Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Some Democrats fight Iraqi OIL theft law

Some Democrats in Congress opposed the recent Iraq appropriation because one of the benchmarks of "success" was Iraq passing the Bush-coerced Hydrocarbon Law that will essentially de-nationalize Iraq's oil so big oil could grab the overwhelming majority of the profits. Even those who supported the appropriation are finally wondering aloud if we aren't endangering our troops by confirming Iraqis worst fears (which are true anyway) about why we are there.

I'm not sure how sincere Biden is on this since he has dodged these questions earlier.

But if Democrats were serious about ending the war and leaving Iraq without having made lasting enemies, they would talk about this every time they were asked on MEET THE PRESS, CNN, or one of the networks to talk about Anna Nicole Smith, and if the newsmodel with the microphone cuts them off, leave and don't come back. For Kucinich or Lynn Woolsey, that won't have them quaking in their boots, but if a committee chair like Biden did, they might.

The other part of this is to simply stop talking about Iraq as if the goal of the Bush administration is fighting terrorism, spreading democracy, or anything of the sort. Those are excuses and propaganda, not reasons. They went there to steal. If Homer Simpson broke into a donut shop, you know he is not there to do a health inspection. If a bunch of heartless corporate sociopaths invade a country with tens of TRILLIONS of dollars worth of oil, they aren't there to do missionary work.

Our troops may want to do good for people there, but they have limited resources to do so when the reconstruction money goes in the pocket of no-work and no-show cronies.

The sooner Democrats talk exclusively in a way that acknowledges this, the sooner we will get out, and when the American people figure this out, the question won't be whether Bush finishes his term, resigns, or is impeached, but whether the cops catch him and Cheney before they flee the country.


Some Democrats Oppose Forcing Iraq To Accept Foreign Investment in Oil

By: Ryan Grim
March 27, 2007 05:34 PM EST

One benchmark, though, has gotten much attention from the Bush administration. The current bill going through Congress would ratchet up pressure on the Iraqi Parliament to enact "a broadly accepted hydrocarbon law that equitably shares oil revenues among all Iraqis."


The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Maliki fears the U.S. would withdraw support for him if he doesn't succeed in passing the current version of the bill. Democratic opponents of the oil benchmark in the House argued last week that Iraq should not be forced to pass an oil law favorable to foreign companies while the country remains under occupation.

Now their Senate colleagues must take up the sticky issue.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), a Democratic presidential candidate, has been lobbying to have language included in the emergency supplemental war spending bill that will prevent "United States control over any oil resource of Iraq." The Senate Appropriations Committee approved that language in its markup Monday.

"I was concerned that Iraqi suspicions about American aims in Iraq were endangering American lives," Biden said in a statement. "These misperceptions will not be easily changed, but this measure again shows that the American people do not have imperial designs upon Iraq and we won't be there forever."


Liberal Democrats argue that now is not the time to pressure Iraq to open its resources to foreign oil companies. "We've got to be sure that the Iraqi people don't have a reason to be suspicious of us," Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) told The Politico before the House vote. "I think we should make sure that isn't why we're in the war, to secure oil rights. If it is, the White House ought to own up to it."


OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why little Gonzogate might be Bush's Watergate
(not why you think)

At first I thought it was really odd that this Gonzales business was what Congress and the press latched onto to unravel Bush. But if you think about the parallels with Nixon, it makes sense. Was Watergate the worst thing Nixon did in office? Probably not by a country mile. The illegal bombing of Cambodia, overthrowing the elected president of Chile, and Operation Condor in general did far more damage and led to the deaths of tens of thousands.

But if you started to pull on those threads, they'd lead back to some big corporate players, like ITT, United Fruit, and whoever the hell it was that thought a decade of war in Southeast Asia was a good idea. Those people would not want their business discussed when everyone was watching. Instead, they pulled on a thread that was impeachable, but only led to a handful of political operatives, a dead end.

In the same way, if you pulled on the bigger threads with Bush, Enron, New Orleans, Iraq, 9/11, not only does it lead to willful indifference to human suffering and even the gleeful exploitation of it for profit, but it leads to the administration doing it as the agents of the largest corporations in the world. Once you start to go down that road in public hearings, people might forget about abortion, gays, Anna Nicole Smith and whether Harry Potter is dangerous long enough to demand a break up of some of these corporations into a thousand pieces as was done a hundred years ago with Standard Oil.

