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New Iraqi oil law means prolonged war

Proposed Iraqi ‘hydrocarbon law’ will require prolonged U.S. occupation, say Greens

• Law giving U.S. oil firms control over Iraqi oil resources fulfills an imperial dream of Bush Administration ideologues, reveals a major motivation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party leaders warned that the new ‘hydrocarbon law’ up for approval in Iraq would lead to a prolonged, possibly permanent U.S. presence in Iraq, with U.S. military and Iraqi civilian casualties for years to come.

“The Iraqi hydrocarbon law, if approved by Iraqi lawmakers, will provide lucrative profits for U.S. energy corporations by placing up to 2/3 of Iraqi oil resources under foreign control,” said Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.  “The U.S. government, whether led by Democrats or Republicans, will be committed to protecting American energy company operations and investments in Iraq by keeping U.S. troops there.”

Greens noted that passage of the law will aggravate Iraqi and regional anger over the U.S. invasion, which has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians (as well as over 3,100 U.S. troops), destroyed Iraqi infrastructure, and ignited a sectarian civil

“Iraqis should be allowed to decide how their resources will be used, without the pressure of the U.S. occupation and demands from the Bush Administration,” said Katey Culver, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chiar of the Green Party of Tennessee.  “The hydrocarbon law amounts to legalized pillage by a foreign country, and that’s how Iraqis will interpret it.”

The Green Party has called for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and has urged Congress to cut off funding for the war to compel President Bush to order the safe return of American service personnel.

“The Iraqi oil law proves that ‘blood for oil’ was a major reason for the Iraq War all along. It demonstrates that President Bush didn’t invade Iraq because of claims about WMDs, conspiracy between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, liberation and democracy for the Iraqi people, or other reasons that have proved fraudulent,” said Green Party co-chair Jim Coplen.

Major points  on the Iraqi hydrocarbon law and extended U.S. military presence in Iraq:

• The Iraqi hydrocarbon law, which was drafted with the help of BearingPoint, a U.S. consultancy firm, provides ‘production-sharing agreements’ (PSAs) allowing major Western energy companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, ChevronTexaco, and BP to
sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq’s oil.  The PSAs will allow Iraq to retain legal
ownership of its oil, but will ensure major profits for non-Iraqi companies that invest in
infrastructure and operation of the wells, pipelines and refineries.  Iraq will be the only
major Middle Eastern oil producing nation whose oil production is controlled by foreign rather than state-owned companies.  The hydrocarbon law will turn Iraq into an oil spigot for western nations, rather than a resource that benefits Iraqis.  The drafting process was secretive; few Iraqi officials were allowed to read the text, until it was leaked over the Internet.  The law was approved by the Iraqi cabinet on February 26
and now heads to the Iraqi Parliament, which is under heavy pressure from the U.S. to pass it. http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4020   www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0228-05.htm

• U.S. control over oil from the Persian Gulf region has been a stated goal since the late
1990s of the Project for the New American Century, a think tank whose membership has formed the core of Bush Administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Zalmay M. Khalilzad.  The Project recommended waging war on Iraq to assert such control. www.newamericancentury.org

• Michael Hirsh, in Newsweek, reports that while Democratic and Republican presidential contenders and Congress members are talking about timetables for withdrawal of U.S. troops, Gen. David Petraeus’ ‘surge’ plan will commit the U.S. to a
longer occupation that may last ten years.  According to a Reuters report, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on February 27 that the U.S. may maintain a military presence in Iraq for a “prolonged period,” comparable to U.S. bases in Germany and South Korea.  www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17282867/site/newsweek/


“Troop Surge + Oil Grab by U.S. Firms = War Without End”
Green Party press release, January 10, 2007

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