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Catfish and Cod
Friday, August 29, 2003
In case you haven't heard, the Saudis are not our friends.
(Link path: Boston Globe)

While the Administration blames Arizona pipelines and other causes for the current spike in oil prices, the real movers and shakers continue to operate behind the scenes. While it's not true that the war was fought solely for oil, one of the expected benefits of the Second Gulf War was the boost to world oil production. The Iraqi oil pipelines would start pumping again; large amounts of oil would be sold; supplies would go up and the price would fall; and the American economy, not to mention everyone else's, would be boosted.

That turns out not to be the case. The oil is not flowing. The blame can partly be attributed to institutional neglect under Saddam; but the real shock to the system is the constant bombing of the Iraqi pipelines. Since no one with current hopes of power in Iraq wants the pipelines destroyed, the blame can be laid with the Ba'athists. The Ba'athists, in turn, have been linked with Saudi jihadists convienently driven out of Arabia revently.by the Saudi government. There are even reports that a Saudi national, un-named by the CPA, is acting as co-leader of the Ba'athist resistance.

And in the meantime, the world price of oil is above $30 a barrel, and the Saudis are milking all the profits they can. As the Globe states, "Nearly five months after the fall of Baghdad, it is Saudi Arabia that has staged an economic rebound, Iraq is mired in post-war disarray and US consumers face higher energy costs...The kingdom's economy is likely to grow by nearly 7 percent this year." While our economy grows at 2% and jobs flee the country like rats from a sinking ship.

The post-war period is not, to say the least, unfolding according to plan.