Better to take care of the problem exactly the way Bush did the first couple of years: make someone in the administration the scapegoat, get all public hatred and scorn focused on him, them remove him from sight so people think the problem is solved. This peek-a-boo game has gone through one or two cycles with Karl Rove, and it worked once or twice with Rummy before they finally really gave him the boot.

Now the same thing will be done to the whole administration. They be will taken down by a scandal that has roots no deeper than Bush's equivalent on Tattoo on Fantasy Island, Alberto Gonzales.

The media will tsk and cluck about those crazy, out of control ideologue neocons, and foreign policy establishment types like Zbigniew Brzezinski will write op-ed about how wrong-headed the very foundations of Bush's policies are even though he himself built the molds Bush poured the concrete in. Neither Brzezinski nor the Bushies are ideologues. They are businessmen, who sell the same product. Brzezinski with gravitas and Bush with a lynch mob and Jesus. To the elite, Bush's sin is that he is a bad salesman. He gave us a hat full of shit, and couldn't convince us it was a chocolate cake for long enough.

The Lyndie Englands of this era will go to prison, Bush and Cheney may go into involuntary early retirement, but those profited and stood to profit by Bush's actions, who told their papers and networks to salute so their oil and defense stocks would be shoot through the roof, they will escape unscathed.

If we were a people of laws, with equal laws for all, the soldiers tried for atrocities and torture would not serve one day more in prison than the heartless bastards in their mahogony lined country clubs. In fact, before a single soldier is convicted of any wrong-doing, the masters of war should be tried as mass murderers of hundreds of thousands. The foot soldiers should at worst get Pinochets fate of wondering if they will ever see prison even in last days of their life, and the masters of war should wonder if they will ever get some privacy while they are taking a shit on a steel toilet bolted to the wall of their cell.

Monday, March 26, 2007

IRAN CANCELS OIL CONTRACTS 1981: why Bush will NEVER pull out of Iraq

Without the presence of American troops or a compliant puppet government, even the ayatollahs could see they were being screwed by oil companies.

While the current Iraqi government may wish to please Bush, given the rate of the troops we are "training" immediately crossing over to the insurgents, it's likely that government will collapse as soon as the majority of our troops are gone--or they will start to represent the Iraqi people to save their necks. In either case, the oil companies could end up with nothing, which would be a fitting outcome if it weren't for the bill in hatred, taxes, and death they have stuck us with.

This might be why the recent war funding bill included not only a requirement for Iraqis to pass the Hydrocarbon Law, but a pretty big loophole that allows troops to remain for "training" and chasing al Qaeda AFTER the pullout date. According to the Bush administration, that is all we are doing there right now.

Until the Democrats deal openly and honestly with this oil issue, they are unlikely to end this war and even more unlikely to prevent the next one.

Iran Cancels 1954 Oil Pacts

AP. New York Times. Sep 9, 1981.

Iran has canceled all contracts signed with multinational oil companies before the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Iranian Oil Ministry announced today.

The announcement, carried by the official Iranian press agency, said the contracts had been signed with American, British, Dutch and French companies in 1954.

The statement said the companies had ''plundered the oil resources of Iran from 1954 to 1979, while Iran, which is in fact the justified owner of these resources, had only little to gain from the contracts.''

Industry analysts said they believed Iran's announcement was unlikely to have any practical effect on American oil companies that had operated in Iran because no Iranian oil is currently being bought.

Iran's current crude oil production is estimated at 900,000 barrels a day, down from an average of six million daily before the 1979 revolution.

The contracts signed in 1954 were to have lasted 25 years, with three five-year renewal periods. The ministry has formed a board to investigate any claims resulting from the measure and ''follow up the matter, possibly through international circles, until their final settlement and recovery of the legitimate rights of the Iranian people,'' the announcement said.

OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

QUESTION: What makes you think the Iraq War is illegal?

Someone posed that question to me in response to one of my youtube videos.

Here's my response:

Thank you for your thoughtful question.

