Thursday, September 13, 2007

Molly Ivins: down-home prescience

Charles Kaiser writes in the Observer on a recent service to remember Molly Ivins:

Calvin Trillin recalled Paul Krugman’s [column] immediately after Ivins’ death. Mr. Krugman cited these examples of the Texan’s extraordinary prescience:

Nov. 19, 2002: ''The greatest risk for us in invading Iraq is probably not war itself, so much as: What happens after we win? There is a batty degree of triumphalism loose in this country right now.

Jan. 16, 2003: ''I assume we can defeat Hussein without great cost to our side (God forgive me if that is hubris). The problem is what happens after we win. The country is 20 percent Kurd, 20 percent Sunni and 60 percent Shiite. Can you say, 'Horrible three-way civil war?' ''

Oct. 7, 2003: ''Good thing we won the war, because the peace sure looks like a quagmire. I've got an even-money bet out that says more Americans will be killed in the peace than in the war, and more Iraqis will be killed by Americans in the peace than in the war. Not the first time I've had a bet out that I hoped I'd lose.''

"So,” Mr. Krugman concluded, “Molly Ivins -- who didn't mingle with the great and famous, didn't have sources high in the administration, and never claimed special expertise on national security or the Middle East -- got almost everything right. Meanwhile, how did those who did have all those credentials do? With very few exceptions, they got everything wrong.”