In Iraq, ABC's Terry McCarthy (subscription required) completed his three-part Where Things Stand survey. Tuesday he was in Kurdistan (subscription required) and Wednesday he was in Baghdad. The final report was from Basra where commerce is turning away from the wartorn capital to the prosperous Persian Gulf to the south. The docks are running 24-hours-a-day importing food, electronics and automobiles. "To the north all they see, for the time being, is graveyards." The impressive aspect of McCarthy's three-parter has been its visual sweep: Basra's sweltering waterways contrast vividly with Kurdistan's stark mountains.
On CBS, Allen Pizzey told a tangled tale of what is wrong with Iraq's $5bn-a-year oil industry. Refineries have been infiltrated by criminal gangs and sectarian militias. They have corrupt patrons in government who are protected from prosecution by political immunity. The refinery gangs shake down truck drivers, demanding bribes in order to distribute gasoline. The truckers use false papers to divert the fuel to a network of illegal depots on the black market. "The world's fourth largest oil reserve is being stolen."
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