Monday, May 07, 2007

Democrats enforce Iraqi Oil Law

Speaking at the West Los Angeles Democratic Club a couple of days ago, Dennis Kucinich relayed what many have suspected to be the actual reason for the invasion of Iraq and he informed the audience that the Democratic bill recently vetoed by Bush had a provision -- otherwise known as a "benchmark" -- that demanded that Iraq "must privatize its oil." As usual, most congressional members didn't bother to read the bill, which expectedly provided for the retention of a sizable US military force in Iraq for a very long time -- the Petraeus plan calling for a continued military presence in Iraq for at least 10 years -- those handy permanent bases becoming what they were designed for in the first place: garrison outposts guarding private western contractors sucking dollar-a-barrel oil out of the Iraqi desert sand.
You would think that by reading the reports that this bill was going to take us out of Iraq. Not a chance. What it would do, it would remove a substantial number of U.S. troops, to be sure, but an equally substantial number would stay. Why would they stay there? They would stay there to protect the contractors. They would stay there to run special missions. It doesn't end the occupation. The base is still staying there. The occupation continues.

But there was another provision of this bill that most American citizens don't even know about. This bill had provisions that the White House asked for, and the Democrats said to the president, okay, this is what you say you want, well we're going to give you what you want. Here's the provision is the provision that I argued against in the Democratic Caucus. This is the provision that says that the Iraqi government must privatize its oil.
While hardly news to anyone paying attention to the development of the Iraq Oil Law, the version approved by the Iraqi cabinet was leaked back in February to nary a whiff of recognition by the US media. And recently, official reports have estimated that Iraqi oil reserves may be double what the official reserve estimates previously claimed, with an additional 100+ billion barrels suspected in the al Anbar province where 5,000 US troops were sent as part of Bush "surge" tactic.

Kucinich further implicates his own Democratic Congress in this brazen imperial grab, which is threatening the Iraqis with actual withdrawal if they don't pass the Oil Law.
We have the Democratic Congress promoting President Bush's bill that provides for the privatization of Iraq's oil under the guise of a reconciliation program, that tells the Iraq government that unless they agree to privatize their oil, that we're going to pull our troops out and not put replacement troops and peacekeepers in.
It has come as a cynical non-surprise that the Iraq Oil Law is "one of four major benchmarks [the White House] would like the Iraqi government to meet before fall," with Secretary of Defense Gates and Secretary of State Rice flatly stating that the Iraqis "obviously have to pass an oil law." What they never will say is just what this oil law will actually do. What you will hear is a lot of happy talk about how this wonderful Oil Law will reconcile the Iraq factions and that everyone will start sharing the wealth. At least what little wealth is left to them after the multinationals take what most expect will be a rather sizable chunk.

Though the original draft oil law specifically mentioned Production Sharing Agreements (PSA) with western oil interests and other unmentionables like 75% of the profits going to those interests, the oil law passed by the Iraqi cabinet was far more circumspect and merely provided that western oil executives or as the law cloying puts it, "executive managers of from [sic] important related petroleum companies," will sit on a Federal Oil and Gas Council (FOGC) and decide who gets what in an ad hoc process with no accountability.

What a scam.


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