Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Sp"oils" of Iraq


You have asked, since the beginning, "Why did the US really invade Iraq?"

One oft-repeated reason is to "bring democracy to the Middle East." Bullshit. We spend $400 billion and 3029 American lives so that Iraqis can vote? Does anyone support that kind of deal?

To fight terrorism? To depose Saddam? To find WMDs?

It's all trumped-up bullshit.

The reasons the US went into Iraq are money and oil. First, the guy who pushed hardest for the war was Dick Cheney, and the entity that has gained most from the war has been Halliburton.

Now, according to the The Independent, a British newspaper, "the Bush administration is heavily involved in writing Iraq's oil law, a draft of which the paper said it had obtained. The law would allow Western oil companies contracts of up to 30 years to pump oil out of Iraq, and the profits would be tax-free" (USA Today, January 16, 2006).

So, there you go. It is all about the sp"oils" of war after all.....and how dare we innocently wonder---after watching all of this go down---why some Arabs want to kill Americans. The US marches in with its army (under the guise of self-defense), kills thousands of their people, fails at providing adequate security, and then steals their oil on top of it.

Wow...our "leaders" are some serious assholes. All they care about is money and power. Maybe that's all there is...

I fear that, as a result of these policies, that we continue to be a nation held hostage to the interests of big business and big money. Innocent people will continue to die in the name of "national interest" while the weathy gain more wealth.

Survival of the fittest, eh, Ralph?

On it goes..........................


Jerry said...

I wouldn't jump to conclusions on this one. First, tax-free profits are concessions that may be typical of the industry--the money Iraq receives would likely come from fixed concession payments for the right to extract. This is how business is done on the Gulf Coast. Additionally, the international taxation issues is a matter of negotiation, and the Iraqis may be willing to concede certain amounts initially to attract necessary foreign investment. Don't forget the huge amounts of capital these companies are going to have to invest in equipment simply to begin operations--the oil industry is extremely cost-prohibitive when it comes to start-up costs.

Additionally, recent stories have reported huge increases in oil production in Iraq, with most of the profits going to the Iraqi government.

I know this doesn't fit in a pre-conceived notion of American hegemony, but it's worth considering before jumping to a conclusion based on one or two sentences in a newspaper article.

Stan Langerhaus said...

I believe that the US is around one half of a TRILLION dollars invested in the war in/of/for/against Iraq s far. I understand that most of this money was put on our "national credit card," but at some point you have to assume that somebody planned on us getting back our money somehow. Didn't Cheney or Rumsfeld state early on that oil revenues would support the invasion? The oil law that is referenced is a benchmark event in the "new" plan, so it seems that the production of and revenues from oil has become the last standard of success. It should be interesting (and pathetic) what the law ultimately says. I wonder if we could have perfected the hydrogen car with that money?

DocTorDee said...

Fair points...and I do appreciate the business end of things. I know there are protocols and start-up costs involved in any endeavor, particularly drilling into the Earth.

But as far as I'm concerned, it's more of the American way of doing business: We want what we want, we'll take it by force if we have to, and we don't care about he long-term consequences.

My angle is the perception of America in the Arab world. We talk about preventing terrorism, but then we find a way to extract Arab oil via a land war and occupation (involving a country that did not attack us).

It just looks bad and promotes anti-American sentiment. This is why Iran and Syria (and many other Arab countries) oppose so many American "interests". This is why Hugo Chavez speaks out against America...we tend to dominate through force, prop up a leader of some kind, and then cut deals that make some of us rich.

Okay, so this is how it's done. It's the way of the world, right?


But don't be surprised if the threat of Arab terrorism increases as a result of how we treat our global neighbors. And increased terrorism is an outcome which is exactly the opposite from what most Americans seem to want.

I'm just trying to point out the quandary we are in as it involves the Arab world. We kill their people, take their oil, and support Israel's occupation of Arab lands...at least that's their view.

Not much hope, is there?

Ralph said...

The biggest hope lies in the fact that we are indeed losing the war in Iraq. So maybe, we aren't the "fittest" after all. On a related note, for anyone interested in this business of taking oil from third-world countries and the kind of backlash it creates, check out the link to this article Vanity Fair:
It's an outstanding piece of journalism about the effect drilling for oil have on Nigeria.

DocTorDee said...

Indeed, we are more vunerable than we think. It would serve us well to play more nicely with our neighbors rather than trying to dominate them at every turn.

I mean, businesses in the US strive for win/win/win situations, so why can't we strive toward that ethos in our political arenas? All this talk about The Axis of Evil (from the US viewpoint) and The Great Satan (from the Arab viewpoint) doesn't do anything but dissolve discussion and stymie attempts to solve global problems.