Home > posts > Terrorists to Iraqis: “We’ll Keep the Lights on for You”
August 2nd, 2010 12:31 pm
Terrorists to Iraqis: “We’ll Keep the Lights on for You”

“For want of a nail the shoe was lost.  For want of a shoe the horse was lost.  For want of a horse the rider was lost.  For want of a rider the battle was lost.  For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.  And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

Today’s lesson in unintended consequences comes from an article that covers several flash points threatening to engulf a relatively peaceful Iraq into renewed chaos.  One item shines brightest.

The Iraqi government can’t provide more than 4 to 6 hours of electricity a day to most of its citizens.  With local temperatures many degrees over 100, people are rioting because of it.

Consider what they’re not rioting about: the escape of four convicted terrorists from prison; a five month delay in forming a coalition government to lead the nation; suicide bombings that killed 50 people; a stalemate in deciding how to divide the country’s oil revenues.

And yet what’s the issue that caused people to “smash government offices” and demand change?  Keeping the electricity running.

Ideas like liberty, commerce and opportunity don’t get a lot of attention when basic services like relief from oppressive heat aren’t being delivered.

The sooner the terrorists inside Iraq figure out that merely being a competent public administrator will probably be enough to get democratic control of the national government, the sooner the Arab world’s only experiment in democracy will cease.

All for want of a steady supply of energy.

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