Saturday, December 09, 2006

More progress in Iraq: Oil revenue distribution by population

I read in an article in The New York Times by Edward Wong entitled "Iraqis Near Deal on Distribution of Oil Revenues", that the Iraqis are actually getting close to agreeing on a law for how to share revenue from oil production. This has been a really big stumbling block on how to reconcile the geographic, ethnic, and political divisions within Iraq. This is really good news. Of course, the effort could still fall apart, but it does illustrate the degree to which the Kurds, the Shiites, and the Sunnis actually really do want to go forward as one integrated country.

Wong writes that:

Iraqi officials are near agreement on a national oil law that would give the central government the power to distribute current and future oil revenues to the provinces or regions, based on their population, Iraqi and American officials say.

If enacted, the measure, drafted by a committee of politicians and ministers, could help resolve a highly divisive issue that has consistently blocked efforts to reconcile the country’s feuding ethnic and sectarian factions. Sunni Arabs, who lead the insurgency, have opposed the idea of regional autonomy for fear that they would be deprived of a fair share of the country’s oil wealth, which is concentrated in the Shiite south and Kurdish north.

Despite the ongoing "sectarian violence", anxiety amongst the American people, confusion in Washington, D.C. over strategy, and the primary focus of the media on negativity, the Iraqi people really are making excellent progress towards being a successful nation. It may take another five years and a lot more blood may be shed, but there is too much positive passion within Iraq for the venture to truly fail.

-- Jack Krupansky


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