Saturday, July 14, 2007

It's The Oil, Stupid

I am firmly convinced that the Iraq War was about the oil, is still about the oil, and will always be about the oil. That's why passing congressional proposals to extract us from Iraq will always be vetoed and why the Republicans in Congress will not vote for an over ride. It's as simple as that.

The Iraqis have known this from the start. They were expected to roll over and hand over the oil or be blown to smithereens. When the Iraqi people didn't roll over, and have fought over handing over, hundreds of thousands of them were blown to smithereens and will continue to be blown to smithereens.

To their credit, the Iraqis are still refusing to hand over the oil, and the current battle field is the Iraqi Parliament. From a July 8, 2007 op-ed piece in the Iraqi Azzaman:

As was the case with all previous U.S.-sponsored "milestones," the only fruit we are likely to reap from the proposed new oil law is disappointment.

There are clear signs that rather that being a “gift to all the Iraqi people,” as Prime Minister al-Maliki described the draft oil law approved by his government a few days ago, the legislation is likely to turn into "poison" for Iraq as a nation. ...

“The object of the oil law was to cement national unity and reconciliation, not undermine them. We wanted this law to bring Iraqis together,” the official said.

Unfortunately, the draft oil law will have the exact opposite effect, this same official noted.

While we cannot reveal the identity of this official, there is good reason to believe his warning. This is borne out by the fact that the government hasn't denied the statement, and it is further supported by the comments of experts, who continue to view the draft bill as a potential danger to what has become Iraq's only source of livelihood. ...

There's no need to remind the government or the nation that the draft law that has now been put before Parliament is a time bomb, which threatens what remains of out nation's unity, as well as the rights of current and future generations.
[Emphasis added]

And just what is it about this draft law that is so offensive, I mean, besides that it was written by the US and Big Oil?

The main criticism of the draft oil law is directed at a paragraph which gives autonomous regions the right to strike oil deals on their own. According to the law, the central government would have no authority over such deals.

The paragraph was crucial to win Kurdish support for the law.

There is also criticism of the role that the foreign oil majors would play in Iraq's oil industry.

Ironically, the fight over this draft law might very well accomplish some unification in the highly fractured Iraqi society. The Sunnis, who have opposed the bill from the start, have promised to end their boycott of Parliament and to return to cast their votes against it. Shi'a leader Moqtada al Sadr has also pledged to fight the bill. How's that for a coalition of warring factors?

And the Kurds? Well, they can't have it both ways: protection by the US while they remain a part of Iraq and independence from Iraqi central authority over the oil issue.

Something tells me that this benchmark isn't going to be met in a way acceptable to the Bush White House and its financial supporters.

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