Monday, January 08, 2007

O-I-L (Operation Iraqi Liberation)

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies." (Dick Cheney; US Vice-President, 1999)

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." (Benito Mussolini)

This is sad news for both war-mongers and us anti-war "troublemakers". While its piercing spike on the hearts of war-mongers is not bothersome to me as their hubris and lies are never-ending, we have to bear with the consistent abnegation of the politicians and a further substantiation that this war was indeed about oil. I have secretly tried to look for excuses all along, that maybe despite all the bombs and imperial pomposity and dead people, the end is not what the least of pessimism makes it out to be, because the fate of the Iraqi people depends on it. And while we talk of the world gone mad and all, most of us can at least be free. But what about people in the Iraqi quagmire? For whose comfort are they dying or have died? The answer can be directly traced to centres of power in Baghdad and Washington and London. The truth is that 655000+ Iraqis have died for the whim and hubris of the powers that control them. But above all sits the prized possession of Iraq: oil. And as expected, it is being looted by American corporations who have sent death squads aka US military to shed blood, divide people and install puppets all for oil. They have proven themselves to be less civilized than Saddam Hussein himself who invaded Kuwait for oil and was thwarted by its ally, the United States, which couldn't bear to see the rise of one Arab country over others. What with the hypocrisy?! Here's a bomb of conscience for the war criminals and the real fascists who have destroyed Iraq for their personal gain:
So was this what the Iraq war was fought for, after all? As the number of US soldiers killed since the invasion rises past the 3,000 mark, and President George Bush gambles on sending in up to 30,000 more troops, The Independent on Sunday has learnt that the Iraqi government is about to push through a law giving Western oil companies the right to exploit the country's massive oil reserves.

And Iraq's oil reserves, the third largest in the world, with an estimated 115 billion barrels waiting to be extracted, are a prize worth having. As Vice-President Dick Cheney noted in 1999, when he was still running Halliburton, an oil services company, the Middle East is the key to preventing the world running out of oil.

Now, unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad. Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.

PSAs allow a country to retain legal ownership of its oil, but gives a share of profits to the international companies that invest in infrastructure and operation of the wells, pipelines and refineries. Their introduction would be a first for a major Middle Eastern oil producer. Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's number one and two oil exporters, both tightly control their industries through state-owned companies with no appreciable foreign collaboration, as do most members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec.

Critics fear that given Iraq's weak bargaining position, it could get locked in now to deals on bad terms for decades to come. "Iraq would end up with the worst possible outcome," said Greg Muttitt of Platform, a human rights and environmental group that monitors the oil industry. He said the new legislation was drafted with the assistance of BearingPoint, an American consultancy firm hired by the US government, which had a representative working in the American embassy in Baghdad for several months.
Need I add more? Another thing that has affected me recently is the audacity of some people to blame the Iraqis themselves for the deaths of civilians and the destruction of Iraq ("Middle East is like that", "it's in their culture", "they hate freedom", "we tried but...", "they are uncivilized", "the Arab mind" etc. etc.) which I hope to discuss in a different post.

No comments: