The Iraq debate
Thomas L. Friedman, a NY Times columnist, provided a remarkably erudite and provocative analysis of the upcoming conflict with Iraq on today's episode of Fresh Air on NPR (web site, Real audio). I especially liked his comments on the long term impact an invasion of Iraq would have on oil prices: the U.S. would replace the Iraqi regime with a friendly regime that would more than double Iraq's oil output, putting enormous strain on OPEC. Oil prices would spike at the beginning of the invasion, but long term prices would be much lower. I also like his comments about Russia: "Putin's essentially saying, 'Show me the money.'"
Later in the program, there is a discussion of the pre-9/11 U.S. treatment of the Middle East as "a dumb gas station" which led to poverty and anti-Americanism, and of the architecture of the World Trade Centers. The program's well worth the half-hour investment.