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The truth about Bush's Iraq agenda:  "Its the oil stupid"

The Bush agenda to take over Iraq has nothing to do with anything but guaranteeing the future supply of oil to America.  And secondly of course there is the prospect that daddy George will make billions on the oil market.

The problem is that the many factions inside Iraq will want their share of oil to buy weapons to fight other factions in Iraq for political control of the nation; if there is a nation left after the invasion.

And then there are those other world powers who will want to be a part of the invasion so they can carve out their claim to the oil reserves.  Iraq will become little more than a gigantic oil pool from which all the great powers of the world are going to siphon their share.  

Of course the Iraqi people will get lost in the shuffle.  It will be like the citizens of Washington, DC.  The hub of world power resides in Washington, DC where it is not safe to walk the streets at night.

I cannot imagine the precedent that this world consensus to rape a country for its natural resources will have on the future of WorldPeace.  

Poor old Saddam.  Who would have ever thought his little invasion of Kuwait would give the world an invitation to take over his country and steal its oil reserves.  And is there anyone who thinks that once the world moves in and divides up Iraq that they will leave before all the oil is gone.

And think about little George.  Think about how all the world will love him because he showed them how to wipe out a legitimate government and confiscate its oil reserves.  Everyone wins except the Iraqis.   When the oil is gone, they will be left with nothing but their sheep and goats grazing among the rusting oil rigs and sand..

John WorldPeace
November 8,  2002


U.S. denies oil motive, but future of reserves at issue

11/08/2002

By JIM LANDERS / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON The prospect of war with Iraq has kindled a global debate about the future of Iraqi oil, raising uncomfortable issues for the Bush administration.

When President Bush challenged the United Nations to act on Iraq's defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the United States "wants to destroy Iraq in order to control the Middle East oil."

The charge resonated with critics of the Bush administration around the world, who point to Mr. Bush's background in the oil business as further evidence of an oil-driven agenda.

And even some analysts friendly to the administration have embraced oil as a motive for invasion, saying that the United States should wreck OPEC, lower world oil prices and put American oil companies into Iraq.

White House officials have said little about Iraq's oil, other than to dismiss what others say as "uninformed speculation." Mr. Bush declined to address the oil issue when asked about it Thursday.

"The fact of the matter is that the oil fields of Iraq are a national asset of the Iraqi people. And that's really it. That's the bottom line," said National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack.

Mr. Bush has pursued regime change in Iraq by citing Mr. Hussein's quest for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, his support for terrorists, and his repeated threats to other oil-producing countries in the Middle East.

Administration officials say oil fits into this picture two ways: It finances Mr. Hussein's ambitions, and those ambitions threaten oil producers such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which are vital to U.S. energy security.

While insisting there's no beeline for oil in U.S. policy on Iraq, Mr. Bush's defenders say that's not the case with other countries.

During two months of negotiations at the U.N. Security Council, Russia and France sought U.S. assurances that their companies' oil concessions would not be dismissed by a new Iraqi regime.

The Russians wanted a promise that the Bush administration would not increase production of Iraqi oil to drive down world oil prices, which could cripple Russia's economy, said Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., who said he has talked repeatedly with Secretary of State Colin Powell about the negotiations.

"It's not all about oil, but I think this is where the conversation has gone," Mr. Lugar said.

The oil stakes are so high they could prompt a modern round of economic imperialism, with Iraq divided by the major powers into spheres of influence, warned R. Dobie Langenkamp, director of the National Energy-Environment Law & Policy Institute at the University of Tulsa.

"Let's say we went in there in a few weeks. I don't think it's beyond the Russians to land a couple of divisions to provide alleged support for the occupation," he said. "Then all of a sudden the French and the Chinese decide they must help. They can't afford to let us go in alone. There's too much at stake here."

The State Department is steering well clear of such an approach. It plans a meeting with Iraqi opposition leaders and economists next month to discuss a post-Hussein petroleum policy for Iraq. The session is one in a series dubbed the Future of Iraq Project that began in April and aims to help Iraqis form their own alternative to Mr. Hussein.

Iraq's immense oil reserves make it a foe with unique challenges for administration planners working on what happens if Mr. Hussein is removed from power. Afghanistan, Kosovo, Panama and Grenada had no resources that fit the concept of spoils of war. By comparison, Iraq is a treasure trove.

Iraq has 112 billion barrels of proven reserves, more oil than any nation except Saudi Arabia. Most of its fields are untapped, and older fields are overworked with inefficient technology that leaves more than 80 percent of the oil behind.

John Lichtblau, chairman and chief executive of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation in New York, said U.S. companies were staying quiet about Iraq's oil because expressions of interest would inflame the political situation. But he said every major oil company in the world is interested in gaining access to those fields.

"If the U.S. in some way controls Iraq, there's no question American companies would be allowed to go in there. Not to drive out the others, because there's room for all of them the U.S., the Russians, the French to develop the production that should have been developed over these last 20 years," Dr. Lichtblau said.

Mr. Hussein has used his oil to impugn American motives and to weaken any international campaign against him.

After Mr. Bush's Sept. 12 challenge to the United Nations to act against Iraq, Mr. Hussein offered non-U.S. companies lucrative oil deals. Major oil firms from Italy, France, Spain and Turkey signed agreements to market or explore for Iraqi oil.

Russian companies had earlier lined up deals to explore oil concessions that could be worth as much as $40 billion, and French firms have similar exclusive exploration rights in southeastern Iraq.

But if the oil industry really wanted to do business with Mr. Hussein, it should be clamoring for him to disarm, said Amy Myers Jaffe, senior energy policy adviser at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.

"If I own those deals, I'm not sure that's the best gamble for me. It's a piece of paper," she said. "If they wanted to keep those deals, they'd be jumping up and down for him to turn over the weapons."

Mr. Langenkamp said the United States, if it becomes an occupying power in Iraq, would be obliged to honor those contracts under international law.

But it could use the $80 million a month Iraq realizes in oil revenues, now administered by the United Nations, to pay the cost of occupation and finance reconstruction of the Iraqi economy.

Administration statements have pointed away from occupation toward a different strategy, where a U.S.-led coalition liberates Iraq and assists a new Iraqi government to secure the country.

This approach depends on unity in Iraq, where disputes among ethnic and sectarian groups are kept in check. Mr. Langenkamp said oil might make that impossible.

"With the various factions suppressed over all these years, the Kurds, the Shiites, all these players will be playing for power and for what's almost the biggest oil prize in the world," he said. "The major powers will all have their favorites, and every one of them will be able to fund weapons acquisitions with smuggled oil."

Iraqi opposition leaders say they see the threat and intend to avoid it. Even the Kurds in northern Iraq, who have created their own government under an autonomy enforced by U.S. no-fly zones, say they won't seek control over northern oil fields to achieve independence.

"All of the natural resources will belong to the central government, and this central government will distribute the revenue fairly to all regions of the country," said Dr. Mohammed Sabir, U.S. representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, an Iraqi opposition group.

E-mail jlanders@dallasnews.com

 

 


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?


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