By Daniel Tencer

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.

4 Responses

  1. Janus says:

    Hello everyone,

    It is my opinion that America will not attack Iran because they follow the Shia brand of Islam. Some Muslims have observed that the NWO/U.S. want to increase the division in the Muslim world by covertly supporting Shia Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war Iran received and used Israeli weapons. If we ignore what Ahmedinjad and the U.S. leadership keep saying about each other, we see that America has destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq and now they are trying to attack Sunni Pakistan. Could the retoric voiced by Iran and America against each other be mis-direction to hide the truth?

  2. Ed says:

    Such bullshit that I am essentially being suffocated. Only an idiot would say such a thing.
    Does he not realize we have been in continuous war since the 1913 Zionist take over of America in 1913. And, yet after 9 more years of doing Zionist Israel’s bidding, our economy is in shambles, with our production and millions of jobs moved overseas by the Zionist bankers that control all trade treaties and, indeed, every level of government, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, education, and – oh, hell, just read the Protocols of Zion and the Communist Manifesto for all that is controlled.

    If you truly want to fix the economy (America was once the most or close to the most successful union of states in the world), get rid of the federal reserve as it is foreign owned by a bunch of criminals that are against against all mankind except their own.

    Repeal every treaty (all are illegal anyway) that affects trade and taxation on incoming products. Force every American manufacture home, and get rid of all foreign manufacturers that set up shop here.

    Fire all the politicians in office that helped pass trade treaties and look up the others that no longer hold office and prosecute for treason, including those that allowed the slaughter of Afghanis and Iraqis without war declared.

    And, quit reading the Zionist controlled media newspapers, especially the Washington Post and the Jew York Times. Stop reading anything written by economists, as most is gibberish. Stop reading or listening to any media form that touts the wars we are in a “protecting our freedoms (we have none, as you are taxed in one form or another for every act you do) and, besides, if freedom was protected, our military would be on our shores, so to speak, blocking illegals and our enforcers would not be acting as domestic terrorists but would instead be rounding up illegals and throwing their asses out of America. Illegals have no rights here – PERIOD. They are criminals stealing from our people that need every so-called “dollar” they earn or receive in retirement or whatever.

    I guarantee that the axis of evil destroying all that is good in mankind is the US Government (lackey of the other two), the State of Israel (secular and created by Rothschild), and England (controlled by the House of Rothschild that are Zionist so-called Jews, the same clods that control our government and the world’s failing economy. WARS MAKE THESE PEOPLE AND THE INTERNATIONAL BANKING CARTEL EVEN RICHER, TRANSFERRING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF PROPERTY TO THEIR COFFERS. If you ever wonder why you cannot buy as much now as you could ten years ago, it is because your purchasing power was transferred to the banking cartel, as it has flooded our economy with trillions in fiat money. All that need do now, is contract the supply and millions upon millions will starve while those that cause this will get lost property and sit back in luxury watching the mayhem with glee, just as Bush and that bunch of war criminals watched the devastation of Afghanistan and Iraq with great excitement.

    Never forget. If a Zionist or one of Zionist controlled politicians (all) open its mouth, it is lying.

    I ask this question. Has your personal financial condition improved under the current wars that are not declared? Prices have doubled or more than doubled. Thousands have lost their homes.

    So, if attacking another country going to solve the problems. NOT NO BUT HELL NO!!!!

    By the way, the depression ended because the Zionists bankers expanded the currency supply. FDR, one of the dumbest presidents ever AND A ZIONIST ROTHSCHILD LACKEY, and a Sephardic Crypto-Jew (of the Rosenfelt family), had nothing to do with it other than being given credit for ending the depression when none was deserved, as he did everything to bring WW II to America, including setting up the 7th Fleet as he knew Japan was going to attack, as he also helped set that up.

  3. Amir Murtaza says:

    I totally agree with David Broder. But want to add something. In my view for war they have one more option and that is to pump up India to attack Pakistan. The country whom US is selling transport planes and their company is also in line for tender of 125 fighter aircraft.
    They will use India’s shoulder to fire on Pakistan. That will help not only to support their economy but also neutralize China’s Israel or Fort of Islam.

    I disagree with Blake Hounshell: US are always dependent on their defense industry. At that time thousands of planes, warships and military hardware were developed to support the war and what every US earned from war on providing the services used in economic stimulus program.
    Secondly American military tools are exhausted in Iraq, Afghanistan, south Korea and other bases of the world. They need to produced it more and after the war the will sell extra tools to country in middle east.

    I disagree with Marc Lynch too. When the defense industry will be mobilized and those who have no jobs will get jobs, they will automatically support the government. As it happen in Iraq. Although people at that time considered Bush as corrupt they still support him on their national interest that Iraq has WMD but what was public interest and that was that they were getting jobs. If American people have wisdom then why not they ask government to compensate Iraqis for attacks in the name of WMD.
    Now this episode of parcel bomb in my opinion originated by CIA is trial of a new accusation either on Iran or Pakistan. They always use media to set their public and the European public minds.

    I again disagree with Dean Baker, as spending borrowed money as US has nothing in their vault on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating their kids will not attract foreign lender and will face criticism. Therefore why not develop a drama to save the world and attract foreign lender by showing that US is saving their skin.

    I lastly disagree with Matt Duss, as Allah said in Quran. The more the power gain by anyone, I make it to commit mistakes. That one statement explain the example of committing themselves in Afghanistan and Iraq and now crying like baby.

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