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I really don't buy Bush as a messianic madman any more than I buy Ahmadinejad as one.

For Cheney Inc and the Bush subsidiary it's never been anything more than rolling the dice in the oil crap game. For President A, standing up to the Great Satan is his chance of staying in power, because his economic competence isn't going to keep him there.

Cheney and Bush were given the green light for Big Oil to take over Iraq, followed smoothly by Iran. It would have been a goldmine for the people who really run the US aka Big Money.

But it didn't happen, of course.

What we are seeing here is the last roll of the dice IMHO. Big Oil wants to come out of the Presidency with the Iraqi Oil law in place, at least, and its just possible, they think, that Iran might be able to help them swing it.

I reckon all this current ballyhoo is just more noise: I don't believe that Big Money would let Bush pull the trigger because of the market consequences.

Despite all the pessimism and paranoia "They", whether Bush, Cheney or whoever comes after just do not have what it takes to lock down a US in financial/social meltdown, never mind anywhere else.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:14:12 PM EST
In fact, it just struck me that a major "financial"/ "money laundering" etc etc offensive is the best route the US now has.

ie use the initiative to get a lock on the Iranian elite's overseas assets and then make them an offer they can't refuse.

It's common knowledge in Iran that it's companies controlled by the Revolutionary Guard that have the monopoly on shipping in booze from Turkey, for instance....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:21:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree. I believe Bush has gone way south of delusional, and I suspect Cheney is arrogant to the point of pathology. (I also have a sneaking suspicion that we would see Ahmadinejad as a conventional, if inflexible moderately talented politician if we understood his context better).

The Big Money people were Bush I's backers, and we've seen what short shrift Baker & Co. get in Washington these days. Maybe the oil industry is still on board, but I would be surprised if a large part of the moneyed establishment isn't feeling just as helpless as we are right now.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:23:50 PM EST
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Thyssen, one of the biggest German industrialists and an avid political and financial supporter of Hitler, was eventually arrested and sent to a concentration camp.

Big Oil may have seen Junior as their creature, and Cheney as their creature's handler. But if so, they haven't been paying attention to their history.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:39:03 PM EST
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haven't been paying attention to their history.

Yep. That's kinda tough for people who've conditioned themselves not to consider anything longer than a 3-month timeframe.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:08:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you, but they might be tempted to do a remake of Operation Opera using B2 stealth bombers...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 01:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Big Oil wants to come out of the Presidency with the Iraqi Oil law in place

Big Oil does not care about the Iraqi Oil law. They're not investing in Iraq, and it's not because of the absence of that law, and any law put in place by anybody while the Americans are there will not change the situation on the ground (ie civil war), and any law can be repealed once the Americans finally leave.

Big Oil knows the Oil law is pointless.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:21:03 PM EST
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Not pointless. It offers public cover.

Gotta trot out a narrative that gives the American public a lie thy can use to cover their soul with, at least in the short term. Sarko will do the same.

Please read my post above --today's school lesson for Giselle.
What color will those kids in the over-ten prison be?

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 02:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction.

Cheney & Bush want to have it in place before they leave office. Big Oil are indeed more pragmatic about its practical use.

But I do not see the US "finally leaving", any more than they "finally left" Cuba, unless they perceive security of access to Iraqi oil.

The Oil Law is about more than securing favourable access it is about securing favourable price.

And it may well be taking on a totemic significance because I do not believe that there was any other motive - for Cheney and Bush at least - for the invasion of Iraq.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:09:35 PM EST
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I agree. Bush and the republicans lite who will follow have no intention of leaving Iraq until that oil is mostly out of the ground. Leaving after an oil law is put in place would allow iraqis to ditch it as soon as we are gone. But having a boogeyman next door in Iran, that is said to be meddling in Iraq, is the best cover to attempt selling the idea of a permanent military presence in Iraq to the american public. This is IMO the simplest explanation for their apparent ignoring of the latest alliance of countries around the caspian sea (including Russia), as well as the outrageous consequences that a conflict with Iran would entail. Remember, they are desperate to justify continued military occupation with ~70% of americans against it.
by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 03:54:40 PM EST
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Again - as long as the US forces are there, no investment will take place in the Iraq oil sector (and no, the Norwegian DNO in Kurdistan does not count, it's a ridiculously small operation by any standard).

So it's pointless. Completely. Irredeemably.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 05:10:26 PM EST
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You may well be right that it is irredeemably pointless and I agree there won't be any investing before Iraq is "pacified".

But many people said it was pointless before invasion began and they still did it. The signs point to long-term and intensive military presence. The generals seem to think so. They must think they will eventually pacify the place or at least part of it, as crazy as it may seem to us. Moreover, they have to pacify Iraq whether or not they attack Iran. I must say I have always thought they would end up balkanizing Iraq. They were well aware of the great probability of Iraq splitting up if they went in as Cheney said in 1994. The fall back position could be to make a deal with the kurds for a homeland while grabbing as much of the Kirkuk area for its oil. They'd end up controlling more or less half (?) of known reserves in Iraq. I hate to think of what the future has in store for Iraqis.

Attacking Iran seems extremely risky and I don't think they'd take the gamble. Unless they are nuts of course, but I have to acknowledge a more machiavelian view of the state than their allowing the crazies to run the asylum.

by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:33:39 PM EST
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I believe the vast majority of Iraqi oil is in the shiite south, but I might be wrong.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also a lot of oil around Kirkuk.

It is interesting that most of Saudi Arabia's oil is also under shiite territory, in Saudi Arabia's shiite North.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, there is oil at Kirkuk. The field was actually found as early as 1927 IIRC, and the wells were immediatly plugged by the international oil companies to keep the price of oil up. Oh the irony.

But I think there is far more oil in the south. Maybe proprotions like 4 to 1, or something like that.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The infrastructure in the North is a deal better, though - or less shot up, at least. As far as I've heard from our newsies, the oil is split roughly fifty-fifty between the North and South of Iraq. It's the centre that's out of luck.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 06:57:33 PM EST
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It is what I remembered as well but after reading Starvid's comment I looked it up and it appears the reserve distribution is 20% in the North and 70% in the South. I'll have to think about that because it may change my opinion on the need they have to deal with Iran in some fashion.
by Fete des fous on Thu Oct 25th, 2007 at 07:26:15 PM EST
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71% of available reserves are in a relatively small area in the south west of Iraq (thought it was the south east, but I was wrong). See David Sinclair's diary An Answer for Iraq.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2007 at 03:45:25 AM EST
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