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August 27, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

IRAQ POLITICAL UPDATE....I noticed this last night at the Beirut Daily Star but didn't get around to blogging it:

Iraq's top Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key laws that Washington views as vital to fostering national reconciliation....The appearance of Maliki on Iraqi television with the other leaders was a rare show of public unity amid crumbling support for the prime minister's government.

....Iraqi officials said the leaders had signed an agreement on easing restrictions on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party joining the civil service and military.

"They signed a new draft on de-Baathification," said Yasin Majid, an adviser to Maliki.

Other officials said consensus had been reached on holding provincial elections and releasing many detainees who have been held without charge, a key demand of Sunni Arabs since the majority are members of their sect.

Majid said the leaders endorsed a draft oil law, which has been agreed by the Cabinet but has not gone to Parliament.

I can't tell if this is meaningful or not, and a quick scan of the front pages of CNN, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times reveals nothing. Juan Cole mentions it but doesn't provide an opinion one way or the other.

This is possibly good news, but I imagine, as usual, the devil is in the details. For now, just take it as raw data that might or might not pan out.

Kevin Drum 3:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Comments

One factor that will determine how significant this agreement turns out to be is whether or not it's actually enacted by the Iraqi Parliament. Obviously I hope they will do so promptly, but their past record of procrasination makes me doubt that they will do so.

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 27, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

[i] Hasn't something like this announcement been made many times before? Agreements "in principle" on the all the important stuff, only it never goes anywhere.

[ii] Kevin reads the "Beirut Daily Star"? Really? I'm impressed.

Posted by: Esbey on August 27, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal is right, a lot depends on whether or not the parliament will actually enact the agreement. It is unsurprising but disappointing that the Post and Times buried the story. A critical issue in Iraq is the ability of the government to function enough to enable us to draw down our forces.

No this agreement doesn't mean all is well in Iraq but it does mean that the political leaders from Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish parties are able to come to a consensus at least in this case. If Warner's ridiculous 5,000 troops home for Christmas statement merits front page coverage, surely this does too.

Assuming of course we believe the Post and Times are interesting in fairly covering Iraq.

Posted by: Hacksaw on August 27, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Well well well. Just when the liberals were desperately clinging to their last plank: "there's no political progress in Iraq" look what comes around the corner. No surprise none of the liberal daily rags buried it. Its crucial to Democratic success that this news be surpressed.

I predict at the end of September, there will be a see-change and Bush's poll numbers are going to start ratcheting back up to their historic levels of around 60 - 70%. The Dems are truly floundering at this point.

Looks like Bush's predictions about being vindnicated by history are finally coming home to fruit.

Posted by: egbert on August 27, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

We'll check back with assbert when this "agreement" goes the way of all the others announced over the years. Shouldn't take long, either.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on August 27, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Three of the first four consist of two apologists for the Bush occupation and one parody troll. I guess the RNC is getting their money's worth.

As for the agreement, I'll have to remain with the wait and see crowd. Crowing about events in Iraq tends to be premature. How many corners have we turned?

Posted by: heavy on August 27, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Bush's predictions about being vindnicated by history are finally coming home to fruit.

Things either come home to roost, or they start to bear fruit, but they don't come home to fruit unless they're a friggin' walking tree or something. Maybe like the Ents from the Lord of the Rings.

Posted by: Cheney's Third Nipple on August 27, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

They've done drafts before, getting the laws passed is harder to do as the specific language identifies the winners and losers. This is especially true with a language as ambiguous as Arabic.
Some Iraqis, like this reporter for McClatchy in Baghdad, will likely withhold judgment, too.

No for your meetings because your will shake hands and say we agreed to solve the problems and everyone knows you lie because you have been saying the same words during the last four years.

Posted by: TJM on August 27, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney's Third Nipple: come home to fruit

Like after a hard day's work, when you come back to the house and your loving spouse brings a bowl of grapes or peaches or something. Or else egbert is just nuts.

At least Norman Rogers can write.

