The presidential campaign, terrible floods in the Midwest, the price of gas — with many headlines about issues close to home, it’s easy to pass by the news elsewhere. So here’s a reminder about what’s gotten buried in the back section of the news lately: As of Tuesday, 4,587 U.S. soldiers have been killed during the ongoing war Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to the news on the latest war dead (check out the Washington Post site for detailed information), last week Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total and BP announced they were close to signing no-bid contracts with Iraq to revive the country’s oil production.
Back in February 2003, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said any suggestion that the United States is after Iraq’s oil was "utter nonsense." A quote from his speech:
We don’t take our forces and go around the world and try to take other people’s real estate or other people’s resources, their oil. That’s just not what the United States does. We never have, and we never will. That’s not how democracies behave.
In the Department of Energy, the Energy Information Administration estimates that Iraq contains over 112 billion barrels (bbl) of proven oil reserves, and some petroleum experts put the figure closer to 200 bbl, making Iraq’s oil reservoirs second in size only to Saudi Arabia.