Who’s Getting Rich Off Iraq?

Iraq may be costing you and me a bundle, but for the President’s buddies it’s a bonanza: they’re setting up companies to peddle access. Josh Marshall has the details about Haley Barbour here, about Joe Albaugh here, and about Doug Feith’s law partner and Ahmed Chalabi’s nephew (honestly, could I make this up?) here.

Good to know that some things never go out of style. War profiteering, for example.

Did you notice [*] that the first OPEC meeting with a representative of the Iraqi provisional government present voted to cut production and thus raise oil prices? If they can ever get any oil flowing, that will increase the amount of the loot. The billions that price increase will cost American consumers won’t be factored into the cost of the war, of course.

Query: Was this a diplomatic defeat for the US — which would raise questions about the claims that as the conquerors of Iraq we will be listened to more closely in the Middle East — or did the White House privately give this move the thumbs-up? At a more basic level: Was this a surprise, or did the U.S. Government at least know about it in advance?

Update E-vote reposts an old AP story. [*]Turns out Mr. Bush as a candidate thought that the President ought to say something, or even do something, when OPEC raises the price of oil. Of course that was then. This is now.

Second update The Boston Globe confirms that the Iraqi delegate to OPEC voted to cut production quotas.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

Comments are closed.