Posted by: thersites on August 27, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to rain on the neocon parade, but it depends on more than the unlikely prospect of enactment by the Iraqi parliament; it also depends on whether or not former Baathists would want to join the civil service & the military:

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/26/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq-Baath.php

Adding, even those who might want to participate in these institutions are likely to be discouraged by the inevitable threats of violence from Sunni insurgents & AQI against such "traitors."

Posted by: junebug on August 27, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

heavy,

Neither ex-liberal nor I were crowing about this story nor did either of us pretend this mean Bush was right and everything was fine in Iraq.

Given that Kevin, among others, had linked to a story here a few days back when the Shia-Kurdish alliance formed and critics were saying this mean that Iraqi leaders were incapable of working together (this was the last chance and it failed, etc.), I think it is important to recognize that the reality is a bit more, well, nuanced.

Kudos to Kevin for linking to it so that others can be aware of the news and analyze it accordingly. My main point was a criticism of the Post and Times for failing to do their readers the same service.

Posted by: Hacksaw on August 27, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "...but their past record of procrasination makes me doubt that they will do so."

And what do you think the Iraqi parliament's "procrastination" is based on? Laziness? Too frigging hot to do any work in the summer?

Posted by: JM on August 27, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"How many corners have we turned?"

Enough so that we're doing nothing but going round & round.

Posted by: junebug on August 27, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Hi Kevin,

It hit the Yahoo! news frontpage. A few of the rightwingers (Captain Ed, Jawa etc) were crowin' about political progress this morning. But nothings impacting the Fredo-Fest in the MSM today. The WaPo put this story on A9 or somesuch.

My post on whether this is real or just PR is here.

Regards, Cernig @ Newshoggers

Posted by: Cernig on August 27, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

JM: And what do you think the Iraqi parliament's "procrastination" is based on?

That question has been puzzling me for a long time. One freqently reads of some agreement that sounds like a done deal, yet it doesn't get enacted.

A related question is this: when some bloc walks out of the government, why don't the remaining groups pass whatever they like? I mean, if a group of Dems walked out of our Congress, the Reps would simply pass their desired legislation. Yet, in Iraq, a walkout of a party that has a minority of the seats invariably seems to paralyze the Parliament.

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 27, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

A related question is this: when some bloc walks out of the government, why don't the remaining groups pass whatever they like? I mean, if a group of Dems walked out of our Congress, the Reps would simply pass their desired legislation. Yet, in Iraq, a walkout of a party that has a minority of the seats invariably seems to paralyze the Parliament.

It's called a "quorum," jackass.

But you knew that -- you aren't here for honest debate; just to push the most insultingly, transparently dishonest bullshit you can (see: Hacksaw and his feeble allusion to the so-called "liberal media").

The failure of Bush and the neocons must be a downer for you, "ex-liberal," but that doesn't excuse you from acting out your psychodrama in here. No one mistakes you for an honest commentator. Why Kevin's moderator(s) tolerate your insults is a mystery.

Posted by: Gregory on August 27, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Just as the RIGHT said that we had to at least CREDIBLY threaten to invade to get Saddam to get rid of his weapons - the LEFT is saying that we need to at least CREDIBLY threaten to withdraw to get Maliki to get his shit together. Bush was entirely unwilling to lend ANY credibility to a threatened withdraw. That's why the Bush policy SUCKED.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on August 27, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays.

Posted by: Hacksaw on August 27, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, a common quorum is around half of the total membership of the body. I don't know what the quorum is for the Iraqi Parliament. But, groups comprising far fewer than half the body have walked out leading to paralysis, even though it would seem that the missing number was not enough to bring the attendance below the quorum.

Also, I have never read an article saying that there was a lack of a quorum.

For those reasons, I'm dubious that the need for a quorum is the reason for the Parliament's lack of action.

Posted by: ex-liberal on August 27, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I can't tell if this is meaningful or not"

You seem to be under the impression the actions of the Iraqi National Government have significance. Why is that?

