Thursday, 26 June 2008

Iraq - Blood for Oil

PressTV's Middle East Today takes another look the true motives behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq - and how the country's resources are being divided up among the major oil companies.


A lead item on the latest online edition of the Boston Globe goes: It took five years, the deaths of 41-hundred US soldiers, and the wounding of 30,000 more to make Iraq safe for Exxon.

The article continues with reference to a New York Times article that several Western oil companies, including ExxonMobile, Shell, Total, BP, and Chevron are about to sign no-bid contracts with the Iraqi government.

No mention of course about the Iraqi casualties in the report, after all, they are just collateral damage in the effort to strip the Iraqi government and country of its resources.

We hear nothing these days about weapons of mass destruction. And while the subject of democracy is mentioned from time to time, the big story is obviously whether or not Washington can push through its status of forces agreement – essentially turning Iraq into a semi-autonomous province of the United States – in order to protect the investments those oil companies will be making.

Negotiations over the SOFA deal have been met with street protests and widespread opposition in Iraq, whose people see their future being stolen from under their own noses.

Officials from the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region in the north are set to resume talks in Baghdad over a proposed new oil law.

First introduced to Parliament in February 2007, the law would set the rules for foreign investment in the oil sector, and determine how revenues will be shared among the different ethnic factions in the country.

In the absence of such a law, the Kurds have signed nearly 20 production sharing deals with international oil companies – deals that the Baghdad government says are illegal.

But after the tremendous investment in blood and treasure the West has made to “liberate” Iraq, they are not simply going to write it off to a gesture of American good-will.

While the men in suits squabble over the spoils of war, the actual business of fighting the war continues.

Apparently the joint Iraqi Government-US military assault on the South Eastern town of Al-Amarah was a resounding success. Reports say the Al-Mahdi army that had taken residence in the town after the British left two years ago, were routed without a shot being fired.

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has denied he is going after the Mahdi army of anti-American cleric, Moqtada Al Sadr. Rather, he said, he is on a mission to rid the country of lawlessness ahead of municipal elections scheduled for October.


On the panel to discuss these issues:

In London, Sabah Jawad, director of Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation

In Baghdad, Mahmoud Uthman, from the Kurdistan Alliance

And on the phone from Washington, Conn Hallinan, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus.

Watch Iraq - Blood for oil - and join in the debate!







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