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stui magpie 

suge min pikk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Where ever i go, there I am

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:04 pm
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How bout we round up a bunch of people who have ebola, and air drop them into the middle of the ISIS douches.
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:18 pm
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Mugwump wrote:
...Probably to Malaria, which kills far more than either, but the questions don't really work for me, because it's not really a question of one or both - We can obviously do both, but the question is how much of both, what resources for what degree of effect, what woild be the return on the resources we spend, and -per Swoop's point - how will our actions influence the actions of others - reaction, corruption, infantilisation, etc.

I suspect that the resources required to defeat Ebola are already in place. Up to now, little has been spent there because the scale of outbreaks has been sporadic and limited. Now that it has reared up at scale, our virology resources have been diverted there and i sense we know enough about it to develop a vaccine, before too long. One of the things that i thank my probably non-existent God for is that we live in an age where human knowledge comprehends microbiology.

So if I had to choose, and we don't, I'd probably choose ISIL. I agree with you that we do not know enough about it, but it seems to be a kind of imperialist terror-fascism. ISIL controlling a region that covers 50% of the world's oil supplies is a greater threat to our interests, and the progress of humanity, than Ebola. Moreover, the path to defeating it is less clear.

With enough money this death cult could well acquire WMD, and despite the iraq fiasco, who has WMD represents a greater risk than Ebola.

The problem is the level of reliability of those claims is really low for matters so serious. This is the real point I am making here.

They sound reasonable in and of themselves as isolated hypothetical ideas, but it's really a case of: "If x is true then...". All we're left with is a sort of groping about in the dark trying to come up with something.

I can think of endless questions no one seems to be able to answer:

*Does "ISIL" as an entity even resemble the claims concerning "ISIL" the entity? What is the evidence for this entity as claimed (i.e., can it be proven to any standard of rigour that "ISIL" is a major organisation with major capabilities beyond it being just another sect of extremists in a local-cum-regional power strugle?

*What makes this sect of nutters more likely to get WMDs than any other sect of extremists? If you can't demonstrate it for ISIL, how can you demonstrate the opposite for the other sect of extremists? And why the worry over this sect of extremists vis-a-vis any other sect of extremists with similar (yet to be proven factually) organisational capabilities?

*What is the real, actual, factual chance of this "ISIL" entity controlling enough of the world's oil supplies to cause major economic shocks? What makes them different from any other thug or thuggish regime out there with the same sort of power which doesn't have this effect?

*What are the major corporations who control this oil doing to secure their own corporate assets which sit on their own balance sheets and are already subject to market pricing based on very transparent risks? (Remember, the "owners", cough, cough, of this oil are private transnational entities, and do not represent "you" or "we" at at all whatsoever).

Why should the rest of us prop up other people's decisions to buy high-risk assets in high-risk places?

*What is the real risk of the ebola crisis, and how do we measure it? How do we really know this (or any other such outbreak) really is more threatening that WMDs?

*By way of comparison of the two crises, if we're relying on "experts", does the information coming from the Pentagon, US State Department and News Corp share the same level of reliability as information coming from WHO?

I don't think we know enough about either situation to form an even slightly confident view on either matter, let alone to compare them. And that massive gap leaves us extremely vulnerable to suggestion and nonsense; time and again, no less.

And that is my main point here.

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think positive Libra

Side By Side


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Location: somewhere

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:56 pm
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pietillidie wrote:
Mugwump wrote:
...Probably to Malaria, which kills far more than either, but the questions don't really work for me, because it's not really a question of one or both - We can obviously do both, but the question is how much of both, what resources for what degree of effect, what woild be the return on the resources we spend, and -per Swoop's point - how will our actions influence the actions of others - reaction, corruption, infantilisation, etc.

I suspect that the resources required to defeat Ebola are already in place. Up to now, little has been spent there because the scale of outbreaks has been sporadic and limited. Now that it has reared up at scale, our virology resources have been diverted there and i sense we know enough about it to develop a vaccine, before too long. One of the things that i thank my probably non-existent God for is that we live in an age where human knowledge comprehends microbiology.

