However, if you push past the morning news and the words coming from politicians who are seeking to translate these issues into votes, you can see that there are some good things--very good things in fact--that are happening.
Iraq dramatically increased the official size of its oil reserves yesterday after new data suggested that they could exceed Saudi Arabia’s and be the largest in the world.
The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister told The Times that new exploration showed that his country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, with as much as 350 billion barrels. The figure is triple the country’s present proven reserves and exceeds that of Saudi Arabia’s estimated 264 billion barrels of oil. Barham Salih said that the new estimate had been based on recent geological surveys and seismic data compiled by “reputable, international oil companies . . . This is a serious figure from credible sources.”
But that's not all. As its reserves grow, Iraq has the potential to reap in more than $70 billion in oil revenues in 2008. A profit like this means that the Government of Iraq can put more efforts into reconstruction and security improvements.
“We need to recognise after so many decades of mismanagement of the oil industry that we need to call a spade a spade,” he told a group of delegates at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh. “We can regulate it, but we need private investment to develop Iraq’s production capacities.” He said that Iraq was pumping 2.5 million barrels of oil a day at present, earning about $70 billion (£35.9 billion) in revenue this year.
Iraq may be receding in terms of news coverage. Success stories in Baghdad--like Operation Salaam, do not tarnish the current president's image nearly as much as the "struggling" economy do, which precisely the effect many in today's media would like to see. Americans going to the polls will no doubt be most concerned with the events happening in their immediate and everyday lives, like economic problems. Good news from the other side of the world may not be the first thing on voters minds this November, but nevertheless, to the people of Iraq, this current "oil crisis" is a blessing in disguise.
If Iraqi leaders can find a way to work together and use Iraq's commodities to rebuild their country, perhaps Iraq can become a safe and prosperous country. Perhaps this good news could even help to safeguard attempts by a possible Democratic Administration to pull the plug on American aide to Iraq in the coming months and years. Personally, such a notion allows me to breath a sigh of relief.
I can imagine it now--an Iraq that can govern itself, maintain a prosperous and growing economy, secure its cities, and open up to the world its amazing and beautiful culture. Terrorism will be a thing of the past in the streets of Baghdad, and checkpoints and roadblocks will be replaced by cafes and restaurants frequented by tourists from all across the world. Iraq will no longer be a political issue being debated on Capitol Hill...instead, it will be the subject of curiosity and desire to experience all the country has to offer.
It may seem like a dream, but then again, nothing is impossible, right?