Iraq’s oil output hit its highest level in about three years in November, reaching 2.32 million barrels per day, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last week.


  1. I’m sure I speak for more than just myself when I say that this mightn’t be “good news”. Despite the valid environmental concerns one could raise, the Iraqi people are not getting equitable shares of their national resources.

    During the post-invasion American administration, the Coalition Provisional Authority, did their very best to privatize and liquidate all state property. Critics and supports alike characterize Iraq as the “largest single neo-liberal project ever attempted”.

    So, I’d think twice before being so absolute and unquestioning about the level of “goodness” in this development.

  2. Me Two, it’s hard to ignore the problems in Iraq. But while your arguments could in theory be valid, the reality is that they do not hold up to much of an effect. Corruption was a problem to begin with, but let’s not forget that it is being dealt with, and has improved in great amounts, and is still improving. And corruption can only ever take a percentage of revenues away from the country and the people. Most the money from this WILL go to help the people. So I hope you understand it is important to see the big picture, what actually happens, and not assume bad is always true given the logical possibility.

    And Iraq needs money to help the people. So I would not begrudge about the environment in this example. Let’s not forget it is in fact the total combined impact of global issues that affects the environment. If you follow GNN you can see there is plenty of hope for the environment yet. It’s far from a gloom and doom scenario. There is always a choice in all news you see, all information we take in, to assume the worse will happen inevitably, get depressed, or see that good that is going on, and gain from the hope of that. And so keep trying. And here in this case, is a beacon of hope. Take it !

    And finally let’s not forget that Iraq is a rare place in the world. Most people live lives in relative peace.



  3. On the BBC panel on which I spoke as the “good news” expert, there was a discussion about this. I don’t think there is any “danger” in labeling news as “good” or bad. It is just a way of characterizing information, like the sports news or entertainment news.

    Most importantly, the audience gets to say whether it’s good or bad in their own mind and lives. And, of course they can do it here in the comments. I welcome discussion. Many times it is a toss-up whether to publish a story on this site or not. I turn down many stories. One person doesn’t like wind power, another, like the journalism professor on the panel, doesn’t like the security ramifications of dismantling the border between Poland and Germany — a story from this week.

    It is actually quite interesting tight rope I walk. But the name Good News Network does not imply that something is, as you say, “absolutely and unquestionably good”.

    Ciao for now… gotta get some news stories up!


  4. Quoting geri: “Most the money from this WILL go to help the people”

    Most? Let me see if I’m understanding you: Most (50% 1?) money which will be made by the liquid, carbon-based substance, known as oil, will go to the Iraqi people. In contrast to, the private, foreign companies who extract it?

    Please take my humble challenge when i ask you to please: prove it.

    I expect you won’t (but would love a response 😛 ).

  5. Lol I did not know I looked like Geri.

    On the more “serious” note. You are assuming it is looks certain that 50% or more of this money will go outside of the country due to corruption/ All I can say is mistakes have been made and people have learnt from them. Much tighter controls are in place now. It was only in the beginning that people (inc. the USA) were lapse and over trusting. And it’s often the case that bad events can turn out for the good as people learn important lessons. I think this is a prime example.

    Geri is right , nothing is unquestionably good, everything has to have some kind of bad side. Geri rejects many of the stories I send all the time. And we debate sometimes which ones to put up or not.

    I have to say I I thought it was being picky to bring up the environment in this case. When we know how much the Iraq people need the money. My argument above put it into perspective as it is the total environmental impact that counts. Perspective is something that is needed more in all news issues I feel. We can just jump onto any bad side easily and miss the big point.

    Most countries have peace and are not as unlucky as the people of Iraq. But there is hope for them as lessons are being learnt, and more vital money is coming in.

  6. Ahhh! Sorry geri for the misquote.

    Andrew – you’re avoiding a key point of mine – that forced privatization is ruining the future of Iraqis. It’s better that the oil stay down in the ground until the Iraqi people can form a legitimate, independent, government which is free of cohesion and occupation. If and when that happens (It’s not likely considering the 14 permanent military bases), the censuses is that Iraqis will want a nationalized oil regime. However, the US sold the Iraqi state; they liquidated all the national assets – they sold the country, undemocratically and without the consent of the Iraqi people.

    So for you, even quasi-journalists, to claim that the Iraqi oil being extracted by these oil robber barrens is worthy of making a “good news” section, despite how we choose to frame “good news”, is worrisome.

  7. You can call BBC editors “quasi-journalists”, then, too, because they characterized this story as one of the good news stories to come out recently! (In fact, one of their producers gave me the tip about this story as I had missed it.)

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