The U.S. executive selected by the Pentagon to advise Iraq’s Ministry of Oil suggested that the country might best be served by exporting as much oil as it can and disregarding quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.… Iraq’s resumption of oil exports under a new government would expose OPEC to considerable uncertainty. Iraq has the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves. Flows of Iraqi oil to the world market unconstrained by OPEC quotas could further erode the cartel’s already limited ability to set prices and might even trigger a price war, eating into the profits of its member countries. Such an outcome would surely delight the Bush administration as well as buyers of gasoline in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer.

In an abrupt reversal, the United States and Britain have indefinitely put off their plan to allow Iraqi opposition forces to form a national assembly and an interim government by . Instead, top American and British diplomats leading reconstruction efforts here told exile leaders in a meeting that allied officials would remain in charge of Iraq for an indefinite period, said Iraqis who attended the meeting. It was conducted by L. Paul Bremer, the new civilian administrator here.

Finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is not vital to justify the decision by London and Washington to invade the country, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Wednesday.

The search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could take years to complete, a senior Pentagon official told Congress . The testimony by Douglas Feith, under secretary of Defense for policy, was the most pessimistic appraisal yet by a top Bush administration official of one of the White House’s key justifications for the invasion of Iraq.

And so, with remarkable speed and clarity, the cynical predictions of the peace movement have come to pass. The joker in the hemp sandals and the “no blood for oil” placard had things pegged a lot more truly than the suit-and-tie from the State Department on MSNBC. But if you just stick your fingers in your ears and hum the theme to Survivor really really loudly, you can bypass the cognitive dissonance and go directly into red-white-and-blue denial.


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