Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Oil Grab

For whatever reason, conservatives are desperate to "prove" that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was not an oil grab. Unfortunately for them, the facts say otherwise.

Dilip Hiro's excellent column discusses several key pieces of evidence demonstrating that the Bush administration's policy in Iraq amounted to an oil grab. The whole article is required reading for anyone interested in the subject. In particular:

  • Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill tells us that invading Iraq was on the agenda of the very National Security Council meeting, and was the topic of the entire following NSC meeting. Among documents prepared for that meeting was a map of Iraq prepared by the DIA that showed oil fields and proposed which companies should be considered for control of those fields.

  • Falah Al Jibury told BBC's Newsnight that he had been engaged in discussions with the Bush administration about the disposition of the Iraqi oil industry within weeks of Bush taking office. He also reported that he participated in secret meetings to interview successors to Saddam Hussein.

After the invasion, suspected WMD sites and cultural treasures were looted and ransacked with no interference by US troops. Oil installations and the Oil Ministry's headquarters, of course, were well guarded.

This is not to say that the US is alone in placing economic interests above moral imperatives. The Observer reported that Russia's reticence in joining Bush's coalition had more to do with fear of losing their lucrative deal with Saddam than with qualms about the invasion.

Greg Muttitt reported on the impact of the new no-bid contracts by outside oil companies within Iraq. It is clear that these contracts are the culmination of the Bush administration's policy to grab Iraq's oil and turn it over to his buddies in the oil industry.