Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, June 19, 2008

An Interesting Juxtaposition

Two news items crossed paths this morning, creating some excited synapse-jumping in my brain. First this:
BAGHDAD (NYT) — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.
This de-nationalization of oil is, unquestionably, great news for the people of Iraq and more evidence that we are winning the war and -- remember this idea? -- building democracy in the place of totalitarianism in the Middle East. Oil production will be freed of bureaucratic incompetency and corruption, capitalism will reign, and the democratic Iraqi government will begin reaping financial benefits it can use to defend itself, rebuilt infrastructure, care for refugees, etc.

The left doesn't see it that way, of course.

The NYT, forgetting for the moment that it was American blood that freed Iraq, wonders why Chinese and Russian bids were shunted aside and whispers conspiratorially that American advisors are at work in the Iraqi oil ministry.

The Soros-funded Think Progress isn't letting any editorial feelings slip with this illustration on its coverage of the story, eh?

Matthew Yglesias lays it out for the lefties:
I think the evidence is clear that the Bush administration went to war in Iraq because it's run by crazy people. The oil money more plausibly comes into play in explaining the desire to stay at war forever.
Hmm. Last time I checked, American multinationals prefer working in peaceful countries. Then Yglesias cues up the next story that caught my attention with this:
Nationalization, you see, is a substantial risk of doing business -- especially natural resource business -- in unstable countries. But a given government is much, much, much less likely to nationalize western countries' assets if it's dependent on external U.S. military support and especially if its security services are nicely enmeshed with the U.S. military.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S., a country whose security is also nicely enmeshed with the U.S. military, there's this:


The clip, courtesy of Hot Air, shows NY Rep Maurice Hinchey calling for the nationalization of oil refineries; he was one of several Dems who yesterday spouted similar socialistic rhetoric. (I understand the DNC is considering a name change to DPP, Democratic Peoples Party.)

Watch the clip because Hinchey comes and goes quickly, followed by an interview between Neil Cavuto and an Obama supporter Malia Lazu that will blow your mind. Lazu says it was a mistake for the U.S. to allow oil to be a free market industry in the first place, and that this grievous mistake -- evidenced, I suppose, by the horrible state of our oil infrastructure and government's continuing inability to allow an increase supply or new refineries -- and that "we won't find out" that oil will just get more expensive under government ownership because "when Congress can set prices it can set prices."

Her excuse for destroying a system that's served us well for over 100 years despite all of government's efforts to screw it up: "It's our oil." Follow that line of this Obamaniac's thinking -- which ignores royalties BTW -- and it's our forests, it's our lakes, it's our coal, it's our clay in the bricks you built that factory with, Capitalist Pig.

Fortunately, we are already a democracy, so Hinchey and his fellow travelers can vomit out Communist party talking points with no real effect on the rest of us. And in Iraq, another step has been made down the road that will allow the Mohammed el-Hincheys to be just as ridiculous, just as threatening to our stability, with no real effect on their government.

hat-tip: memeorandum

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