Even for those who have entertained the thought that the Iraq wars might possibly have something to do with access to oil, it is with some shock, and even a little awe, that we hear the news that the country has auctioned off the rights to the vast Majnoon oilfield to that global do-gooder Shell.
With 90% of Iraqi oil reserves effectively up for grabs, I think we can consider that country well and truly liberated.
Apparently without any irony, the BBC reports: "It needs the expertise of foreign companies to reach that goal of reviving its oil industry, which has been battered by years of war and sanctions."
And, amazingly: "As much of its oil is relatively cheap to extract, analysts suggest the potential profits for foreign companies could be huge."
An energy expert then tells us: "This is an opportunity without precedent anywhere else in the world... That is something that no oil company... can ignore."
By the way, in Arabic "majnoon" means "insane".