Speaking of Iraq…
As PGL notes below, the party line from the Republicans on Iraq has changed from “it will be easy and over with before you know it” to “no one ever said it would be easy.” Well, the same thing goes for prediction’s about Iraq’s oil production. Wolfowitz famously said that Iraq’s reconstruction would be largely self-financing: “We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” Iraq’s oil would flow freely and quickly, the theory was, bringing prosperity to Iraq and lower oil prices to the US.
As in so many other respects, reality has been… ummm… a bit different from what the Bush administration predicted and planned for. In fact, we are now expected to be happy if Iraq’s oil production can even just get back to where it was right before the US invasion. From today’s news:
Iraq exports near pre-attack levels
Crude exports from a pair of terminals in the southern part of country approach 2 million bpd… Persistent attacks on Iraq’s oil infrastructure have held the country’s overseas sales well below a pre-war capacity of 2.2 million bpd.
At least it only took 15 months for Iraq’s oil industry to get back to where it started. But how long until it actually starts getting ahead?