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14 July 2012

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Pirouz

Actually, Colonel, right now Iraq's foreign policy is already more or less a mirror image of its sister state, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

turcopolier

pirouz

Yes. I often re-state the obvious here to stimulate discussion. pl

JohnH

"Tthe final "denouement" will come when Iraq declares that Israel has no right to exist"... or when Exxon get kicked out.

turcopolier

John H

Would you describe yourself as a marxist or just a run of the mill economic determinist?

Exxon? You really think this is about Exxon? pl

E L

Colonel:
If you look at who is advising Romney on FP, they all seem to be recycled Bush neocon. My God, even Doug Feith is right there. I wonder whether Romney will revive the Office of Special Plans. The new members OSP can declare an attack on Iran including a ground invasion to be a 90 day war to create another beacon of democracy in the Middle East.
E L

Amir

I happen to know who is advising Romney on Iran. Maternal grand-father, General Gohari, was the CFO of the Savak.
Romney is getting advice from a very "well respected" quarter. Would revanchism color this gentleman's assessment?

jonst

The Col writes: "My correspondent writes that the final "denouement" will come when Iraq declares that Israel has no right to exist". And/or when they make a serious and sustained move, in coordination with Iran, against the Kurds?

Mongoose

Come now Colonel--all we need do is direct our attention to Syria--"take care of Syria" and all will fall into place. Very soon--50, 60, 70 years from now--there will be flourishing democratic republics--a Sunni-Shia arc of benign states--a bunch of little Canadas, if you will. Never under-estimate the delusions of the neocon dreamworld.

Fred

Come now, that 'democracy' will be here in less than 70 years - it will just be of the 'one man, one vote, one time' variety.

JohnH

Exxon is shorthand for Western oil interests.

The US military may have left, but the oil companies are busy ramping up production.

If you believe, like I do, that the twin pillars of policy in the ME are Israel and oil, then how can it be said that the US lost if Western oil companies are doing so well and Israel is not threatened?

Well, oil companies are doing well, but ordinary Iraqis are not. It appears that kleptocrats rule Iraq as well, though their identities remain a mystery (Western or Iraqi.)

How long can this continue? The US is so inextricably entwined with the oil companies, Israel, and the kleptocrats. Revolt against one will be revolt against all.

JohnH

Link to my last post describing the vast Western oil interests in Iraq, they booted shared somewhat with others.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/12/2011122813134071641.html/

turcopolier

JohnH

You are impressive in your faith. I suppose that this belief in the idea of imperial/colonial exploitation of the "little brown brothers" will always be with us. You don't suppose that Iraq derives some benefit from the 25 billion dollars that Exxon is committed to investing in Iraq? pl

oofda

In the Huffington Post article, the neocons demonstrate their inability to grasp the truth. Jamie Fly of the Foreign Policy Initiative says "it's not clear yet where Iraq will end up." These guys are delusional, blaming the problems on Obama's troop pullout- ignoring that it was clear the Iraqi's didn't want us there-- and the that the agreement that led to that was made under the Bush administration.

JohnH

"Little brown brothers?" The people underwriting politicians are equal opportunity exploiters, as the American middle class have been learning, particularly since 2008.

Walrus

Col. Lang,

You and I both know that "the Twenty Five billion dollars that Exxon is committed to investing in Iraq" will mostly be spent on American staff, contractors and equipment - Iraq doesn't make drill pipe and rigs. I guess it can supply cement and a little manual labor. I assume Chicago bridge and Iron will supply much of the infrastructure. There will no doubt be a highly publicised "training course" for Iraqis as well.

I agree with you that Iraqi oil was not the primary reason, nor sufficient explanation, for the invasion but it was not inconvenient to the Ziocons that Iraq had petroleum assets.

ISL

Dear Colonel and JohnH,

Actually, it looks like Iraq benefits a lot. Note, when it comes to oil politics, many news sources exhibit some strong biases. To me, seems like things are not rosy in the Iraqi Oil Patch for the majors.

From a Reuters article (see link below):

"But two years on, only modest gains have so far been notched up in production by companies frustrated by infrastructure constraints, payment disputes and logistical hurdles. Output last year averaged 2.7 million barrels per day versus about 2.4 million bpd in 2009, the year of Iraq's oil tenders.

[so where did two years of investment money go....]

"The government in Baghdad has driven a tough bargain with foreign companies, offering fee-for-service contracts with tightly controlled profit margins and little chance to benefit from high energy prices.

Firms have experienced problems getting visas for contractors and security staff, delays in bringing in armored vehicles and holdups securing operating licenses. Such hassles make Kurdistan's offerings look more tempting by comparison."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/us-iraq-kurdistan-idUSBRE8340CD20120405

Key point: No production sharing agreements.

I see Iraq as having played an excellent game of chess with the US (while the US thought they were playing poker), outmaneuvering the dimwitted Bush Admin, and are now using the same skills, highly effectively on the majors. The evidence suggests Iraqi leadership is highly motivated to enhance their petro-power not sign it away and move to Switzerland - The National Oil Law was big news in 2007 and still has not been signed!!! Masterful negotiating strategy.

ffintii

JH, oil will be pumped no matter what, this is about the shitty state called Israel.

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