"We will make sure that Iraq's natural resources are used for the benefit of their owners, the Iraqi people" --President George W. Bush, 3/16/03
"The only interest the United States has in the region is furthering the cause of peace and stability, not in [Iraq's] ability to generate oil,"-- White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer, 2002.
"[T]he oil of the Iraqi people belongs to the Iraqi people; it is their wealth, it will be used for their benefit. So we did not do it for oil." --Then Secretary of State Colin Powell, The Independent (online edition), 1/7/07
That is what they said. Let's see what they did:
Our first hint came on the eve of the Iraq War, when Bush spoke directly to the Iraqi people. Bush didn't say, "Don't harm the troops." He warned them, "...your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells."
"US-UK forces invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, seizing the major oilfields and refineries almost immediately. When coalition forces later entered Baghdad, they set a protective cordon around the Oil Ministry, while leaving all other institutions unguarded, allowing looting and burning of other government ministries, hospitals and cultural institutions." -- James A. Paul, Global Policy Forum, November 2003
Encouraged by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and President Bush's promises of freedom and democracy, the Iraqis began to draft a new Constitution. They envisioned a "Scandinavian-style" system, declaring that "Social Justice" was to be the basis of their new society. The proceeds from Iraqi oil would guarantee the Iraqi people's right to education, health care, housing, and other social services. An Iraqi newspaper printed a draft of the Iraqi's new Constitution in June 2005.
...But then the U.S. and British diplomats took over, turning the Iraqis into bystanders at the drafting of their own Constitution. By late July 2005, a new draft of the Constitution appeared.
Gone were the progressive provisions of the earlier draft. Gone was the commitment to social justice. Gone were the provisions for protecting Iraqi oil.
"Also gone was the provision affirming the Iraqi people's collective ownership of Iraq's oil and other natural resources and obliging the state to protect and safeguard them. Instead, a new article lays the legal ground for selling off Iraq's oil and putting it under the control of the big multinational oil companies." --Herbert Docena, Foreign Policy In Focus, 9/2/05
In November 2006, the Baker/Hamilton Iraq Study Group released their recommendations on the situation in Iraq. It sounded like it was written in the boardrooms of Big Oil (Exxon-Mobile, Chevron-Texaco, British BP-Amoco and Royal Dutch-Shell); and it probably was. James Baker's law firm represents Exxon/Mobile, Chevron/Texaco, and Conoco/Phillips, and Lee Hamilton serves on the board of Stonebridge International consulting group, which currently advises oil companies on how to take advantage of opportunities in Iraqi and Syrian oil.
"The Baker-Hamilton report says very clearly that an oil law is needed for foreign investment -- this is shorthand for PSAs [Production Service Agreements]. Elsewhere the report says that Bush should emphasize that the U.S. is not interested in oil in Iraq. These are two recommendation of the report that Bush will follow." --Institute for Public Accuracy: News Release, 12/11/06
"...Big Oil didn't just want access to Iraq's oil; they wanted access on terms that would be inconceivable unless negotiated at the barrel of a gun. Specifically, they wanted an Iraqi government that would enter into Production Service Agreements (PSAs) for the extraction of Iraq's oil." --Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 10/16/06
No wonder the Iraqi people are resisting the American occupation and the theft of their national treasure.
"We strongly reject the privatization of our oil wealth, as well as production sharing agreements, and there is no room for discussing the matter. This is the demand of the Iraqi street, and the privatization of oil is a red line that may not be crossed." --Statement from the Iraqi Labor Union Leadership, Spiegel Online, 12/22/06
"The Iraqi national interest is surrendered in this law which allows foreign companies investment terms that exploit Iraq's oil wealth. They benefit the foreign investors more than they benefit Iraqi workers, through long term oil contracts that negatively impact Iraq's sovereignty and national independence." --Adnan Saffar, Executive Committee of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers, quoted on Mother Jones blog, 01/08/07
In Iraq's case, Production Service Agreements (PSAs) are nothing more than a license to steal. PSAs are normally only used in countries where oil production costs are high and exploration prospects are risky--not in countries like Iraq with proven oil fields and low extraction costs. None of Iraq's oil-rich neighbors allows PSAs. The Bush Administration's relentless pressure on Iraq to pass an Oil Law that encourages Production Service Agreements is like the schoolyard bully slamming you up against a wall and taking your lunch money.
Production Service Agreements are wrong for Iraq, but they may offer the best explanation of Bush's otherwise unexplainable "surge". This is not about winning the war. The war is lost. Mr. Bush's surge is no more than a desperate attempt to prop up the Maliki government long enough to pass the Oil Law, so Big Oil can start taking control of Iraqi oil through Production Service Agreements .
So, what do you think? Do you believe Iraqi oil is worth sacrificing 3103 Americans (and counting), wasting hundreds of billions of dollars (and counting), and over-extending our military and to the point that it endangers our national security? I don't think so. We do not need Iraq's oil. Even if we did, does that give us the right to steal it?
"Half of the oil the US consumes is produced domestically. Of the remaining half, the bulk, 80 percent, comes from two neighbors, Canada and Mexico. ...Only a small fraction comes from the Middle East, and most of that, from Saudi Arabia." -- Stephen Gowans, uruknet.info, 3/14/06
More than two thousand years ago, the Greek Philosopher Socrates said, "All wars are fought for money"; and the war on Iraq War is no different. It is all about the money. Americans are fighting and dying and we are mortgaging our grandchildren's futures--so Big Oil can seize control of Iraq's oil and increase their bottom line.
"Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $39.5 billion ...The 2006 profit topped Exxon Mobil's own previous record of $36.13 billion set in 2005." --AP, 2/1/07
That is $4.5 million profit for every hour of the year--but that is not enough. They want Iraq's oil too.
It is time for the American people to say enough. Enough people have died. Enough money wasted. Enough is enough.
It is time to stop the war and bring our troops home. Please call your Senators and Representative (800-614-2803 or 866-340-9281) today and let them know that you have had enough.
No more blood for oil (profits)!