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Those Iraqis are an uppity lot.  And ungrateful.  They act as if we went there to steal their oil.
 

They’ve always thought it was about the oil, and now they have the gall to consider telling us that we can’t just take it.  We told them a million times that we just want to offer them democracy, so why do they have to be so snotty and suspicious?
Here’s how it was supposed to go.  We were going to put a bunch more troops in there to control those Democracy-hating Sunnis.  After all, you can’t start boosting their oil in any quantities until the natives are subdued sign oil contracts in a violent environment.

Then the democratic government was supposed to pass oil laws that gave American oil companies ironclad control of all future oil reserves (somewhere between 100 billion and 200 billion barrels) for the next thirty years.  We get much needed oil, and the Iraqis get to sell it to us.  Win/win, right?

Those oil laws were supposed to be passed before the Iraqi parliament broke for its August recess.  In fact, we had the laws all written for them.  How much easier could we make it?  There was even–well, sort of–a provision for how they would share the income from the oil sales.  It was vague, admittedly.  Okay, it only said that a federal revenue sharing law would be created one of these days.  But the other 42 provisions in the oil laws were specific.  They spelled out who would get the oil leases and under what conditions.

But now the Iraqis are complaining that no other country signs away its oil leases like that. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia impose safeguards for the national interest when they sign oil contracts–provisions such as limiting the amount of profit the oil companies may make and limiting the number of foreign oil companies in their country.

The longer the Iraqi government goes without passing these laws, the more the opposition to them is growing.  You’d think we were out to cheat them or something.  And besides, they ought to keep in mind that if they don’t pass these oil laws, we won’t give them money for reconstructing all the stuff that got blown up in our quest to give them democracy.  And, as Britain’s new PM, Gordon Brown, pointed out (the Brits are always cooperative and sensible), he supports the IMF line that the debts  incurred under Saddam will not be forgiven until Iraq has a law that permits foreigners to invest in its oil industry.


Come o-o-on, folks.  Be sensible.  We need that oil.