Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

POLITICAL PROGRESS WATCH....Noted without comment:

A carefully constructed compromise on a draft law governing Iraq's rich oil fields, agreed to in February after months of arduous talks among Iraqi political groups, appears to have collapsed. The apparent breakdown comes just as Congress and the White House are struggling to find evidence that there is progress toward reconciliation and a functioning government here.

Who could have predicted such a thing?

Kevin Drum 1:54 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

and TPM says the Shia and Sunni are pissed at the Kurds because they signed a Exploration deal with Bush crony Ray Hunt of Hunt Oil.

Also noted without comment.

Posted by: superfly on September 13, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

This is why it is useless to think about Iraq in any terms other than withdrawal. Even when everything is on the line, and they desperately need a success, the Bush administration will throw away any progress they do make if it'll help enrich a crony.

Posted by: jimBOB on September 13, 2007 at 2:53 AM | PERMALINK

I've given up trying to shoot for getting Bush and Cheney impeached, and tried for war crimes.

Can we get Pelosi and Reid impeached and flogged for being worthless impotent flacid weaklings?

Seriously.

Any (D) out there thinking that HRC is a worthwhile vote is just fooling themselves. HRC=BUSH_LITE.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 13, 2007 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

1) Agreed, superfly and jimBOB. The Bush gang can't help themselves, be it in the Katrina mess, Iraq, Abramoff or whatever. It's almost as if enriching their crony is job number one with them, and all else is secondary.

2) Cue "Al-bot" and "ex-lax": The shameless and treasonous Defeat-o-crats are once again demonstrating their glee at a setback encountered by freedom-loving and patriotic coalition forces. These disgusting lefties are openly giving aid and comfort to the enemy, again. Time for a predictable and automatic robo-post!

Posted by: shystr on September 13, 2007 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Osama --
For years, I've agreed with almost everything you've posted. But impeach Pelosi and Reid? Over the top.

Look at the pathetic votes in the Senate on Russ Feingold's quite legitimate resolutions seeking to censure Bush and Cheney for wiretapping without warrants and for lying to Congress and the people before invading Iraq.

As we saw in the Clinton proceedings, the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate to remove a federal official after a simple majority vote to impeach in the House. If you can't muster a 2/3 vote in the Senate, an attempt to impeach is counterproductive in our current political environment.

Show me 67 current U.S. senators who will vote to remove Bush and Cheney from office. If we don't have 67 votes in the Senate, progressives are going backwards (looking weak and sounding shrill) by pushing impeachment.

Posted by: shystr on September 13, 2007 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

jimBOB - I couldn't agree more. Ironically, the relentlessness of Bush-Cheney kleptocracy may actually accomplish the crucial benchmark Petraeus, Crocker & the Administration have been singularly incapable of achieving: National Iraqi unity.

Opposition to the draft Oil Law is uniformly massive across every section of Iraqi society. Every single Iraqi region, ethnicity, religous sect, political & economic class utterly rejects the proposed terms of the Oil Law in majorities ranging from 63%-92%. Surprising unity indeed in a country incapable, often violently, of agreeing on anything.

Better late than never & in opposition rather than support the Chimperor has become, as he long ago promised, A Uniter.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on September 13, 2007 at 5:05 AM | PERMALINK

Could it be said that the Texas Crony Alliance has their own militia in Iraq and their own warlord in Washington? If there is enough stability in Iraq to get the oil out while keeping Russia and China out of said oil, mission accomplished. And the US gas customer will be happy keeping the price of oil contained for the next six months regardless of the source.

Posted by: lou on September 13, 2007 at 5:53 AM | PERMALINK

Who could have predicted such a thing doesn't count as a comment? I'm literally speechless.

Posted by: Buck on September 13, 2007 at 6:06 AM | PERMALINK

) The Bush gang can't help themselves, be it in the Katrina mess, Iraq, Abramoff or whatever. It's almost as if enriching their crony is job number one with them, and all else is secondary.

I think that is exactly the point. Combine that with Grover Norquist's determine to shrink the federal government so much you can drown it in a bathtub, and I think you have what's really going on. I think they're trying to drain the treasury dry so that eventually other policies in the conservative suitcase of ideals can be put into effect. Extreme? Look how much damage they've done so far.

