Washington -- American President George Bush today declared the nationalization of all Iraqi oil fields, pipelines, and refineries. Offering reporters no opportunity for questions during the briefing, Bush stated "The American taxpayer shouldn't have to shoulder the burden of our efforts to establish a peaceful government in Iraq. When the people there quit blowing each other up and agree to a constitution, and elect a government fair and square, THEN we will consider the return oil revenues to the Iraqi people.
Stunned by the decision, the price of crude oil in markets in New York, Europe, and Hong Kong dropped by more than $7 per barrel. Although Iraq has some of the largest proven reserves of oil in the world, antiquated production facilities, and sectarian violence have disrupted everything from drilling to refining. More US Marines are currently stationed guarding oil pipelines than US Embassies and military outposts.
The decision to seize control, and profits from Iraqi oil may in fact help stabilize, and bring peace to the country, where fighting by various warlords, and factions over the oil revenue is one of the primary obstacles to peace. "The Iraqi oil will be used to pay the bills of our military and contractors who are over there trying to HELP the Iraqi people," said Bush. Not one penny will be used to profit American corporations or individuals. You have my word on that."
The decision to nationalize Iraqi oil facilities was "a long, hard one to make" according to Secretary of State Condominium Rice. "It would be easy to criticize it as American greed, another opportunity for Halliburton, Bechtel, and the like. But it's not. It's truly in everyone's best interest. Yes, America needs the oil. But the world needs peace in the Middle East, and if taking away the "candy" these groups are fighting over is what is required, that's what we will do. When they learn to get along, they'll get it back." she said, although no "definitive timetable has been established."
Bush continued, "America has the rebuilding of New Orleans to pay for. That is going to be several hundred dollars out of the pocketbook of every single American taxpayer. It's ridiculous to ask Americans to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq as well, when they have oil revenues which can be earmarked for that purpose. Earmarking, that's like, when, you mark the ear of a cow or pig so you know whose pig it is."
Spokespersons from numerous Arabic nations joined in condemning the oil seizure. "We're not trying to win a popularity contest over there, said Bush. We're trying to do the right thing. And if the Sunnis and Shiites can learn to get along, we'll be glad to let them use that money for something other than improvising explosives to kill American soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians in the name of Allah.
Democrats were once again taken for a loss as PResident Bush showed leadership qualities none of them believed he had.