US Bush administration’s grab at Iraqi oil wealth

This video from Democracy Now! in the USA is described as ‘Bush’s real agenda revealed in proposed law to privatize oil for US corporations.’

By Kate Randall:

US seeks legal expert to oversee plunder of Iraqi oil

12 September 2007

As Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testified before Congress on Monday and Tuesday, and US senators and representatives quibbled over the tactics of the US occupation of Iraq, there was no mention of the real material interests underlying the war.

An article by Walter Pincus in the September 10 edition of the Washington Post, headlined “Commerce Seeks Adviser for Iraq Oil Interests,” focused attention on a central objective that has motivated the four-and-a-half year colonial occupation: the plunder of Iraq’s vast oil wealth.

According to an August 21 proposal by the US Commerce Department examined by Pincus, the department is seeking an international legal adviser, fluent in Arabic, “to provide expert input, when requested” to “US government agencies or to Iraqi authorities as they draft the laws and regulations that will govern Iraq’s oil and gas sector.”

In early July, the cabinet of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki approved US-backed draft legislation on the future development of Iraq’s oil resources, estimated at between 115 and 215 billion barrels.

Central to US plans is the restructuring of the Iraq Oil Ministry to establish the Iraq National Oil Company (INOC), a key step towards ending the Iraqi state monopoly of the oil industry, which could take the form of selling an interest in the INOC to foreign—primarily US—producers. The legislation revives a semi-colonial form of oil contract called a “production-sharing agreement,” which would give foreign companies exclusive rights to exploration and production for as long as 20 years.

The Commerce Department’s proposal envisions that “as part of a US government inter-agency process, the US Department of Commerce will be providing technical assistance to Iraq to create a legal and tax environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment in Iraq’s key economic sectors, starting with the mineral resources sector.” The department is proposing the recruitment of a US-backed and funded expert to advise on this process.

About the Petraeus testimony: here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

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