Up in the sky fireworks are blasting. People are overjoyed and the occupying force is leaving. You're probably saying that the 4th of July isn't for another two days. Aren't they celebrating it a little early? Well, this isn't our independence day. It's Iraq's day of freedom. And while I may sound like an unpatriotic asshole here, it's about time.
Fireworks over Baghdad as U.S. troops leaveYeah. Don't you remember those good ol' days when Bush said that we'll be greeted with flowers and they will cheer us as liberators..... yeah. Ok, so many they'll at least cheer when we leave.
(AP) BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces assumed formal control of Baghdad and other cities Tuesday after American troops handed over security in urban areas in a defining step toward ending the U.S. combat role in the country. A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for U.S. combat troops to finish their pullback to bases outside cities.
"The withdrawal of American troops is completed now from all cities after everything they sacrificed for the sake of security," said Sadiq al-Rikabi, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. "We are now celebrating the restoration of sovereignty."
The Pentagon did not offer any comment to mark the passing of the deadline.
Fireworks, not bombings, colored the Baghdad skyline late Monday, and thousands attended a party in a park where singers performed patriotic songs. Loudspeakers at police stations and military checkpoints played recordings of similar tunes throughout the day, as Iraqi military vehicles decorated with flowers and national flags patrolled the capital.
"All of us are happy — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds on this day," Waleed al-Bahadili said as he celebrated at the park. "The Americans harmed and insulted us too much."
Al-Maliki declared a public holiday and proclaimed June 30 as "National Sovereignty Day."
Midnight's handover to Iraqi forces filled many citizens with pride but also trepidation that government forces are not ready and that violence will rise. Shiites fear more bombings by Sunni militants; Sunnis fear that the Shiite-dominated Iraqi security forces will give them little protection.
I wouldn't be surprised if the fireworks was mistaken for anti-aircraft fire and the celebrations were bombed. I mean, I'm sure all of middle America is thinking that we lost our boys, over there, and this is how we get repaid? With fireworks and celebration in the streets? SEND IN MORE TROOPS!
I love how Cheney is only feeding these fears by saying that Withdrawing will "Waste" the sacrifice by the U.S. troops. Much the same, Vampires worry that blood donation may cause food shortages. But it's especially annoying because IT WAS BUSH WHO PUT THIS PLAN INTO MOTION!
Not to mention that we're not really leaving Iraq. We're just leaving the major cities. We'll still have troops in Iraq. Hell, I'm sure that anyone in Baghdad is celebrating because they just had six years of occupation by foreign forces and they're finally the fuck out of the cities. So yeah, it has to feel pretty damn good.
We'll still be providing close air support, still be providing logistics, still be offering advisers, and the influx of multinational corporations for oil will require even more PMC's who will no doubt continue to terrorize the population, and the only thing that will change is that American soldiers won't be taking pot shots in the streets any more. Mission accomplished....
Even with that key, perhaps the country will be better off now than it was for those six years. All those oil they have is going to help them rebuild the country back up in time.. Well, Then again, we may be occupying their oil fields soon enough...
Foreign Companies Bid On Iraqi Oil LicensesAgain, Iraq is currently pumping 2.5 million barrels a day. Sure, they'll still get a ton of cash from it, but do we really need to rape them some more on the way out? Just makes you wonder if it was worth the hundreds of thousands of dead civilians to remove one dude who had mostly settled down anyway.
by Tom Gjelten
Morning Edition, June 30, 2009 · Foreign companies could soon be pumping Iraqi oil for the first time in nearly 40 years.
On Tuesday, the government of Iraq opened bids from oil companies interested in helping the country realize its oil production potential.
The oil companies are so eager for a crack at Iraq's vast oil wealth that they are willing to overlook some big negatives: It's a country still at war. There's a lot of political opposition to foreign oil companies. There's no guarantee the contracts awarded at this auction will even be honored. And yet, more than 30 companies submitted bids.
On the other hand, Big Oil has not had an opportunity like this for decades.
No one knows for sure how much oil Iraq has. "It's been poorly explored because of all the political turmoil there," says Roger Diwan, a partner at the consulting firm PFC Energy. "With the Iraq-Iran war, the embargo, sanctions and the second gulf war here, we really haven't had a good look at what's in Iraq since the late 1960s."
Diwan says Iraq is probably just behind Saudi Arabia in its oil reserves. Plus, Iraqi oil can be extracted at a relatively low cost.
"They're large, shallow, relatively high-quality fields with relatively high pressure," says Peter Zeihan, vice president for strategic intelligence at Stratfor, a global intelligence firm. "You don't have to be an Exxon Mobil or a Royal Dutch Shell in order to work in Iraq."
But you may need good government contacts. When Saddam Hussein kicked the foreign oil companies out of Iraq in 1972, many Iraqis supported the move, and there is still strong opposition to any sharing of the country's oil wealth with foreign companies. The withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns this week has only reinforced Iraqi nationalism. In the coming weeks or months, Iraqi parliamentarians may even move to overturn oil contracts awarded through Tuesday's auction.
"There's still a lot of political risk involved in Iraq in the energy sector," says David Gordon, head of global research at the Eurasia Group, a risk analysis firm. "On the other hand, it is this enormous opportunity. So companies want to get in the game without making a big investment, [while] Iraq as a country wants to force them to put some money on the table."
Oil is being pumped in Iraq right now, but production is far below its potential because the country has not invested in its oil infrastructure.
For Tuesday's auction, oil companies selected which fields they're interested in and specified how much they'd want to be paid for increasing production at the fields. The oil itself would still belong to the Iraqis, and the Iraqi government set a maximum on what fees it would pay.
By mid-morning, only one deal had been struck.
Such deals won't necessarily be highly profitable for the oil companies. In the next phase of the competition, however, the Iraqi government is expected to open fields that have not yet been explored or developed. The companies that win the right to search for oil might then be able to take a share of what they find. It's that competition — not this one — that would mean big money for the companies.
"This is just everybody kind of wanting to get their foot in the door for the bigger prizes that will be here in a year or two," says Stratfor's Zeihan. No one wants to be left out.
"What makes Iraq special," says Diwan, "is [that] there is room for all the big oil companies at the same time, and for all them to have sizable projects. Everybody will get something fairly large."
Iraq is currently pumping about 2.5 million barrels a day. With modern technology and foreign expertise, experts say, the country could produce four times as much. That would be a bonanza for Iraqis, even if they have to share the wealth with foreign companies.
But hey, at least we're finally out of there... well, mostly out of there. So in a couple of days when you're grilling up the dogs and blowing shit up, just remember that we're just as bad as those who we got our independence so long ago. So I guess we really did bring the people of Iraq to a level that is much like our own nation. Not with democracy.. well, not so much. But with a Holiday to celebrate at the beginning of July.