Posted by: david on August 27, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Maliki is under tremendous pressure from Washington to move the "political process" forward. Of course, there really is no "process" to speak of -- just a superpower occupying a third-world state.

But it is important for both Dems and Republicans alike to create the appearance that Iraq actually has a functioning government (some here even refer to an "iraqi parliament" as if they were discussing a legitimate legislative body with real power, which is absurd given the fact that the U.S. occupies Iraq and controls its budget and security forces)

Because if you can convince the American people that Iraqis actually control their own destiny, you no longer have to confront the awful fact that we have simply destroyed Iraq, caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands, while displacing a quarter of its population.

Democrats, rather than answering for their dismal failure to reign in Bush, can now shift the blame to some powerless puppet holed up in Green Zone.

Bashing Maliki works for everybody.

Yet the fact that Maliki's little PR success story is being routinely ignored by the mainstream media suggest that his own demise can't be far off.

Posted by: smedleybutler on August 27, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote:
"the devil is in the details"

The AP wrote:
"No details were released"
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070827/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq;_ylt=AmF9kmeEXIaRGJbSUypjkElvaA8F

It looks like our special brand of Iraq "progress" once again. How many corners are we up to? A googol?

Posted by: Bush Lover on August 27, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, there really is no 'process' to speak of -- just a superpower occupying a third-world state."

Thank you, smedlybutler. That ranks right up there with, "But the Emperor hasn't got any clothes on!"

Posted by: David in NY on August 27, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: I don't know what the quorum is for the Iraqi Parliament. ... Also, I have never read an article saying that there was a lack of a quorum. ... I'm dubious that the need for a quorum is the reason for the Parliament's lack of action.

So, your ignorance makes you dubious? For once we agree...

Lovely to see your ignorance doesn't stopping from spewing your uninformed and worthless opinion in defense of Bush and the neocons. But then, good faith debate isn't your bag, is it? Proudly admitting your ignorance and arguing anyway must have given you a special bad-faith thrill.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on August 27, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -- You probably don't know more about these apparent signs of progress because the Bush administration is, as usual, too modest to trumpet them.

Posted by: beejeez on August 27, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "I'm dubious that the need for a quorum is the reason for the Parliament's lack of action."

Well, then how about the lack of credibility with in its own borders?

If the Iraqi government can't provide the basic services to its own people (i.e., water and electricity), or protect them from criminals and other marauding individuals and groups -- which is, after all, the core basis of government -- and further, has to rely upon the U.S. for its own sustenance, then why would it surprise you that this so-called government has no credibility with its own people?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on August 27, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Hack, I didn't comment on the specifics of your post. I merely called you out as an administration apologist. As Gregory points out, your little dig at two of the papers most associated with "liberal" mainstream writing (and wrongly so) demonstrates that you are more interested in scoring political points than in truth.

Posted by: heavy on August 27, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, too many people around here think they look smart and/or cool by talking smack. Don't take it seriously. I'll answer your question.

The reason these agreements are announced and then fade away goes something like this:

#1. Very heavy American pressure on Iraqi government to be able to announce progress on 'something political', like an oil-sharing law.

#2. Maliki takes some compromise attempt to all the factions, and they all hate it, since it gives too much away to the other factions.

#3. Maliki says, look, Bush is going to have me ousted if we don't help him create the appearance of progress, and if Alawi gets put in, you'll lose all your perks.

#4. Iraqi Congress agrees to pretend to a minimum necessary extent with Maliki that they have come to an agreement on something, with the unannounced mutual understanding that the agreement is DOA.

How's that explanation for you?