So if I had to choose, and we don't, I'd probably choose ISIL. I agree with you that we do not know enough about it, but it seems to be a kind of imperialist terror-fascism. ISIL controlling a region that covers 50% of the world's oil supplies is a greater threat to our interests, and the progress of humanity, than Ebola. Moreover, the path to defeating it is less clear.

With enough money this death cult could well acquire WMD, and despite the iraq fiasco, who has WMD represents a greater risk than Ebola.

The problem is the level of reliability of those claims is really low for matters so serious. This is the real point I am making here.

They sound reasonable in and of themselves as isolated hypothetical ideas, but it's really a case of: "If x is true then...". All we're left with is a sort of groping about in the dark trying to come up with something.

I can think of endless questions no one seems to be able to answer:

*Does "ISIL" as an entity even resemble the claims concerning "ISIL" the entity? What is the evidence for this entity as claimed (i.e., can it be proven to any standard of rigour that "ISIL" is a major organisation with major capabilities beyond it being just another sect of extremists in a local-cum-regional power strugle?

*What makes this sect of nutters more likely to get WMDs than any other sect of extremists? If you can't demonstrate it for ISIL, how can you demonstrate the opposite for the other sect of extremists? And why the worry over this sect of extremists vis-a-vis any other sect of extremists with similar (yet to be proven factually) organisational capabilities?

*What is the real, actual, factual chance of this "ISIL" entity controlling enough of the world's oil supplies to cause major economic shocks? What makes them different from any other thug or thuggish regime out there with the same sort of power which doesn't have this effect?

*What are the major corporations who control this oil doing to secure their own corporate assets which sit on their own balance sheets and are already subject to market pricing based on very transparent risks? (Remember, the "owners", cough, cough, of this oil are private transnational entities, and do not represent "you" or "we" at at all whatsoever).

Why should the rest of us prop up other people's decisions to buy high-risk assets in high-risk places?

*What is the real risk of the ebola crisis, and how do we measure it? How do we really know this (or any other such outbreak) really is more threatening that WMDs?

*By way of comparison of the two crises, if we're relying on "experts", does the information coming from the Pentagon, US State Department and News Corp share the same level of reliability as information coming from WHO?

I don't think we know enough about either situation to form an even slightly confident view on either matter, let alone to compare them. And that massive gap leaves us extremely vulnerable to suggestion and nonsense; time and again, no less.

And that is my main point here.


Well the bombers are on the way,

Maybe they could air drop some medical supplies on the way.

Should we get involved in the ISIL thing, I don't know enough to comment.

As for the Abola situation, yes, absolutely, what a Horrible horrible way too die. In Liberia nurses are cutting up uniforms to make masks. How hard is it to arrange a drop of protective clothing? Medicine etc? Just like the Tsunami, the Japanese earthquake, etc etc, a natural disaster, it's not a fight, a power trip, it's just people suffering, and yes, everyone should help if they can.

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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:43 pm
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stui magpie wrote:
How bout we round up a bunch of people who have ebola, and air drop them into the middle of the ISIS douches.


Laughing

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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:56 pm
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^ ptid, sorry if I slightly missed your point. I agree with most of what you wrote above, and i accept that our actions need to be based on a serious analysis. Given that I'm not an expert, however, I'm taking it on faith that when the US, France The Uk, Germany, Australia, etc etc - all with their deep resources of foreign policy experts - agree that ISIL is a real threat to regional stability, and a growing force, then that level of Western consensus is good enough for me to accept, lacking better and contrary information.

The Taliban were a bunch of misogynistic extremists travelling on the back of pick-up trucks as well, and yet they took over Afghanistan and made it the home state for Al Qaeda training camps. ISIS seem more broad-ranging than the Taliban were, and better-armed - so I think it's desirable that we treat them as a serious risk to our security.

