The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil:
requires registration, but it's worth it.
...dependency on natural resources can poison a country’s economic and political system. Inflows of hard currency push up prices, squeezing the competitiveness of non-oil businesses and starving them of capital. As a result, productivity growth withers (a phenomenon known as “Dutch disease” after the negative effects of North Sea gas production on the Netherlands). Meanwhile, the state institutions in charge of oil often become corrupt and evade democratic control. And oil-rich states almost invariably waste the income it brings, many ending their oil booms deeper in debt than when they started.
posted by anotherpanacea
on Aug 29, 2009 -
In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way.
The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi
calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia
on Oct 2, 2007 -
"The Blessings-of-Civilization Trust,
wisely and cautiously administered, is a Daisy
. There is more money
in it, more territory
, more sovereignty
, and other kinds of emolument, than there is in any other game that is played. But Christendom has been playing it badly of late years, and must certainly suffer by it, in my opinion. She has been so eager to get every stake that appeared on the green cloth, that the People who Sit in Darkness
have noticed it – they have noticed it, and have begun to show alarm
. They have become suspicious of the Blessings of Civilization."
posted by homunculus
on Jun 13, 2007 -
This opinion piece
in Prospect magazine argues that perhaps the importance of the problems in the Middle East are overblown. Interesting read.
posted by zeoslap
on May 17, 2007 -
Former GOP senior strategist Kevin Phillips wrote the political Bible of the New Right, The Emerging Republican Majority
. He coined the term "Sun Belt." He voted for Reagan twice and still considers himself a staunch Republican. But now Phillips, the author of a new book called American Theocracy
, is warning that the party of George Bush and Karl Rove ("W brand Republicans," in the phrase of GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen) has become "God's own party
" -- the champion of a convergence of "petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex." Phillips also cautions that the W-brand party's "sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual
, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution." [Phillips was also discussed here
posted by digaman
on Apr 2, 2006 -
Fables of the reconstruction.
The Bush administration does not intend to seek any further funding for Iraqi reconstruction, leaving only $3.5 billion left to spend out of the $18.4 billion the US budgeted. Approximately half of all reconstruction costs spent so far -- $7.5 billion -- have been eaten up by increased costs due to the insurgency.
All remaining reconstruction costs will depend entirely upon foriegn contributions and Iraq's oil industry. But will foriegn aid come through if its too dangerous to work there? Can Iraq's oil industry pay for reconstruction when its output has been in a tailspin for well over a year, falling from 2.8 million barrels a day in May 2004
, to 1.82 million barrels per day
in January 2005, to 1.2 million barrels a day by November
. and ending the year with a low of 1.1 million barrels a day in December
As for the Iraqi infrastructure left to be rebuilt, water and sanitation is still poor in most areas, and electricity production, which looked promising last summer after imports from Iran and Turkey, has deteriorated again, falling to only 3700 megawatts in November 2005
, essentially at the same level produced in May 2004
posted by insomnia_lj
on Jan 2, 2006 -
What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn?
"The money missing from all ministries under the interim Iraqi government appointed by the US in June 2004 may turn out to be close[r] to $2bn... Many Iraqi soldiers and police have died because they were not properly equipped. In Baghdad they often ride in civilian pick-up trucks vulnerable to gunfire, rocket- propelled grenades or roadside bombs. For months even men defusing bombs had no protection against blasts because they worked without bullet-proof vests. These were often promised but never turned up."
posted by Rothko
on Sep 18, 2005 -
Turns out that it's about the oil, after all.
We've been screaming it for years, and he's totally ignored our allegations. But, there's no demonstration chant a good spin-doctor can't turn into a point for their side. Remember, the terrists hate our Amercun
posted by Netzapper
on Sep 2, 2005 -
Power Cut Shuts Down Iraq Oil Exports
ASRA, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq's oil exports were shut down Monday by a power cut that darkened parts of central and southern Iraq, including the country's only functioning oil export terminals, Iraqi and foreign oil officials said.
posted by celerystick
on Aug 22, 2005 -
A Maoist take on Cindy Sheehan.
