Wednesday, January 15, 2003

A while ago, I blogged a New York Times front-pager on Dubya's plans for occupied Iraq, noting that it provided for divvying up the oil fields among American corporations, but that the administration was trying very hard to reassure its Saudi masters partners that they wouldn't use that control to undermine Saudi-dominated OPEC's control of oil prices. (Thus enraging Arab public opinion with the takeover itself, while at the same time securing no economic benefit for Americans outside the oilpatch --- a neat double fake-out some have missed).

But there's more. The plan talks of an thorough reconstruction of Iraqi civil society, eliminating the Baath fanatics who have misruled the country under Saddam, something like the de-Nazification of Germany following World War II. Except it now seems that there's going to be a wrinkle: this will be a version of de-Nazification which doesn't eliminate the Nazis.

I expect the usual parties to praise this remarkably nuanced approach to a subtle and difficult problem.


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