IRAQI OIL UPDATE….Here’s a report on the Iraqi oil situation that has me scratching my head:

The U.S.-led occupation authority in Iraq has abandoned plans to create an international advisory board to oversee the country’s battered oil industry, opting instead to give Iraqi technocrats a freer hand to chart their own course.

….The move could disappoint those who viewed the ouster of Saddam Hussein as an opportunity to set Iraqi oil policy on a pro-American course, open the nation’s oil sector to Western companies and reduce the influence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on world oil production and prices.

….”Once we got in here and got to know the folks in the Oil Ministry and the employees at the oil companies, it became obvious that the expertise was already there,” said [an American] official, who requested anonymity. “So the advisory board just became unnecessary.”

Is this good or bad? What implications does it have? Is it related to the oil pipeline bombings this weekend?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, so I shall wait for those wiser than me to sally forth with their opinions.

UPDATE: That didn’t take long. Here is Jeanne d’Arc’s opinion….

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