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David Libra

Reel around the fountain


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Location: Anywhere, I don't care I don't care I don't care

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:03 am
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Can anyone clear up this ISIS/ISIL/IS nomenclature for me? It seems nobody—in the mainstream media or anywhere else—can quite agree on what their proper name is. Confused
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swoop42 Virgo



Joined: 02 Aug 2008
Location: The 22

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:25 am
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David wrote:
Can anyone clear up this ISIS/ISIL/IS nomenclature for me? It seems nobody—in the mainstream media or anywhere else—can quite agree on what their proper name is. Confused


It's probably more a case of the extremists not being able to agree on a name.

Who's there publicist? Wink

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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:23 am
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David wrote:
Can anyone clear up this ISIS/ISIL/IS nomenclature for me? It seems nobody—in the mainstream media or anywhere else—can quite agree on what their proper name is. Confused


For all practical purposes, i understand the abbreviations are interchangeable. One refers to the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ie incl Syria, Jordan, Israel, and historically Kurdish parts of Iraq). ISIS, as I understand it, limits their ambitions to an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. So it's really a question of which particular territory they are nominally ambitions for at any given time.

Lately the've given up nominating an address, and reduced it to IS, for the Islamic State. One imagines this signals that they do not see it being confined to any particular postcode.

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Last edited by Mugwump on Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:46 am
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pietillidie wrote:


*What are the major corporations who control this oil doing to secure their own corporate assets which sit on their own balance sheets and are already subject to market pricing based on very transparent risks? (Remember, the "owners", cough, cough, of this oil are private transnational entities, and do not represent "you" or "we" at at all whatsoever).


Actually, the IOCs control less than 10% of world reserves and production. Over 90% is owned, controlled and produced by National oil companies NOcs) such Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, PDVSA Pertamina et al, amd most of what the IoCs do control is in the Western World - Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, our very own North West Shelf et al.

In the Middle East, the IOCs have very few controlled assets at all. That does not mean, in an OPEC world, that we should be indifferent to whether the disgraceful but rational House of Saud controls the oil and the resources it brings, or a fanatical terrorist movement does.

What we might all agree upon is that the sooner we manage to break our economic dependence on this vicious viscous fluid the happier our world might be. However, that's a very different thread.....

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:31 am
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Mugwump wrote:
pietillidie wrote:


*What are the major corporations who control this oil doing to secure their own corporate assets which sit on their own balance sheets and are already subject to market pricing based on very transparent risks? (Remember, the "owners", cough, cough, of this oil are private transnational entities, and do not represent "you" or "we" at at all whatsoever).


Actually, the IOCs control less than 10% of world reserves and production. Over 90% is owned, controlled and produced by National oil companies NOcs) such Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, PDVSA Pertamina et al, amd most of what the IoCs do control is in the Western World - Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, our very own North West Shelf et al.

In the Middle East, the IOCs have very few controlled assets at all. That does not mean, in an OPEC world, that we should be indifferent to whether the disgraceful but rational House of Saud controls the oil and the resources it brings, or a fanatical terrorist movement does.
might be. However, that's a very different thread.....

But dropping the word "national" is extremely misleading in this context, as Iraq shows. These often vassal-like nations have multinational actors all over their oil. Even worse, in the context of Iraq, including in Northern Iraq, this couldn't be clearer.

Very recently:

Bloomberg wrote:
Oil explorers in Kurdistan halted operations and evacuated more staff as Islamist militants advanced into northern Iraq.

Afren Plc (AFR) suspended work at its Barda Rash block on the region’s western border, while Oryx Petroleum Corp. stopped production at its Demir Dagh facility and temporarily halted drilling at two other areas. Genel Energy Plc (GENL) evacuated some staff and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. (GKP) increased security.

Two U.S. jet fighters struck artillery used by Islamic State militants to attack Kurdish forces defending the road to the regional capital of Erbil, where American diplomats and some military staff are based. President Obama yesterday authorized airstrikes to protect U.S. citizens and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians fleeing Islamist attacks.

“In line with moves by other operators, we are taking the prudent and precautionary step of withdrawing non-essential personnel from our non-producing assets in the region,” Genel said in a statement.