The Nuremberg War Crime Principles, which we used to prosecute the Nazis, and the UN Charter, which we helped draft and whole-heartedly supported after World War II forbid wars of aggression. While Bush went to the UN about the inspectors issue, he did not seek Security Council approval to invade Iraq, which made the war illegal according to Kofi Annan.

Oddly, we are very selective about when we like the UN. When they are helping us beat up on Saddam, they are good. When they say anything about how Israel treats Palestinians as many resolutions have, we ignore them

Bush knew Saddam was not a threat to us, and went as far as to use the uranium from Niger claim which he knew was false. Even before the war, intelligence professionals in the CIA, Pentagon, and Defense Department were complaining that the White House was pressuring them to make their reports more alarmist than the facts warranted.

In the case of the Pentagon, the administration went as far as to open a separate “Office of Special Plans” that had no intel professionals or separate streams of information, yet produced reports that exaggerated or contradicted military intel. This intel was them presented to Congress and the American people as factual.

A more slippery lie Bush told was creating the impression that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. 70% of Americans believed this but when Bush was asked about it directly, he was forced to admit on at least three different occasions that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, including the 2004 presidential debate.

Those lies had serious consequences: we will end up spend half a trillion dollars on the this war, have lost over 3,000 troops, with tens of thousands more injured, and over 600,000 Iraqis are dead according to the Lancet, the leading medical journal in Britain. Saddam killed about 100,000 people over the ten years before the invasion.

Even if Saddam had the dreaded WMD, or a nuclear weapon in particular, CIA director George Tenet was forced to admit to the Senate that Saddam would have been unlikely to use them on us unless we were literally about to overthrow him.

He would be even less likely to give them to terrorist since once he did, he would have no control over how they were used. Saddam may have been evil, but he was not stupid. He probably knew how to count, and we have 10,000 nukes, a handful of which would exterminate everyone in Iraq in minutes. Saddam may have been evil, but he was not stupid. He even asked our ambassador to Iraq what our opinion was before we invaded Kuwait.

The actual intelligence was irrelevant to Bush anyway. In the minutes of his planning the war with Tony Blair, it was made clear that the trips to the UN, and demands for inspectors were simply efforts to “wrong-foot” Saddam and provide the appearance of justification rather than real diplomatic efforts. They went as far as to say “the facts were being fixed around the policy.”

Before the war even started, the Bush administration drew up a plan to privatize and sell off everything in the country, especially the oil. GOP strategist Grover Norquist proudly admits on camera authoring part of it and some oil executives have admitted their role in the war planning.

The privatization of natural resources and government services under Paul Bremer violates Article 55 of the Hague Convention, and the Bush administration themselves were concerned that their restructuring of Iraq’s oil industry to our oil companies liking would be prosecutable under this article.

Whether the current government of Iraq is truly independent and sovereign is debatable since Bush vetoed their first choice for prime minister, and exerted heavy pressure on the drafting of the Constitution and the current Hydrocarbon Law.

Iraqis who know about the Hydrocarbon Law don’t like it.

If we restructure their oil industry to benefit our oil companies, is that going to make people in Iraq and the rest of the Arab World like us more or less? If the war in Iraq has something to do with the War on Terror, it seems odd to do something that will make terrorism MORE likely.

As far as our general treatment of Iraqis, every part of article 147 of the Geneva Convention has been broken except for biological experiments and forcing Iraqis to serve us militarily. While less known than the Abu Ghraib torture, when we were rounding up Saddam’s generals, kidnapped one’s family to flush him out.

Veterans like John McCain have said that mistreating Iraqis makes it even more likely that if our soldiers are taken prisoner, they will be mistreated.

The Army has a simple standard for whether the war crime of torture has occurred in their interrogation manual: if the same action was done to US troops, would you consider it illegal?

I’ve attached some of the relevant portions of international law. As Americans, we should be concerned when our government lies to us about the reasons they started a war, particularly when they exploited our feelings of vulnerability after 9/11.

(end of message)


The Geneva Convention of 1949 (IV) we've broken almost every section of article 147, and Bush has personally broken article 148.

Art. 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or
property protected by the present Convention: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

The Hague Convention of 1907 (IV) see articles 47, 53, 55

Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.

