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Since the first words of this paper were written in January, there's been a huge increase in violence in Iraq. The intensity and frequency of the conflict has grown to the point where many are calling it a civil war, with new atrocities nearly every day.

I wonder how much of this violence was preventable, how much is tied to the problems in Iraq's economy. I wonder if it is already too late, if the problems presented here are now playing out in bloody partisan battles. I hope that my bleak analysis of Iraq's economy is completely wrong.

I am very much afraid that I am right.