A friend writes on Facebook tirelessly about scandals wrought by the government and big business. He gets so exorcised that I wondered if all this bad news might be raising his blood pressure. He assured me his complaints helped him blow off steam. I hope he’s right. The strategy wouldn’t work for me which is why I avoid politics in my blogs.
I was grinding my teeth the other day, for example, as I read an article in the May issue of Fortune. It was about two American companies, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, that are drilling for oil in Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq. True, these companies had arrived at the invitation of the Kurds but their presence was upsetting to the government in Bagdad that wants to retain control over the assets. The tension between the two governments is bringing the country close to civil war. Already, Baghdad has warned that, “If Exxon lays a finger on this territory, they will face the Iraqi Army.” But the oil companies aren’t listening. Already Exxon’s response has been to argue that “Kurdistan’s prospects were too promising to pass up.” (“The Next Oil Boom with Exxon.” Vivienne Walt, Fortune, May 2013 pg. 212.)
Skeptics have long argued that the United States declared war on Iraq to secure the country’s oil. If so, our plan backfired. Anti-American sentiment is so high that as many as 35 foreign oil companies have been allowed to bid for the privilege of pulling black gold from Iraqi fields. (Ibid, pg. 212.) It’s easy to see why American companies appear eager to work with the Kurds for a share of the pie. Unfortunately, their business objectives could provoke a civil war.
Does anyone see the irony here? Or mourn the waste of lives that have already been lost to “bring peace to the area?” It may be time to monitor my blood pressure.
(Courtesy of www.pslweb.org)