Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Battle to Control Oil

With billions due in debt, civil wars waging. the economy sputtering, refugees fleeing from home and from the nation itself, amid even more U.S. forces moving in -- most all hopes pinned on the nation of Iraq gaining stability in all the aforementioned arenas continue to dim and dwindle away to the needs of outside (read non-Iraqi) oil corporations.

I mentioned this policy trend before. And said policy has again gathered powerful strength, as the troubled Iraqi ministers moved on step closer to a new "hydrocarbon law" which grants foreign oil companies "national treatment", meaning "
the Iraqi government cannot give preference to Iraqi oil companies (whether public or privately owned) over foreign-owned companies when it chooses contractors. This provision alone will severely cripple the government's ability to ensure that Iraqis gain as much economic benefit as possible from their oil."

The Bush adminstration pushed for this very change, though it benefits outsiders far more than citizens of what Bush has claimed must be the eventual outcome of democracy in Iraq, back at the end of December 2006, just weeks ahead of the announced U.S. military escalations in Baghdad.

History offers much to highlight just what is happening now. Via an report from Barry Lando from Jan. 16, 2006, excerpted from his forthcoming book, "Web of Deceit" :

... when viewing the historical record of British attempts to rule first Mesopotamia and then Iraq you get the feeling you’re watching an old Hollywood black and white classic that has been reshot for an American audience with digitalized sound, computer animation, and the “United States” substituted for “England. For instance, when British forces marched into Baghdad in 1917 they announced they had come not as “conquerors” but "liberators.”


"Britain’s ruling classes spoke of a divine mandate to bring the obvious benefits of Western rule to peoples steeped in tyranny and darkness. As Arnold Wilson-- a prototype,one could argue, of Paul Bremmer in 2003—who was appointed to oversee Britain’s new holdings in Mesopotamia, declared in 1918. “The average [Iraqi] Arab, as opposed to the handful of amateur politicians of Baghdad, sees the future as one of fair dealing and material and moral progress under the aegis of Britain….The Arabs are content with our occupation.”

The Arabs, it turned out, were not content when they understood that Britain had no intention of liberating the conquered territories. On June 30, 1920, uprisings exploded across the country. The British then had 133,000 troops in the area—roughly the same number as the U.S. had after the invasion of 2003."

Controlling resources remains the at the center of the current and past conflicts.

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