I just took a break from unpacking and cleaning to read that Iraq now has a fuel crisis and is forced to double its funding fuel IMPORTING due to record oil shortages, and needless to say, I did a double take.
Because, when all other excuses and reasons failed or were proven to be complete and total nonsense, we could always fall back on the fact that the Iraqi oil would pay for the war and reconstruction by itself.
Sure enough, with the raging civil war, attacks on oil pipelines (but let me guess - nobody could have anticipated attacks on oil pipelines), higher demand for power in the 120 degree heat and refineries which had to be closed - Iraq is now in an oil shortage situation, despite the fact that the country is sitting on top of the world's third largest oil reserves.
Iraqi officials announced plans to double the amount of money spent to import fuel to combat the country's worst oil and gasoline shortages in years. Much of the fuel crisis is due to insurgent attacks on convoys and on Iraq's fragile pipeline network, Oil Ministry officials said.
The spike in violence has dealt a devastating blow to fuel supplies because of attacks on convoys and Iraq's pipeline system. Gasoline and other petroleum products are in short supply in Baghdad, adding to the suffering of Iraqis weary of killings, kidnappings and soaring crime.
And that spike in violence - which yesterday saw 10 more people killed and a few dozen more wounded in Baghdad - is making the vaunted "Baghdad offensive" and US-led "security crackdown" look pathetic. I bet more hearts and minds will be won over with the fact that people have had to wait overnight to fill their cars. Or, you can buy a gallon of gas for nearly 8 times the market price if you don't want to wait.
A gallon of gasoline now sells on the black market in Baghdad for about $4.92, although its official price is $0.64. Lines of cars at many Baghdad fuel stations stretch several miles, and drivers sometime wait overnight to fill their cars.
So now, Iraq is forced to spend over $425 million dollars in both August and September in order to import the very commodity that led to the illegal and immoral invasion in the first place. Not only that, but Iraq's three largest oil refineries are operating at 50% capacity.
Alamri said the shortage was further aggravated by the closure of the Beiji refinery north of Baghdad, which produces 140,000 barrels a day. Sabotage of pipelines carrying crude from Kirkuk oil fields shut down the refinery for the last four weeks before resuming operations earlier this week, he said.
Iraq's three main oil refineries -- Dora, Beiji and Shuaiba -- are working at half their capacity, processing only 350,000 barrels per day compared to 700,000 barrels a day before the war.
For those of you keeping score at home, we have the following list (of course not all-inclusive) of "catastrophic successes" in Iraq:
- Lies to start invasion in the first place;
- Authorization of torture and discarding of Geneva Conventions;
- Use of internationally banned chemical weapons;
- Complete lack of plan after initial bombing;
- Rampant unemployment;
- Increased hatred of US all around the Middle East and the world over;
- Bankrupting our country;
- Created environment that led to civil war, despite warnings that this could happen;
- Widespread disease in Iraq;
- Created a haven and training ground for terrorism and attacks against our troops;
- Failure to properly arm and equip our troops, or provide them with a real mission; and
- Devastate the one natural resource in Iraq so it is forced to spend additional hundreds of millions importing oil.
Yeah, things are going swimmingly. Have I mentioned that we should bring them home right fucking now?