The privatization of natural resources and government services under Paul Bremer violates this article of the Hague Convention, and the Bush administration themselves were concerned that their restructuring of Iraq’s oil industry to our oil companies liking would be prosecutable under this article. Whether the current government of Iraq is truly independent and sovereign is debatable since Bush vetoed their first choice for prime minister, and exerted heavy pressure on the drafting of the Constitution and the current Hydrocarbon Law.

Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928


The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.

Nuremberg Principles

Principle VI

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

(b) War Crimes:

Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.

(c) Crimes against humanity:

Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.

UN Charter

Article 2, paragraph 4

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Article 51

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Are your senators or congressman big oil's bitch? FIND OUT

You can find out which of your reps needs a boot in the ass here:

The results I got when I plugged in my zip code weren't necessarily surprising, but more like factual confirmation of my suspicions about Dianne Feinstein. When it comes to war & trade, Feinstein breaks with big business not the American people. Her husband even got one of those scam contracts in Iraq.

Hopefully, when she gets tired of being a senator and moves to K Street, she'll be replaced by a real progressive.

Normally, this kind of corruption wouldn't bother me that much, but as Congress drags their feet on ending the Iraq War, and refuses to stop Bush from starting the Iran War, it's reasonable to assume $147,000 in Dianne Feinstein's pocket or over a million in some other senators pocket doesn't mean more to them than the leg of a soldier or marine torn off by an IED or Iraqi kid whose arms are burned off in an air strike.

OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

Sunday, March 18, 2007

BBC's Greg Palast on Iraq War to keep OIL price HIGH

Greg Palast has done the best reporting on oil, energy, and vote manipulation well ahead of the mainstream media or even most of the alternative press.

Here he recaps what big oil has gotten out of the Iraq War, and why the violence, chaos, and even low output is not necessarily bad for the bottom lines of the oil companies.


Published March 18th, 2007 in Articles

by Greg Palast

The war has kept Iraq’s oil production to 2.1 million barrels a day from pre-war, pre-embargo production of over 4 million barrels. In the oil game, that’s a lot to lose. In fact, the loss of Iraq’s 2 million barrels a day is equal to the entire planet’s reserve production capacity.

In other words, the war has caused a hell of a supply squeeze — and Big Oil just loves it. Oil today is $57 a barrel versus the $18 a barrel price under Bill “Love-Not-War” Clinton.

Since the launch of Operation Iraqi Liberation, Halliburton stock has tripled to $64 a share — not, as some believe, because of those Iraq reconstruction contracts — peanuts for Halliburton. Cheney’s former company’s main business is “oil services.” And, as one oilman complained to me, Cheney’s former company has captured a big hunk of the rise in oil prices by jacking up the charges for Halliburton drilling and piping equipment.

But before we shed tears for Big Oil’s having to hand Halliburton its slice, let me note that the value of the reserves of the five biggest oil companies more than doubled during the war to $2.36 trillion.

And that was the plan: putting a new floor under the price of oil. I have that in writing. In 2005, after a two-year battle with the State and Defense Departments, they released to my team at BBC Newsnight the “Options for a Sustainable Iraqi Oil Industry.” Now, you might think our government shouldn’t be writing a plan for another nation’s oil. Well, our government didn’t write it, despite the State Department seal on the cover. In fact, we discovered that the 323-page plan was drafted in Houston by oil industry executives and consultants.


OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

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Senators go to Iraq to press passage of OIL THEFT law

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (a state with lot of oil money sloshing around) went to Iraq to say a timetable for pulling out is a bad idea, the surge will work, and to remind the Iraqis of their duty to pass the Bush administration coerced and oil company written hydrocarbon law:

Murkowski said the senators specifically asked Iraqi lawmakers about the draft hydrocarbon law approved in early March and yet to be passed by the Iraqi Council of Representatives. The law would draft a strategy for developing and managing the oil wealth of the country. The senator said she was confident Iraqi lawmakers were making the legislation a priority.

If this law were in the interests of the Iraqis, why would Bush and Republican senators have to remind the Iraqis to do this? Do people have to remind you to eat or sleep? Usually, when a salesman is putting on the pressure, it's because they are afraid you'll slow down, look at the fine print, and realize you are being screwed.

