Archive for June, 2006

Oil Exports

Friday, June 30th, 2006

There are few things that affect the prospects of the democratic governance in Iraq more directly than the level of oil exports.  Everything that the government undertakes – the conversion of a socialist economy to a market economy; the compensation payments associated with the national conciliation plan; the maintenance of public food support; the investment in crucial infrastructure – all depend on ready cash from oil.

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In the Daily Dispatch of June 16, we reported the reopening of the Iraq’s northern oil pipeline, connecting the Kirkuk oil depots to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.  Since the overthrow of Saddam, this crucial export facility has been offline.  It has been sabotaged not only by terrorists, but by smugglers who profiteer by diverting Iraqi oil from the legal export market, where the state benefits, to the black market, where they benefit.

Pre-war, the northern pipeline handled 700,000 barrels per day (bpd).  It reopened June 14th to flows of 21,000 bpd.  By the end of June, it was pumping 300,000 bpd.

Last month, Iraqi oil production finally reached its pre-war level of 2.1 million bpd.  This month production topped 2.5 million – Iraq’s average level during the 1990s.  But oil prices now are more than double what they were then.

Higher production, more exports, and elevated global demand – these factors in the oil market bode well for the al-Mailiki government.  And they reflect well on oil minister Hussain al-Sharistani, who promised to halt corruption and smuggling in the energy sector

A Crucial Arrest

Friday, June 30th, 2006

No single event damaged the young democracy of Iraq more than the Feb. 22nd bombing of the Golden Dome at in Samarra. The 1,200-year-old Askari Shrine, scene of the atrocity, is the second-holiest site in Shi’ite Islam. 

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Gimme Shelter: Al-Maliki proposes amnesty

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Hot on the heels of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death, the downloading of his hard-drive, and the hundreds of raids that ensued, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acted decisively to neutralize the other main insurgent group.  On June 25th, he offered a 24-point “national reconciliation” plan.  And just as Zarqawi’s death broke the back of Al Qaeda-in-Iraq, so the amnesty has derailed the resistance of former regime elements.

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Another One Bites the Dust

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

You’re a terrorist, you’re driving down a canal road with a buddy, smoking Miami cigarettes, with the distinctive American flavor, blasting the latest sermons smuggled out of A-Stan on the casette deck and….

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NBC: Don’t Bother Us With The Facts

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

NBC News, as is typical with most media, played the debate over troop reductions in Iraq as a “He said–She said” without even checking what they said.

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There is No Such Thing as Bad Press

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Bruno S. Frey, of the University of Zurich and Dominic Rohner of Cambridge studied how media coverage of terrorism affects terrorism.

Their research paper, “Blood and Ink! The Common-Interest-Game Between Terrorists and the Media” has drawn scant attention from the Legacy Media because it indicts them as willfully benefitting from terrorism.

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Down Memory Lane Part II of II

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

America did not attack Iraq because “President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction.”  Hostilities began because Congress, at the President’s request, passed a joint resolution titled “Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq.”  The House passed this resolution October 10, 2002, by 296-to-133; and the Senate, one day later, 77-to-23.

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Down memory lane Part I of II

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

Having viewed the thousandth MSM “special” on the intelligence briefings prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom (“Rumors” – CNN Presents), DD has elected to stroll down memory lane.

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Zarqawi’s Legacy Part II of II

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

The Bolshevik Leon Trotsky advanced the idea of “permanent revolution” to explain the heterodox situation of the Russian Revolution, which, according to classical Marxist theory, had developed prematurely.  Part of the theory ran thus:  because   the  class in whose name the revolution was being conducted was inadequately powerful to maintain it, the revolution must occur simultaneously across national borders, in lands where the “revolutionary” class was powerful enough to sustain both its own insurrection, and that of the “weak” nation.

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Zarqawi’s Legacy Part I of II

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was an able devil: a man whose gifts as a guerilla commander extended well beyond his willingness to kill.  Revolutionary movements invariably attract a broad spectrum of discontents.  It was Zarqawi’s “virtue” that he allowed no incidental form of opposition to Saddam, or to the Americans, to dilute his absolute commitment to Islamo-fascism.  This purity yielded three tactical insights.

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