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IRAQ - Why Nationalists' Suspicions.

There have been many reasons for Iraqi nationalists, and their Arab counterparts, to be suspicious of US/Western motives behind calls by liberal planners for Iraq's petroleum sector to be opened up for IOC investment. One of these is what a liberal Iraqi E&P expert has called "blind hatred of the West" by nationalists since the end of World War I, when the British moved into what was later named Iraq and eventually installed there a Hashemite monarchy loyal to the West.

Another reason has been more than half a century of brainwashing against anything Western by Arab dictatorships - including Saddam's and its post-Hashemite predecessors in Baghdad - which controlled much of the Middle East and have caused the Arab region to become one of the poorest and least educated parts of the world. Huge opportunities in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, have come and gone.

Whether or not the current US presence in Iraq represents one such opportunity - and whether or not the American public will let the Bush administration do a proper job of rebuilding Iraq - remains to be seen. US spending on Iraq since March 2003, so far mostly gone for military purposes, is shortly to come close to $400 billion.

One of the opportunities the Bush administration has opened for the Iraqis is its effort for Baghdad to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) - which would help improve Iraq's once-isolated and now devastated economy and a target long pursued by other countries (see ood2-IraqWTOFeb19-07).
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Publication:APS Diplomat Operations in Oil Diplomacy
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Mar 19, 2007
Words:249
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