Skip to comments.Maliki Isnít The Problem. Oil Is.
Posted on 06/24/2014 12:53:37 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee
During the past few days, the United States strategy for addressing the escalating violence in Iraq has emphasized diplomacy to achieve political reconciliation. The Obama administration and many members of Congress are blaming Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for having fanned Iraqs sectarian flames. Maliki has indeed systematically concentrated power in his own hands, and has excluded Sunnis, Kurds, and even other Shiite groups wherever and wherever possible. Its no surprise, then, that many Sunnis have rightly concluded that the current political system will never benefit them, and that some of them are taking up arms to help a Sunni extremist group overthrow that political system.
But the fundamental political problem in Iraq isnt Maliki himself. Its the fact that Iraq is an oil state and any new Iraqi leader, whether Sunni, Shiite, or Kurd would likely govern in much the same way as Maliki has.
Oil states are almost always autocracies, and its easy to understand why. They dont depend on taxing their citizens in order to generate revenue, the way that most states do. Instead, they generate tremendous revenues simply by selling oil. Controlling the state means controlling the oil, which means controlling oil revenues, which translates directly into political power. And that means that whoever controls the state will do whatever they can to maintain that control by providing lavish benefits to their supporters while seeking to quash potential opposition before it arises. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at defenseone.com ...
I don’t buy the thesis “oil wealth naturally leads to autocracy”.
Norway is fine. Socialism and greed lead to autocracy. A violent culture of winner takes all leads to autocracy.
Oil may be relatively more important as its share of the GDP rises, but its revenues go into the federal budget.
Control over the budget, regardless the source of the revenue, is where you get the political power of patronage and subsidy. The public’s votes are still largely how you get elected in Iraq.
Islam is the problem. We are witnessing an extention of the free for all Soviet-Democrat system.
Seize an oil field, give 1% to grease a bunch of politicians willing to sell it all out for that much to give credit to the terrorists.
NO BLOOD FOR OPIUM!
Shia’s and Kurds have the oil, the Sunnis areas don’t.