June 14, 2003


Iraq’s oil is being sold again on world markets. Give the place a couple of decades or so, and decent leadership, and it could turn out to be another Norway - minus the socialism, of course.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 14, 2003 02:21 AM | TrackBack

Cool! Where can I buy it?

They aren't producing enough. They should be producing more!

Posted by: Andjam at June 14, 2003 03:48 AM

One thing I never understood in the argument that "it's all about oil" - the people who said that were usually the same ones who said that Bush is in the pockets of the oil companies. But wouldn't those companies want a HIGH oil price? In which case, why invade to bring Iraq's oil back onstream? Wouldn't that mean a LOW oil price? Surely the best thing that could happen would be a continuation of the oil-for-food system, in which Iraq's oil only slowly dribbles onto the world market?

Those few anti-war people who bother with rational arguments will say, after some reflection, that it'll be American and British oil companies who end up producing the oil from Iraq. But even if that's true, that doesn't explain why France, which is much more ruthless in supporting its oil companies, opposes war while Britain and America support it. (See the French government's shady dealings in Africa in support of Elf).

Posted by: PJ at June 14, 2003 03:50 AM


TotalFinaElf already had lucrative oil contracts with Saddam. It would benefit from Saddam staying in power. As would the Chretien family, which has links to TotalFinaElf.

Posted by: Andjam at June 14, 2003 03:56 AM

There was a pretty cool piece on Sgt Stryker the other day about one of the guys making this happen.


Posted by: Hoodie Craw at June 14, 2003 05:55 AM

It isn't easy being George W. Bush these days. Whether he's committing his nation's blood and treasure to free Iraq, or investing his time and prestege (against all odds) to achieve Middle East peace, or bringing hope to poor Africa in its fight against AIDS -- Bush is dismissed as either a nitwit or a cruel cynic, but typically both.

Ordinary Americans know Bush as a good man who sees a unique opportunity to both protect his country and to do so in a way that brings peace and hope to millions. Perhaps the world will one day acknowledge his worthy goals for what they are (though I doubt it). Our concern is that he will overstretch: the US is not as rich or omnipotent as many assume. I hope Bush understands America's limits.

Posted by: George Peery at June 14, 2003 07:45 AM

PJ is absolutely correct. Boatloads of Iraqi oil back on the market will eventually mean lower prices, affecting those of us who are in the oil business. It may, however, mean a somewhat more stable oil market, which we independent producers have sought for years.

I was quoted thusly in a BBC Newsline article:
BBC visits Midland Texas

Posted by: Wallace at June 14, 2003 08:31 AM

That's it! That's where the Weapons of Mass Destruction are! Saddam hid them at the bottom of the oil wells! Quick, we've gotta pump 'em dry to retrieve the WMDs before someone gets hurt! The .25 per gallon gas will put a crimp in petroleum shares, but hey, any sacrifice for world peace!

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at June 14, 2003 11:46 AM

Did you finish the piece you linked to? A 'couple of decades or so' of client states like Spain and Poland helping the US quell riots and uprisings? 'Decent leadership' like say Ahmed Chalabi, I suppose? Who must be a decent fellow if Mssrs Perle and Woolsey think he's OK, right? That corruption charge... well it was a Jordanian court after all! 'Minus the socialism'.. naturellement! I mean, Iraq's bad right now, I'll grant, but at least it's not NORWAY!

No wonder it's such a short post; it wouldn't pay to hang around that issue for too long. Move on! Nothing to see here...

Posted by: Glenn at June 14, 2003 01:00 PM

Glenn is making things up, unless the linked piece has been edited dramatically since he read it. Nothing he is talking about is in that piece, except that Spain and Poland now have peacekeeping detachments there (1100 Spaniards, 2300 Poles). Couple of decades or so of putting down uprisings? Even if that were in the article, which it isn't, that would be abnormally confident speculation on someone's part. I'm personally guessing that it's on Glenn's part.

That was a classic "But, everything isn't instantly perfect" moment you had there, though.
(Sorry about the ripoff, Treacher)

Posted by: Dylan at June 14, 2003 04:31 PM

And minus the Ibsen and Munch... don't look for anything that smart from Iraq, not for awhile.

Posted by: Roger L. Simon at June 15, 2003 06:04 AM


read the thread. I was responding to Blair's response. The 'few decades' wasn't me, it was him.

Posted by: Glenn at June 15, 2003 12:48 PM

Dang. I still think that you've an excitable boy, though.

Posted by: Dylan at June 15, 2003 01:11 PM

Tim's response said decades, not decades of uprisings and riots, and not decades of Spanish and Polish troops in Iraq.

Posted by: scott h. at June 15, 2003 02:19 PM

Dylan, you're right about Glenn's comments; they are sensible only in the absence of historical support.
Glenn, since I enjoy pedantry, the contraction is spelt "messrs". It is derived from the French "messieurs' as the plural form of "mister". It is sometimes spelt as "messers".


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs at June 15, 2003 02:30 PM

Tim seems by "a couple of decades" to mean some sort of period of political adjustment, economic growth, and infrastructure repair. It was also his own opinion; I don't know why Glenn thought that Tim was claiming this optimistic future was a sure thing and/or that this was the subject of the linked article. Tim chooses to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty -- I don't see how this is some sort of horrid crime. Perhaps, after he is done raining on everyone's parade, Glenn has a better solution to the Iraqi's current situation?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 15, 2003 04:09 PM

Put it this way: Glenn's scenario, of the US et al. continuing to do the dirty work in a semi-anarchic land is worse than worst-case. No way we'd be peacekeeping for decades there. The worst case is that another Iraqi government evolves that needs to regularly put down civil unrest. I'm hoping for Tim's scenario, of course; but in Glenn's world, A. Chalabi has somehow already fucked up Iraq beyond repair. Maybe that's right, what the hell do I know.

And I meant "you're an excitable boy", not "you've an excitable boy", of course. Excitable boy, they all said.

Posted by: Dylan at June 15, 2003 06:34 PM

Darn, bang goes another great communard a-priori theory, Bush is declaring war so the U.S. can grab the oil.
Don't expect to hear retractions + apologies from the pinkoes.Such inveterate telers of whoppingly big lies aren't bothered such niceties. Are they Adams , and, ABaghdad Communards , and Sydney Saddamite Times.

Posted by: d at June 16, 2003 01:02 PM