Thursday, April 05, 2007

It Was About the Oil; It Still Is About the Oil; It Will Always Be About the Oil

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Back in January, Chris Floyd wrote an article about the real reason for Pres. Bush's "troop surge" policy: access to Iraq's vast oil reserves via a bill called "the hydrocarbon law," which gives Exxon/Mobil, Chevron/Texaco, BP/Amoco, and Royal Dutch/Shell the lion's share of Iraqi oil revenues.

Earlier this week, Floyd directed his readers to a piece written by Richard Behan that examines this law, and its intended consequences for both the Bush administration's oil cronies and the Iraqi people:

George Bush has a land mine planted in the supplemental appropriation legislation working its way through Congress.

The Iraq Accountability Act passed by the House and the companion bill passed in the Senate contain deadlines for withdrawing our troops from Iraq, in open defiance of the President’s repeated objections.

He threatens a veto, but he might well be bluffing. Buried deep in the legislation and intentionally obscured is a near-guarantee of success for the Bush Administration’s true objective of the war--capturing Iraq’s oil--and George Bush will not casually forego that.

This bizarre circumstance is the end-game of the brilliant, ever-deceitful maneuvering by the Bush Administration in conducting the entire scenario of the “global war on terror.”

The supplemental appropriation package requires the Iraqi government to meet a series of “benchmarks” President Bush established in his speech to the nation on January 10 (in which he made his case for the “surge”). Most of Mr. Bush’s benchmarks are designed to blame the victim, forcing the Iraqis to solve the problems George Bush himself created.

One of the President’s benchmarks, however, stands apart. This is how the President described it: “To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.” A seemingly decent, even noble concession. That’s all Mr. Bush said about that benchmark, but his brevity was gravely misleading, and it had to be intentional.

The Iraqi Parliament has before it today, in fact, a bill called the hydrocarbon law, and it does call for revenue sharing among Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. For President Bush, this is a must-have law, and it is the only “benchmark” that truly matters to his Administration.

Yes, revenue sharing is there-essentially in fine print, essentially trivial. The bill is long and complex, it has been years in the making, and its primary purpose is transformational in scope: a radical and wholesale reconstruction-virtual privatization-of the currently nationalized Iraqi oil industry.

If passed, the law will make available to Exxon/Mobil, Chevron/Texaco, BP/Amoco, and Royal Dutch/Shell about 4/5’s of the stupendous petroleum reserves in Iraq. That is the wretched goal of the Bush Administration, and in his speech setting the revenue-sharing “benchmark” Mr. Bush consciously avoided any hint of it.

The legislation pending now in Washington requires the President to certify to Congress by next October that the benchmarks have been met--specifically that the Iraqi hydrocarbon law has been passed. That’s the land mine: he will certify the American and British oil companies have access to Iraqi oil. This is not likely what Congress intended, but it is precisely what Mr. Bush has sought for the better part of six years.

It is why we went to war.

For years President Bush has cloaked his intentions behind the fabricated “Global War on Terrorism.” It has long been suspected that oil drove the wars, but dozens of skilled and determined writers have documented it. It is no longer a matter of suspicion, nor is it speculation now: it is sordid fact. (See a brief summary of the story at . )

Planning for the two wars was underway almost immediately upon the Bush Administration taking office–-at least six months before September 11, 2001. The wars had nothing to do with terrorism. Terrorism was initially rejected by the new Administration as unworthy of national concern and public policy, but 9/11 gave them a conveniently timed and spectacular alibi to undertake the wars. Quickly inventing a catchy “global war on terror” theme, the Administration disguised the true nature of the wars very cleverly, and with enduring success.

The “global war on terror” is bogus. The prime terrorist in Afghanistan and the architect of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, was never apprehended, and the President’s subsequent indifference is a matter of record. And Iraq harbored no terrorists at all. But both countries were invaded, both countries suffer military occupation today, both are dotted with permanent U.S. military bases protecting the hydrocarbon assets, and both have been provided with puppet governments.

Floyd thinks this is what Congress intended:

... As noted often here, America's imperial right to secure the lion's share of the world's resources – by any means necessary – has long been a basic, bipartisan assumption of U.S. foreign policy for decades. After all, was it not the saintly Jimmy Carter who first openly declared that America would go to war in the Middle East if "our" oil supplies there were threatened? But it's true that the Bushists have taken this policy to new heights of naked gangsterism.

Look at the photograph at the end of Floyd's post, and then read his last paragraph:

This is what more than 3,000 American soldiers have died for. This is what tens of thousands more have given their limbs, their eyes, their burned flesh, their scarred psyches for. This is what more than 600,000 innocent Iraqis have been murdered for. This, and only this: the vast profits that flow from oil, and the strategic and political power that comes from controlling that flow.

Cross-posted at Shakesville.


Katharine said...

Excellent post, Kathy. And congrats on being asked to join the Shakesville team!

Kathy said...

Thanks, K.!

Joan said...


THe ONLY reason the USA is in Iraq is because of the oil? No shit, Sherlock!

Take Care