Thomas Friedman in New York Times said the best case scenario was breaking the back of OPEC by increasing Iraq's production, and could lead to oil as cheap as $6 a barrel:
Depending on how the war went, that impact could be very bad and lead to a sharp spike in oil prices, like $60-a-barrel oil. But -- wait a minute -- it could also be very good, and lead to $6-a-barrel oil that would weaken OPEC and, maybe, also weaken the Arab autocrats who depend on high oil prices to finance their illegitimate regimes and buy off opponents.
He also said if the war went badly, he said there might be an embargo and it could go as high as $60. He was half right. There was no embargo, but oil is over $60 a barrel today.
To people who didn't quite buy the terror/WMD bullshit, this was like a second layer of lies: we'll get cheap oil that keeps our economy and Hummers humming. That has a certain realpolitik appeal.
But Palast has torn away even that fig leaf. As sanctions were coming off, the oil companies wanted to keep Iraq from pumping more, which would have knocked down prices as hurt profits. We are paying our tax dollars and soldiers lives to ensure that oil companies can charge us more.
If we had a real democracy, you'd here some Democrats talking about this.
I won't hold my breath.
THE MISSION WAS INDEED ACCOMPLISHEDThe GuardianMonday, March 20, 2006by Greg Palast
"It's about oil," Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA's top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam's former oil minister to finalize the plans for "liberating" Iraq's oil industry. In London, Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq's crude.
And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC."
Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude.
Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.
You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping less of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.
It's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an "oligopoly" -- a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every time the "insurgents" blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just love it.
Dick and George didn't want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you, no matter what I write, insist that our President and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so you can cheaply fill your family Hummer; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the USA is bumping up to $3 a gallon.
Not so, gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion in profit in 2005 -- compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other words, it's been a good war for Big Oil.
As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation "enhanced its relationship with OPEC;" and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.
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