Sunday, January 22, 2006

Katrina & Iraq

A couple of puzzles in Bushco's behavior yield to the same key:

1) Why did Bushco have no post-war plan for Iraq, beyond Bring. It. On. ?
2) Why was the response to the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina so laughably, criminally inadequate?

If you remember that Our Leaders were formerly oil men, the answer to both questions is easy. There was never a post-war plan for Iraq because a coherent strategy might have led to a stable country that could have exported oil quickly to help pay for its reconstruction and improvement post-war.

Exporting oil quickly from the world's second-largest known reserve would have driven oil prices downward. Possibly by a few dollars, possibly by as much as twenty dollars a barrel, negatively affecting the profits of oil companies. That idea was never going to fly within the Bush administration.

How much better to throw the world's second-largest oil reserve into chaos, permanently raising the price while there's still enough to ensure strong profits for some time to come. The longer Iraq remains in chaos, the better the oil profits for every oil company in the world. That's why the United States, in outspending the entire world in aggregate on "defense", can't subdue a single third world nation in 3 years, even though the same country and its allies could end a world war in 4 years. There's no incentive to "win" for the people in charge, when the perpetual war is so much more profiable for everyone concerned.

As for Katrina, it's easy to imagine this conversation in the Oval office last autumn:

Michael Brown:
Mr. President, a large hurricane is about to obliterate New Orleans and a substantial portion of the Gulf Coast.

Bush: Huh. Will that make energy prices rise?

Cheney: Yes it will, Mr. President

Bush: Okay, great. Thanks for dropping by, Brownie. What's next on the agenda?

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