I agree with Joseph Romm that Alan Greenspan is way overrated. Sure, he declares in his new book that "I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows — the Iraq war is largely about oil."
But he adds in his very next sentence, to paraphrase: And that’s a good thing. Yes, he supported the war because he saw it as essential to maintaining a smooth flow of oil. Everything else, for him, was political window dressing.
And yes, he became a hero to certain liberals because he worked well with Bill Clinton. But what did the two agree on? Essentially, they teamed up to dismantle a few of the remnants of the New Deal that Reagan and Bush I hadn’t gotten round to eviscerating. In his book, Greenspan fondly declares Clinton a "Republican president," comparing him favorably to Bush II. In the end, Greenspan is an Ayn Rand disciple who delivered the goods to Wall Street while charming a few liberal journalists and investors.
Last week, Romm ably exposed the bankruptcy of Greenspan’s environmental ideas. In short, the rugged Randian individualist has no convincing answer to the specter of melting glaciers.
On Monday, Amy Goodman somehow convinced Greenspan to appear [MP3] on her formidable Democracy Now radio show, which specializes in telling truth to power. It’s satisfying to listen to Greenspan laboriously evade her and special guest Naomi Klein’s probing questions about Iraq, globalization, and whether the CIA or inflation brought down elected Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973.
The old man still talks a good game, but he’s no match for the Goodman/Klein tag team.