Americans oppose an open-ended US military involvement in Iraq. So do Iraqis: "Declaring that there will not be 'another colonization of Iraq,' Iraq’s foreign minister raised the possibility on Wednesday that a full security agreement with the United States might not be reached this year, and that if one was, it would be a short-term pact." I'll say again that I think it will be less politically problematic for the next administration to leave Iraq, if that's what it wants to do, than a lot of the smart set thinks -- they're be a very happy joint press conference and lots of supportive statements from folks like Iraq's Foreign Minister and Republicans will look like idiots when they complain.

Meanwhile, there's Ray Hunt, wildcatting oil man and Bush pal. When his oil deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government was announced, the Bush administration denied all knowledge of it since those kind of deals are deemed to undermine American policy in Iraq. But as Matthew Blake reports "Hunt, President of the company, talked to Bush administration advisers months before the deal was made. Also, officials at the Commerce and State departments encouraged the deal and even congratulated Hunt after obtaining the contract." Shocking stuff. And of course more recently the big players have been getting in on the act.

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