Earlier today, I read a story in Newsweek that included a graphic noting some good news from Iraq. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to the paper version I was reading. You'll have to trust me.UPDATE (11:04am, Dec. 30th):
The claimed fact: in the past few years, Iraq's economy has increased nearly 50%. It went from about $20 billion to around $30 billion.
Should we be pleased?
First, note that the US government estimates Iraq's 2005 economy at closer to $25 billion, so the stats may have been wrong.
Second, the US is reportedly planning to spend at least $50 billion in Iraq in 2006. Thus, this doesn't seem like such good news. How can the US spend nearly double Iraq's economy -- and not make even more of a difference in the size of Iraq's economy? In less than three, years, the US has already spent nearly $230 billion.
Long lines formed at gas stations in Baghdad on Friday as word spread that Iraq's largest oil refinery had shut down in the face of threats against truck drivers, and fears grew of a gas shortage.