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Four Years and Counting in Iraq

Regarding "Lessons of War":

The Post should be commended for not describing the extremely difficult way forward in simplistic terms. Having said that, the editorial should have given more attention to the role of oil, not because of its obvious energy significance but because it is an obstacle to good governance in Iraq.

The editorial said, "We may have underestimated the impoverishment brought about by misrule and sanctions and the brutalization born of totalitarian cruelty." But the sentence should have continued: ". . . that thrives especially well in countries cursed by large amounts of oil revenue flowing to a central government, eliminating any chance for a sustainable democracy."

Coming from Venezuela, where oil revenue is centralized, I know that loyalties to country, tribe and sect are all irrelevant compared with the unnatural loyalty that can be purchased by those in control of a checkbook fattened by oil. If the United States wants to achieve anything going forward, it had better find a way to distribute Iraq's oil revenue directly to the Iraqi people.

PER KUROWSKI

Bethesda

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