Violence has escalated in northern Iraq after the militants extended their advance yesterday, seizing the Mosul dam and territory close to the Kurdistan region. They have also driven tens of thousands of people from their villages this past week, many from the Yezidi and Christian minorities.

Risk Management

“There hasn’t been a significant change to the security environment, but we do think there will be continuous fighting in the affected areas,” Gala Riani, head of Middle East-North Africa analysis at Control Risks, a risk management and security company, said in a phone interview. “Any companies in the areas that have changed hands are likely to be assessing the situation and may be moving people further within the Kurdish borders.”

Chevron Corp. withdrew some expatriate staff yesterday. Reuters reported that Exxon-Mobil Corp. (XOM) also evacuated people from the region. The world’s largest oil company declined to comment, saying that it doesn’t discuss security matters.

Afren closed down 0.9 percent at 98.60 pence in London. Genel dropped 2.3 percent to 798 pence and Gulf Keystone lost 1.1 percent to 67.5 pence. Oryx slid 0.7 percent to C$9.96.

Crude oil prices reversed gains of as much as 1.3 percent in London, falling 36 cents to $105.08 a barrel by 11:11 a.m. in New York on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

West Texas Intermediate declined 1 cent to $97.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-08/oil-producers-evacuate-more-staff-as-violence-mounts-in-iraq.html

Forbes wrote:
In the short space of about three months, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant has claimed control over a large swath of northern Iraq and “indulged in the kind of savagery that a medieval tyrant might struggle to match,” as a recent report by Platts put it.

To put this statement in perspective, Platts wrote this a few days before ISIL released a video of the beheading of James Foley, an American freelance journalist.

Despite the escalating violence, BP, the British oil major, is scaling operations in Iraq up — not back.

On Thursday, BP agreed to nearly double production levels at the giant Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq within the next decade to some 2.1 million barrels per day.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, BP was among the major oil companies to set up shop in Iraq. Currently, BP accounts for roughly half of oil production from the giant Rumaila field. Given the field’s massive reserves, BP can increase production levels with only modest levels of investment compared to “greenfield” projects in other regions.

The same can likely be said for other oil and gas fields in Iraq.

Bud Holzman, a retired Army officer and petroleum geologist who advised the U.S. Central Command on Iraq oil and gas, claims that the total amount of oil and natural gas reserves in Iraq has been vastly underestimated.

In 2004, the Army asked Holzman to “determine the real hydrocarbon reserves of Iraq.” In a recent email exchange, Holzman described what he learned about hydrocarbons in Iraq:

There were so many fields, and the first one he worked on was East Baghdad since he was living just west of the field. There were 1,100 barrels coming out of the field, and that was it. He started looking at all the data, and there were 16 billion barrels sitting under his feet. The field was an anticlinal structure 80 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide and had 10 pays, Cretaceous through Miocene. The field could produce a million barrels a day, but the existing infrastructure could only accommodate 25,000 barrels.

After reviewing data for numerous fields and conferring with Iraqi engineers, he concluded the total amount of oil and natural gas reserves in Iraq had been vastly underestimated. He estimated with the data he had that there were 230 billion barrels for the 84 fields at the time. Since then there are a few new fields recently discovered (9-14 BBO—9 TCFG) in the Kurdish region. He started looking at natural gas reserves, especially Akkas field in the Western Desert and unexplored regions of Kurdistan, and calculated almost 200-plus trillion cubic feet (TCFG) of reserves. Other geologists put the figure closer to 350 TCFG. Most of the current gas is being flared off.

He looked at the old figures (115 BBO and 100 TCFG) and asked Iraqi engineers and Oil Ministry officials what these figures were, and they said they just gave them out from years ago. They were told to say that, and no one knew where the numbers originated. Since then, Iraq has revised its estimate upward to 150 BBO. There is good reason to believe that there is even more.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2014/09/04/shrugging-off-security-concerns-bp-says-it-will-scales-oil-production-in-iraq/

Al Jazeera wrote:
Oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan began withdrawing more staff Friday as Islamic State (IS) fighters closed in on the regional capital and the United States authorized airstrikes against the group.

