Sunday, July 08, 2007

Al Gore: Iraq War about OIL THEFT

Most of the Democrats in congress and even those running for president seem to agree with the Bush administration on a fairly crucial issue: by omission, they imply that the Iraq War is not about oil. The Democrats in Congress even went as far as including as including a benchmark in their Iraq funding bill requiring Iraq to pass a Hydrocarbon Law that gives up to 80% of their oil income to American oil companies, claiming that the law was about dividing the money between ethnic groups even though that is only 3 lines of a 33 page document.

Al Gore is seen as the natural candidate for president by many Democrats, so when his book THE ASSAULT ON REASON came out, I wanted to see if he was honest about the oil motive for the Iraq War or gave the same evasions or vague statements of other like "We wouldn't be there if their main product were coconuts," the equivalent of a cop investigating the murder of a loved one never getting past saying "He was in a dangerous neighborhood."

To my surprise, he was honest.

What he says is not new, but he is the highest ranking American establishment figure to acknowledge these facts.

For example on page 118, he talks about the Cheney Energy Task Force looking at the map of oil exploration blocks in Iraq, and quotes a Canadian journalist as saying it looked like "a butcher's drawing of a steer with the prime cuts delineated by dotted lines." On the next page, he mentions the Bush administration blending its policy toward rogue nations with the energy policy of capturing new oil reserves.

On page 119, he says the Hydrocarbon Law was written in Washington, DC for the benefit of oil companies and given to the Bush approved government to pass.

He revisits the Hydrocarbon Law on page 195:

Later, during the invasion itself, even as looters were carrying off many of Iraq's priceless antiquities from the museums designed to commemorate the "cradle of civilization," only one government building was protected by American troops: the petroleum ministry. In 2007, even as Iraq was disintegrating into sectarian violence, the Bush administration was carefully crafting legal documents --while the United States was still the occupying power--guaranteeing preferential access to the enormous profits expected from production of Iraq's vast oil reserves for ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell.

Critics like Greg Muttitt of the human rights and environmental group Platform, which monitors the oil industry, described the proposed law as a terrible deal for the Iraqis and regional citizens, who were totally cut out of the process. "The draft went to the US government and major oil companies in July [2006]," Muttitt said in January 2007, "and to the International Monetary Fund in September. Last month I met a group of twenty Iraqi MPs in Jordan, and asked them how many has seen the legislation. Only one had."

I would like a president who speaks this bluntly about who is buying our foreign policy. Corporate American would not, and would likely try to ridicule, taint with scandal, or kill him to keep him out of the White House.


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