"During a visit here this week, officials of the U.S.-backed administration detailed some of the economic moves planned for Iraq, many of them appearing to give U.S. corporations greater reach into the occupied nation's economy. For example, the current leadership is looking at privatising the Iraqi National Oil Company, said Finance Minister Adil Abdel Mahdi. The government, which is supposed to be replaced after elections scheduled for January, will also pass a new law that will further open Iraq's huge oil reserves to foreign companies. U.S. firms are expected to gain the lion's share of access in a process estimated to be worth billions of dollars. "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprises, certainly to oil companies," Abdel Mahdi said at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Tuesday."(2)
- "Gaining control over oil is crucial to extending U.S. power, and will be even more so in the coming years as the world's easily-accessible oil reserves are depleted, creating ever fiercer competition for what remains. All this will make controlling the Middle East that much more crucial. Or, as Cheney put it in a speech to the London Institute of Petroleum in 1999, when he was CEO of oil giant Halliburton: "The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies." ....
Now that he's vice-president, Cheney no longer talks about the Middle East as "the prize." He talks about it as the place terrorism must be confronted."(3)
- U.S. management of the Iraqi economy was plagued by irregularities, corruption, failures and mishandling of billions of dollars, according to analysts and multiple recent audits. Hundreds of U.S. officials and experts, both from the government and the private sector, still hold prominent positions in Iraqi ministries or are working in advisory roles, and remain the real force behind the country's economic policies. .. The report also points to a disbursement of 1.4 billion dollars, in the CPA's final days, to the Iraqi Ministry of Finance
(my italics) under the budget line item "transfer payments." The inspector general says auditors were "unable to obtain further analysis or information regarding the intended utilisation of this budget line item."Bear in mind that Adil is the 'Minister of Finance' in the 'transitional government' which is primarily charged with preparing for the elections in January (and is supposed to be replaced after that) and is not a legitimate government for dispensing Iraq's oil. One can reason that his generous promises might be to fulfil the humanitarian duty of the Americans to take hold of the Iraqi oil fields as quickly as possible. Not for the American's own good, perish the thought, but for the Iraqis' benefit. In order for the Americans to be able to help the Iraqis after the awful destruction of their country and to allow the Americans to 'do good' in the reconstruction effort and humanitarian aid -- money is needed. Where will it come from? From the Iraqi oil, of course, as it has cost the American taxpayer $150 billion already, just to allow the Iraqis to benefit from their oil. By the way, where is the money from the sale of Iraqi oil for the past eight months?
====(1) U.S. to Take Bigger Bite of Iraq's Economic Pie
December 23, 2004(2) History will show U.S. lusted after oil December 26, 2004(3) Mishandled Money Plagued U.S.-Ruled Iraq
December 27, 2004The stained handshake of Adil Abdel Mahdi
will not wash away easily ..since it is ... Oil-for-Blood