February 27, 2007

Slowly Going Insane...

You might want to read this post for background.

In its inimitable fashion, the New York Times begins with this:
The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft of a law on Monday that would set guidelines for nationwide distribution of oil revenues and foreign investment in the immense oil industry. The endorsement reflected a major agreement among the country’s ethnic and sectarian political blocs on one of Iraq’s most divisive issues.

The draft law approved by the cabinet allows the central government to distribute oil revenues to the provinces or regions based on population, which could lessen the economic concerns of the rebellious Sunni Arabs, who fear being cut out of Iraq’s vast potential oil wealth by the dominant Shiites and Kurds. Most of Iraq’s crude oil reserves lie in the Shiite south and Kurdish north.
And almost at the very end of the story, we learn the following:
The draft law has a compromise: regions can enter into contracts, but a powerful new central body, the Federal Oil and Gas Council, would have the power to prevent the contracts from going forward if they do not meet certain prescribed standards, Mr. Salih said. A panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq would advise the federal council on the contracts.
I'll turn it over to Chris Floyd at this point:
I may be writing more on this later, if I have the stomach for it, but read through the above New York Times report on the new oil law approved by the Iraqi government – and gasp in shock-and-awed wonder that the leading newspaper in the United States could file a story like this and only note –in the next-to-last paragraph – that Iraq's oil will controlled by the iron fist of a "central body called the Federal Oil and Gas Council" which will have "a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq" as part of the operation… without telling us that these "oil experts" will in fact be executives and representatives of American and other Western oil companies.

In other words, the Bush-backing oil barons will now have an official stranglehold on the oil of the Iraqi people. No wonder the Administration has been so adamant that "a new oil law is crucial to the country’s political and economic development," as the warm and fuzzy Times tells us.
Floyd also notes a story about a truly shocking development that you might have missed:
US forces launched air strikes in southeast Baghdad on Saturday, Iraqi officials said, as a series of massive explosions rocked the war-torn city.

"American aircraft are bombarding terrorist targets that have been chosen by US and Iraqi forces, as part of our Baghdad security plan," said Brigadier-General Qasim al-Mussawi, spokesperson for the operation.

There was no immediate comment from the US, but AFP reporters in downtown Baghdad heard the rumble of more than three dozen powerful blasts in rapid succession at around 22:00pm (19:00 GMT).

Shortly after the first blasts, electricity was cut in part of central Baghdad, but it was not clear if these events were linked.
Yes, that's right: we're bombing the major city -- again -- in a country that we now occupy. We also occupy the city that we're bombing. How's your insanity quotient right about now? And of course, our bombs are so precise that we won't kill any innocent civilians in a city with a population of six million. Of course.

Let's turn that one over to Juan Cole:
Last Saturday the US Air Force launched a series of bombing raids on southeast Baghdad. This is absolutely shameful, that the US is bombing from the air a civilian city that it militarily occupies. You can't possibly do that without killing innocent civilians, as at Ramadi the other day. It is a war crime. US citizens should protest and write their congressional representatives. It is also the worst possible counter-insurgency tactic anyone could ever have imagined. You bomb people, they hate you. The bombing appears to have knocked out what little electricity some parts of Baghdad were still getting.
As I have occasion to note periodically, you must never think this ungraspable nightmare can't get worse. It always will.

Always, until we leave. And if it's up to our governing class, we won't leave, not in your lifetime. Remember those enduring bases...and that huge embassy...and the oil...and...