Mission Accomplished – The Door to Iraq’s Oil Will Soon Be Open

(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.

55 comments

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    • ANKOSS on February 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    If the American oil companies think they can get this oil in the middle of a combined insurgency and civil war, they are dreaming. Only by turning Iraq into a deserted free-fire zone can this be accomplished. I don’t think Americans have the stomach for that, but we shall see.

    • pfiore8 on February 15, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    great essay. but chilled me at the end…

    Lookout Iran. Bush is on a roll.

    kinda begs the question… this infrastructure and plan is NOT (and was NEVER) being set up short term. if Hillary or Barack get into the WH, will the powers that be just let them muck up this plan? pull us out? has congress acted in a confusing way to us but in an inevitable way? is everybody in on this except the citizens? like this isn’t being done in a vacuum. unless there really will be a coup attempt in November.

    we need some hefty analysis of this, the probable future using the info we have. ahead of the curve analysis.

    • Edger on February 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    “Ancient History”: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly Of Intervention

    If the chief natural resource of the Middle East were bananas, the region would not have attracted the attention of U.S. policymakers as it has for decades. Americans became interested in the oil riches of the region in the 1920s, and two U.S. companies, Standard Oil of California and Texaco, won the first concession to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. They discovered oil there in 1938, just after Standard Oil of California found it in Bahrain. The same year Gulf Oil (along with its British partner Anglo-Persian Oil) found oil in Kuwait. During and after World War II, the region became a primary object of U.S. foreign policy. It was then that policymakers realized that the Middle East was “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.”

    Subsequently, as a result of cooperation between the U.S. government and several American oil companies, the United States replaced Great Britain as the chief Western power in the region.(5) In Iran and Saudi Arabia, American gains were British (and French) losses.(6) Originally, the dominant American oil interests had had limited access to Iraqi oil only (through the Iraq Petroleum Company, under the 1928 Red Line Agreement). In 1946, however, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Mobil Oil Corp., seeing the irresistible opportunities in Saudi Arabia, had the agreement voided.(7) When the awakening countries of the Middle East asserted control over their oil resources, the United States found ways to protect its access to the oil. Nearly everything the United States has done in the Middle East can be understood as contributing to the protection of its long-term access to Middle Eastern oil and, through that control, Washington’s claim to world leadership. The U.S. build-up of Israel and Iran as powerful gendarmeries beholden to the United States, and U.S. aid given to “moderate,” pro-Western Arab regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, were intended to keep the region in friendly hands. That was always the meaning of the term “regional stability.”

    • DWG on February 15, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    I never doubted for an instant that the invasion was about oil – gaining political and military control over the biggest reserves was the strategic calculation.  

    I am not sure how much power Shahrastrani actually has. The Badr and Sadr militias are the real power base for the Shiites and they are bringing down the Maliki puppet government.  Those sweetheart deals that he hopes to sign will not be worth much because the oil fields and pipelines in southeastern Iraq are under the control of the militias.  The Kurds are making their own deals and they are not too happy with us any more since we are helping Turkey bomb the snot out of them.  Our making friends among the Sunnis won’t do us much good because most of the known reserves are not in the western provinces.  

    What the oil punks want is to get the agreements signed and then demand the next president enforce them, even if Sadr or Hakim or someone else decides to tell us to get lost.  McCain is stupid enough to fall for that and certainly stupid enough to want to be in Iraq for the rest of the century.  Trouble is the federal government is now bankrupt and he would have to steal from the Social Security Trust to continue to drop 10 billion a month in Iraq.  Doing that will be the end of the republican party.

    If Bush attacks Iran, the Shiites in Iraq will be our worst nightmare.  The next president better be smart enough to declare victory in Iraq, end the occupation, find alternatives to fossil fuels, and get busy rebuilding America. I think Obama and Clinton are smart enough to see that. If not, we will be looking at the end of America as superpower.  Given our recent behavior as a superpower, the best thing for the survival of the human race may be an end to our military dominance.  

    • documel on February 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    As evil and as mercenary this plot is, after all the death and destruction, this administration will fuck up, as it’s done everywhere else.  For big oil, even that’s not a problem, they win with higher prices.  The devils are the oil and pharma giants, only the bottom line counts.

  1. For one, if they turn these areas where the fields are into free for all kill zones, the American public will never hear a peep about it because it will all be done by Blackwater.

    Two: Obama is on this, he wants to enlarge the military remember? He has only voted once against this war and has stated he is only against “dumb wars”. He may bring home a bunch of troops but Blackwater and Co will stay there, mark my words. If he is convinced to view this as a necessary war to protect American interests and is shown a more efficient way to fight this, watch what happens.

    Three: The US government and our own comrades could care less if we wipe out a population of people for oil. Please, how many things have you seen in the MSM about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed? No one here knows or really cares. When you tell people that they sort of shrug like if they continue to ignore it it won’t be that bad. Our country has helped wipe out populations before and the population at large never heard a peep about it.

  2. to invade Iraq and Cheney’s rapid formation of an Energy Task Force, it should have been glaringly clear what we were about from the get-go — OIL!

    The oil revenue sharing law, or the Iraqi hydrocarbon law, has not been signed, as yet.  But I imagine with all our recent bombings, this will “soften” the government up sufficiently to get it signed, or there will be more bombings.  

    Consider that if it were us who had been invaded and continually bombed, with the clear intent being to take over our natural resources, wouldn’t we then become the insurgents?  

    The Iraqis’ resistance to all these efforts will probably continue to be resistant no matter what.  And death, as an insurgent, will be honorable.  I don’t foresee a quelling of the insurgency ever, so long as their country is under  foreign occupation and their oil is being stolen.

    Meantime, Bush is just itching to go to Iran.

    Bush Won’t Let Facts Stand in the Way of Regime Change in Iran

    Feb. 15, 2008.

    Former UN chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter warns that another war is inevitable, unless we defy Bush’s attempts to spin the facts about Iran.  

     

  3. consider that Saddam Hussein had long been contained by sanctions imposed, that their infrastructure was in a bad state of repair, resultantly, just using pure logic should have been enough for people to understand that he simply, in no way, would have been capable of all that was being accused of him.  Moreover, Hussein was, I am sure, quite aware had he moved to the left or right, we would have been there in a heartbeat.  

    There are, actually, over 1,000,000 Iraqi dead, Truong — and, now, 5,000,000 displaced Iraqis.  And, just short of 4,000 of our own — dead.

    As to the “benchmark laws” for Iraq, well, these have long been known by the Senate and the Congress.  The Congress knew, that that benchmark law included the inclusion of the Iraqi hydrocarbon law and did not oppose it.  Just to make you feel a little better.

    • Edger on February 16, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    [http://ooibc.blogspot.com/2007/05/iraq-what-television-censors-wont-show.html What Television Censors Won’t Show You

  4. they mean when they say that the surge is working, because there has been political movement on the Iraqis side? Jeez, what a twisted world speak. Everybody knows which makes it even creepier.

    Can’t stop with the music today. It’s embedded in my head and my fingers won’t stop.. Better then crying or screaming, I guess

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