Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Ooool Revenues
I'm sure we'll be hearing this trumpeted in the media as a monumental accomplishment of our dear leader:
The NYT piece has one laugher in it—the oil law "would appear to settle a longstanding debate"—but otherwise thoroughly lays out the positions of the relevant parties. The Kurdish region has been independently negotiating contracts and exploiting its oil reserves, occasionally without bothering to tell the central government, let alone get approval or share revenue.

They have little interest in changing that situation and only agreed to the deal, perhaps, because "in Iraq's chaotic wartime environment, even laws that do get passed can have little impact," as the Times puts it. (TP might ask if that could be a workable definition of a "failed state.")
Laugher indeed.

Who does have an interest in changing the situation? The Kurds don't need it, they're doing what they want and getting lots of money from their oil. Shiites don't care for it for the same reasons. Sunni's won't care for it because it leaves decision making in a Shiite dominated government. Besides, in the central-southern Iraq oil fields, no oil is flowing due to the crappy security situation.

Looks like a non-starter to me that is designed to get headlines and placate the U.S. while maintaining the status quo.