Monday, January 08, 2007

It's about the oil, stupid!

By Capt. Fogg

The Iraqi government may be ready to pass a new law that would give foreign oil giants such as BP, Shell, Exxon, and Chevron up to 30-year contracts on Iraqi oil. According to
The Independent, the law was drafted with the help of a U.S. consultancy firm, Bearing Point, hired by the U.S. government. Under this system, known as

production-sharing agreements, or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.

The oil companies will be able to keep 70% of the profits until their investments are paid off and 20% thereafter – twice the "going rate".

Allowing foreigners such unprecedented control over the third largest oil reserves in the world will be seen, in my opinion, as nothing more than a declaration of intent by the U.S. to secure a foothold in the middle east – a long-term foothold requiring a continued military presence and continuing Western domination of Iraq.

Perhaps a more cynical writer than I am would postulate that an endless sectarian civil war in Iraq could be seen as a way to keep the Iraqis from uniting against the U.S., but certainly other OPEC nations and indeed Islamic nations will see this as a marking of territory – their territory – and the opening battle in the American quest to control the world's oil.

Remembering Dick Cheney's still secret meetings about energy policy, remembering Wolfowitz's promise that oil profits would pay for this war, can we doubt that the jigsaw puzzle is beginning to show us a picture – a clear picture of why the hell we invaded Iraq and why we won't leave?

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