Posted by: pol on September 13, 2007 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

Make that Grover Norquist's "determination."

Posted by: pol on September 13, 2007 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

The way the constitution referred to the oil proceeds gave the central government the ability to split the monies from existing wells based on an agreed-upon method, whether population or some other basis.
The Kurds are moving ahead on the premise that any new wells/fields are theirs w/o a split being necessary. The Sunnis, for some reason, don't think this will work although only about 10% of the country has been surveyed with more modern methods.

The Kurds continue to wait for the December referendum regarding Kirkuk and the Arabs and Turkomen try not to get terrorized outof the region to have a chance at defeating the referendum.

No way the Kurds are going to agree to a split of all revenue from existing and new wells.

Posted by: TJM on September 13, 2007 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

OBForgotten
Yes, this exactly my name for most democrats - Bush lite. They certainly percieve the problems created by Bush but thier solutions are slightly adjusted versions of what Bush is pursue - which is to say: the status quo.

The republicans are quite ridiculous but the democrats are not argueably better. For example, take Clinton's ME policy. It was not fundamentally different from Bush Sr.'s. That means that all the vertiginous contraditions and gaping flaws were preserved. Our position there merely atrophied. Would a democrat have done something more sensible as a response to 9/11? After Clinton's performance, I would say probably not.

US ME policy has been deeply and dangerously flawed for decades. Maybe we should be shocked by GW. Maybe he is exactly what we were going to get.

Morality be damned. From a strictly pragmatic point of view, we have ____ the bed.

Posted by: exclab on September 13, 2007 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

Of course this is bad news but there is a silver lining: the parties recognized it was a bad deal and decided to re-negotiate rather than continue on just for the sake of appearances. It's progress that the Iraqi government is more interested in substance rather than appearance.

Posted by: Al on September 13, 2007 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, there's an aspect of this you might have missed:

From Josh Marshall--

Oil Buddies
An article in tomorrow's Times reports that the long-negotiated compromise which seemed to be leading towards an Iraqi oil law -- a key 'progress' benchmark -- has apparently collapsed. All gone down the drain.
The story though connects up with another one we told you about just a couple days ago -- the decision of the Kurdistan regional government to sign an oil exploration deal with Dallas-based Hunt Oil, run by Mr. Ray L. Hunt.
The Shia and Sunni leaders believe the Kurds are opting for a sort of oil secession that puts them outside the whole concept of a law to share the country's oil resources. And the Hunt deal is apparently the straw that broke the camel's back, shall we say.
But remember, Hunt, in addition to being the son of legendary Texas John Birch Society extremist H.L. Hunt, is also a pal of the president's. Indeed, President Bush has twice appointed Hunt to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. So while the president is striving to get the Iraqis to meet these benchmarks one of his own pals -- and more importantly, political appointees -- is busy helping to tear the whole thing apart.

It's the incompetence, stupid.

These people can't keep their money-grubbing friends from screwing up the desperately needed political progress we need in Iraq to stabilize the country and bring our troops home.

Can we get a modern day equivalent of the Truman Commission, and start putting these war profiteers on trial? Goddamn, does the stupid ever stop with these people?

Posted by: Pale Rider on September 13, 2007 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

progress toward reconciliation and a functioning government here.

Who progess, Bush's progress or Iraq's progress?

If Iraq declare their freedom to make their own decisions about their own oil - well Bush was always talking cheap about democracy - I guess the Iraqis are find their democracy.

Posted by: Me_again on September 13, 2007 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: Noted without comment:

[comment]Who could have predicted such a thing?[/comment]

Formatting corrected.


Posted by: anandine on September 13, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, I bet this was the major breakthrough Sen. Lindsay Graham proclaimed would happen just a few days ago. You know, the one he said would really reflect a positive move forward politically. I wonder what powers Sen. Graham posssesses that lead him to be such a seer. Oh, I'm sorry, I meant to say Sen. Graham is a fool. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on September 13, 2007 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

How do you think the Bush administration responded to this news?

a) Dang it! We need to get those Iraqis together and fix this thing.

b) Whew! Good thing that news came out after Petraeus and Crocker testified.