U.S. energy companies Chevron and Exxon Mobile said Thursday that they were evacuating some staff from Kurdistan, while industry sources said the Kurdistan Regional Government’s oil pipeline — which has been pumping oil to Turkey since December — was operating normally Friday.

Iraq in turmoil
Click here for more coverage of Iraq in turmoil
Shares of London-listed oil firms active in northern Iraq fell for a second day as other field closures and staff evacuations became more likely in a region seen until now as relatively secure compared to the rest of the country.

Afren became the first company to announce that it was cutting oil production and withdrawing all essential staff from the field, with the company saying it “has taken the precautionary step to temporarily suspend operations at the Barda Rash field.” The company's stocks fell 4.5 percent, though it narrowed that decline later in the session.

The closure “underlines the severity of the security situation in Kurdistan and the potential risks for those operating in the region,” said analysts at Maribaud Securities.

U.K.-based Gulf Keystone Petroleum was down 6.2 percent, as the company said it had increased security at its flagship Shaikan field but confirmed production was continuing safely.

Among other oil producers cutting production as IS advanced, Genel Energy, operator of the two large Taq Taq and Tawke oilfields in Kurdistan, said it evacuated “non-core” personnel from fields in the region that are not producing oil. Taq Taq and Tawke are still operating, it said, and have been producing an average of 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) this week.

Islamic State fighters have advanced to little over a half-hour drive from Erbil, a city of 1.5 million that is headquarters of the Kurdish regional government and the local branches of many international businesses.

President Barack Obama said Thursday he had authorized limited U.S. airstrikes to blunt the onslaught of armed groups, which has heightened international fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

IS considers non-Muslims and adherents to Shia Islam as apostates, and in many towns it has captured it has made a stark offer: Convert, flee, or die. Tens of thousands of members of Iraq's minority Yazidi sect have been driven from their homes and are stranded on Sinjar mountain.


The WSJ wrote:
Oil companies have begun evacuating staff and suspending operations at some fields in Iraqi Kurdistan as the U.S. begins airstrikes intended to halt the advance of Sunni extremists toward the region's capital Erbil.

London-based Afren AFR.LN +1.95% and Canada-listed Oryx Petroleum OXC.T -2.27% both announced Friday they had suspended parts of their operations in the country. Anglo-Turkish Genel Energy GENL.LN +1.27% said it was withdrawing some nonessential personnel, following a similar announcement by Chevron CVX -0.94% Thursday.

The security situation in the area bordering Iraqi Kurdistan has deteriorated rapidly this week as the militant group Islamic State pushed into territory held by the Peshmerga, the region's security force, raising serious concerns about areas previously considered safe.

Oryx said it had suspended operations at two sites on its Hawler license near to areas where clashes were recently reported, while production at its Demir Dagh field has also been shut in. Meanwhile, Afren has stopped operations at its Barda Rash field.

Although the companies emphasized the measures were precautionary, shares in Kurdistan-focused oil companies fell further Friday, having already declined an average 15.4% this month.

Genel's shares fell 2.8% Friday, while Afren was down 1.1% and Oryx declined 0.7%

http://online.wsj.com/articles/oil-companies-evacuate-staff-from-iraqi-kurdistan-1407512928

The New Yorker wrote:
To the defense of Erbil: this was the main cause that drew President Obama back to combat in Iraq last week, two and a half years after he fulfilled a campaign pledge and pulled the last troops out.

After Mazar-i-Sharif, Nasiriyah, Kandahar, Mosul, Benghazi, and a score of other sites of American military intervention—cities whose names would have stumped most American “Jeopardy!” contestants before 2001—we come now to Erbil. One can forgive the isolationist: Where?

