Told Ya So

It’s not like we didn’t already know the Iraq War was all for oil or anything, and it’s not like we haven’t seen every other rationale go up in smoke (Saddam’s WMDs, al-Qaeda, “let’s fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here, yada yada). So this post won’t be a shocker to anyone. But hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we could find out what really happened in Dick Cheney’s energy task force meetings?

Well, thank God the Brits can point us in the right direction:

Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”

The minister then promised to “report back to the companies before Christmas” on her lobbying efforts.

The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”. Its minutes state: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”

After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office’s Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”

Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had “no strategic interest” in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time”.

BP was concerned that if Washington allowed TotalFinaElf’s existing contact with Saddam Hussein to stand after the invasion it would make the French conglomerate the world’s leading oil company. BP told the Government it was willing to take “big risks” to get a share of the Iraqi reserves, the second largest in the world.

Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.

The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq’s reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil, bought up by companies such as BP and CNPC (China National Petroleum Company), whose joint consortium alone stands to make £403m ($658m) profit per year from the Rumaila field in southern Iraq.

You know, if this shit went on in the UK you can be damned sure it happened here in the United States.

Isn’t it peachy to know that well before the invasion of Iraq on the pretense of finding “weapons of mass destruction” and under the threat of “smoking guns becoming mushroom clouds,” behind the scenes oil companies were already divvying up the booty?

One, two, three, four, what the hell are we fighting for?

Oh yeah, and why do we still have tens of thousands of troops over there? Anyone?

And can you believe that no one has yet gone to jail for this? Thousands of American soldiers dead or maimed or mentally shattered, our budget sent into debt for a war that was never paid for, tens of thousands of Iraqi civillians dead or living as refugees, all for western greed.

And no one is in jail.

Yeah sure, they hate us for our freedoms. Right.

10 Comments

Filed under Big Oil, BP, Iraq War

10 responses to “Told Ya So

  1. >As Democrats, we should look forward not backward as our dear leader suggests. Why get all hot and bothered about flagrant violations of the Constitution and international law back in the past, when we should be uniting to re-elect the One who is bringing us hope and change?

  2. >I thought it was payback for 9/11???Thanks for the reporting. "That's another fine mess you've gotten us into Stanley!"We may also infer that other secret meetings decided who would head the FERC, the fate of California's lawsuit against Enron and a few other choice domestic questions that needed to be addressed.

  3. >Charles D, you're a Democrat now? LOL.In case you hadn't noticed the war is still going on. We still have troops in Iraq. So yeah, looking at why we're there is absolutely relevant, regardless of who is president.

  4. >And can you believe that no one has yet gone to jail for this? Yup.Remember two things:1) Oil is black gold.2)The golden rule – he who has the gold makes the rules.This should make it all clear.Happy to be of help.Cheers!Yout Yankee friend JzB

  5. >My tongue was very firmly in my cheek on that last post. It really matters little whether we have a black Democrat or a redneck Republican in the White House, the average American is going to be screwed, the military is still going to "need" more money and more wars. You notice that Obama is still saying we're holding BP responsible for the Gulf catastrophe? LOL.

  6. >Yeah sure Charles let's all vote for Ralph Nader and the Greens and MAKE A STATEMENT, how's that working for ya? Meanwhile the Teanuts manage to actually get their crackpots elected and hold the Republican Party hostage to a far right extremist agenda. Now, why couldn't progressives take over the Democratic Party in the same way? Because of idiots peddling a line of "oh they're all the SAME and what's the POINT…" thanks a lot.

  7. >The progressives can't take over the Democratic Party because we just simply don't have the money. As long as it costs hundreds of millions to run for President and a million or so to run for Senate, etc., there's no way an anti-corporate, anti-militarist candidate is going to get to first base. We've been down this road many times before and every 4 years we are told to be mature and vote for the Democrat because the Republican is completely batshit insane. Then we spend the next 4 years wondering why the Democrat is pursuing the same policies the batshit insane guy ran on. I've had enough. I'm not playing this game any more because we the people cannot win. We can continue to delude ourselves and keep doing the same things that have been working so well for progressives for the last 30 years (How's that hopey, changy thing working for ya?), or we can be honest with ourselves and look for a viable alternative.

  8. Jim

    >Charles – you just described how no true progressive can win an election and then proposed to leave the Democratic party and find a progressive to elect. Do you see the disconnect there?

  9. >Jim,But Charles D isn't really interested in electing a progressive candidate or even a moderate one. He's spreading the same message of disillusionment and disappointment and disaffection that I wrote about in my Donald Trump post. Which is precisely what the plutocracy wants: an electorate that just throws its hands up in disgust and says, "what the hell, they're all the same, I give up, I'm gonna watch American Idol or burn a spliff or whatever …"In my opinion, he and his kind are phonies, who do more for the corporate plutocrats than a person who votes for a moderate Democrat ever does. The politics of disillusionment is extremely toxic to Democracy because it lulls people into this false sense of powerlessness. It's exactly what the powerful want.

  10. >Well, there's no need to call each other names like a gang of tea partiers. I think that being disillusioned with American politics is a responsible and realistic stance – as opposed to continuing to labor under the illusion that we live in a democracy. I'm not saying we should give up and forget about the country and concentrate on growing organic veggies and hydroponic hemp. What I'm saying is that if we continue to play the political game constructed for us by the parties and the media, we will continue to lose.Let's start by being honest about our political system and our potential for changing it. Then we can develop a strategy for change.