[Commentary ]OIL! | Harper's Magazine

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The New York Times reports today that BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Total—which is to say, five of the six largest oil companies on Earth—“are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq.”

This may be one of the least surprising developments in human history, yet that very predictability may also give some comfort to those of us who would like to believe, against all other evidence, that we live in a rational–albeit unjust–universe.