Friday, September 21, 2007

Stabs in the Back Aren't Just From War Critics

Friends like Presidente Fox and Ray Hunt show just what a great fella to have a beer with the cretin in chief is. Quickly rendered unconscious, mainly. Hunt has entered into a private agreement to develop Iraq's oil resources outside the central government's control.

So maybe we're going to hear more along the 'stabbed in the back' line that presently is so useful about anything approaching criticism? No?

Hunt is a member of the Energy Advisory Group, so it would definitely seem that Hunt would know just how detrimental separate dealings would be to the 'success' of the WH's war. You might say Ray Hunt is a real proponent of Free Trade, as long as he's the one who benefits.

President Bush expressed concern Thursday about whether Hunt Oil Co.'s search for oil in the Kurdish region of Iraq could undermine the national government in Baghdad.

"I knew nothing about the deal. I need to know exactly how it happened," Mr. Bush said at a White House news conference. "To the extent that it does undermine the ability for the government to come up with an oil revenue-sharing plan that unifies the country, obviously I'm – if it undermines that, I'm concerned."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's oil minister has called the deal with the Dallas-based oil company illegal. Negotiations over a national oil law that would divide Iraq's oil revenue among regional and ethnic factions collapsed after the Kurds announced the Hunt exploration deal. Congress and the Bush administration see the law as a crucial benchmark for healing sectarian divisions in Iraqi politics.

Qubad Talabani, Washington representative of the Kurdish Regional Government, said the deal would benefit all Iraqis through a revenue-sharing agreement approved by the Kurdish parliament in August.

"What's undermining the government is the lack of progress on the [national] oil law," said Mr. Talabani, the son of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. "This deal didn't undermine the oil law per se. It will give it a good kick up the backside to get the process moving forward."

Hunt chief executive Ray Hunt is a friend of the president, a major backer of the Bush presidential library at Southern Methodist University and a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

Despite those ties, a company spokeswoman said no one in the U.S. government was told of the negotiations leading to Hunt's exploration contract in the Kurdish province of Dahuk, near Iraq's northwestern border with Turkey.

"We're a privately held company. We do not make it a practice to discuss our business dealings with anyone except the involved parties, and in this case the U.S. government is not an involved party," Hunt Oil spokeswoman Jeanne Phillips said.

At his news conference, Mr. Bush said the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, headed by Ambassador Ryan Crocker, had "expressed concern" about the Hunt deal.

Iraq has immense oil reserves but has seen little exploration since Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Ever since, U.N. sanctions, war, corruption and sabotage have crippled oil production.
Hunt and its Canadian partner in Iraq, Impulse Energy Corp., expect to begin preliminary exploration work this fall and start drilling next year.

Mr. Talabani said there was still "plenty of time" to pass a national oil law before any Hunt discoveries are brought into production.(Emphasis added.)

This would be pretty funny if it weren't so outright destructive to any fantasy that presumed responsible members of the government might have that Iraq might stand a chance of becoming a functional nation. The Kurds have their section of the country well in hand, unlike the central government in Baghdad. They're acting like a nation, and are expressing the desire to be one. Hunt has accepted the realities of the situation. Maybe his 'friend' occupying the White House can explain to him that the U.S. is supposed to be promoting another sort of reality.

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Anonymous Sparkle Plenty said...

I don't believe for a second that Idiot Wind didn't know about Hunt's negotiations with the Kurds. Pu-leeze!

9:57 AM  
Anonymous larry, dfh said...

A Hunt doing something underhanded? It's so hard to believe.

11:52 AM  

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