Readying itself for full-scale war, the Iraqi trade minister, Mohammed Mehdi Saleh, said yesterday that everyone in Iraq should have a stockpile of food to last three months.

Panic attack? Well not really. We have been stockpiling long before the trade minister advised us to do so. Prices of everything storable or used for storage have gone up because of that. Powdered milk doubled, bottled water practically disappeared and the price of a 40 liter plastic barrel has gone up from 5,000 ID to 12,000 ID (that I regret not buying a month ago). It is the fact that he said it which is scary; they are not that frank usually.

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