MEANWHILE IN IRAQ

Oil Prices Hit Hard

Falling gas prices may be good for American consumers, but they're wreaking havoc on reconstruction efforts in petro-state Iraq, where revenue for reconstruction is drying up. Capital projects and improvements to basic services are being put on hold thanks to the decrease in oil money and some are worried that the decline in revenue could make a transition to Iraqi security forces more difficult as the US withdraws from the country. “It’s a disaster,” Ismail Shukir Haruty, a member of Parliament’s financial committee, told the New York Times. “What are we going to do in 2009, 2010, 2011?” A senior White House official told the Times that they weren't too concerned, however, saying that "The overall trend is still moving in a reasonable direction even if they’re not able to do quite as much as anticipated."