Erbil has an ancient history, but, in political-economic terms, the city is best understood these days as a Kurdish sort of Deadwood, as depicted in David Milch’s HBO series about a gold-rush town whose antihero, Al Swearengen, conjures up a local government to create a veneer of legitimacy for statehood, all to advance his rackets. Erbil is an oil-rush town where the local powers that be similarly manipulate their ambiguous sovereignty for financial gain—their own, and that of any pioneer wild and wily enough to invest money without having it stolen.

Erbil is the capital of the oil-endowed Kurdish Regional Government, in northern Iraq. There the United States built political alliances and equipped Kurdish peshmerga militias long before the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq, in 2003. Since 2003, it has been the most stable place in an unstable country. But last week, well-armed guerrillas loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, threatened Erbil’s outskirts, forcing Obama’s momentous choice. (The President also ordered air operations to deliver humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of Yazidis and other non-Muslim minorities stranded on remote Mount Sinjar. A secure Kurdistan could provide sanctuary for those survivors.)

“The Kurdish region is functional in the way we would like to see,” Obama explained during a fascinating interview with Thomas Friedman published on Friday. “It is tolerant of other sects and other religions in a way that we would like to see elsewhere. So we do think it is important to make sure that that space is protected.”

All true and convincing, as far as it goes. Kurdistan is indeed one of a handful of reliable allies of the United States in the Middle East these days. Its economy has boomed in recent years, attracting investors from all over and yielding a shiny new international airport and other glistening facilities. Of course, in comparison to, say, Jordan or the United Arab Emirates, Kurdistan has one notable deficit as a staunch American ally: it is not a state. Nor is it a contented partner in the construction of Iraqi national unity, which remains the principal project of the Obama Administration in Iraq. In that light, Obama’s explanation of his casus belli seemed a little incomplete.

Obama’s advisers explained to reporters that Erbil holds an American consulate, and that “thousands” of Americans live there. The city has to be defended, they continued, lest ISIS overrun it and threaten American lives. Fair enough, but why are thousands of Americans in Erbil these days? It is not to take in clean mountain air.

ExxonMobil and Chevron are among the many oil and gas firms large and small drilling in Kurdistan under contracts that compensate the companies for their political risk-taking with unusually favorable terms. (Chevron said last week that it is pulling some expatriates out of Kurdistan; ExxonMobil declined to comment.) With those oil giants have come the usual contractors, the oilfield service companies, the accountants, the construction firms, the trucking firms, and, at the bottom of the economic chain, diverse entrepreneurs digging for a score.

Scroll the online roster of Erbil’s Chamber of Commerce for the askew poetry of a boom town’s small businesses: Dream Kitchen, Live Dream, Pure Gold, Events Gala, Emotion, and where I, personally, might consider a last meal if trapped in an ISIS onslaught, “Famous Cheeses Teak.”

It’s not about oil. After you’ve written that on the blackboard five hundred times, watch Rachel Maddow’s documentary “Why We Did It” for a highly sophisticated yet pointed journalistic take on how the world oil economy has figured from the start as a silent partner in the Iraq fiasco.

Of course, it is President Obama’s duty to defend American lives and interests, in Erbil and elsewhere, oil or no. Rather than an evacuation of citizens, however, he has ordered a months-long aerial campaign to defend Kurdistan’s status quo, on the grounds, presumably, that it is essential to a unified Iraq capable of isolating ISIS. Yet the status quo in Kurdistan also includes oil production by international firms, as it might be candid to mention. In any event, the defense of Kurdistan that Obama has ordered should work, if the Kurdish peshmerga can be rallied and strengthened on the ground after an alarming retreat last week.

Yet there is a fault line in Obama’s logic about Erbil. The President made clear last week that he still believes that a durable government of national unity—comprising responsible leaders of Iraq’s Shiite majority, Kurds, and Sunnis who are opposed to ISIS—can be formed in Baghdad, even if it takes many more weeks beyond the three months of squabbling that have already passed since the country’s most recent parliamentary vote.

The project of a unified Baghdad government strong enough to defeat ISIS with a nationalist Army and then peel off Sunni loyalists looks increasingly like a pipe dream; it was hard to tell from the Friedman interview what odds Obama truly gives the undertaking.