Posted by: glasnost on August 27, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Click here for the most devastating critique of the Iraq occupation yet!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on August 27, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

....How many corners are we up to? A googol?
Posted by: Bush Lover on August 27, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

You turn that many corners, and someone's liable to think you're going in circles.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on August 27, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure why the right-hand folks are complaining that the MSM are ignoring the political news out of Iraq. The Washington Post On-line had this story:

"Iraqi Leaders Reach Accord on Ex-Baathists
After several days of meetings, Iraq's top five political leaders also agree to release thousands of prisoners being held without charge.
"
I didn't click on the story, but assume it's the same basic idea as what Kevin is reporting. Also, thanks to Al, we know that USA Today had the story -- aren't they MSM? In any case, I think the best thing to do is to wait and see whether this agreement comes to anything; my sense is that it doesn't pay to be too optimistic.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: Barry on August 27, 2007 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Part of Maliki's new awakening seems to be a fresh understanding of his country's situation. It seems that Iraq's troubles are not, in fact, the result of a disastrouly botched invasion by a team with no plan. The real problem is that Hillary Clinton and Bernard Kouchner have been saying mean things. If it hadn't been for the meanies, Iraq would have been a successful democracy by now.

Posted by: billy on August 27, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Also, I have never read an article saying that there was a lack of a quorum.

Just more proof of your very narrow exposure to reality, because there are dozens of such articles. The quorum is fifty percent and the parliament has been unable to meet it for months at a time because most of the members of parliament reside in other countries and/or simply refuse to show up.

Also, I thought I'd bring attention to this little gem of yours from a few days back:

If I were a Baathist receiving less rights than others, I would nevertheless try to make peace with the government, rather than continue an armed battle that was almost sure to lead to my death. However, I don't think like a Baathist extremist, so my hypothetical conduct doesn't predict theirs. One must hope that many insurgents would rather have a less than satisfactory place within the new Iraq government, rather than fighting until they're killed.

And there you have it. We apparently ex post facto "liberated" the Shia because they had "fewer rights" -- but now it's the "Baathists" turn to have fewer rights.

1) So much for bringing democracy and equality to Iraq. Apparently in wingnut world Iraqis are only deserving of rights to the extent that they support Bush's various grand visions for their country.

2) If one is fighting for equal rights then one is by definition not an "extremist" but a freedom fighter.

3) "Baathist" does not equal "Sunni.' Many Shia were Baathists as well, and many were employed by Saddam's regime. Your ignorance of the political and cultural landscape there is astounding.

Posted by: trex on August 27, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

osama_been_forgotten >"You turn that many corners, and someone's liable to think you're going in circles."

Not to mention getting dizzy & falling over

Sayyyy, maybe that`s why all those silly decisions are being made over there in Irack...everyone`s dizzy from going around in so many circles

'At Least the War on the Environment is Going Well" - bumper sticker

Posted by: daCascadian on August 27, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Majid said the leaders endorsed a draft oil law, which has been agreed by the Cabinet but has not gone to Parliament.

Hopefully they'll trash Bush Hydrocarbon framework law - what is vital to Bush isn't vital to Iraqis.

It doesn't sound like they are planning of giving Bush what he wanted most of all by the sound of all the other things aggreed too. True freedom would be telling Bush NO.

Posted by: Me_again on August 27, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

No matter what, when it finally seeps into the minds of the idiocracy that U.S. troops will be staying in Iraq at least another 10 years, all hell will break loose.

This is the key question for the generals who are scheduled to report to Congress very soon. The generals should be grilled on it. They should be pinned on it. And the various presidential candidates should be pinned on it, too.

Perhaps you don't agree.

Posted by: hellofit on August 27, 2007 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

heavy,

My comment's on the media stemmed from Kevin's original observation that "a quick scan of the front pages of CNN, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times reveals nothing."

I don't expect most liberals here to understand the liberal bias of the Post and the Times. But you don't need to accept that in order to understand that for whatever reason these papers buried this story where they have featured other, less significant but more negative stories on their front pages. Call me all the names you want, this truth remains the same.

Barry - the Post carried the story deep inside the "A" section as opposed to. say, the Post's story on Warner's troop reduction comments which were featured on the front page.

Posted by: Hacksaw on August 27, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

You turn that many corners, and someone's liable to think you're going in circles.

Maybe this would be a better analogy.

