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Green Party supports Iraqis protesting the oil law benchmark

The oil law, instead of bringing peace, will allow US and UK energy companies to plunder Iraqi oil, say Greens

Green Party leaders declared their support for the tens of thousands of Iraqis, including labor unions, who are protesting the Iraqi oil law ‘benchmark’ that the Bush Administration and supporters are seeking to impose as a condition for reconstruction aid.

On July 16, Iraqis took to the streets of Basra in a demonstration organized by the Iraqi
Federation of Oil Unions against the proposed law, which would place 2/3 of Iraqi oil under foreign control, granting 30-year contracts to US and UK energy corporations for ‘development’ of Iraq’s oil resources.

“The oil law is nothing more than a scheme to allow the US and Britain to pillage Iraq’s source of wealth,” said TE Smith, black Vietnam War veteran and member of the DC Statehood Green Party.  “The oil law benchmark confirms exactly what antiwar protesters have said all along — that President Bush’s invasion and occupation of
Iraq were largely motivated by ‘blood for oil.’  Iraqis are right to fear that the oil law will
mark a return to the days of colonial plunder by western nations.”

The Bush Administration, with bipartisan support in Congress and the approval of most Democratic presidential candidates, is pressing the Iraqi Parliament to pass the oil law.  The law would overturn Iraqi legislation passed in 1961 and 1973 to ensure that the Iraqi people enjoyed control over and profits from their own oil resources.

“Democratic and Republican politicians alike want the Iraqi oil law passed, because they care more about profits for ExxonMobil, Shell, and ChevronTexaco than they do about peace, democracy, and the well-being of the Iraqi people,” said Nancy Allen, member of the Maine Green Party and the party’s Peace Action Committee (GPAX).  “Democrats are talking about passage of the oil law as a necessary step towards withdrawal of US troops.  The Green Party demands that US troops be ordered home immediately with no such conditions, that the US recognize that Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people, and that we as Americans seek safe and clean alternatives to fossil fuel energy.”

The Green Party of the United States has opposed the war on Iraq ever since President Bush announced invasion plans in late 2002, and has called for the impeachment of Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney for numerous abuses of power, including deceiving the American people about the reasons for waging war on Iraq.

Greens have also sharply criticized Democratic Party leaders and presidential candidates for supporting the Bush Administration on the invasion and occupation, for offering belated and vague plans for a delayed pullout of US armed forces from Iraq, and for voting in support of continued funding for the Iraq War.

“The occupation of Iraq is very likely to continue whether we elect Democrats or
Republicans to the White House and Congress in 2008,” said Kat Swift, spokesperson for the National Women’s Caucus of the Green Party.  “If the Iraqi Parliament succumbs to US pressure and passes the oil law, it’ll require a 30-year commitment of US military personnel to protect western corporate interests in Iraq.  We’re urging all Americans who desire peace, stability, and justice for the people of Iraq to contact their Representatives and Senators and demand that the benchmark be dropped.”

MORE INFORMATION
• 2007 national Green Party meeting in Reading, Pa.: video footage, blog and media coverage http://www.gp.org/meeting2007/

Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) http://www.gp.org/committees/peace/

Oil Change International: Iraqi Oil Law http://priceofoil.org/thepriceofoil/war-terror/iraqi-oil-law/

“Who Will Control Iraq’s Oil?” By Antonia Juhasz and Raed Jarrar, Foreign Policy
in Focus, February 22, 2007 http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4020
http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2007/02/27/who_will_control_iraqs_oil.php

‘Open Letter to Michael Moore’ from the Green Party on ‘Sicko,’ health care reform
http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2007_07_09.shtml 
http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/0710-03.htm

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