INDEED: "There is little doubt the Americans will win the war, but you have to wonder how people who are so insensitive ae going to win the peace."
Army Depots In Iraqi Desert Have Names Of Oil Giants
By NEELA BANERJEE
NYTimes - 27 March 2003:
The subtleties surrounding the sensitive role oil plays in the Iraqi war may have eluded the United States Army. Deep in some newspaper coverage yesterday was a report that the 101st Airborne Division had named one central Iraq outpost Forward Operating Base Shell and another Forward Operating Base Exxon.
The Pentagon shrugged off concerns that now might not be the time to mention the names of foreign oil companies on Iraqi soil. ''The forward bases are normally refueling points -- they're basically gas stations in the desert,'' a Pentagon spokeswoman said. ''Whether or not we're going to lecture everyone that, due to political sensitivities, you should be careful what you call your gas stations, I don't know if that's something that should be done or would be done.''
...Tom Cirigliano, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, said he first heard of the bases when he read a press review..., but the mention did not bother the company, the world's largest publicly traded corporation.
"My first reaction when Isaw it was this was not a political statement in any way by the men and women of 101st," Mr. Cirigliano siad. "I think the 101st was being pretty creative and naming things after what reminds them of home. And I think that's pretty neat."
But others involved in the oil industry say the Pentagon's indifference to the names of the bases was poorly considered. "You have this atmosphere of suspicion and apprehension now, and that's just among your allies," Jan Stuart, head of ressearch for global energy futures at ABN Amro, the Dutch investment bank, said. "And in this atmosphere, you call your own supply effort this. It's mind-boggling the degree of insensitivity. There is little doubt the Americans will win the war, but you have to wonder how people who are so insensitive ae going to win the peace."
Business/Financial Desk - Late Edition - Final , Section C , Page 14 , Column 6