To quote the Revolutionary Worker quoting Ms. Sheehan: "I want him (Bush) to tell me 'just what was the noble cause Casey died for'?", she declared. "Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East.
"We're not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT ACT. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism! There, I used the 'I' word--imperialism, and now I'm going to use another 'I' word -- impeachment--because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail."
(Meanwhile, on the spot,
Bush's neighbor is becoming irate;
more on that via Yahoo News.
posted by davy
on Aug 15, 2005 -
US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals'
The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.
A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
posted by Postroad
on May 17, 2005 -
Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.
Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt
from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran
. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War
, Wars Without End
, Oiling the Wheels of War
, and Imperial Reach
from his articles
for The Nation
alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars
and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel
and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil
. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
posted by y2karl
on Apr 13, 2005 -
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
posted by Postroad
on Feb 3, 2005 -
UNSCAM: The scandal surrounding the UN
and their oil-for-food program with Iraq hasn't received a whole lot of media attention and hasn't, surprisingly, even been brought up on MeFi. It boils down to Saddam Hussein taking the money from oil sales and using it to give kickbacks to France, Russia, and the UN itself, while Saddam built palaces and such, rather than buying food and medicine. It's complicated, but could be the biggest public financial scandal in history. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that Russia is trying to block any investigation
into the matter.
posted by MrAnonymous
on Apr 19, 2004 -
Anybody see this coming?
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
posted by FormlessOne
on Aug 25, 2003 -
Judicial Watch, the group that's been suing for access to Cheney's Energy Task Force notes, finally gets some docs, and guess what? Way back in 2001, Cheney, et al, were looking at maps of Iraqi oil fields. Is this the bookend clue, that coupled with Rumsfields 9/12 comments about going after Iraq, starts to shed real light on the administrations foreign policy objectives?
posted by tellmenow
on Jul 18, 2003 -
is an provocative proponent of the American Empire
theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire
I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era
of The Whole Wide World
The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?
It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl
on Mar 13, 2003 -
Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War?
"The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
posted by thedailygrowl
on Feb 11, 2003 -
Is it all about oil?
Daniel Yergin (The Prize
) discusses Iraq's oil after Saddam. I found it highly informative and somewhat surprising. He emphasizes the small role that Iraq will play in the oil market. By the time production ramps up in five years, Iraq will still be a second tier producer, grouped with Norway and Mexico. Not exactly the petro bonanza some predict. There are more predictions by this veteran oil-watcher.
posted by ednopantz
on Dec 8, 2002 -
Is it all about oil?
Iraq war protesters insist a war wil be about oil. Others say no. Here the writer argues that it is both--it is not all about oil but we will control the oil should we take control.
posted by Postroad
on Oct 16, 2002 -
This may not make as effective a sales pitch
as "weapons of mass destruction," but with two oil men in office, it can't be ignored as a possible ulterior motive to war in Iraq. Am I a cynic or should we be asking if this "preemptive" war is really about what they are saying it's about?
posted by karlcleveland
on Sep 23, 2002 -
War Could Unshackle Oil in Iraq
..All five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- have international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership in Baghdad.
Okay, everybody say it with me now...It's about the OIL!
posted by bas67
on Sep 14, 2002 -
Back from a vigorous and exhausting vacation of petty but life sustaining activities, I find this
overview of our larger reality, without the noisy claptrap of narrowly self serving ideologies, yet worrisome enough to shake the world's boat I'm travelling in with some comfort and some reasonable concern spiced with anxiety. (NYT)
posted by semmi
on Jul 31, 2002 -
Saddam's oil scam
....and other tidbits of interest about Iraq versus US. oops. I almost said "and the world," but the world seems indifferent or annoyed at the American threat to Iraq.
posted by Postroad
on May 9, 2002 -