominated financial
markets in an attempt to enforce essentially a total embargo.

Obviously, the purpose of secondary penalties is to magnify the
impact of a boycott. In some cases, such as Iraq and North Korea,
Washington has won UN Security Council support for multilateral
penalties. In many instances, however, foreign governments dismiss
what they see as shortsighted, counterproductive
penalties—yet we press ahead anyway.

For instance, only in the U.S. do ethnic Cubans possess
disproportionate political clout, based on Florida’s importance in
determining the outcome of presidential elections. Hence, six
decades after imposing its embargo, Washington continues, alone, to
isolate Cuba economically. Given the politics, the U.S. may still
be doing so 60 years from now.

When international support is lacking, Washington threatens
foreign businesses to expand its bans. Even the slightest error can
lead to huge fines if companies do business in the U.S. Firms
forced to choose between markets in America and much smaller,
isolated states overwhelmingly pick the former, which requires
complying with American restrictions. That turns a secondary
boycott by the U.S. into a global squeeze, if not a full
boycott.

Commercial restrictions have become all too common, perhaps
because they are easy to apply …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Government Must Resist Micro-Managing Our EU Exit

December 11, 2018 in Economics

By Ryan Bourne

Ryan Bourne

Unlike many commentators, I believe that a no-deal Brexit still
very possible.

It is the default as the clock ticks, and parliament must vote
for government-backed legislation to change path.

For all the threats about a second referendum, the Conservatives
would implode if they rowed back on delivering Brexit. And as
regrettable as a no-deal scenario might be, it seems the only way
of achieving a meaningful Brexit.

Yes, adjustment will be
disruptive. It requires an active government to prepare. But
markets respond quickly in the face of necessity.

But Brexiteers who consider this option the best path forward
should admit that it would come with short-term dislocation, and
prepare the country for it.

The effect here would not be “uncertainty”. No-deal
provides clarity relative to the chaos of Theresa May’s
proposed withdrawal agreement or a second referendum.

Rather, the impact would be practical disruptions as we shift
towards a new trading environment.

The visible effect widely discussed is at ports. Critics argue
that delays caused by physical customs, administration, and
regulatory checks will slow down the rate of vehicle pass-through.
This could cause ferry and ship delays, in effect reducing
capacity, mainly between Dover and Calais.

Some at HMRC envisage far less disruption than Downing
Street’s apocalyptic tales, and Tim Morris, chief executive
at the UK Major Ports Group, has rubbished the idea that “the
Dover effect” will occur elsewhere. But it seems reasonable
to expect an early impact.

The government must therefore be clear on what environment for
cross-border trade it envisages — not just on regulations (it
has largely said that it will accept all EU goods as before), but
on tariffs, and whether it will apply a tariff-free environment to
all goods worldwide under WTO law.

This move towards unilateral free trade would helpfully offset
some of the economic costs of more trade barriers with the EU,
mitigating the Brexit trade disruption which politicians and
commentators seem to fear so greatly.

Sadly, rather than focus on these big structural questions,
politicians’ instincts lean towards micro-management. Despite
Treasury efforts, ministers are already discussing rationing space
on ferries to guarantee that “essentials” are
shipped.

Such hysterical attempts at central planning are misguided.

A no-deal Brexit would be a near-term negative supply shock,
like the disruption caused by sustained adverse weather. Delays
naturally drive up shipping prices, in turn raising prices of
shipped goods while changing relative prices between them.

These rising costs are, of course, not good for the economy. But
markets are remarkably adept and self-correcting, helping to
alleviate queuing and shortages.

Firms which ship goods would have to reassess their willingness
to pay. That helps ration space towards producers which judge that
they can …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Cory Booker's 'Baby Bonds' Wouldn't Support a Savings Culture — It's Just More Government Subsidies

December 10, 2018 in Economics

By Ryan Bourne

Ryan Bourne

To the extent bipartisan policy reform is possible, ideas must
appeal to the instincts of both conservatives and liberal
progressives.

In that tradition, Sen. Cory Booker’s proposal for ‘baby bonds’ may be
a stroke of political genius. Founding special accounts for newborn
children with a taxpayer-funded deposit, and means-tested
government additions through childhood, has obvious appeal to
liberals. It redistributes money and reduces measured wealth
inequality.

But Booker is no doubt hoping it can pique conservative interest
too. The so-called American Opportunity Accounts, on the face of
it, introduce children to the concept of saving and support
families, while providing young people with a nest egg to become
more self-sufficient in achieving major life goals.

