Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Iraqi "Oil Bill"

An apparently little explored ingredient of the Administration's exit plan for Iraq is the passage of the "Oil Bill" which provides for the care and distribution of Iraqi oil. The bill, formulated at US direction, is a center-piece of the Administration. I continue to read about this bill, but it is always understated and reported with little investigation. The Administration is particularly adamant about its passage by the Iraqi congress. My understanding is that the bill cedes all control of Iraqi oil to "foreign" oil companies. The Administration urgently wanted it passed before the Iraqi congress left for their August break. The Iraqis did no such thing. This appeared today in the blog Iraq Today:

"A statement, signed by 419 Iraqi oil experts, economists and intellectuals, expresses grave concern that the newly proposed law would deprive Iraq from its most vital natural resource, oil, and give foreign oil companies ultimate domination over Iraq's oil wealth. Iraq's intellectuals demand a fundamental modification to the proposed law, and a referendum, the statement said. The law is expected to be discussed in the Iraqi parliament next month, after the parliamentary summer holiday is over."

It is not that we have wondered whether the War on Iraq was
first, last and always about OIL. The suggestion has always been denied at best, mocked at worst, by the right as an example of leftest paranoia. Now that we have rained hell upon the people of Iraq, we are trying to move the Iraqis to give away their oil resources. We strive to control their oil for ourselves and also give it away as a reward to the members of the "Coalition of the Willing."

If there is one thing the Administration could point to is that even if we withdraw, we win...if we can get that OIL. No matter how many people die.

One wonders what it would take to get the Iraqi congress to pass this bill. Do we just pay enough of them off? Offer a million dollars to every legislator who votes for the bill? The country certainly does not want for corrupt officials and the audacity of the Administration is legend. With a war costing $10 billion a month, any bribe our government would offer individuals would look like a smart deal. Too, cynical? I can't tell anymore. After all Iraq and its people have suffered, I hope they hold steadfast to retain this vital resource of their country, that they do not pass this bill.

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