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    07 December 2005

    Iraq's economy

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    Iraqi oil exports fell to their lowest level in two years in November 2005. Bad management of the reconstruction effort, widespread corruption among government figures, and sabotage by insurgents are the reasons for the decline. Experts say that the US strategy of military intervention in oil-rich regions can only diminish, rather than increase, the supply to world markets.

    Yesterday, the President came out with his second speech defending the War on Iraq, this time touting the economy. I don't claim to have any knowledge of how the economy works or even balancing my check book; but I do know that the Economy in Iraq is dominated by oil. So when the President points out items like...

    ...Iraq is making quiet, steady progress in repairing its shattered economy, though reconstruction "has not always gone as well as we had hoped" because of unrelenting violence.

    "Rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator is a large undertaking," the president said. "It's even harder when terrorists are trying to blow up that which the Iraqis are trying to build."

    This makes me think: well we know that the oil system worked under Saddam. So now they must be fully operational, despite insurgent attacks, at least an organized bureaucracy. (heh.)

    But that's not the case. The oil aspect is in disarray, the output levels pre-war have been cut in half by American democracy; or is it being stolen? (of course it is, come on...)
    In the same month, the Oil Ministry's Director General for Drilling Mohammed al-Abudi said that "administrative corruption" was taking many forms. "The robberies and thefts are taking place on a daily basis on all levels [...] committed by low-level government employees and by high officials in leadership positions of the Iraqi state," he added

    So what economy is Bush touting? How can their be nothing better than the economy for Bush to play up? How can an oil based economy operating like this
    Two-and-a-half years after the US invasion of Iraq, the country's oil industry is still in disarray. An official of the Oil Ministry in Baghdad told ISN Security Watch, on condition of anonymity: "We do not know the exact quantity of oil we are exporting, we do not exactly know the prices we are selling it for, and we do not know where the oil revenue is going to."

    How can this pass for an improvement? And who's getting rich on Iraqi oil?

    Posted by Geoff

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