Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, April 11, 2003

The leaflets worked.

Just as Pentagon officials had suspected, the oil wells in southern Iraq were laced with explosives, ready to blow as the coalition forces advanced. But only a handful were actually detonated.

"Many of them, even though there were explosives set in place, had the valves turned off, so that even if you had an explosion, it wouldn't necessarily damage the oil well," Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart said in Doha, Qatar, Thursday.

When Iraqi oil workers were asked why they hadn't torched the oil fields, they responded: "We read your leaflets," Renuart said.

The Iraqis also had been listening to coalition broadcasts, Renuart said. And they agreed their oil infrastructure would be vital to the country's reconstruction.

The Iraqi workers, Renuart said, had complied with orders from Saddam Hussein's regime for their own protection but had "ensured that true damage to the oil fields not occur."

The workers' refusal to destroy their own country's oil fields came as no surprise to petroleum industry experts. Iraq's oil industry workers have long enjoyed a reputation for both professional expertise and fierce patriotism.

< email | 4/11/2003 02:38:00 PM | link

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