Believe it - Ostriches are Sleuths and Oil & Middle East Wars are coincidence!!


The US “Iraq Study Group Report” strongly recommended that US troop numbers be reduced, and neighbouring countries such as Iran and Syria be invited to participate in finding solutions to the Iraqi anarchy. Bush did say he would study the recommendations, though he might not follow them all. Bush decided the plan was akin to admitting defeat and instead he ordered a 20,000 “troop surge”. So far so simple; but what of other factors?

Iraq Study Group Report, Page 1:- “It has the world’s second-largest known oil reserves” … followed by recommendations about ways to secure access …. 

     In 2003 Bush revealed plans for a US-Middle East Free Trade Area which included opening up Iraq to US oil companies. To realise this ambition the present Iraqi government must remain in place and pass appropriate legislation. Appalling chaos in Iraq makes this less likely. (Normal daily life in Baghdad is nigh impossible. Services get worse. It is unsafe. Asked by the Red Cross what was needed to improve life, mothers said it would be nice to have the mutilated bodies removed from the streets as it isn’t good for children to see.)

     Paul Bremer implemented plans for the Iraqi economy drawn up months before invasion by US consultants Bearing Point Inc., for a $250 million fee; and for oil company investment plans to succeed, the Iraqi government must not reverse critical Bremer changes. CIA senior al Qaeda expert, Michael Scheuer, resigned in disgust:- “the US invasion was not pre-emption: it was … an avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat but whose defeat did offer economic advantages.”

     Planned Oil company investment in Iraq will use Production Sharing Agreements, (PSAs). These are not favoured by oil-rich countries as they effectively mean handing rights and profits over to foreign companies in exchange for a small return. Commonly called ‘privatisation lite’, these PSAs are not dissimilar to those between Iran and the Anglo Iranian Oil Company, which provoked Iranian nationalization followed by the British/CIA orchestrated coup of 1953.

     The passing of ‘Iraq’s Oil Law’ is crucial to legitimising US oil company investment under PSAs, and it is imminent. It requires that the Iraq constitution be rewritten appropriately. At this very sensitive and crucial moment for US-Oil it is clearly helpful to reaffirm commitment to US military involvement (and support for law and order). Plans for reducing troop numbers and dialogue with Syria and Iran could seriously damage oil company prospects -  Hence, the “Troop Surge”.


Noel Hamel