Dick Cheney's Black Legacy

An all but unpublicized factoid whisked past our eyes recently, whizzing in one ear and out the other leaving virtually no impression of its passage.  But this little bit of news may have been the most important economic event of the last few months, with the largest forthcoming consequences.  The BBC News reports:

Iraqi oil production is above the levels seen before the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).The IEA said Iraqi crude production is now running at 2.3 million barrels per day, compared with 1.9 million barrels at the start of this year.

Well, who knew!  For a long time now, ever-rising oil prices have been blamed on the Bush invasion of Iraq and the destruction of its oil-producing infrastructure amid the chaos we see there.  Iraq sits atop one of the world's largest oil reserves, which is certainly a good reason for it not to fall into the hands of Islamists; but as nice as it is not to have it be controlled by mullahs, it would be even nicer to be able to have it pumped and sold in an organized, orderly, free-market way.  The infamous oil-for-food scandal brought about by UN corruption and collusion with Saddam Hussein was exactly the wrong way to accomplish that; booting out Saddam was all very well, but oil production requires not only stability and security, but technology and know-how.

Which is where Vice President Cheney's old cronies at Halliburton come in.  Halliburton is one of the world's largest oilfield-services firms, providing everything from rigs and drills to helicopters and logistics.  So, while it may be an Exxon oil field, odds are that many of the hard-hat crew putting things together are actually employees of Halliburton.  This is a somewhat finicky and specialized field, and requires astronomically enormous amounts of capital to even be a player, so there aren't really too many companies with this sort of expertise.

And Iraq was not only a major technical challenge, given the desperately worn-out status of most of its infrastructure after decades of sanctions; it has also been what amounts to an active war zone since the invasion.  Not even your ordinary Texan is willing to venture his nose into that particular wringer regardless of pay grade.

But despite all this, Halliburton did take the contracts to renew Iraq's ability to produce oil.  As you might expect, the roar of fury from the left was deafening; everything from false accusations that Cheney personally would profit from the government contracts; to FBI investigations of bid-rigging; and even Congressional calls for an investigation of the remaining ties between Cheney and the company he once ran.  Regardless of the amounts paid, could it be worth the corporate risk - politically, financially, even risk to life and limb of employees?

Yet today, silently, in a whisper so faint it can hardly be heard, we see the end result: Dick Cheney's friends at Halliburton have achieved what once seemed impossible, and earned their pay.  Iraq is now producing more oil than it did under Saddam Hussein, and we can reasonably expect the volume to go uphill from there.

Thanks to Dick Cheney's close association with Halliburton, and doubtless his influence in its obtaining contracts to overhaul Iraq's much-abused oil infrastructure, the Vice President will be leaving a slimy, black legacy - that is to say, slimy and black in a good way.  Black gold!  Texas tea!  And we surely need all we can get.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments
"Well, who knew!"

Yeah really! Of course, this would never be discussed in the main stream media press. Even if the associated press or reuters mentioned it, I am sure that the story was buried by the carrier networks.

It's funny that your google ads in the yellow box on the right side of the page all are for "impeach bush" or "impeach cheney". I guess you have limited control over those.
January 19, 2008 7:02 AM
Too bad liberals write all the history now from their ivory, scholastic towers. Cheney will only be remembered as THEY say. And that won't include items like this.
January 20, 2008 9:03 PM
Cheney's legacy will be black because he was a big-government neocon devoted to raping the world of oil for the highest profit imaginable. He was devoted to invading minor, irrelevant countries to promote Bush and his stance in history. And he was devoted to spying and torturing his own people. This article is a flat disgrace and a disservice to every reader.
January 21, 2008 8:25 AM
Iraq is now an irrelevant country? It wasn't when Bill Clinton said Saddam wanted WMDs and had to be stopped.

And if Cheney was purely concerned with profits for the oil companies, you'd think it would've been easier for him to get them access to ANWR for drilling (which he failed to do) than to start an entire invasion and war. Most of the profits of today's increased oil prices don't go anywhere near US oil companies; they go straight into the pockets of the sheiks and petty dictators that own the oil, no benefit to Cheney there.
January 21, 2008 8:43 AM
Precisely - he failed to do so. Of course, Cheney first went the way of least resistance (or so he thought) with A.N.W.R. But the environmentalists quickly shut him down and told him where he could shove his grubby proposal. So he turned to the middle east.
January 21, 2008 9:00 AM
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