I don't know why the oil companies didn't think of this sooner since it works so well with our Congress.
Bush, Congress, the World Bank, and IMF have all been pressuring Iraq to pass a Hydrocarbon Law that will give up to 88% of income from new oil fields to big oil companies, a deal no other major oil producing country would take without a gun to their head.
Iraqi oil workers, scholars, and former oil ministry bureaucrats all oppose the law, and polls of Iraqis show they want their oil developed by a national oil company NOT foreign oil companies. This is true even in the Kurdish region that has seemed most cooperative with the Bushies.
Even the most venal, self-interested legislator will probably think twice about taking the bribe, if not to avoid betraying their country, to avoid being shot by their countrymen. I would only take it if it included a plane ticket out of the country too.
Even the most corrupt and Bush-compliant Iraqi parliament knows their are limits to what their people will tolerate before they storm the walls of the Green Zone.
Occasionally, when someone reminds a candidate that all the reasons given for the Iraq War, WMD, terrorism, and spreading democracy have turned out to be embarrassing, childish lies, the politician will tell a more grown up lie, that we need to protect our "vital interests" in the region or even bluntly say we need "access" to that oil. However, if the war was just about access, we could have gotten it the same way China is getting it from Iran and Venezuela: with long term contracts. Even if the military presence was part of an effort to secure "access," you would think we would accept any deal the Iraqis found agreeable to preserve the flow of that oil. Instead, we are putting a gun to their heads solely to maximize oil company profits, and increasing the hatred of our presence in the region. Oil company executives were even concerned that without a war in Iraq, when the sanctions came off, Saddam would pump too much oil and drive prices down, so we are effectively fighting a war to pay MORE not less at the pump.
The oil companies push to control Iraq's oil reserves is rarely discussed in American newspapers, and is blacked out from TV news, which makes it all the more important that stories like this is forwarded to anyone who will read it and voted up on the newsranking sites linked below.
FULL TEXT:Google translation of original Arabic article
An Iraqi MP preferred to remain anonymous told the newspaper that highly confidential negotiations took place by representatives from American oil companies, offering $5 million to each MP who votes in favor of the Oil and Gas law.
The amount that could be paid to pass the votes do not exceed $150 million dollars in the case of $5 million to each MP, pointing out that the Oil law requires 138 votes to pass, which the Americans want to guarantee in many ways, including vote-buying, intimidation and threats!
Focusing on the heads of parliamentary blocs and influential figures in the parliament to ensure the votes, the Americans guaranteed the Kurdish votes in advance but they are seeking enough votes to pass and approve the law as soon as possible.
MORE IRAQ WAR OIL THEFT MOTIVE SOURCES