Iraq protests plus the economic impact of the uprisings in Tunisia

The Economist reports on protests in Iraq on Friday, Feb. 25, Protests were held in Baghdad, and, quoting The Economist, the:

“”day of rage”, organised like others in the Middle East on social networking websites, spread across the country, with bloody consequences. Around a dozen people were killed in clashes between police and protesters in Mosul, Kirkuk, Fallujah and even near the usually peaceful Kurdish city of Sulimaniyah. A number of government buildings went up in flames, and various politicians stepped down, notably the governor of the oil-rich southern city of Basra.”

On the theme of oil, Juan Cole writes:

” Iraq’s massive protests this weekend were followed by an attack on the refinery at Baiji, which closed it. The plant has a capacity of between 150,000 and 300,000 barrels a day (you see varying estimates). The spread of the protests to Oman, moreover, raised ominous questions about how much production may be lost. Not only have petroleum workers in the port of Sohar demonstrated, with 2 protesters killed, but they targeted the road used by tanker trucks. (They so far haven’t had an impact on pipeline exports, the bulk of them.) Workers in the Gulf unhappy with their lives, unlike Wisconsin school teachers, can fairly easily disrupt the economy if they choose.”

The entire post, “The World Oil Politics of the Libyan Revolt”, should be read. It contains more information about the situation concerning oil in Libya as well as the question of who is forming a provisional liberated government as two groups claim the mantle.

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