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US military captures Iraqi oil first



THE FIRST PHASE of the invasion of Iraq was designed to secure Iraq's oil industry infrastructure.

The al Faw oil fields were captured in the very first operation by US and UK ground forces. The oil from al Faw is exported from the nearby deep-sea port of Umm Qasr, and the allies have captured this too.

The official explanation was these oil pumps are in a "strategically important" location. War-time propaganda broadcast by the British and American media justified the mission as a strategy to prevent an "environmental disaster" that would result if the Iraqi defenders set the oil-wells alight.

The official excuses for making oil the first priority are easy to see through. The smoke from blazing oil is a disadvantage to invading troops, but there is nothing else of special strategic significance at al Faw. The environmental impact of oil wells burning in the Iraqi desert is insignificant compared to the long-term environmental catastrophe that results from exploding tens of thousands of powerful bombs, missiles, and depleted uranium shells, in densely-populated cities, busy residential suburbs, and rural areas.

The Umm Qasr harbour will soon have an important role in first stage of the post-war "reconstruction" programme, when US oil companies will be contracted to develop the infrastructure of Iraq's lucrative oil industry. Iraq is currently the second largest source of oil on Earth, and after the war it expected to become the world's most important supply.

The US government announced that the money from Iraq's oil will be used to benefit the Iraqi people, and this is intended to persuade the public that oil is not a motive for the war on Iraq. Critics have compared this policy to an armed robbery in which the victim is offered a share in the profits from the sale of their possessions. Unfortunately this is propaganda, not policy, and the US government has not specified what proportion of the profits from post-war Iraqi oil will be given back to the locals, or how it will be used, or when.

The US government admits that Iraq's oil will be used to pay for the war and subsequent reconstruction. A truly astronomical amount of money will therefore flow directly from Iraq into the US military, and the American and British arms companies which provided the latest expensive hardware in huge quantities, as well as the American firms with contracts to "reconstruct" Iraq.

There is no oil money until the oil is sold, so the first beneficiaries of the war will be the wealthy US oil corporations which have been selected to develop Iraq's tremendous oil industry as soon as the conquest is complete, large shareholders including Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Rice, and the US politicians whose election campaigns they finance.

Thousands of people will loose their lives and property in this war, but are you sure we are fighting for the right reasons?


SOURCES:

BBC News, "Oilfields capture is 'major victory'", 21 March 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2872119.stm ]

    "Royal Marine commandos made the successful sea
    and air assault on the strategically important al Faw
    peninsula in south-eastern Iraq, where they captured
    oil facilities."

BBC News, "Invasion force pushes into Iraq", 21 March 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2871189.stm ]

    "US Marines have reached Iraq's only deep-water port at
    Umm Qasr in the south-east and raised the US flag..."

    "British troops say they have taken control of key oil
    installations on the nearby al-Faw peninsula."


Washington Post, "U.S., Allies Clash Over Plan to Use Iraqi Oil Profits for Rebuilding", 4 April 2003.
[ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15368-2003Apr2.html ]

    The Defense Department is pressing ahead with plans to
    temporarily manage Iraq's oil industry after the war and to
    use the proceeds to rebuild the country, creating a conflict
    with U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East, according
    to diplomats and industry experts.

    Administration officials are searching for a legal basis to
    justify the U.S. plan.

    U.N. and British officials said the United States lacks the
    legal authority to begin exporting oil even on an interim basis
    without a new Security Council mandate.

    U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan suspended Iraqi oil exports
    on the eve of the military campaign.


FURTHER READING:

BBC News, "Oil price rise despite Opec increase", 13 January 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2652189.stm ]
    Oil prices have risen despite an agreement by producers' cartel Opec to boost output.
    At first on Monday oil prices moved slightly lower in response to Opec's decision over the weekend to increase production by 1.5 million barrels a day.
    But crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange ended the day 58 cents higher at $32.26 per barrel.
    ...
    The high cost of oil could threaten the global economy which is still struggling to show any significant growth.
    ...

Washington Post, "Putting a Lid on Raging Oil Fires ", 24 March 2003.
[ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16292-2003Mar23.html ]

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday in a CNN
    interview that the United States has "people coming in the next
    48 hours" to extinguish nine burning wells in southern Iraq, an
    area now controlled by allied forces. The effort is to be managed
    by Kellogg, Brown & Root International Inc., a division of
    Houston-based Halliburton Co., which was headed by Vice
    President Cheney, its chairman and chief executive, before the
    2000 presidential campaign.


BBC News, "Mass arrests at US peace demo", 21 March 2003.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2871063.stm ]

    "Police in San Francisco have arrested 1,025 people..."

    "Organisers said 3,000 people joined the protest, though
    police put the figure at 1,500."

    "Tens of thousands of people joined demonstrations across
    the US."

    "There were huge protests across the world on Thursday,
    with violence in several countries including Belgium, Egypt,
    Spain, India and Switzerland."


The Debate - Motives for Iraq war:
[ http://www.thedebate.org ]

"The Insider" mailing list article, 21 March 2003.

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Tags: iraq, war, oil, secured, oil, fields, iraqi, captured, oil, wells, oil, money, profits, iraqi, people, us, government, reconstruction, american, government, motives, oil, , conspiracy theories.

 
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