In this case, the Bushies are probably worried that once the troops are gone the Iraqis will do the right thing and use the hydrocarbon law to wipe their asses.

Antonia Juhasz, Greg Palast, Greg Muttitt, and Joshua Holland have all provided ample evidence of why the Iraqis should be wary.

The Sopranos provides the simplest explanation of how the deal the Bushies are forcing on the Iraqis works. In most oil rich countries like Saudi, Iran, or Kuwait, the oil companies are like the garbage companies in the Sopranos. Tony may run it and make a tidy profit, but it has no real effect on your home or business who hauls away your garbage. What the Bushies want is to treat Iraq the way Tony treated a gambling addict who got in over his head. He paid for his debts by giving Tony a share of his business. By the time it was all over, Tony had the business and the gambler had nothing.

A real world example might be the Bush administration's other favorite bad guy, Hugo Chavez. They hate him because he only wanted the oil companies to get 70% of Venezuelas oil income instead of 84%.

Ironically, AMERICA gives 84% to oil companies, but we have far more important things to vote about like prayer in school or whether yard gnomes are idols to false gods.

OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

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a photo essay of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confessed crimes back to 33 AD

This just proves the value of some good old fashioned, medieval torture.

Thanks, Bush administration!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kucinich: take oil theft benchmark out of Iraq Bill

Kucinich has this exactly right. If Congress lets big oil do this, in the eyes of the world, our democracy will put the stamp of approval on killing hundreds of thousands for the financial advantage of a handful of companies.

Tell your representative to NOT vote for an economic war crime under the Geneva and Hague Conventions by forcing oil privatization on Iraq.


Kucinich: Take oil out of Iraq funds bill

WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, wants passage of an oil law stripped from a list of Iraq war funding legislation benchmarks due on the House floor next week.


"We must remove this benchmark from the supplemental and work to ensure any hydrocarbon law put in place is truly the best interests of all Iraqi people," Kucinich said in a statement.


Two main political parties, the Iraqi Accordance Front and the Iraqi National Slate, have said they oppose the draft law, which needs to passed by Parliament to take effect. (Other accompanying measures must also be agreed upon, which is not assured, before Parliament votes.)

The Iraq oil unions, which represent tens of thousands of workers, have also opposed the law.

At issue is whether the oil sector, which has been nationalized for decades, should allow foreign companies the same access as Iraqi national oil companies, which the United States has called for.

"The United States should not be requiring Iraq to open their oil fields to private foreign companies as a condition of ending our occupation. The administration's strong push to enact a hydrocarbon law has little to do with the needs of the Iraqi people," Kucinich said.

"Instead it is a concerted effort to ensure that American oil companies are granted access to Iraqi oil fields. By adopting this benchmark in the supplemental, and requiring the enactment of this law by the Iraqi government, Democrats will be instrumental in privatizing Iraqi oil."


Economic war crimes in Geneva and Hague Conventions:
The Hague Convention of 1907 (IV) see articles 47, 53, 55

The Geneva Convention of 1949 (IV) we've broken almost every section of article 147.

Art. 147. Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or
property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

OIL MOTIVE for Iraq War resources

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Iraqi Prime Minister: Bush will fire me if oil law fails

Even the appearance of democracy is sacrificed so Bush can give his friends that oil.


Al-Maliki tells aides U.S. benchmark deadline is June 30 or his ouster possible

The Associated Press Tuesday, March 13, 2007

BAGHDAD: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fears the Americans will withdraw support for his government — effectively ousting him — if parliament does not pass a draft oil law by the end of June, close associates of the Iraqi leader told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The legislature has not even taken up the draft measure for a fair distribution of the nation's oil wealth — only one of several U.S. benchmarks that are now seen by al-Maliki, a hardline Shiite, as key to continued American support for his troubled government.


The al-Maliki associates said U.S. officials, who they would not name, had told the prime minister that President Bush was committed to the current government but that continued White House support depended on positive action on all the benchmarks — especially the oil law and sectarian reconciliation — by the close of this parliamentary session on June 30.

"Al-Maliki is committed to meeting the deadline because he is convinced he would not survive in power without U.S. support," one of the associates said.


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