This video from the USA says about itself:
By Alex Lantier:
13 November 2009
Yesterday the New York Times reported the Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv’s revelations that Peter Galbraith, a former US diplomat and advisor to the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq, stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit from Iraqi oil revenues.
Galbraith’s profits would result from his cashing in on his links to the Kurdish regional leadership, and his role in drafting Iraq’s Constitution, shortly after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. In 2004, Galbraith helped the Kurds arrange deals with Norwegian oil firm DNO and prepare for negotiations on the Iraqi Constitution, including controversial provisions on how to divide Iraq’s oil revenues. During the 2005 negotiations, the Times noted, Galbraith worked to ensure the draft included “clauses that he maintains will give the Kurds virtually complete control over all new oil finds on their territory.”
Galbraith stood to benefit enormously from these clauses, Dagens Naeringsliv revealed last month. On June 30, 2004—the day after the successful conclusion of the Kurd-DNO negotiations—the Kurdish regional leadership had given Galbraith a major stake in undiscovered oil fields on its territory. Oil analysts quoted by the Times estimate his five-percent stake in the newly-discovered Tawke oilfield alone would be worth at least $115 million.
There are indications, moreover, that Galbraith may make even larger sums from the affair. After a falling-out with Galbraith in 2008, DNO sold a stake in the oil fields to the Kurdish regional government, apparently trying to cut Galbraith and a Yemeni business partner out of the deal. Galbraith and his partner sued DNO for compensation, which Dagens Naeringsliv estimates at $525 million. A ruling is expected early next year. …
Galbraith’s attempt to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from Iraq is unanswerable evidence of the neocolonial character of the US occupation of that unfortunate country. Far from being a war against al-Qaeda terrorists or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction—which were crude inventions of a US government determined to justify a war to a skeptical and hostile public—the 2003 invasion was an imperialist adventure offering well-connected operators the chance to make fortunes.
Moreover, it is ever clearer that a central element of the occupation was the theft of Iraq’s oil resources. The Times’ article on Galbraith comes only one week after the revelation that southern Iraq’s huge West Qurna oil field has been divided between Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
The New York Times itself described the Galbraith story’s potential to “inflame” Iraqi public opinion. In a comment that demonstrates its own political complicity with the theft of Iraq’s oil, it crudely described Iraqi sentiment that “the true reason for the American invasion of the country was to take its oil” as “a conspiracy theory.” This is in the middle of a story describing the looting of hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenue! …
Peter Galbraith, the son of prominent liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith, was a professional staffer for the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 1979 to 1993. In the late 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, he documented the massacre of Iraqi Kurds by Saddam Hussein, then a US ally. From 1993 to 1995, during the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, he served as US envoy to Croatia. He communicated to Croatian leader Franjo Tudjman the Clinton administration’s approval for Operation Storm, Croatia’s 1995 ethnic cleansing campaign that drove 200,000 Serbs from the Krajina area.
Appearing last year before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Galbraith stated that the US had an “understanding attitude” towards the operation. He claimed that he would not have asked Washington “to give it the green light” if he had believed Tudjman intended to remove Serbs. However, he had previously admitted that Tudjman and his associates were known to want an “ethnically clean country.”
Before and after the invasion of Iraq, the war’s goal of privatising Iraq’s oil to the benefit of Western oil corporations was highlighted not just by the war’s opponents, but also by many of its supporters: here.
Talking about oil; from Mother Jones in the USA:
During the final days of the Bush administration, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) scheduled a controversial auction of oil and gas leases on federal lands, including areas bordering national parks and monuments in Utah. While environmental organizations launched a round of protests and lawsuits, Tim DeChristopher, a 27-year-old econ major at the University of Utah, decided he had to try to stop the sale by himself. Not knowing exactly how he’d do it, DeChristopher walked into the auction in Salt Lake City on December 19, 2008, and had a sneaky idea handed to him in the form of a bidder’s paddle. Simply by raising it again and again and pretending to bid on the leases, he proceeded to drive up their prices and outbid the real speculators on 13 parcels covering more than 22,000 acres and worth $1.7 million dollars.
When it became clear that bidder No. 70 was an impostor with no intention of paying for his purchases, federal agents removed him from the auction. But the damage was done. DeChristopher’s monkey-wrenching tainted the sale, forcing BLM to offer the other buyers the option of withdrawing their bids. That effectively postponed any final decision on the leases until February 2009, when the Obama administration would be in office. Soon after taking office, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar canceled the results of the chaotic auction and criticized the previous administration for allowing it in the first place.
Hawks in Congress Willing to Shell Out Trillions for War, but Won’t Help Americans Get Decent Health-Care: here.
Tom ‘Dr. No’ Coburn Wins Our GOP Hypocrite Award for Authorizing War Spending, While At the Same Time Denying Veterans Care: here.