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Monday, January 08, 2007

It Really Was All About the Oil

In the run-up to the second Iraq war, those of us who claimed it was a war for oil were labeled "crazy left wing conspiracy theorists." Be cause it wasn't about oil, the administration assured us. It was about the imminent danger posed to the USA by Saddam's WMD.

Except it wasn't. There weren't any.

So then it became about revenge for 9-11.

Except there were no links between Saddam and al Qaeda.

Then it became about toppling an evil dictator, a "bad, bad man," and freeing the people of Iraq.

Yet he's gone and we're still there.

Then it became about spreading democracy.

There were elections. The Iraqis elected a government. And another. Three times now.

And yet we're still there.

So what is our occupation of Iraq really about? And why are we still there? What is left undone?

According to the Independent:
Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.

Oil industry executives and analysts say the law, which would permit Western companies to pocket up to three-quarters of profits in the early years, is the only way to get Iraq's oil industry back on its feet after years of sanctions, war and loss of expertise. But it will operate through "production-sharing agreements" (or PSAs) which are highly unusual in the Middle East, where the oil industry in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's two largest producers, is state controlled.

Opponents say Iraq, where oil accounts for 95 per cent of the economy, is being forced to surrender an unacceptable degree of sovereignty.

Might this have something to do with those secret Energy Task Force meetings that Cheney held 2001, and refuses to talk about? Was it then that spoils of war were divided?

Because it seems that I was right. The left was right. And Billy Bragg was right.

It really was just about the price of oil.

Free download of the song here.


At 8:33 PM, Blogger twodogmom said...

Love ya, Billy!!!!! You can come sing on my laptop or in my living room any day.....


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