Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight, If At All

Just What Does America Want to Do With Iraq’s Oil?
From The NYT Week In Review.

Look at the first sentence of the excerpt. What relationship is there between WMD and the sale of oil? Is the author suggesting we should wait until WMD have been found before placing Iraqi oil on the market? What about rebuilding Iraq? That requires revenue and the revenue will come from the sale of oil.

The Iraqi people have been agitating for the rebuilding process to proceed at a greater pace and selling oil will allow that, yet he also mentions Iraq being “mired in crime”. It requires police to control crime and police cost money. Where will that money come from? The sale of oil.

I don’t know if The Week In Review at The Times is intended to be editorial or reporting, but either way it’s pathetic. If it’s reporting, the bias is still showing. If it’s editorial, the writer is plain stupid.

Even with Howell Raines gone, the reconstruction of The New York Times will be difficult. Perhaps we could put Hans Blix on it.

Although Baghdad is still mired in crime and no weapons of mass destruction have surfaced in Iraq, Washington is helping market Iraqi oil with all due haste. A former Shell Oil executive heads a panel supervising Iraq’s oil fields and crude will now be sold directly to refiners, thus eliminating a middleman role once dominated by Russian oil traders. French refiners also once enjoyed a healthy foothold in Iraq before their government wound up on the wrong side of the United Nations war debate, giving a leg up to enthusiastic American and British refiners, which couldn’t deal directly with Iraq during the sanctions era.

Call it a coup de petrole.

And since Iraq has the world’s second-largest pool of known oil reserves, the Bush administration’s handling of the money that flows from those fields is certain to ripple far beyond Iraq’s borders – particularly because some two-thirds of Iraq’s estimated oil bounty remains untapped.

Although Iraq’s oil industry is being overhauled in a way that creates welcome opportunities for Fortune 500 oil giants, American authorities promise that oil riches will be spent on Iraqi reconstruction and humanitarian aid. Even so, Iraqis and others Middle Eastern countries remain wary about possible American shenanigans with Iraqi oil and are watching sales to see whether the United States waged a war of liberation or a war of occupation.

“People in the region and beyond have a great suspicion of U.S. intentions; and with the U.S. and the U.K. in control of the second-biggest pot of oil in the Gulf region those suspicions will be reinforced,” said Judith Kipper, co-director of the Middle East Studies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I think they’re unfounded suspicions because the U.S. won’t play games with Iraqi oil.”

“But since the U.S. and Britain have been busy trying to get U.N. sanctions against Iraq lifted, and haven’t been perceived as being as busy restoring public services in Iraq, the perception that this is about oil is reinforced,” Ms. Kipper added. “And in the Middle East, perception is everything.”

The suspicions will be allayed once the oil is used for its intended purpose — to benefit the Iraqi people.

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