My guess is b).

Posted by: umberto on September 13, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Look, the Kurds are not going to re-integrate into Iraq. Period. Why would they? They have relative political stability, they have oil, they have a strong military. They are in every sense the stable nation-state that we claim to want for Iraq as a whole. Why would they give that up to take part in a clusterfuck? And why would anyone (other than the Turks) want them to? More importantly, what possible pressure could be brought to bear to make them do so?

Posted by: Glenn on September 13, 2007 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Well, at least Pale Rider, good ol boy Ray, the fine Mustang that he is, did find all that new oil in Yemen. More of which to help his and Laura's old alma mater. And he didn't waste his time like his older brother, Lamar, in fooling around in professional football and putting a very mediocre team on the field.

Yeah, the saga "Dallas" was a very tepid version of the Hunts. Shrub picked his playmates very well.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 13, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

So, the Sunnis have turned against al Qaida in Anbar and all is well. Opps, look at the face of the sheik and its like he knows he has signed his own death warrant. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

Posted by: RollaMO on September 13, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

OK, I'll play the devil's advocate:

I think what you are all missing here is that this is not just a disaster in the usual sense; it's a Gentleman's Disaster. Surely any rosy-cheeked, red-nosed, obese Southern man can appreciate that.

Posted by: Swan on September 13, 2007 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Noted without comment ... Who could have predicted such a thing?"

Who could have been writing about the Iraq Oil Law on a prominent widely-read blog for months and years, but didn't?

Passage of the US-written Iraq Oil Law giving control of, and the vast majority of the profits from, Iraq's oil reserves to Cheney-Bush cronies in the US-based multinational oil companies, and the establishment of a US puppet regime that would acquiesce to a large, permanent US military presence in Iraq to enforce that control, is the sole and entire goal of the Cheney-Bush war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq and the ensuing murder of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and the impoverishment and displacement of millions more.

I have criticized Kevin for his endless "armchair general" postings about the minutia of "counterinsurgency" stategery and the like in Iraq while rarely, if ever, posting anything about the Iraq Oil Law or the actual purpose of the Cheney-Bush occupation.

Clearly I can no longer do so, now that Kevin has offered such a detailed and thoughtful analysis of the Iraq Oil Law, the broad and deep opposition to it across all sectors of the populace of Iraq, and the failure of the Cheney-Bush machinations to have a puppet regime shove this law down the throats of the Iraqi people.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 13, 2007 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

For those interested in this topic, please check out IWPR's special report: Oil and Corruption in Iraq

Posted by: Elisha Sessions on September 13, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Oops, I see Al beat me to it.

Posted by: Swan on September 13, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

superfly noted that Bush's butthole buddy from Texas, Hunt, is going to queer the Iraqi oil-sharing agreement. Fascists like Bush always place corporate profits above democratic reforms.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 13, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Who could have predicted such a thing?

Condi?

Posted by: tomeck on September 13, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Glenn,
It is hard to understand a fantasy universe. The autonomy of Kurdistan is understood by most realistic observers. Back when the oil law was being prepared by the colonial powers some British ministers were surprised to find that there would not be a national agreement. Seems that the administration of Iraq, particularly the politics of oil extraction, would be simplified by centralized national direction of the industry. That was perhaps the main utilitarian reason for Iraqi unity. The British, to their credit, seemed to want a unified government with national legitimacy. The Cheney gang wanted to install a puppet government that would, no doubt, give lucrative deals to their Texas oil cronies without any consideration of Iraqi national interest. This is what they call the free market. From the fabricated weapons of mass destruction claims to the incompetent crony administration of Iraq after the invasion we cannot blame the British for feeling betrayed.

I find these two types of imperialism fascinating. It is a replay of the British Empire with different accents. The British and some Americans like Powell play the role of liberal imperialists while Cheney's gang are the blood and guts moneymaking adventurers. The liberal imperialists had the best of intentions and they sincerely believe in their national burden. Sadly they were chronically disappointed. As Rudyard Kipling put it:

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.


