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Friday, June 15, 2007

Aramco inaugurates $8 billion refinery

ABU DHABI — Saudi Arabia has launched a project to construct a major oil refinery.

Saudi Aramco has begun an $8 billion project to build a refinery at Ras Tanura. The refinery would be capable of processing up to 400,000 barrels a day of Arabian heavy crude.

Aramco has solicited energy majors to bid on the project, with a June 25 deadline for the submission of applications, according to Middle East Newsline. Executives said an invitation to bid would be issued in July, and a contract award was expected in October.

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Executives said the refinery was expected to begin operations in 2012. Aramco has been constructing three other refineries in Saudi Arabia as part of a plan to increase refining capacity to 3.8 million barrels per day over the next five years.

Our government has similarly acceded to the refusal of the Shiite majority in the Iraqi government to share power and oil revenue with the Sunni population. It is regrettably time to leave. It makes no sense to lose any more American soldiers or spill any more American blood. This is particularly true when, according to The New York Times, not long ago the King of Saudi Arabia referred to our occupation as “an illegal foreign occupation.” The Iraqi government has not passed a resolution denouncing the King’s comment and welcoming the presence of our troops. Even more indicative of a lack of Iraqi support for our troops is the Times report dated May 12, 2007 that “A majority of Iraq’s Parliament members have signed a petition for a timetable governing a withdrawal of American troops, several legislators said Friday.”

The war in Iraq is drawing to an end. Remember the poignancy and impact of the death of the last German soldier — played by Lew Ayres in the film “All Quiet On the Western Front” — shortly before the armistice that ended World War I,

Because the Democrats are forcing an end to the struggle in Iraq, we must now prepare to fight terrorism in our homeland for the next thirty or more years. This is a war of civilizations. The Islamic terrorists worldwide want to destroy the U.S. and every other Western nation, along with moderate Muslim nations, e.g., Egypt, Jordan, etc. Our very survival as a nation is involved. Will we have the courage and will to do all that will be necessary to prevail?

What did "victory" mean in the Cold War? Did it mean invading the USSR? Did it mean bombing Moscow? No, it meant hanging tough, preventing the Soviets from expanding their base of power, until the internal contradictions and flaws in their system brought them down. The fight against terror and Islamic radicalism has the same goal... to prevent the radicals from expanding their base, which would happen if they get control of Iraq, and to maintain a tough defense until their medieval culture adapts to the modern world.

During the Cold War the pols in Washington were mostly united in support of this goal. But now the Democrats are not. There is no safety for the weak and foolish. When you seek to end a war without substantially achieving your essential goals by simply ceasing to fight, it is often a form of surrender. And that's the way the Democrat-imposed outcome in Iraq will be understood around the world, especially by our enemies.

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