Thursday, December 07, 2006

Get Real

You didn't think the ISG report was all about cleaning up the mess and mitigating disaster, did you? Well, in a certain sense, it is. Because the one thing that has become completely inaccessible as hostilities have increased has been Iraq's oil fields, the most tempting ones being in al-Anbar province, the very region over which US forces have lost control. For any of those oil fields to become useful and profitable, control must be regained and the civil war calmed -- at least to a more manageable level. Much of the ISG Report is concerned with doing this, of course. But it has little to do with concern for the nascent and floundering democracy.

Indeed, tucked away in the report are at least two recommendations specifically designed to aid oil industry investment and force Iraq to withdraw from any designs on a nationalized oil industry in the country. As Tom Hayden points out, recommendations 62 and 63 are specifically tailored to this end:
Recommendation 62 says the US government should help draft an oil law that "creates a fiscal and legal framework for investment." It further recommends that the US, in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund [IMF], should "pres Iraq to continue reducing subsidies in the energy sector...until Iraqis pay market prices for oil products..." That is, in a country besieged by civil war, bombings of infrastructure, unemployment at 50 percent levels, and the lack of necessities, the Baker Report proposes to make everyday life harder for average Iraqis so that the oil industry profits.

Recommendation 63 says the US should "assist" Iraqi leaders in privatizing the national oil industry into a "commercial enterprise" to encourage investment by the multi-national oil companies.
Unfortunately, Hayden fails to mention that there is already such an "oil law" in the works, one that is a radical departure from the ones governing Iraq's neighbouring countries' oil resources and will cede majority control of Iraqi oil to the major multinational corporations. But the oil law is entirely useless so long as there is no control of the al-Anbar region, which is expected to contain as much as 220 billion barrels of untapped oil on top of the already proven reserves. If you want to understand why the Baker commission even started doing this, you must understand the oil situation, the lack of control the US has of it and that the ISG comprises an array of people with ties to Big Oil, the Bilderberg Group, Bechtel, Halliburton and the New York Stock Exchange, among others.

Conservatives are beside themselves about the Baker commission and its recommendations. Oh, those weak-kneed appeasers! Rupert Murdoch's New York Post blared the headline "SURRENDER MONKEYS" on the front page, complete with pictures of Baker and Hamilton in monkey suits. A few are apoplectic, calling the ISG "men with sparrow chests."

I really can't believe how stupid these people are. There really is only one thing driving this brainless, knee-jerk reaction and that is a hollow narcissism that cannot stand the thought of "losing a war," that American must reign supreme in war, despite the fact that this is not a US war anymore and hasn't been for quite sometime.


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