Posted by: floppin' pauper on August 27, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

But you don't need to accept that in order to understand that for whatever reason these papers buried this story where they have featured other, less significant but more negative stories on their front pages.

This is not a "significant" story. Period.

It's not any more significant than the last time a "consensus" on de-Baathification had been reached and then fell apart. It's not significant because the Sunnis have already said it is insufficient to bring them back into participation in the government, and the Baathists have said it won't stop them from continuing to launch attacks.

Furthermore, the Warner story is more significant because a respected Republican senator calling for troop reductions, which could ultimately lead to withdrawal, has huge potential for changing the landscape of the war - whereas draft laws on less issues that may never come to pass anyway and if they do won't solve the political rift has little potential of changing the landscape and affecting the course of events.

Your desperation for a little political boosterism in a war that hasn't gone your way lately doesn't change "the truth."

Posted by: trex on August 27, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

I seriously doubt there has been any "trashing" of the pro-corporate oil law, passage of which Washington (not just Bush/Cheney) has designated a sign of "progress" in Iraq. (And, touchingly, they call it a "hydrocarbon" law, so they don't have to say the O-word.) But for whom would this law's passage be "progress"? The oil industry wants to privatize a large chunk of Iraq's untapped oil reserves, and by no means have they given up trying.

Posted by: ppg on August 27, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Hack, papers that supported Bush's unprovoked assault on Iraq can hardly be called liberal. I realize that conservatives live in a world where the facts have a liberal bias and anyone that reports the facts is therefore "liberal." But it's not my fault you aren't comfortable with the real world.

This constant whining by conservatives that they aren't getting a fair shake is just so grating. When they held all three branches of government they made a hash of it. They are not fit to govern - they aren't concerned with the things that are fundamental to governance - the rights of individuals, things that benefit the populace, and the equal application of the rule of law. Any newspaper that considers these things important will be dismissed by hacks as "liberal." But that doesn't make it so. It only makes them, unlike Hack, reality based.

Your comments only serve to confirm my first post - that you are first and foremost interested in spinning for the Bush administration.

Posted by: heavy on August 27, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw writes:

I don't expect most liberals here to understand the liberal bias of the Post and the Times.

Oh, good grief.

The Post was wildly and enthusiastically for the war. Perhaps you missed it. The Times uncritically published key stories that also led to the pro-war stance of virtually the entire Washington establishment. In so many ways these traditional media outlets are biased toward corporate and Washington establishment interests, gravitate toward narratives that demonize progressives and Democrats who want fundamental change, and fail to cover news in such a way as to make progressive viewpoints visible. At least the Times publishes Krugman.

If the Post and Times really were liberal, why do so many liberals find their recent histories so deplorable? Do a search of the Times and the Post at Media Matters; if they have a liberal bias, they have a funny way of showing it. Finding one item to complain about demonstrates nothing; if the media really systematically behaved as you allege, we wouldn't be in Iraq. Bush probably wouldn't even have become President.

Posted by: ppg on August 27, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw,
The reason the story was "buried" was because Alberto Gonzalez resigned. That's, um, pretty important news.

The other reason the media didn't pay much attention to this story is because it appears like so much political window dressing - for Maliki mostly, and also for Bush. The immediate response from the Sunni bloc and from ex-Ba'athists was to reject or belittle the measure. One Sunni legislator who quit the government said it was "like a wedding without a bride." Perhaps the media has seen this BS before and knows that "agreements to work together" on something means just about nothing.

Glasnost hit exactly why these sorts of "breakthroughs" come about every few months, and then disappear within days. The media has seen this before.

Posted by: Elrod on August 27, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

I don't completely agree with the luke-warm feeling you're getting from this. I understand that there can always be evil in the details, I think that in a time of such hatred and animosity any even mere sign of an idea of a partially unified nation should be taken with open arms. All we can hope for is that this turns into good, instead of bad. (:

Posted by: Haeley Meyer on August 28, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Cheney's third -- It's late but I just reread my comment from earlier today and realized it could sound as if I was attributing egbert's bad writing to you. Not at all...

