Bonner’s Law: The quality of information declines by the square of the distance from the source.
Corollary one: The farther away you get, the clearer the picture becomes.
This week’s news told us that U.S. lawmakers were getting annoyed by their confreres in Iraq. It seems the Iraqi pols are planning to take the summer off. They’re just going fishing, we suppose.
But the news set off huffs and puffs of indignation all around Washington. “How can they think about taking a break while our boys are risking their lives to straighten that godforsaken place out?” was the gist of the complaints.
From the banks of the Potomac, the show in Iraq has a clear theme; there is even a moral to it. The Iraqis need to get their act together; it’s as simple as that. Hillary Clinton said so. In her mind, and probably in the minds of most Americans, the United States made a good-faith effort to clean up the place. We handed the Iraqis a freshly-minted democracy on a platter…a platter of U.S. dollars and military contracts, at that. But the desert tribes blew it.
And now…rather than stay at their posts and pass the necessary ‘reforms’…the weasely desert tribes’ representatives are planning to go to the beach.
Of course, if the Iraqis saw it the way the Americans do, they would have already passed the ‘reforms.’ But the picture is less clear to them; they are in the middle of it.
And here, from our Markets and Money headquarters, we have no idea what is going on in Iraq. But why not just let the Iraqi lawmakers take their vacation? They’ve probably already done enough damage.
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