February 20, 2007

Well, Well, Well… What Might This Be About?


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“It’s phenomenal standing here,” General Allen said. “What this does is it gives Anbar and the Sunnis an economic future different from phosphate and cement,” he said, referring to products of some of the aging factories in the area….“This gives them a future and a hope,” he said. Nearby, a few pieces of laundry flapped in front of one of the only structures in sight, a cinder-block shack probably belonging to a shepherd.

— From “Iraqi Sunni Lands Show New Oil and Gas Promise.” NYT.  2/19/07

Man, this just keeps getting better (in a fantastical sense.)

Checking this week’s “Department of Wishful Thinking,” we started out on Saturday with the prounouncement that the surge was having a substantial effect.  Only two days later, however, we got the report of a dramatic insurgent attack on a U.S. base just outside Baghdad.

Even more heightened, though, was yesterday’s miracle announcement that, suddenly, based on newly discovered data, the Sunni’s are as rich in oil as the Kurd’s and the Shiite’s!  (Really, what an amazing coincidence — just when the U.S. was jumping through hula hoops trying to get Iraqi’s to pass national oil-sharing legislation.)

As a veracity booster, however, I’ve got some questions about the accompanying photo.  (For symbolic value, it just doesn’t get better.)  Not only do the well’s flanges and valves form the shape of cross (making it that much easier for the Crusaders to make out in a sand storm), but the two guys guarding the spot — what with the resurgence of the Iraqi Army, and all — happen to be a couple of our boys.

More curious, still, is the sense the American soldier is preparing to fire into the well.  … Sorry, but any possible meaning there is even beyond me.

(image: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images, for The New York Times.  Karabila.  February 18, 2007. nytimes.com)

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Michael Shaw
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