Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mother of all facts

It is rather gratifying to see that George Lackoff, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, is finally on board with the ongoing assessment of the Iraqi oil law and attendant behaviour that readers have seen here over the last several months. It took Prof. Lackoff awhile, but he seems to have caught up. Unfortunately, he didn't arrive at these conclusions by checking in on ATS occasionally but, rather, had to finally face the truth of the matter now that The Oracle has made it known.
Greenspan put the mother of all facts in front of our noses, and we can no longer be in denial. The US invaded Iraq for the oil.
The contracts that the Bush administration has been pushing the Iraqi government to accept are not just about the distribution of oil among the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The contracts call for 30-year exclusive rights for British and American oil companies, rights that cannot be revoked by future Iraqi governments. They are called “production sharing agreements” (or “PSA’s”) - a legalistic code word. The Iraqi government would technically own the oil, but could not control it; only the companies could do that. ExxonMobil and others would invest in developing the infrastructure for the oil (drilling, oil rigs, refining) and would get 75% of the “cost oil” profits, until they got their investment back. After that, they would own the infrastructure (paid for by oil profits), and then get 20% of oil profits after that (twice the usual rate). The profits are estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And the Iraqi people would have no democratic control over their own major resource. No other Middle East country has such an arrangement.

Incidentally, polls show the Iraqi people overwhelmingly against “privatization”, but “production sharing agreements” were devised so they are technically not “privatization,” since the government would still own the oil but not control it. The ruse is there so that the government can claim it is not privatizing.

But none of this will work without military protection for the oil companies. That is what would keep us there indefinitely. The name for this is our “vital interests.”
These are, of course, things regular readers have seen here often enough before. But I'm happy that a professor of cognitive science has come around to finally noting the obvious.


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