Bad news for antiwar Dems

There has been an explosion of consumer spending and business in Iraq according to USA Today.

"When Massoud Mazouri learned that the U.S.-led coalition had ousted Saddam Hussein from power on April 9, he hurried to Baghdad from his home in northern Iraq to set up an electronics business.

"Now the 28-year-old Kurdish merchant is selling televisions and satellite receivers at a brisk pace to gadget-starved shoppers. It's among the first signs that Iraq's larger economy is coming to life."

"...merchants such as Mazouri already are cashing in. Television sets, refrigerators and boxes of satellite receivers are stacked 10 feet high on the sidewalks of Baghdad's shopping districts. Shoppers who have waited for years to be able to spend their hoarded dollars are out in force.

'''When I started in late April, I was receiving one container of DiStar goods per month,' Mazouri says. 'Now, I am getting five to six containers.' Each container holds about 270 television sets or 3,800 satellite receiver units. He says he is grossing $20,000 a day. 'All the sales are done in cash.'''

"...The buying spree has been helped by the suspension of customs duties, import taxes, licensing fees and similar surcharges for most goods entering and leaving the country. The U.S.-led coalition's order on June 7 that suspended such charges has made Iraq a virtual free-trade zone at least until the end of the year."

"For consumers, the bottom line is lower prices. A Samsung air conditioner that sold for $1,200 before the war is now half that price. The Iraqi Planning Ministry reports that home appliance prices are down 41% from their prewar prices; electronics are down 38%."


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