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New York Times signs treaty with Iraq, declares war on U.S.

Okay, perhaps the editors haven't quite gone that far. Yet. But they're doing everything short of shipping weapons to Baghdad in an attempt to undermine the Bush administration's supposed intention to invade Iraq. (I think this would be Ann Coulter's cue to accuse them of treason and suggest they be deported to Guantanamo.)

First, they reported possible U.S. plans to invade Iraq from three sides simultaneously, describing the size of the U.S. force and the directions from which the attacks would come. Then they followed up by describing an alternative plan, in which the U.S. would seize Baghdad quickly and attack from the "inside out".

And to follow up on revealing Pentagon plans to Saddam Hussein, the Times is propagandizing against war, attempting to convince the American public that attacking Iraq isn't economically feasible. Except, once again, the Times writes a headline that their story can't back up: "Profound Effect on U.S. Economy Seen in a War on Iraq."

The article primarily focuses on the cost of the conflict, but without explaining what the "profound effects" of those costs might be. Moreover, it's all guesswork, as the Times admits:

Senior administration officials said Mr. Bush and his top advisers had not begun to consider the cost of a war because they had yet to decide what kind of military operation might be necessary. Whatever choice is made, experts say, the costs are likely to be significant and therefore may ultimately influence the size, scale and tactics of any military operation.
(Emphasis added.) The article also discusses the potential disruption of the oil supply, but admits that Bush has thought ahead:
Last Nov. 13, a month after the United States began bombing Afghanistan to dislodge the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the president's advisers debated whether Iraq should be the focus of phase two of the campaign against terrorism. Mr. Bush directed Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to add more than 100 million barrels to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Since Jan. 1, oil shipments into the reserve have reached record levels, about 150,000 barrels a day. One oil strategist in London noted that United States government acquisitions for the reserve were accounting for more than half of the growth in demand for oil this year.

With a capacity of 700 million barrels, the reserve could be used to disperse 4.2 million barrels of oil a day to jittery markets more than enough to make up for the 1 million barrels a day of Iraqi crude lost because of military operations.

So what's the "profound effect?" The article doesn't say. It hints, I suppose, that a recession is possible, but certainly doesn't provide the certainty that the headline does.


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