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The Back Story

“The plan [for the Haifa pipeline from Iraq to Israel] was promoted by the now Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and the pipeline was to be built by the Bechtel company, which the Bush administration last week awarded a multibillion-dollar contract for the reconstruction of Iraq. The memorandum has been quietly renewed every five years, with special legislation attached whereby the U.S. stocks a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it entailed domestic shortages.”

The spoils of invasion: The U.S. and Israel are renewing efforts to rebuild the oil pipeline which until 1948 ran from Mosul to Tel Aviv. From the Guardian.

“The first salvos of oil battle thundered out last week when President Bush called for U.N. sanctions against Iraq to be dropped. The request sounds innocuous enough, but it masks an urgent U.S. desire for a free hand to start pumping Iraqi crude once again to raise funds for rebuilding the country.”

Does the U.S. have the legitimacy to start exporting Iraqi oil? Bush says yes. Chirac and Putin aren’t so sure. From the Christian Science Monitor

“See all those nasty WMDs? Those sprawling nuclear facilities? The huge biotoxin factories? The Saddam Club for al Qaeda members? See? No? Oh. Well, we’ll find them! Just you wait. Saddam probably saw us coming and moved them all into Syria. Yeah! That’s what happened! Syria! Those bastards!”

Die, you peacenik scum! Mark Morford on the liberation of the Iraqi people, in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Where is Raed Salam Pax? Writing under the pseudonym ‘Salam Pax’ (words meaning ‘peace’ in both Arabic and Latin), a Baghdad resident provided a personal point of view on what was going on. However, the blog hasn’t been updated since March 24th. Has the worst happened?”

Is Raed dead? Having postwar connectivity problems? Or was Raed a pro-war plant? A discussion on the Web log Metafilter.

“A teacher in another nephew’s school is fired for wearing a T-shirt with a peace sign on it. And a friend of the family tells of listening to the radio down South as the talk-radio host calls for the murder of a prominent anti-war activist. Death threats have appeared on other prominent anti-war activists’ doorsteps for their views. Relatives of ours have received threatening e-mails and phone calls. And my 13-year-old boy, who has done nothing to anybody, has recently been embarrassed and humiliated by a sadistic creep who writes — or, rather, scratches his column with his fingernails in dirt.”

Michael Moore and the Dixie Chicks might be making money opposing the war, but everybody else, including Tim Robbins — whose appearance at the Baseball Hall of Fame was canceled recently — is paying for it.