Booker’s idea is this: When an eligible child is born, an
account would be opened with a $1,000 deposit from the taxpayer.
Each year until the child turns 18, the government would deposit a
means-tested sum rising to a maximum $2,000 contribution. The funds
in these accounts would generate returns free of tax but could not
be withdrawn until the child turns 18. After that point, the money
could be accessed but only be used for specified investments, such
as down payments on a house, college tuition, professional
training, or retirement savings. The eventual sums could be
significant, with a maximum of nearly $50,000 for someone in
receipt of the highest annual contribution and returns of 3 percent
per year.

There’s a crucial difference though between this proposal and
child trust funds that have been previously tried in countries such
as the United Kingdom. Under Booker’s plan, families would be
prohibited from adding to government contributions with their own
private funds. In the U.K., the government merely opened the
accounts and administered two small payments at birth and at age 7.
But the bigger idea was that parents and grandparents would scurry
up to $1,000 more away each year, on top of the government
deposits, valuing the tax advantages and the self-discipline of
being unable to draw down the funds.

Booker’s proposal is entirely different. Being solely a public
scheme, it amounts to pure redistribution — transfers from
taxpayers to those on low incomes. As such, it has little to offer
conservatives. The argument it will encourage saving or show
children the power of investment is bogus. Saving is about
deferring consumption — sacrificing today to fulfill other
goals tomorrow. But this is pure taxpayer support: taxing or
borrowing to take from Peter to pay Paul, with no sacrifice on the
part of those enjoying the rewards.

It’s actually worse than that. Precisely because it
amounts to pure redistribution, Booker would naturally impose
conditions on what the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Going Ballistic: What the Democrats' 'Subpoena Cannon' Means for Trump

December 10, 2018 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

With Democrats seizing the House and Republicans keeping the
Senate, bills beyond the proverbial post-office-naming will be
hard-pressed to make it out of both chambers in the next Congress.
The threat President Trump faces from Democrats, then, isn’t
legislative obstruction, but the ready-aim-fire of the
opposition’s “subpoena cannon.”

That’s the term one senior Democratic source used last
month in describing to Axios the opposition’s main anti-Trump
weapon. Not all of the investigatory weapon’s payload will be
fired at once, but the appetite for “resistance” is
strong and will tie up significant White House and agency
resources. (Full disclosure: My wife is a lawyer in the House
general counsel’s office, but hasn’t participated in
any discussions regarding the Democrats’ plans.)

In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with spending time
on congressional oversight. Indeed it’s a salutary check,
flowing from the “legislative powers” that Article I
grants Congress. The Framers assumed Congress would follow the lead
of the British House of Commons in questioning executive action.
James Wilson, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and
future Supreme Court justice, had written that members of
parliament were considered “grand inquisitors of the realm.
The proudest ministers of the proudest monarchs have trembled at
their censures.” Accordingly, George Mason argued at the
Convention that members of Congress “must meet frequently to
inspect the Conduct of the public offices.”

When the first Congress convened in 1789, the House established
a select committee to investigate the country’s accounts
during the American Revolution, to clear Robert Morris, the
superintendent of finances. In 1792, the House authorized a special
committee to investigate the military defeat of General Arthur St.
Clair. President George Washington ultimately agreed on rules of
disclosure that formed the early basis of what we now know as
“executive privilege.”

And so it went, with the Supreme Court eventually determining
that it was constitutionally kosher for Congress to seek
information when crafting or reviewing laws and overseeing federal
programs — but that Congress must confine itself to
“legislative purposes” and avoid purely private
matters.

Congressional authority here ultimately boils down to the
subpoena power: compelling the production of documents or
appearance of witnesses, on pain of contempt and referral to
federal prosecutors. In practice, few subpoenas actually issue
— and even fewer are enforced through legal process —
because committee staff and the target’s lawyers negotiate
some sort of resolution that narrows the scope of information or
questioning sought. For example, former FBI director James Comey
just this week withdrew his motion to quash a House deposition
subpoena because he “reached an acceptable
accommodation” for voluntary testimony, with a public
transcript to be made available within 24 hours.

Which brings us to the “cannon.” Axios counted
“at …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Don't Let Ukraine Drag America into War

December 10, 2018 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

kraine’s behavior in the Kerch Strait is another example of a
U.S. ally (or security dependent) trying to gain American military
backing for its own parochial agenda. Georgia sought to do that in
2008 regarding its territorial dispute with Russia over two
secessionist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A European
Union-sponsored report subsequently concluded that Georgia started the fighting that broke out in
August of that year. And there is little doubt that Georgian
President Mikheil Saakashvili expected to get much stronger support from the United States and NATO
than he ultimately received.

