By James Cogan:
Economic conditions worsen in Iraq
23 March 2009
The assessments in Washington that Iraq will soon be a relatively stable US client state in the Middle East are beginning to look even more fanciful. After six years of occupation and repression, millions of Iraqis now face a further deterioration in their already appalling living standards due to the unprecedented collapse in world production and trade.
The revenue flowing to the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from oil exports is plummeting. Based on forecasts that oil prices would remain over $100 a barrel, the original budget for 2009 was $US79 billion—a significant portion of which was supposed to be allocated toward rebuilding the infrastructure that has been devastated during the past six years.
By November, with oil prices below $40, spending for this year was slashed to $62 billion. This month, the parliament forced the budget to be lowered again, to just $58.9 billion, as the oil price had not recovered to $50. Instead, global demand for petroleum products is still contracting, even at the lower prices. Iraqi oil exports by volume fell by 5 percent in February, compared with January. International stockpiles of petrol also rose, suggesting that demand will continue to drop.
See also here on the results of the Iraq war.
Annals of Liberation: The Agony of Iraq’s Women: here.