And they say its not the oil?

6 Jul

According to the BBC article, ‘What should Big Oil’s role in Iraq be?‘, Washington and the large international oil companies have been ‘cajoling, encouraging, and even threatening Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani to deliver an oil law that will allow them back into the country on long-term agreements that give them a share of any oil produced’ for the past two years.

That oil is a major motive for the neoconservatives to invade Iraq has been obvious.

Last year, Alan Greenspan, former chair of the US Federal Reserve, claimed in his memoirs that ‘the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil’. This, coming from someone in the establishment.

Back in April 2003, one month after the invasion, Dan Brooks, writing in Counterpunch, ‘Fueling the Empire’ also noted in his investigative piece about the importance of oil in this war. Prior to the  attack, he notes that Bush had already warned the Iraqis not to destroy the oil wells. Ironically, it was called,  ‘Operation Iraqi Liberation’ which is OIL for short. In his article, he also opined that the invasion is not just about controlling oil but also ‘controlling the price of oil, controlling those prices in U.S. dollars instead of Euros, and controlling the flow of oil dollars, the money made by selling oil which is then invested abroad’.

By 2006, the Iraqi Study Group had made 4 proposals on exploiting Iraqi Oil, namely:

1. urging US ‘to assist in privatizing Iraq’s national oil industry’

2. liberalise Iraq’s oil sector to private foreign oil and energy companies

3. Provide ‘direct technical assistance for the “drafting” of a new national oil law for Iraq’

4. To assure ‘that all of Iraq’s oil revenues accrue to the central government’

These proposals mark the clear intentions of the US administration  which is backed by the oil lobby.

To however, think that the Administration will draw the line at just using ‘free market’ principles to control the oil is mere wishful thinking. The administration understands that what it needs is absolute control in case the local regime, workers or Iraqis protested against such moves.

It is henceforth, not a coincidence that it also seeks to maintain American troops and private contractors in the country that faces ‘complete immunity from local laws’. This is seen from the Bush’s administration insistence on signing a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq.

The National Security Archive, using the Freedom of Information Act, was able to obtain declassified documents showing that this agreement was drafted as early as 2003. What was revealed were US aspirations to conduct ‘military operations based in Iraq… essentially without limit.’

Privatizing Iraqi oil so that the major US oil corporations retain control of this scarce resources goes hand in hand with the American’s administration interest in physically ‘securing’ these oil fields and facilities. To do that, the security pact will act as a ‘legal’ cover to allow the  US government  in ensuring that these resources are completely under its sphere of protection and control…


One Response to “And they say its not the oil?”

  1. joni July 6, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Good article

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