Friday, December 8, 2006


Didn't there used to be a picture called "The Thief of Baghdad?"  If not, there's one now: it's described in the Iraq Study Group report which recommends privatizing Iraqi oil and handing out contracts for its exploitation to the oil majors, under the aegis of a central government.  And to make sure the message is clear, the panel is emphasizing in interviews that its recommendations should be taken as a whole, not, in Baker's words, "cherry-picked".

And here is where the elves come in: in her book "The Reckoning", Middle East specialist Sandra Mackey notes that under Saddam Iraqis were so cowed that cruising police cars were enough to make sure there was no civilian violence.  I can't get that sentence out of my mind.  What are all those occupation troops doing anyway, if wicked elves are allowed to kidnap, torture, kill and hide people?  I've heard they pretty much stay inside the Green Zone, the urban wilderness being too dangerous to even patrol.  But is that what an occupying army is supposed to do?  Stay indoors?  And if that's what they're doing, could this be a way of establishing that there is no central government capable of "defending and sustaining itself"?

We hear, sotto voce, that the U.S. is building a number (I think it's fourteen) of permanent bases in Iraq.  Could there be a link between the bases, an occupation strategy that appears designed to show that Iraq can't govern itself, and the ISG's recommendation that oil be turned over to the majors?

It all comes together when we're reminded, by political activist Antonia Juhasz (on Democracy Now), that among other "coincidences", Jim Baker's law firm's clients include those companies.

What we need over there is a good fairy.

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