Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Shock Doctrine and Iraq: No Bid Contracts for Oil Companies


Four western oil companies have been slated to steal Iraqi oil through no bid contracts (a la Halliburton). These companies were summarily thrown out of Iraq in 1972 after Saddam Hussein came to power. It is called protecting natural resources instead of handing them over to companies who have no interest in that part of the world outside of profiting from it. I am not defending Saddam Hussein's policies of genocide and his own brand of imperialism, but the transparency with which this move comes is unconscionable.

In 1972 Hussein nationalized the oil much like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia, two men and two countries maligned by the west for no other reason than stopping the mindboggling profits of oil companies. Wonder why there are high oil prices? Because privatization is in jeopardy, pure and simple.

Now Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat. The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.

What is the Shock Doctrine? In short the theory goes as such: Corporations wait for a disaster (or orchestrate one like a coup), like Katrina, September 11th or say a preemptive war so that the economy tanks and the sharks move in. The shock of the crisis in Iraq to push through a further privatization agenda. But, the biggest crime is that politicians are in bed with the corporations and allow them to steal our oil. A case in point, the democrats, not the Republicans just passed a bill to fund the continuation of the Iraq war with no withdrawal date whatsoever. It is not just Republicans in bed with these corporations. After all the Iraq oil law was one of the benchmarks of the surge for which most democrats agreed and signed on to the Oil Law that said we should hand over Iraqi oil to western corporations.

This is not new, but a key benchmark of the surge seems to have succeeded, steal the Iraqi oil. The problem is Iraq is still a very divided country and if the people of Iraq are united on one issue it is this one. Keep the imperialists out. I cannot see this selling well with the Iraqi people and with Muqtadr Al Sadr beginning a new offensive and pulling from the elections this fall, this is not going to be pretty.

But, here is to the multinationalists and the fascists and your lack of transparency. Not only do they think we are dumb, they know it. All of us, Americans and Europeans alike. Who cares? It isn't our country. Maybe we will have $2 a gallon gas again. That is worth the price of a million dead Iraqis, huh?

1 comment:

Daddydan said...

I was about to write about this. Great job discussing a topic that needs to be on the cover of every paper, but won't be. Because they are in league, in bed and owned by huge corporations like Exxon, Shell, etc.

The US government, which could not immediately get the oil companies into Iraq, has finally got back on their always-planned schedule...to get the oil out of their conquered country...after 30 years of having to watch the dictator Saddam laugh in their collective faces as he used the money for whatever the hell he wanted. Like building palaces, torture chambers, as well as one of the greatest library systems in the Middle East.

Now, after the blood of hundreds of thousands of people has been shed (and continues to be shed), the real dictators of the world are back into Iraq.