Friday, March 29, 2013
And How Did That Work Out For You?
It's settled now that Iraq's oil riches pretty much sealed Saddam Hussein's fate. The Anglo-American conquest of Iraq was heavily an oil-driven decision. And wasn't it nice of the Americans to avoid bombing Iraq's oil infrastructure and to make it the first of the few things they actually secured after they toppled Saddam?
And now, a decade later, Iraq is on the verge of becoming the world's second-largest oil producer. Oh boy, all those years of war and suffering are finally paying off. Sure, that is if you're China.
America, with its own homegrown energy bonanza, isn’t going after the petroleum that lies beneath Iraq’s sands nearly as aggressively as is China, a country hungry to fuel its rise as an economic power.
Iraq remains highly unstable in terms of security, infrastructure and politics. Chinese state-owned oil companies appear more willing to put up with that than Americans are.
“The Chinese have a higher tolerance for risk,” said Gal Luft, a co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a Washington research center focused on energy.
The International Energy Agency expects China to become the main customer for Iraq’s vast oil reserves. Fatih Birol, the agency’s chief economist, recently declared “a new trade axis is being formed between Baghdad and Beijing.” Birol said that about 80 percent of Iraq’s future oil exports were expected to go to Asia, mainly to China.
Isn't America generous? It spent trillions of dollars to make Iran the dominant power in the region and to allow China to stitch up Iraq's oil reserves (hint, Beijing is doing the same with Iran's oil).
All the King's Horses and All the King's Men....