Bush's James Bond Scenario
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg
Farah Stockman at the Boston Globe wrote a great article yesterday in the Boston Globe about the President's attempt to tie "victory" in Iraq to the economy. (It's not just excellent because she interviewed me). So in the all news yesterday about Iraq she pointed out that this particular line from President Bush's speech just didn't get enough attention.
Out of such chaos in Iraq, the terrorist movement could emerge emboldened -- with new recruits, new resources, and an even greater determination to dominate the region and harm America. An emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq's oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations.
Seriously, this is some outlandish stuff. First of all, the idea that Al Qaeda would ever come to control all of Iraq is absurd. Even in the worst worst case scenarios all you'd have is an Al Qaeda safe haven in the Sunni part of the country. Not AQI control. Just an AQI safehaven, which is very different. And even that seems far fetched since most of the Sunni powerbrokers have turned against AQI already.
On top of that all the oil is in the Kurdish North and Shi'a South. Do you think that Shi'a and the Kurds would just invite Al Qaeda in to take their oil? Not to mention the difficulty of actually getting oil out of the ground and transporting it. Iraq has massive reserves but there's a difference between having reserves and actually having the resources and capital to get them out of the ground, and it's very difficult to do that in a country as dangerous and chaotic as Iraq. That is why Iraq's oil production still has not exceeded prewar levels.
In fact, don't take my word for it. Ask Neo-Conservative Michael Rubin who was interviewed for the same article and said "the idea of Al Qaeda taking over the oil is stretch."
I think they've been airing too many Tom Clancy political thrillers at the White House. It seems to have gone to the President's head.