More Blood For Oil
The Iraq War wasn’t just about oil. (It was also about Doug Feith! Just kidding, dude.) But it wasn’t not about oil, either. Today, we see that the Iraqi oil ministry awarded lucrative no-bid contracts to — surprise — Western oil giants. Time to get shrill. The New York Times:
The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.
There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.
The companies are Exxon, Total, BP and Shell. And they’re here in Iraq out of the goodness of their hearts, with promises that the Iraqi people will get their fair share of their nation’s oil bounty.
Any Western oil official who comes to Iraq would require heavy security, exposing the companies to all the same logistical nightmares that have hampered previous attempts, often undertaken at huge cost, to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure.
So not only will we have unregulated foreign oil companies making money off endless occupation and proxy government, we’re sure to have unregulated private security companies providing the muscle for them. This is the real Bush Doctrine.