(it’s the oil, stupid! – promoted by pfiore8)
George W. Bush, his neo-con backers, his supporters in Congress, from both sides of the isle, the establishment media, the MIC and on Wall Street have accomplished their mission in Iraq. If there was ever any doubt about what that mission was then perhaps this article from Asia Times will make it clear. The article is rather long and so I’ll try to provide some of the highlights here. The blockquotes are from that article.
And, as former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan wrote in his memoir – The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.”
It appears that John McCain might well get his wish – 100 years of US occupation of Iraq.
Iraqi Oil Minister Shahristani is described in this article as being “not too religious, not too political, not too secular and not too pro-American. He is a Shiite who was imprisoned by Saddam Husein and held in solitary confinement by Saddam Hussein for 10 years. He is now the Oil Minister of Iraq.
Shahristani finds himself in an enviable position as a creator of wealth for the Western world. He holds the key to the door that opens out to the magical world of Iraqi oil.
Now, he is visibly getting ready to negotiate the contracts for Iraq’s super giant oil fields, those that have at least five billion barrels of reserves. Iraq is estimated to have 22 “giant” oil fields each with more than a billion barrels of oil.
There has been speculation for quite some time that the oil in Saudi Arabia might well be less than official figures and that “Riyadh is getting global markets read for the possibility that they may not have enough oil to be a long-term fuel pump to the world. The US Energy Information Administration has scaled back the figure from 14.7 million barrels per day to 11.4 million barrels per day in its estimates for the year 2010. For this reason access to Iraqi oil cannot be overstated. We can be sure that Dick Cheney and his cronies have been aware of this.
In fact, Iraq may host the largest untapped reserves in the world. There is a strong likelihood that Iraq’s reserves may turn out to be exponentially higher than the current estimations, which are based on old-style seismic surveys. All said, unsurprisingly, the world oil market is in a tizzy when Shahristani says something, anything. He is about to sign the contracts for these and many other large Iraqi oil-producing fields.
The Times of London reported that Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips and Shell have been targeted by the Iraqi Oil Ministry for awarding the service contracts (known as “technical support agreements” or TSAs). The report said that in exchange for the oil, these four oil companies would direct training of Iraqi workers and equipment to Iraq’s largest oil and gas fields. The Middle East Economic Survey has quoted Shahristani as saying that the service contracts will be signed “within a few weeks”. The general expectation is that the TSAs will be signed during the third round of discussions due in March.
The Iraqi public opposes these moves. The “benchmark” oil law has still not passed in the Iraqi Parliament. The Iraqi labor unions oppose it maintaining that there is no need to solicit foreign investment.
And for the Bush Legacy:
…the Bush administration’s priorities lie elsewhere. It is highly unlikely to pay heed to Iraqi public sentiments. There is precious little time left for the Bush administration in the White House. But it’s not just pork-barrel politics, either. There is also the aspect of the legacy of the Bush administration. With the Iraqi “surge” having proved a success, Bush is undoubtedly gearing up for the epitaph to his Iraq odyssey.
Big Oil deals in Iraq form the core of Bush’s strategy of creating a legacy for the US in the Middle East that may run for decades. Big Oil needs the assurance of a near-permanent US military presence in Iraq. And Bush is determined to provide that assurance. He is convinced that no serious American politician would defy the wishes of Big Oil. By logic, therefore, Bush is creating a historical legacy of an Iraq that will remain under American control for decades to come.
There is still the problem of the insurgency and just how the Iraqi resistance to the American occupation will come into play in the future.
A major impediment has been the dangerous security situation within Iraq. But a significant US achievement in recent months has been the end of much of the fighting inside Iraq. Clearly, the US has bought off large segments of the Iraqi insurgency. Thousands of Arab Sunni fighters in western Iraq and parts of Baghdad have converted themselves as “comprador” militia at the beck and call of the US military. Such US-financed “resistance fighters” could number over 80,000 former insurgents.
In summary, there was never a question of why we invaded Iraq. Despite the pretext of a war on a tactic that the establishment media helped them to sell to the public, as per Occam’s Razor, the simplest answer is usually the best answer. Oil.
The cost, a half trillion dollars give or take a few hundred billion. The human cost, 500,000 to a million or so Iraqis dead. Nearly 4000 American military deaths, untold others with life-ruining injuries. 4 million Iraqis displaced and the killing goes on. Nice tidy subsidy in blood and money for the good ole boys at Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips and Shell.
Lookout Iran. Bush is on a roll.