There are other examples of such self-serving behavior. Saudi
Arabia routinely attempts to entangle the United States in Riyadh’s regional power struggle with Tehran.
Washington’s
shameful support
for the Saudi-led military intervention in
Yemen suggests that the effort has not been in vain.

Americans must not let
the Ukrainian tail wag the American dog, or the result could be
tragic for all concerned.

U.S. leaders need to be far more alert to such maneuvers and
take steps to make certain that the American republic does not
become entangled in conflicts that have little or no connection to
important American interests. Too often, members of this
country’s political, policy, and media elites act as though
the interests and ambitions of an ally or “friend” are
congruent with the best interests of the American people. That
notion is not only erroneous but dangerous.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s conduct before, during,
and after the November Kerch Strait incident, should trouble all
thoughtful Americans. Three Ukrainian naval vessels sought to
transit the strait—a narrow waterway between Russia’s Taman
Peninsula and Crimea—that connects the Black Sea and the Sea
of Azov. Kiev considers the strait international waters and points
to a 2003 bilateral navigation treaty with Russia to vindicate its
position. However, after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine and
annexed that territory in 2014, Moscow now treats the strait as
Russian territorial waters. It insists on forty-eight hours notice
and explicit Russian approval before Ukrainian ships can use the
strait.

Ukraine had complied with that requirement a few months earlier,
but in late November declined to do so and attempted to carry out
an unapproved crossing. Russian security forces rammed a Ukrainian
tug, fired on the two other ships (wounding several sailors) and
then seized all three vessels.

The motive for Kiev’s challenge was murky and the timing extremely suspicious. Poroshenko
faces a tough reelection campaign in Ukraine’s presidential
election at the end of March. Polls showed him languishing in a
crowded field, lagging far behind the leading candidate, former
Prime Minister …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War: Victory, with Tragedy

December 7, 2018 in Economics

By Patrick G. Eddington

Patrick G. Eddington

Most tributes on the passing of George H.W. Bush from across the
American political spectrum have used some variation of the word
“honorable” or “decent” to describe the
nation’s 41st president. By all accounts, in his direct
personal relationships, he was both. That he had physical courage
was amply demonstrated in his youth as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot
in World War II, and in his later years during his occasional
parachute jumps on his birthday. My strongest memories of Bush are
from the first post-Cold War crisis America faced—Saddam
Hussein’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent
Persian Gulf War. Bush’s actions during that fateful eight
months have affected the lives of millions in the nearly three
decades since, and mostly for the worse.

I had a unique vantage point to observe Bush’s response to
the crisis, being at the time a CIA military analyst who worked
what became known as Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The
reports we generated at the National Photographic Interpretation
Center (NPIC) on Iraqi military moves were among the stream of
alarming intelligence sent to the White House between July 20 and
Aug. 1, 1990. That was the period when Saddam Hussein ordered the
key armored and mechanized infantry formations of his Republican
Guard Forces Command (RGFC) to head for the border with Kuwait.

NPIC and the National Intelligence Officer for Warning at the
time, Charles Allen, issued reports chronicling the RGFC buildup.
Allen’s office warned the White House that Saddam might try
to slice off the northern portion of Kuwait, whose oil fields the
Iraqi leader coveted. Instead of listening to Allen and his
analysts (or NPIC’s reporting), Bush chose to embrace the
“It will all blow over” advice he was receiving from
then-King Hussein of Jordan and then-Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak. A former CIA-director-turned-president ignored advice from
his own intelligence professionals. Saddam’s tanks rolled
into Kuwait early on the morning of Aug. 2.

The final legacy of
Bush’s diplomatic work during and after the war was to draw the
United States ever closer to the brutal, corrupt regimes that
reside on the Arabian Peninsula.

By the morning of Aug. 5, Saddam’s advance reconnaissance
elements had actually briefly crossed the Kuwait-Saudi border. The
tracks of the Russian-made BMD reconnaissance vehicles were clearly
visible on the imagery I used to help write the high-priority
report NPIC issued that morning. Saddam had forward deployed two
RGFC divisions to within just a few miles of the Kuwait-Saudi
border. If he ordered them across, there was no credible military
force on the ground that could stop them.

This time, Bush listened to NPIC, Allen …read more

Source: OP-EDS