FROM Fadhil Chalabi
Was the Iraq War about Oil after All? Iraq has the fourth largest known oil reserves in the world. Big western oil companies were in charge of development until 1972, when Saddam Hussein seized their assets and threw them out of the country. Now, 36 years later, the big Western oil companies are coming back. The Maliki government has agreed to sign no-bid service contracts with ExxonMobile, Chevron, British Petroleum, Dutch Shell and the French company, Total, providing a long-term advantage when production increases. Companies from Russia, China and India are not in on the deal. Can the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites agree on sharing the proceeds? Will US troops be required to maintain security?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.