are these people, and what are they doing? They are
Democratic congresspersons, sheepishly "caving in". Not only
did they cave on the timeline for withdrawal of military and mercenary
forces in Iraq, they failed to heed this warning:
others want oil out of war funds
Ben Lando, UPI Energy Correspondent
Published: May 24, 2007 at 9:58 PM
WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is championing a
somewhat lonely push in Congress to remove Iraq's oil from any talk
over continuing the Iraq war.
"The United States is pressuring Iraq to hand over its oil to
multinational corporations" by pressing the government to pass an oil
law, Kucinich, D-Ohio, a presidential candidate, told reporters
President Bush said in January that Iraqi leaders should approve a law
that equitably redistributes the oil wealth to its citizens, one of
four benchmarks for success in the war. Congressional Democrats have
co-opted the benchmarks into proposed supplemental war-spending
Kucinich and others say this is wrong for two reasons: First, the
United States shouldn't tell Iraq what to do with its oil. Second, the
law that's closest to being voted on by the Parliament barely mentions
revenue-sharing at all.
Instead, the hydrocarbons framework law partitions the oil between
central and regional control, and offers up blocks to foreign
(More details here)
At first reading, it is not obvious, perhaps, why this is such a
problem. After all, what Bush said was " that Iraqi leaders
should approve a law that equitably redistributes the oil wealth to its
citizens." But that is not what the bill in Congress calls
for. It calls for href="http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=H4765&dbname=2007_record">privatization
majority of oil fields.
One of the benchmarks calls for the Iraqi Parliament to pass a law
concerning redistribution of oil wealth. But what they are
calling for is not just any law, it is a specific law, one that is not
favored by Iraqis:
Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions earlier this month
sent a letter to both the U.S. and European legislatures asking them to
stop pressing for the law. Both Iraqi politicians and oil technocrats,
as well as outside oil and political experts, say the pressure is
making matters worse, forcing a bill through that has no consensus...
What is it about this law that is a matter of concern? For an
explanation, we turn to an essay be Ann Wright, a retired Army colonel
and former State Department official:
Congress Really Approved: Benchmark No. 1: Privatizing Iraq's Oil for
By Ann Wright
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
Saturday 26 May 2007
On Thursday, May 24, the US Congress
voted to continue the war in Iraq. The members called it "supporting
the troops." I call it stealing Iraq's oil - the second largest
reserves in the world. The "benchmark," or goal, the Bush
administration has been working on furiously since the US invaded Iraq
is privatization of Iraq's oil. Now they have Congress blackmailing the
Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people: no privatization of Iraqi oil,
no reconstruction funds.
This threat could not be clearer. If the
Iraqi Parliament refuses to pass the privatization legislation,
Congress will withhold US reconstruction funds that were promised to
the Iraqis to rebuild what the United States has destroyed there. The
privatization law, written by American oil company consultants hired by
the Bush administration, would leave control with the Iraq National Oil
Company for only 17 of the 80 known oil fields. The remainder
(two-thirds) of known oil fields, and all yet undiscovered ones, would
be up for grabs by the private oil companies of the world (but guess
how many would go to United States firms - given to them by the
compliant Iraqi government.)...
I'm not sure how she knows that the law was actually written by US oil
companies, but it would not be a surprise if it were true.
Recall the fuss in 2001-2002 when people wanted to find out
what the rel="tag">Cheney Energy Task Force was up to?
Some information was released, but the Cheney administration href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4830129/">went to the
Supreme Court to keep the rest secret.
One thing we do know, is that they had documents entitled " href="http://www.judicialwatch.org/iraqi-oil-maps.shtml">Foreign
Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts." The
documents are dated March 2001, well before 9/11/2001.
We also know that even earlier, in February 2001, the National Security
Council met to consider " href="http://trots.blogspot.com/2005/05/question-what-is-this-and-why-is-it.html">Political-Military
Plans for Post-Saddam Iraq Crisis."
It is tab C, in case you are having trouble reading it. Click
on the image to see a larger version. Notice the document is
stamped "January 31, 2001," just ten days after the inauguration.
Notice also that there is no mention of href="en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda" rel="tag">Al
Qaeda or href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_Bin_Laden" rel="tag">Osama
bin Laden. It tells you what their priorities were.
Despite the fact that the incoming Bush administration was href="http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/7/3950">warned
about Al Qaeda in late 2000, the very first meeting of their
National Security Council was all about Iraq -- a country that did not
and could not threaten us.
But that is getting off the point. Turning back to Ms.
Wright's essay, she makes the point that:
With the Bush
administration's "Support the Troops" bill and its benchmarks,
primarily Benchmark No. 1, we finally have the reason for the US
invasion of Iraq: to get easily accessible, cheap, high-grade Iraq oil
for US corporations...
I disagree with her on that point. The goal is not "to get
accessible, cheap, high-grade Iraq oil for US corporations."
not care what the oil costs, or even if they are able to get the oil to
market. What they care about is having either oil to sell, or
contracts. They win either way.
If the USA pressures the Iraqis into passing the privatization law,
then one of three things will happen. Either the conflict
resolve, and US companies will get oil and oilfield development
contracts; or the conflict will go on, in which case US companies get
military contracts; or, what is most likely, the conflict will
eventually simmer down to the point that the situation is like that in
Nigeria. In Nigeria, there is substantial oil production, but
there is also an active campaign of href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/89ac45ca-07c5-11dc-9541-000b5df10621.html">sabotage
If the oil privatization law passes, it would most likely perpetuate
Granted, the war might slow down to a simmer, but it would
not stop until the oil ran out. That might even be the best
of both worlds for Halliburton. They get to build and rebuild
the same pipeline, plus make money on the cost of trying to secure the
pipeline. If it costs the lives of some American service
women, and some Iraqi citizens, so what? If it trashes the
environment, so what?
The above is not exactly what my bumper sticker says, but it is on the
It seems as though the only person who cares about the oil
privatization issue is the one who holds href="http://news.tbo.com/news/metro/MGBW5CES62F.html">$25-dollar-a-plate
fundraisers. Why is that? It is a formula