There were also the adventuring imperial buccaneers like Cecil Rhodes who would have been sympathetic to the Cheney Regency’s aims and outlook. He valued outright political and military domination, wars of valour, national pride, the expansion of capital and territory. In this too there was benevolence. Underutilized resources and labor would be brought into production, local backward tyrants would be broken and the society at large would prosper. All the while money would flow back to Great Britain and the natives would not exactly reach enlightenment.

Imperial domination, we can think of India or the various African territories, usually takes advantage of local animosities. The dominant power usually gives one side military assistance or money- as in Anbar province- to undermine their enemy. Problem with this is it adds timbers to nationalist sentiment. The bad thing for Bush is the natives know the game.

Posted by: bellumregio on September 13, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Don't hate.

Posted by: Gentlemen on September 13, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

The last time I took my Mimi to The Frog And The Peach, I farted in front of her acquaintances. She looked quite astonished, until I explained politely that it was a gentleman's fart.

Ha! Foolish feminine notions!

Posted by: Swan on September 13, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Congress and the White House are struggling to find evidence that there is progress toward reconciliation and a functioning government here.

That says it all about what evidence there is and Congress's complicity.

Posted by: Boronx on September 13, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, The Truman Commission had something sorely lacking in today's Senate--Harry Truman. I don't think any of the pipsqueaks in the Senate begin to measure up. If I am wrong, name the Senator who could do the job.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 13, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Goddamn, does the stupid ever stop with these people?

I wouldn't call it stupidity - greed, corruption, bloodlust - you know, standard SOP for the GOPers. They just don't give a crap. And since there is no oversight, no accountability, and no consequences for this gang of warring thieves, they'll just keep on keeping on. No impeachments, No Hague. Nothing but juicy speaking engagements in '09.

Posted by: ckelly on September 13, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

So, the Sunnis have turned against al Qaida in Anbar and all is well. Opps, look at the face of the sheik and its like he knows he has signed his own death warrant. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/

Very perceptive RollaMO, he was killed by an IED near his home today...

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/09/13/sattar-abu-risha/

Posted by: elmo on September 13, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

The best laid plans of mice and oil pigs do not often go awry when they use the most powerful military in the world to enforce their will. Perhaps there is an Allah.

Posted by: Brojo on September 13, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Some think Bush/Cheney are doing all this for their friends and cronies? Really? Hmmm...somthing like Tony Soprano working to bring in the bling for HIS friends and cronies? Got it.
The Oil Law is the whole raison d'être for Operation Iraqi Freedom. It will legalize and solidify foreign confiscation of oil profits forever. Wonder how many Democratic pols have been promised a small interest in some well in the Kirkuk area, for example?

Posted by: Grinning Grouse on September 13, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

It was just a gentleman's fellatio.

No big deal, really.

Posted by: Larry Craig on September 13, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

You can say that again.

(zips up fly.)

Take 'im away, boys!

Posted by: Officer Karsnia on September 13, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Larry, you're such a Charmin guy.

Posted by: stupid git on September 13, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Passage of the US-written Iraq Oil Law giving control of, and the vast majority of the profits from, Iraq's oil reserves to Cheney-Bush cronies in the US-based multinational oil companies, and the establishment of a US puppet regime that would acquiesce to a large, permanent US military presence in Iraq to enforce that control, is the sole and entire goal of the Cheney-Bush war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq and the ensuing murder of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and the impoverishment and displacement of millions more."

Bravo,Secular Animist.

Posted by: nepeta on September 13, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

If I am wrong, name the Senator who could do the job.

Senator Russ Feingold. Maybe you've heard of him.

Posted by: Pale Rider on September 13, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Russ Feingold. Maybe you've heard of him.
Posted by: Pale Rider

Yup! I'm starting a local chapter of Draft Feingold. I want him as my next president (I haven't had one since 2000 and then his replacement was removed by judicial fiat).

Posted by: JeffII on September 13, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

re "noted without comment"

if you really meant that, why'd you type the who'da thunk?

Posted by: MrGod on September 13, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

wait! I can do better!

re: noted without comment

"Who could have predicted such a thing?" is a comment

Ha! Clearer, funnier. Even MrGod gets it right the seocnd time 'round.

btw I'm here until Thursday (try the lamb)

Posted by: MrGod on September 13, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly