Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Oil Curse
Iraqis may at last be on their way to the petro-prosperity they've waited so long to enjoy. They should be careful what they wish for.

By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek Web Exclusive Mar 8, 2010

Like one of those perverse twists in the tales of "The Arabian Nights" (many of which, you will recall, took place in Baghdad and Basra), modern Iraq's greatest source of prosperity—its vast reserves of oil and natural gas—could also be the biggest long-term threat to hopes for democracy.

Yes, on Sunday the Iraqis once again proved bravely, stubbornly, even astoundingly that they won't be kept away from the polls by mere car bombs and mortar shells. But by and large they were voting for the same coterie of politicians who've made Iraq among the five most corrupt nations in the world. The country's near-term future is just about waiting, after the election, for a new government to take shape over the next many weeks. But its long-term future could be haunted by what Stanford professor Larry Diamond calls "the oil curse."...(more: http://www.newsweek.com/id/234634 )

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