"Why Washington's insistence that elections should have gone ahead despite the appalling security situation?
America's true objectives are no longer as mysterious as they once were. Developments over the course of the last 20 months have provided clear indications that the US is working to secure specific strategic goals in Iraq should it be forced by the fierceness of the armed resistance to leave the country.
One of the most important reasons for insisting on holding elections is to set up an Iraqi government that the US is able to describe as legitimate, which could then be presented to the international community as the product of free elections. It would then have the authority to take decisions and sign treaties that would be enforceable under international law. This is exactly what America needs to make happen in order to achieve two fundamental goals: a speedy withdrawal from Iraq to avoid further human and material losses at the hands of a fierce Iraqi armed resistance, and the signing of long-term strategic and economic agreements.
Among the military treaties planned is one that allows American military bases to be established in the country. There will be 14 main bases to secure American control over Iraq's oil-wells and to allow the American military easy access to other areas in the region. Under the economic treaties the Iraqi government will grant American companies long-term concessions to exploit Iraqi oil and will include, in all probability, the privatisation of the country's oil industry.
Another aspect of the problem is that emerging powers such as China and India will also need more and more oil, creating competition over oil stocks on the market, which falls short of demand.
By setting up American bases in Iraq and controlling its oil through internationally binding treaties the US will have achieved its two primary goals, both of which lay the foundation for the rise of an American empire and the removal of potential rivals.
The real value of such agreements only becomes clear when one remembers treaties such as that concluded between America and the pre-revolutionary Cuban government over Guantanamo Bay. Under the treaty, the area was rented to the Americans for 99 years. Following the revolution the Cubans demanded that America return the bay area, but relying on the treaty they had signed with the previous government the Americans vehemently refused. How much more dangerous, then, if an "elected" Iraqi government were to sign such treaties, bearing in mind that despite Soviet and international support Cuba was unable to secure the return of Guantanamo Bay in the face of American legal arguments."Oil in the election
February 10-16, 2005
"Decades from now, historians will likely calmly discuss the war currently raging in Iraq, and identify oil as one of the key factors that led to it.
They will point to the growing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, the importance of oil in the rising competition between the U.S. and China, and the huge untapped store of oil lying unprotected under the Iraqi sand. It will all probably seem fairly obvious.
Just don't expect to hear this sort of discussion now, however, when it might actually make a difference. In fact, a year-and-a-half into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, with the carnage over there spiralling ever more out of control, don't expect media discussions of Iraq to stray much beyond the issue of "fighting terrorism.""History will show U.S. lusted after oil
December 26, 2004
"Abdel Mahdi, currently the finance minister and a member of the SCIRI, remains a strong contender for prime minister, alongside Ibrahim al-Jafaari of Da'wa. On December 22, Mahdi - with US Under Secretary of State Alan Larson by his side - told the National Press Club in Washington in so many words, and to the delight of corporate US oil majors, that a new oil law would privatize Iraq's oil industry. The new law would allow investment in both downstream and "maybe even upstream" operations, meaning foreigners could become de facto owners of Iraqi oilfields. No wonder Mahdi has been touted by US corporate media as the next best candidate for prime minister after "the Americans' man", former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset and current Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Apart from an item by Inter Press Service at the time, Antonia Juhasz, a Foreign Policy in Focus scholar currently writing a book about the economic invasion of Iraq, has been the only one to sound alarm bells: Is it possible that Washington has made a deal - oil for power - with the SCIRI? This is the fine print that President George W Bush's freedom rhetoric does not cover.
Iraq may have a new "elected" National Assembly and a new Iraqi constitution may be written in the next few months. But the fact is that during 2005 the US remains in total control.
Follow the money: US$24 billion funded by American taxpayers toward the reconstruction, plus all the rules that have been passed by the US that control Iraq's economy, plus the military occupation. Both the billions of dollars and the maze of rules are controlled by auditors sitting in every Iraqi ministry for five years, all of them appointed (and controlled) by the Americans. The only thing that the Bush administration does not control in Iraq is unlimited, no-holds-barred access to oil - which anyone familiar with Vice President Dick Cheney's world view knows to be the key reason for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.The whole point of an indefinite, muscular US military presence in Iraq (14 military bases, more than 100,000 troops, the massive embassy in Baghdad, the CIA-trained "Salvador option" death squads) would be to protect US corporate interests in the oil industry
(my italics). But the possibility of a law privatizing Iraq's oil coming to pass under a UIA-dominated government is less than zero - for two main reasons. In terms of Iraqi nationalism, this would spell political suicide to either the SCIRI or the Da'wa Party: most Shi'ites who voted in the elections, following Sistani's dictum, thought they were voting for the US to leave, for good. And in geopolitical terms, all the Shi'ite religious parties have close connections with Iran, which, encircled by the US from the east (Afghanistan) and west (Iraq), would find innumerable creative ways to turn the Americans' lives into a living hell. "The Shi'ites' Faustian pact
February 11, 2005The Iraqi Resistance is at the centre of a pivotal historical responsibility. The Iraqi people will assert their mettle. As for Iraqi oil, there have been 205 attacks on Iraqi oil pipelines in 20 months, since June 12, 2003, and expect more of the same.Where is the Iraqi oil money? After Bremer squirmed out of Iraq, auditors have lost trail of 9 billion dollars (out of 20 billion dollars, that included oil sales, that belonged to Iraq). I have been asking this question for months now: where is the money from Iraqi oil sales going to, since Bremer's departure? Will some of it end up with those 'Iraqis' who came behind the American tanks when they will be scurrying out of Iraq in a hurry? I would appreciate it if somebody would inform me on the money's fate.