Wednesday, December 16, 2009

from 'Kuwaiti oil fires' to 'Iraq Auctions Rights to 7 Oil Fields'

NYT: Iraq Auctions Rights to 7 Oil Fields

One more good reason we brought democracy to Iraq.

Plus, remember when Hussain set fire to the oil fields of Kuwait after the first Iraq war? That was reason enough to get rid of him and bring democracy to Iraq and Kuwait. We can't have a dictator doing those kinds of things to the environment.

The Kuwaiti oil fires were a result of the scorched earth policy of Iraqi military forces retreating from Kuwait in 1991 after conquering the country but being driven out by Coalition military forces (see Gulf War).

The resulting fires burned out of control because of the dangers of sending in firefighting crews. Land mines had been placed in areas around the oil wells, and a military cleaning of the areas was necessary before the fires could be put out. Somewhere around 6 million barrels (950,000 m3) of oil were lost each day. Eventually, privately contracted crews extinguished the fires, at a total cost of US$1.5 billion to Kuwait.[1] By that time, however, the fires had burned for months, causing widespread pollution.

The byproducts of the petroleum burn caused pollution to the soil and air, and the oil fires have been linked with what was later called Gulf War Syndrome. Whether this syndrome has been caused by the oil fires, by chemical attack, or other causes has not been determined, and the longterm environmental effects of the fires have yet to be fully understood.


Post a Comment

<< Home