The Indicators of Success in Iraq?


The Associated Press reported today that gas lines in Iraq are as long as two miles, but how could that be the case in a country that is on the cusp of signing oil contracts with potential revenues close to $100 billion? Irony of ironies, the very same "liberation" that freed Iraq's oil market also destabilized the country to the point that it can't even use its own resources:

[S]ectarian strife, rampant corruption, lack of adequate refineries and inefficient government institutions limit the positive impact that increased public revenues could have on average Iraqi citizens like Habib Hadi, who queued up for gas at 4 a.m. Tuesday.

After waiting more than four hours, he said he finally edged close to the gas station and "saw a catastrophe."

"The gas pump was not working because of the lack of electricity," Hadi said.

This bewildering anecdote follows yesterday's news that the no-bid contracts Iraq offered to Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, BP, and Chevron are "under negotiation" until god knows when; not that it matters one way or another to the Iraqis waiting in gas lines. With no infrastructure to refine crude, they might as well be pumping chocolate pudding.