- U.S. civilian ruler Paul Bremer said on Tuesday Iraq should consider privatising its state-owned sectors and foreign investment in its oil industry before a permanent sovereign government takes over.
Bremer is offering this as advice to the "governing council" he's setting up -- whose members are, at best, utterly dependant on him for maintenance of their positions. And he isn't offering them a whole lot of choice, anyway -- the oil revenue won't be nearly enough to pay for governing expenses otherwise, as skeptics were pointing out months ago.
The upshot: the Americans will come in, and immediately oversee the sale of the country's choice assets and industries to Western companies -- largely American ones, unless there's a very sharp turn in contracting policies. Distinguishing that from looting on a grand scale is left as an exercise for the interested reader. I'm betting most Iraqis won't be interested, to say nothing of the larger Arab community we're supposedly trying to win over with our wise and charitable work here...