Obviously the Middle East itself, not only Iraq but the entire region, is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world. Australians and all of us need to think what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq. â€” Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson
Though he was quickly contradicted by Prime Minister John Howard, Nelson had already blurted out the unspeakable truth: the invasion and occupation of Iraq has always been about the oil. Not WMD. Not spreading democracy. Not fighting Al Qaeda.
We invaded Iraq, and have our sights now set on Iran, because America has a serious addiction to cheap oil and Bush/Cheney decided that murdering hundreds of thousands of people and squandering hundreds of billions of dollars was better than changing the way we do business.
Currently, our attention is on the Iraqis meeting benchmarks as a sign of supposed progress â€” achieve A, B and C and then we’ll call it all a success and back up our guns and go home. But, like the false reasons given for the war the benchmarks are mostly just more farce.
Except for a new law that would turn Iraq’s oil over to multi-national corporations. That’s the real deal, the only benchmark that matters, the whole purpose of the whole sordid mess.
“The last four years have witnessed repeated attempts at dismantling the basis for any well planned resources management for the whole nation, only to replace it with market oriented destabilization and fragmentation policies that are at variance and in competition with each other and the national interest,” said Tariq Shafiq, an Iraqi now living in Amman and London, tasked last spring by the Iraq oil minister to co-write the law. It was subsequently altered in negotiations and he now opposes it.
The Iraqis are wising up to the whole ploy and, ironically, have finally found a compelling reason to unite the many warring factions of their nation:
Last week the Iraq Freedom Congress — whose motto is “Working for a Democratic, Secular and Progressive Alternative to both the U.S. Occupation and Political Islam in Iraq” — teamed up with the new Anti Oil Law Frontier to rally masses against the law.
All the while a coalition in Iraq grows. It encompasses Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and secularists. Its goal is to keep Iraq together. But it also wants an end to the U.S. occupation.
The nerve, after all we’ve done for them….