KA-BLOOIE!!! 12:16 21 Mar 2003

Reports indicate that there are at least 7 and maybe as many as 30 (according to the Brits) oil wells currently burning. There are about 400 wells in the Basra region, so, all things considered, even 30 is not too bad. In 1991, Iraq set over 600 wells ablaze and destroyed another hundred in the attempt to set them on fire.

However, in the end, the United States is going to be blamed for causing damage to the environment because of the burning wells. Never mind the fact that Iraq is blowing them up, and we are probably going to great lengths at great cost and risk to try to stop them from doing so. It doesn’t matter if we’re only doing it to preserve the economic output of the country we’re taking over. They are starting the fires, and we’re trying to stop them.

And we will put them out after the war is over. The cynical among us will point out that US companies will make money doing so. It doesn’t matter. We will put them out.

But we’ll still be blamed.

Update 17:54 21 Mar 2003
The Brits have changed the number of wells they think are burning – to 7 from 30. Since this matches the Pentagon’s number, it could well be right. And according to this, we’ve already got crews on the way to put them out.

But we’ll still be blamed.