The LA Times, a frequent reader of this blog, reports that the Kurds are cutting their own deals to explore for oil, and the Iraqi central government are Not Happy. After all, they have every reason not to be, given the burning issue of how the oil revenue from the existing oilfields is distributed - the Kurds developing a source of revenue outside that would be a serious destabilising force within the Shia-Kurdish alliance. (Remember that the two key bastions of the coalition in Iraq are the British troops in southern Iraq covering the logistical point-of-entry, and the alliance between the Kurds and SCIRI, which restricts the possibility of a coup attempt and rules out Turkish intervention up north.)
Strangely, the LAT article makes no mention at all of Heritage Oil's exploration & production interests in Kurdistan, as reported here three months ago, not even in the light of the Aegis Defence video scandal.
Weird, though. I go away for a few days and Iraq-related sleaze is pouring out everywhere. Death squads. Torture. Journalists paid to print propaganda, by Republican Party hacks. It's like the crap-dam just burst. What it implies, I suspect, is that the second-tier officials who know where the bodies are buried just felt it dawn on them what an epic, criminal blunder they are implicated in. Now, they are all sitting around watching each other, hoping to be the first to rat and getting ready to leap for the hatch or start stabbing once anyone else makes a move.