Erbil, the regional capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has all the trappings of an oil boomtown. It bristles with construction cranes. Land Cruisers and Range Rovers with tinted windows ply the busy streets. Oil workers and briefcase- bearing foreigners crowd into the Divan Erbil Hotel’s piano bar.
A tanker containing a million barrels of crude oil is floating around the Mediterranean, and its cargo is available at half-price. Any country seizing the bargain is helping Iraq’s Kurds to win greater independence.