Friday, May 06, 2005

Its the Oil, Stupid

A line from the "Saving Iraq From Its Oil" made me think:

Vicious fights over the distribution of resources often result. These battles are often portrayed as ethnic rivalries, when in fact they might actually be simple fights to monopolize wealth.
Could the fight for oil revenue be the true reason for the Iraqi insurgency? Hmm, Shiites in the south have oil fields. Kurds in the north have oil fields. But the Sunnis have no oil fields in the west of Iraq. Most of the Shiites and Kurds have bought into the new government while the insurgency is mainly Sunnis.

Iraq pumps about 2 million barrels of oil a day. At $50/barrel that comes to $100 mil a day or $37 billion a year. With that kind of money at stake there is plenty of incentive to fight for a piece of it.

While the foot soldiers in this battle truly believe they are fighting for religious or ethnic reasons, those higher up are motivated by the oil wealth (similar to how no American soldiers are over there to fight for oil, but it was a crucial reason why the decision was made by the Bush administration).

Although you never hear this motivation for the insurgency reported in the media, I think it has a lot to do with it. Everyone is talking about Islamic Fundamentalist and ex-Baathists, but really I think there are a lot of people in this insurgency that are just motivated to get a fat piece of the oil revenue pie.

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