Let Us Be Clear On Why We Are Still In Iraq

AliceDem at the Booman Tribune slapped this up in the diaries yesterday:
Kurds Get Piece of Oil Wealth; Foreign Investment Questions Linger

While pressure on the Baghdad government mounted, Iraqi oil unions staged protests in early June. Many Iraqis believe the measure would drive the oil industry toward privatization and unfairly benefit outside oil companies.

"We think the proposed oil law doesn't serve the interests of the Iraqi people at all," said Faleh Abood Umara, general secretary of the Southern Oil Company Union and the Iraqi Federation of Oil Workers' Unions, at a news conference in New York on June 18. "It emphasizes or confirms American hegemony over Iraqi oil fields."

The unions have said they worry negotiations could result in a law that would give foreign companies too much influence. But details of how foreign investors would be involved are still being nailed down, said David Pumphrey, deputy director of the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ...

... Foreign oil companies, meanwhile, are waiting for the oil law to provide a structure in which to operate in the country. The law was intended to build confidence in the stability of the system and provide incentives to work in a still violent region.

"This is an industry that makes very long decisions. They reap their profits over a period of decades, and it takes years to develop projects," Greg Priddy, an energy analyst at the Eurasia Group, told the NewsHour in May.

"They need to be confident that it's going to be stable, not just the next few years, but out 30 years or so, way beyond the U.S. occupation."

We knew this was about oil, this just documents it.

A little quoted, and nearly ignored, article from the 2006 LA Times:
ISG Concludes that IRAQ = OIL

What can you say about an article like this?

It's still about oil in Iraq - Los Angeles Times:

A centerpiece of the Iraq Study Group's report is its advocacy for securing foreign companies' long-term access to Iraqi oil fields.

WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq's importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves." The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq's national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met.

It's spelled out in Recommendation No. 63, which calls on the U.S. to "assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise" and to "encourage investment in Iraq's oil sector by the international community and by international energy companies." This recommendation would turn Iraq's nationalized oil industry into a commercial entity that could be partly or fully privatized by foreign firms."

I guess that is what they mean when they say the ISG was made up of "moderate and bipartisan" elderly statesmen. It means they will shill for the oil industries too.

The U.S. State Department's Oil and Energy Working Group, meeting between December 2002 and April 2003, also said that Iraq "should be opened to international oil companies as quickly as possible after the war." Its preferred method of privatization was a form of oil contract called a production-sharing agreement. These agreements are preferred by the oil industry but rejected by all the top oil producers in the Middle East because they grant greater control and more profits to the companies than the governments. The Heritage Foundation also released a report in March 2003 calling for the full privatization of Iraq's oil sector. One representative of the foundation, Edwin Meese III, is a member of the Iraq Study Group. Another, James J. Carafano, assisted in the study group's work.

For any degree of oil privatization to take place, and for it to apply to all the country's oil fields, Iraq has to amend its constitution and pass a new national oil law. The constitution is ambiguous as to whether control over future revenues from as-yet-undeveloped oil fields should be shared among its provinces or held and distributed by the central government.

This is a crucial issue, with trillions of dollars at stake, because only 17 of Iraq's 80 known oil fields have been developed. Recommendation No. 26 of the Iraq Study Group calls for a review of the constitution to be "pursued on an urgent basis." Recommendation No. 28 calls for putting control of Iraq's oil revenues in the hands of the central government. Recommendation No. 63 also calls on the U.S. government to "provide technical assistance to the Iraqi government to prepare a draft oil law."

Go read the entire article and then be sick to your stomachs...

It has always been about the big oil companies getting their slice of the pie... And that appears to be one of the few truly bipartisan efforts on Capitol Hill. Until the oil companies get what they feel they are entitled to, those "Iraq Constitution" changes you hear lawmakers and the White House talk about (the ones that steal oil rights from Iraqis, but they don't mention that...), the occupation will continue. Regardless of how much it is tearing Iraq apart.

Iraqis know what this is about. When will Americans face up to the realities of Iraq?


sharon said...

But of course we knew this all along. Admitting it now means we have to face up to the fact that we're letting our young men and women die so that we can keep talking on our cellphones while driving our SUVs from our McMansions to the mall and back again, and eating foods that were shipped to us from thousands of miles away.

Connecticut Man1 said...

Hi Sharon, I agree with you 100%. And I love what you are doing over at you Main Street Blog. Smart growth and some of the other issues, like the transportation issue you plan to look at over the summer, are big changes that will have to come eventually.

Even if technology overcomes some of the environmental problems with today's society, some changes just make sense as far as improving people's quality of lives.

Anonymous said...

I see this article quoted all the time and the link between oil policy and the work that Mr. Meese and I did for the ISG is bogus. First, I was not at Heritage when the March 2003 report was written. In the ISG both Mr. Meese and I worked on security issues and never addressed oil policy. Nor did the author of this article ever check their facts with us. Jim Carafano

Connecticut Man1 said...

The Heritage foundation that you work for released its report in 2003, and you were working in the interests of the Heritage foundation when you did your work for the ISG. It is important to note where your intrests lie.

You might be quite surprised that many of us are well aware of your feats of astounding ignorance and blatherings before, and after, you joined the far right wing Heritage propaganda outfit.

To call yourself some sort of military guru when even I knew that Saddam didn't have the capability to attack us, nevermind with nucclear weapons as you asserted was coming, is a telling sign of either your complete ignorance OR your willingness to ply propaganda.

And I quote from YOU in 2002:

"If a military confrontation erupts between Iraq and the United States, the US homeland could be part of the battleground. While there is much uncertainty over the state of Iraq’s offensive capabilities, there is sufficient information to suggest potential threats to American soil.

* The fact that Iraq did not employ chemical and biological weapons during the Persian Gulf War is cold comfort. Iraqi actions during the conflict and the results of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspections demonstrated: 1) Iraq was willing to expend tremendous resources to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons; 2) the Iraqis were adept at concealing the extent of their weapons programs; and, 3) they considered virtually any means of offensive action justified to protect the continued existence of the regime.

* It is likely that Iraq has, or may develop in the near future, the means to conduct attacks on the United States, including catastrophic strikes with nuclear or biological weapons.

* Iraq is unlikely to garner significant aid in attempting to attack the United States, though some terrorist groups may conduct strikes that could coincide with a US-Iraqi conflict.

* While Iraq may have both the means and motive to attack the US homeland, strategic and operational issues may make undertaking major offensive efforts highly problematic."

My gosh! You are either one seriously dumb fuck, OR you will lie to carry water for your far right wingnut groups that fund your propaganda.

Please stop refering to yourself as a "Dr." as the only thing you could have studied is obviously BS, and having that "Piled Higher & Deeper" doesn't qualify.

And if you have an issue with the LA Times report than take it up with them. But they didn't say you, personally, were involved in the 2003 report, did they?

Neither did I.

But don't try and obfuscate Heritages real interests on a mere techinicality... Ain't nobody buying what you far right wing nuts are selling anymore.