Graphic novel on Iraqi oil

This video from Britain is called Ewa Jasiewicz, Hands off Iraqi Oil campaign.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Illustrative nuggets about oil

(Sunday 10 February 2008)

Iraqi Oil for Beginners by Jon Sack
(Voices, £4)

WITH Joe Sacco’s Palestine and Marjane Satrapi‘s Persepolis, the graphic novel has become one of the most accessible mediums for gaining an understanding of the Middle East today.

Up to date and with a pleasing DIY feel to it, Iraqi Oil for Beginners is a welcome addition to the genre, giving the reader – in 30 pages – a better understanding of the role of “black gold” in the recent invasion and occupation than a lifetime of mainstream media news broadcasts.

US citizen Jon Sack is particularly good at finding parallels between the British occupation of Iraq in the first half of the 20th century and the current conflict.

So, while Tony Blair argued in 2003 that “the oil conspiracy theory” was “absurd,” it is instructive to remember that, 80 years earlier, the British foreign secretary was denying that “the attitude of the British government to Mosul is affected by the question of oil.”

Another historical nugget that Sack has uncovered is a 1920 Times newspaper editorial asking of the British presence of Iraq: “How much longer are valuable lives to be sacrificed … to impose upon the Arab population an expensive administration that they did not ask for and do not want?

Throughout, there are some excellent illustrations, such as the portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini.

However, towards the end, Sack relies heavily on textual explanation to discuss the intricacies of the proposed oil law that will give Western oil companies favourable access to Iraqi oil for years to come.

Ending on a positive note, Sack highlights the indigenous trade union resistance to the proposed law, despite the risk of arrest and imprisonment.

Tellingly, the only Saddam Hussein-era law retained by the US is the law banning trade unions.

With proceeds going to groups who oppose the oil law and those working for social justice in Iraq, Iraqi Oil for Beginners is a must read.

Iraqi Oil for Beginners is available from Voices UK, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, priced £4.


4 thoughts on “Graphic novel on Iraqi oil

  1. International Days of Action Against Iraq Oil Law on February 22-23

    Why did Bush and Cheney concoct WMD lies to scare Congress into authorizing an invasion of Iraq? After five years, it’s clear the only reason was to steal Iraq’s oil.

    US Labor Against the War, United for Peace and Justice, Oil Change International, and UK’s Hands Off Iraqi Oil, are working to expose the concerted efforts by the Bush-Cheney administration and the major international oil companies to force passage of an oil law in the Iraqi Parliament. This oil law would strip the Iraqi people of their constitutional right to control their biggest natural resource: oil.

    Details on Facebook (login required):

    You can host a local action at your ExxonMobil, Shell, or BP station, or participate in a march in Washington, DC this Friday. If you need help and resources to host a local event email

    For more information about the Iraqi oil law visit and


    Start Planning for March 2008

    March 19 is the 5th Anniversary of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Start planning your local and national actions to demand peace and impeachment in March 2008 here:


  2. Pingback: British anti war artist Peter Kennard | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Not another ‘humanitarian’ Iraq war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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