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Ding Dong the pretext is dead

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
May 25, 2007


I said "it's all about the oil" when the Bush Administration was building up to regime change in Iraq and George W's war on terror, and I said it before and after President Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished" from a Battleship off the coast of San Diego. There is no comfort in "I told you so."

Recent history has proven me right. Under the cover of violence, and a growing body count of American dead, western oil interests have taken control of Iraqi oil fields.

This war for oil is no longer able to mask itself as an act of kindness towards the Iraqi people. With Saddam Huessain long ago neutralized, and sectarian violence in full swing, aggression to control a valuable natural resource is hard to disguise with an occupying army.

Personally I'm glad the truth is out so we can stop pretending the war in Iraq is about freedom, or homeland security. It's about oil. It has always been about oil. And as long as American interests want access to that oil there will be U.S. troops in Iraq. U.S. Troops in Iraq means U.S. Soldiers and Marines will continue dying to maintain access to Iraqi oil.

In a moment of Machiavellian clarity, news from the Iraqi green zone, in war ravaged Baghdad, on May 21, 2007 of the U.S.-backed Iraqi cabinet approving a oil law giving foreign companies the long-term contracts and safe legal framework they have been waiting for, but which has rattled labor unions and international campaigners who say oil production should remain in the hands of Iraqis.

The Iraq's cabinet approval of the draft law covering oil revenues is seen as cover for privatization. According to Iraqi labor leaders, transferring ownership to the foreign companies would give a further pretext to continue the U.S. occupation on the grounds that those companies will need protection.

Independent analysts and labor groups have also criticized the process of drafting the law specifying two-thirds of Iraq's known oil reserves would be developed by multinationals. Human rights organizations have warned the bill is so skewed in favor of foreign firms that it will heighten political tensions in Iraq and deepen instability within the region.

Not that any of this should be a surprise. Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Bush assembled Iraq Study Group report defines Iraq's importance to the U.S. and the world with "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves." This bipartisan report gives very specific recommendations on what the United States should do to secure those reserves. Following the reports proposals, Iraq's national oil industry are being commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

Laying the ground work for the recent vote by the U.S. Endorsed Iraqi senate, Recommendation #63, of the Baker Report 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."

It's clear the U.S. government is using every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met.

Pretending otherwise is just dishonest.

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