Why has political unity in Baghdad proven so elusive for so long? There are many important reasons—the disastrous American decision to disband the Iraqi Army, in 2003, and to endorse harsh de-Baathification, which created alienation among Sunnis that has never been rectified; growing sectarian hatred between Shiites and Sunnis; the infection of disaffected Sunnis with Al Qaeda’s philosophy and with cash and soft power from the Persian Gulf; interference by Iran; the awkwardness of Iraq’s post-colonial borders, and poor leadership in Baghdad, particularly under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. But another reason of the first rank is Kurdish oil greed.

During the Bush Administration, adventurers like Dallas-headquartered Hunt Oil paved the way for ExxonMobil, which cut a deal in Erbil in 2011. Bush and his advisers could not bring themselves to force American oil companies such as Hunt to divest from Kurdistan or to sanction non-American investors. They allowed the wildcatters to do as they pleased while insisting that Erbil’s politicians negotiate oil-revenue sharing and political unity with Baghdad. Erbil’s rulers never quite saw the point of a final compromise with Baghdad’s Shiite politicians—as each year passed, the Kurds got richer on their own terms, they attracted more credible and deep-pocketed oil companies as partners, and they looked more and more like they led a de-facto state. The Obama Administration has done nothing to reverse that trend.

And so, in Erbil, in the weeks to come, American pilots will defend from the air a capital whose growing independence and wealth has loosened Iraq’s seams, even while, in Baghdad, American diplomats will persist quixotically in an effort to stitch that same country together to confront ISIS.

Obama’s defense of Erbil is effectively the defense of an undeclared Kurdish oil state whose sources of geopolitical appeal—as a long-term, non-Russian supplier of oil and gas to Europe, for example—are best not spoken of in polite or naïve company, as Al Swearengen would well understand. Life, Swearengen once pointed out, is often made up of “one vile task after another.” So is American policy in Iraq.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/oil-erbil


Even the Hun covers it wrote:
WOODSIDE Petroleum says it has not consulted major shareholder Shell about its foray into Israel — an international push which analysts say complicates the oil giant’s relations with key Arabic customers.

Woodside’s move to take a slice of Israel’s Leviathan field — one of the largest offshore gas finds of the past decade — has raised speculation Shell will look to offload its 23 per cent stake in the company to avoid conflicts with major oil producers.

Key oil producers and Shell clients, such as Saudi Arabia, have a trading and investment boycott on Israel.

Shell, which is believed to have struck a deal to sell off its 900 petrol stations and Geelong refinery for $2.4 billion, has said its $7 billion Woodside stake is “increasingly non-core”.

Unveiling a 41 per cent plunge in profit on Wednesday, Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the company had not and will never ask permission from individual shareholders to enter a market.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/woodside-may-ditch-shell-stake/story-fni0dcne-1226832059937?nk=ba4cfe64d2108f6732f0d8fdef75e7a6

And, as far back as you bother checking, the articles, like the oil, keep flowing:

The WSJ wrote:
ISTANBUL—A Turkish state-run oil firm struck a deal with Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -1.29% and Iraq's semiautonomous Kurds to develop projects in northern Iraq, Turkey's leader said Tuesday, an agreement fraught with political risks for the energy-rich region.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323716304578483102209858858

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1061 



Joined: 06 Sep 2013


PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:42 pm
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This is made a sticky?


You've got to be kidding me.
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Culprit Cancer



Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Port Melbourne

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:25 pm
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Quote:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned Australian Muslims they will be acting "against God" if they join Islamic State and said they would find themselves in more danger as a result of the Australian military being deployed to help destroy the militant group.

Yep let's make the war a Religious one, that will work. Rolling Eyes
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:48 pm
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Remember these cost announcements before the Iraq War? They were only factors of ten out.

No doubt shafted Abbott voters will sleep that much better at night knowing he's paying the security costs for private multinational companies who have already banked the high returns on the high risks of operating in Iraq. Even better when you think those companies are in some ways competing with substitute Australian fossil fuels.

