Jan 17, 2007

Claiming the Prize: War Escalation Aimed at Securing Iraqi Oil

By Chris Floyd,
Part 1:The Twin Engines of Bush's WarThe reason that George W. Bush insists that "victory" is achievable in Iraq is not because he is deluded or isolated or ignorant or detached from reality or ill-advised.No, it's that his definition of "victory" is different from those bruited about in his own rhetoric and in the ever-earnest disquisitions of the chattering classes in print and on-line. For Bush, victory is indeed at hand. It could come at any moment now, could already have been achieved by the time you read this. And the driving force behind his planned "surge" of American troops is the need to preserve those fruits of victory that are now ripening in his hand.At any time within the next few days, the Iraqi Council of Ministers is expected to approve a new "hydrocarbon law" essentially drawn up by the Bush Administration and its U.K. lackey, the Independent on Sunday reports.The new bill will "radically redraw the Iraqi oil industry and throw open the doors to the third-largest oil reserves in the world," say the paper, whose reporters have seen a draft of the new law. "It would allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil companies in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972." If the government's parliamentary majority prevails, the law should take effect in March.As the paper notes, the law will give Exxon, BP, Shell and other carbon cronies of the White House unprecedented sweetheart deals, allowing them to pump gargantuan profits from Iraq's nominally state-owned oilfields for decades to come.This law has been in the works since the very beginning of the invasion -- indeed, since months before the invasion, when the Bush Administration brought in Phillip Carroll, former CEO of both Shell and Fluor, the politically-wired oil servicing firm, to devise "contingency plans" for divvying up Iraq's oil after the attack.So Bush will surge with Maliki and his ethnic cleansing for now. If the effort flames out in a disastrous crash that makes the situation worse -- as it almost certainly will -- Bush will simply back another horse. What he seeks in Iraq is not freedom or democracy but "stability" -- a government of any shape or form that will deliver the goods.

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