Posted by: thersites on August 28, 2007 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

The draft oil law has nothing to do with national reconiliation in Iraq--it's simply pork for Bush's corporate supporters. It doesn't make sense from the Iraqi point of view.

Posted by: rea on August 28, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Thersites - no worries, it rolled off me like water under the bridge.

Posted by: Cheney's Third Nipple on August 28, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, the Iraqi Parliament is pouring back into session to approve these recommendations - Greyhound is putting extra buses for them.

"Living on an ungrateful volcano"

Have to love the words written by Winston Churchill in 1922 in a letter to Lloyd George. From Iraq, he wrote a two page letter describing the fearsome conditions facing the British in Iraq. His last sentence speaks volumes.

"At present, we are paying eight millions a year for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano, out of which, we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having."

Letter of 1 September, 1922, as posted on Informed Comment this morning by Juan Cole - Ten years later the British were forced out of Iraq.

You will never see this in any Shrubian speech, only, "We,ll fight them on the beaches, etc"

Posted by: thethirdPaul on August 28, 2007 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

cripes, didn't Churchill ever hear of oil?

Posted by: thersites on August 28, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes: "Iraq's top Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key laws that Washington views as vital to fostering national reconciliation .... Majid said the leaders endorsed a draft oil law, which has been agreed by the Cabinet but has not gone to Parliament."

The "draft oil law", which was "drafted" by the Bush administration, hands over control of, and the vast majority of the profits from, Iraq's oil to US-based multinational oil companies. Passage of such a law, and the establishment of a subservient US puppet government that will accept a permanent, massive US military presence in Iraq to enforce it, is the whole and entire goal of Bush's war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq.

The "draft oil law" is widely opposed by the Iraqi people, who understand very well that it represents the theft of their nation's oil wealth by Dick Cheney's cronies and financial backers in the US-based multinational oil companies. If the Iraqi legislature acts in the interests of the Iraqi people, it will reject this law.

Those in the US who demand that the Iraqi legislature pass the "draft oil law" are openly admitting that the goal of the war and occupation of Iraq is the theft of Iraq's oil wealth -- at the cost of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives, the displacement and impoverishment of millions more, not to mention the misuse of the US military for corrupt purposes of private financial gain with the resulting deaths of thousands of US troops -- and are openly admitting that they support that crime.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on August 28, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK
...didn't Churchill ever hear of oil? thersites at 11:48 AM
Very much so . Churchill was instrumental in developing Iranian oil concessions for the British fleet which had converted from coal to oil in the 10's.

...Volume production of Persian oil products eventually started in 1913 from a refinery built at Abadan. The British government, at the impetus of Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, partly nationalized the company in 1913 in order to secure British-controlled oil supplies for its ships....Iranian popular opposition to the D'Arcy oil concession and royalty terms whereby Iran only received 16 percent of net profits was widespread....The overarching argument for revisiting the terms of the D'Arcy Agreement on the Iranian side was that its national wealth was being squandered by a concession that was granted in 1901 by a previous non-constitutional government forced to agree to inequitable terms under duress.

The Brits screwed the Iranians out of billions and this dispute became the basis for the nationalization of the industry by the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh which then lead to the coup by the CIA and the Brits that overthrew him and re-instated the Shah and oil concessions.

The ramifications of British Empire's greed and double-dealing reverberate today. The Iraqi oil law mentioned by SecularAnimist above is from the same mold.

Posted by: Mike on August 28, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

egbert,

"I predict at the end of September, there will be a see-change and Bush's poll numbers are going to start ratcheting back up to their historic levels of around 60 - 70%."

So how have your predictions been in the past, egbert? For instance, before the war, did you predict, like Bush, that things would go just swimmingly well after Saddam had been defeated? Or did you correctly predict the present insurgency, plus the ongoing war between the different Shiite factions?

Posted by: bobo the chimp on August 29, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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