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October 27, 2006



good point, well made.
There is a more serious case of irresponsible debating tactics on the horizon, in the form of the so-called "Biden plan" for decreeing partition by fiat. Does everyone agree this should be buried before it seriously muddies the waters ? (See the detailed denunciation of this so-called plan by a normally reticent specialist at www.historiae.org, under "There is no Biden Plan").


I read your blog daily, when its updated that is, and I usually find your statements smart and funny. But come on man.. "irresponsible scare tactics" from Bush? The guy who gave us WMD? It's not possible. ;)


Another point: even in the utterly implausible scenario of a Qaeda-type state somehow gaining control over the southern or northern oil fields (or even the still underdeveloped East Baghdad field which basically lies right under Sadr/Revolution City), they would never be able to export the barrels in serious volumes. Yes, they'd manage to do some minor smuggling at cut-rate prices, but the vast majority of Iraqi crude is sold to major consumers (the US, China, Europe, Japan, etc.) who would all abide by a sanctions scheme. Any major trader or integrated company who tried to dabble in Iraqi crude would see themselves hauled into court in an instant. That's on top of the fact that Iraq has only a few fairly narrow main export routes: the Ceyhan pipeline up north (which can only carry the smaller volumes of Kirkuk crude unless enough central authority is restored to restart the strategic line which can shift crude north to south or vice versa) which runs through Turkey who would shut if off in an instant together with the western powers. And the Basrah and Khor al-Amayah terminals in the south which are already rusting hulks and can't move a barrel without the US 5th fleet knowing it. Certainly not a modern tanker. Yeah, some dhows and some overland smuggling of products, and maybe some tankers to Jordan or small flows to Syria, but that amounts to little more than Fuul Sudaani (pardon the American pun).

Yuri Guri

"Leaping from a serious, if debatable, concern (a mini-emirate in the Sunni areas) to an al-Qaeda controlled Iraq, complete with oil reserves, is just an irresponsible scare tactic."

To be fair, have you ruled out the possibility that Bush just honestly does not know that Western Iraq is oil-poor?


Bush said "Iraq", not "the Sunni triangle". So who, exactly, is the idiot around here?

What it boils down to is whether the Sunnis could regain control of the Iraqi state. And there's plenty of precedent for that, isn't there?

No Preference

Bush said "terrorist", not "Sunni". So who, exactly, is the idiot around here?

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