Iraq, War, and Oil

Tom Friedman has a much more insightful article than his last one in The New York Times, this one focusing on how an attack against Iraq will effect the world oil market. I think the $6/barrel outcome is more likely than the $60/barrel outcome, but Friedman is correct in pointing out that we need contingencies for both.

Still, the fact remains that the OPEC countries are hurting for funds. They simply cannot afford to cut back on oil production too far before it starts hurting them more than it hurts us. With oil-producing nations like Russia looking to ingratiate themselves with the West, OPEC has essentially become a paper tiger.

Still, oil should be the least of our reasons for attacking Iraq. The Iraqi people need liberation, and we need the security of knowing that Saddam’s bombmakers are no longer in business. If anything, the benefits to the world oil market are only a side issue.

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