Monday, April 09, 2012

Iraq's Kurdish tensions over oil worsen

THE NATIONAL | Florian Neuhof | April 10, 2012
The tensions between Baghdad and Erbil over Kurdish control of its oil resources have been further stoked by comments from Iraq's top oil official.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) last week announced a halt to its exports, frustrated by the continued reluctance of the central government to sign off payments for oil flowing out of the autonomous region.
Hussein Al Shahristani, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy affairs, responded by criticising the contracts awarded to international oil companies by the KRG as too generous, sayingthe companies were given "what they dreamt of in any place in the world".
The central government "had many remarks on the oil contracts signed in Kurdistan in the north, which do not achieve any profit for Iraq", he told Al Iraqiya TV.
Jeremiah's prophecy of doom on Babylon the land of the Chaldeans in chapters 50 through 51 in the hebrew bible describes the rise of the Medes -- today known as the Kurds of Kurdistan -- into a conquering power: "Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The LORD has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is to destroy (Babylon)..." (Jer 51:11). "'Shout for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers will come to her from the north,' declares the LORD," (Jer 51:48).
"'I am going to arouse and bring up against Babylon a horde of great nations from the land of the north, and they will draw up their battle lines against her; from there she will be taken captive. Their arrows will be like an expert warrior who does not return empty-handed. And Chaldea will become plunder; all who plunder her will have enough,' declares the LORD," (Jer 50:9-10). "Summon against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz,... the kings of the Medes,... every land of their dominion," (Jer 51:27-28).

But first Babylon will be softened up by a conflagration of burning cities (Jer 50:32; 51:58), and a subsequent abandoning by the occupying reconstructionists (Jer 51:9). And then, following defeat at the hands of the Kurds and their plundering of Babylon's treasures, Jeremiah describes the final destruction coming by way of a devastating flood event (Jer 51:42) and subsequent drought (Jer 50:38; 51:36) that renders the land completely desolate and uninhabited (Jer 50:39-40; 51:62), a "parched land and a desert, a land in which no man lives, and through which no son of man passes," (Jer 51:43).

Could we be seeing the rise of the Medes into a self-sufficient power through oil wealth, and the building of tensions between the semi-autonomous Kurdistan government and the central Iraqi government? Will the tensions boil over into all out civil war? Will the Kurds plunder Babylon's liquid treasures?

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