Iraqi oil development rights awarded to non-Iraqi companies:
Anti-war protesters must be howling right now with the news that 2 non-Iraqi oil companies have been awarded the contracts for some of Iraq's biggest oil fields (BBC News). For years people have been complaining that the Iraq war was more about oil than about a threat to global security and while I tend to disagree - Saddam Hussein needed to be dealt with - I am a little outraged to see the 'spoils' being given to outside agencies rather than establishing a new Iraqi corporation that could potentially rebuild the shattered economy and bring some financial stability to the war-torn nation. From a practical view point it would make more sense to have external agencies act as consultants for this, who can advise on the development and infrastructure. Ultimately, the oil fields are the property of Iraq and should be managed by the Iraqi people.
I understand that it is a lucrative deal that will boost the Iraq economy regardless of who manages the oil fields but from an ethical perspective it looks like Iraq's oil is being 'prostituted' to the highest bidder. If we in the western world can perceive it in this way then who knows how insurgents will see it and what they will try to do. The country is already in much turmoil and this will likely fuel the fire of rage against the 'western world'.
The world waits with baited breath...