When you take your eye off the ball chances are you are gonna get a pitch thrown right into your face. When the cat is away the mice will play. Ah... you get the point.
The United States is beginning to lose its grip.. in the past couple months we've seen that allover the world things are happening that wouldn't happen at any other time except Election season in the US. You think Mugabe would be beating up his rivals, Georgia could be invaded and then partially-occupied, Serbians would muscle their neighbors, or Iraq would be openly cavorting with Iran if the United States was at full strength in terms of foreign relations? Probably not.. or at least not as openly as they are doing it now. I've said it before.. I'll say it again, this President Bush has undone so much of what his father did its like one Bush wiped out his father's legacy and then dragged it through the mud. Sad.
Back to the issue at hand... Iraq... and China. Now what would China want with a bunch of sand and Arabs? Perhaps they want one-humped Arabian camels to complement their two-humped ones? No.. perhaps they want a bunch of goo that is beneath the sand and is one of the major supplies needed to run a regional or global superpower? Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! That's right!
Iraq signed a three billion dollar ($3B) oil contract with China to export crude and service one of their oil fields as a continuation of a deal made with Saddam Hussein in 1997. The Chinese national oil company will first import oil at a laughably low amount then eventually more than quadrupling that amount. China is the first country (besides the US) to sign a deal with Iraq on oil fields and exports since the Iraq War began. Scary. It seems the best way into the "loyal" Iraqi government's heart is a whole lotta green paper. The oil contract according to officials and sources on both sides is just the tip of the iceberg with China looking to drain every drop of oil out of Iraq as quickly as it can to feed its exploding demand for the stuff. China has turned up its foreign policy charm since 2005 in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia trying to get its hands on natural resources to keep the dragon at home satiated as it grows at a phenomenal rate - an average of 9.9% since 1978! China had approached the Iraqis before but the Iraqis backed off at the last moment about the oil issue because of problems with the oil revenue sharing plan and US pressure to keep all the oil contracts coming their way (or at least to Halliburton.. which is now Headquartered in Dubai). China, however, is relentless when it sees something it wants.. even if it means waiting until the perfect moment when the US have their sights all set at home instead of abroad.
If you've read this blog in the past you might accuse me of just repeatedly attacking the Iraqi government or perhaps the Chinese one.. this is not the case. The Chinese government has every right and logical reason to seek to secure resources as it vies to become stronger and perhaps a superpower... however it is the role of the United States to if not deter competition to keep up and stay far ahead for their own national interests. The Iraqi government deserve my complaints and ire because they are seemingly getting a free pass only because they were installed by a country that just happens to have 130,000 troops around and it would look really bad to throw them out after you hailed them as modern saviors to democracy and Thomas Jeffersons of the Middle East.... they are more like Benedict Arnolds, and even he had more honor and dignity.
Iraq has taken advantage of the loss of American focus to sign deals with Iran, Russia, China, and a withdrawal plan with the US. Sounds like someone is ready to move out.. and play with the big boys. Some call the US an empire and Iraq a colony but it looks like this colony is already cheating with our adversaries.. and all it has left for the US is a flirty "good bye!"
China hails three-billion-dollar oil deal with Iraq - AFP
China, Iraq reach $3 billion oil service deal - AP