Perhaps next Abbott could handout hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to US beef farmers and Chilean copper producers? He could easily pay for it by, say, doubling the Medicare co-payment, or hacking back the NBN a bit further.

Iraq Deployment to Cost Australia About 400 Million a Year

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/iraq-deployment-to-cost-australia-about-400-million-a-year-20140915-10h35o.html

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Mugwump 



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Location: Oxford, England

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:54 pm
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^ ptid, re the oilco points you quote above, yes, the OICs do operate to some extent in the Middle East - largely because the resource-owner governments value, or need, their technical expertise and investment judgement - especially those like Iraq, whose infrastructure has been pitifully degraded.

Operatorship, however, is very different from control. The contracts are awarded by the host governments, who typically take the lion's share of the revenue. The oilcos have the choice of whether to participate, and because it is their business, they sometimes do - but they're not in the driving seat. You might argue that the US military underpins ExxonMobil etc, but I don't see much evidence of that.

This is a subject I understand from long personal experience, as I've worked adjacent to the oil business for decades. The IOC executives are well aware that they operate at the behest of resource owners, many of whom act with extreme caprice - and very frequently, to the overall detriment of their subject populations.

In August 2013 The Economist did a special called Supermajordammerung. It's a good survey of the issue.

Last point - I was not clear - are you suggestign that the oil companies should somehow raise armies and go after ISIL ? I doubt that, so I'm not sure what you meant by your original question

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:00 pm
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Mugwump wrote:
^ ptid, re the oilco points you quote above, yes, the OICs do operate to some extent in the Middle East - largely because the resource-owner governments value, or need, their technical expertise and investment judgement - especially those like Iraq, whose infrastructure has been pitifully degraded.

Operatorship, however, is very different from control. The contracts are awarded by the host governments, who typically take the lion's share of the revenue. The oilcos have the choice of whether to participate, and because it is their business, they sometimes do - but they're not in the driving seat. You might argue that the US military underpins ExxonMobil etc, but I don't see much evidence of that.

This is a subject I understand from long personal experience, as I've worked adjacent to the oil business for decades. The IOC executives are well aware that they operate at the behest of resource owners, many of whom act with extreme caprice - and very frequently, to the overall detriment of their subject populations.

In August 2013 The Economist did a special called Supermajordammerung. It's a good survey of the issue.

Last point - I was not clear - are you suggestign that the oil companies should somehow raise armies and go after ISIL ? I doubt that, so I'm not sure what you meant by your original question

Hi mate, but those points are red herrings in a risk-priced market, aren't they?

It doesn't matter if these oil companies are begged on bended knee by the House of Some Dictator to set up shop and invest; they're publically-traded companies and the risk of that deal is factored into their share price accordingly.

And if it's not factored in, well, too bad! If someone is so naive as to not factor that sort of risk into investments in countries like Iraq—for Pete's sake—then they lack the ability to represent that sort of capital full stop, let alone the funds raised to pay for a church picnic.

Moreover, by bailing out those bad investments to the detriment of the taxpayer, we're delaying the essential and inevitable move to safer and cleaner fuel sources. This is a lose, lose, lose, lose scenario for everyone but the corrupt, self-aggrandising capital holders and their hangers on who are distorting democracy to prop up their bad, ridiculously risky investments.

The people who actually do believe in democracy and the free market are extraordinarily thin on the ground when, for want of a better metaphor, you drill down into the matter. If you make crazily high-risk investments with eyes wide open, don't make everyone else pay for them and, even worse, die for them. When you think about it, to impose this on others represents a narcissism of extraordinary proportions, hence the stream of propaganda conflating this with other issues in a bid to convince everyone, and themselves, that this type of intervention really is a noble act after all.

So, to answer your last question, if private citizens are in trouble, let's offer to airlift them out as we do with any other citizen in danger; but let the market deal with its own private investment decisions without forcing pensioners, struggling families, students, the blood of young people, and an unknown number of invisible "brown people" to pay for it.

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