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that bet can only be won in a situation of worldwide war, in which military control of the assets matters, and investment can be imposed from the top - a command economy.

There is no conceivable peacetime scenario under which Americans or Western companies get to keep any meaningful chunk of the Iraqi oil rent.

So it's a really a bet on the long - hot - war - WWiv. It's a bleak 'win'.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 06:15:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree completely.

But, as they say: Possession is nine tenths' of the Law.

I do not see the US ever leaving Iraq entirely while there is significant oil.

This need not be a problem - eg they're still in Cuba - but they are going to have to realise that the only Iraq settlement will be a multilateral one and not on terms they dictate.

But the $64 trillion question is what sort of settlement it will be...

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 06:28:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I trust that my characterization of the U.S. ruling class' strategy is understood to be clinical and contemporaneous. In my old-style Marxist rhetoric - I think that the 'contradictions' will just about bury them. Despite the paranoia that simmers here in the left community concerning takeover by a mercenary army (Blackwater, of course), I doubt that their gamble will be sustained domestically, let alone in the wider world.

Of course, WW IV is possible, but, so far, it looks like Russia and China are just playing the U.S. like a crawdad on a piece of bacon. The stupid crawdad just won't let go of the bacon, as long as you haul him in sorta slow-like.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 10:58:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush appears to be another monkey caught in a "Gumption Trap" by "value rigidity".

All kinds of examples from cycle maintenance could be given, but the most striking example of value rigidity I can think of is the old South Indian Monkey Trap, which depends on value rigidity for its effectiveness.

The trap consists of a hollowed-out coconut chained to a stake. The coconut has some rice inside which can be grabbed through a small hole. The hole is big enough so that the monkey's hand can go in, but too small for his fist with rice in it to come out. The monkey reaches in and is suddenly trapped...by nothing more than his own value rigidity.

He can't revalue the rice. He cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable than capture with it. The villagers are coming to get him and take him away. They're coming closer -- closer! -- now!

What general advice...not specific advice...but what general advice would you give the poor monkey in circumstances like this?

From "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", of course, if you hadn't guessed...

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

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 at 11:07:51 AM EST
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