- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Duane J. Roberts
Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2003 at 3:01 AM
While most other public buildings in Baghdad have been left unguarded, the huge Oil Ministry headquarters on Palestine Street has been ringed by more than 70 US troops and protected by up to a dozen or more armoured personnel carriers
I strongly disagree with the following article's assertion that the U.S. military was sent to protect Baghdad's Ministry of Oil from being ransacked.
It's my opinion they were sent there for the purpose of ensuring that Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, and British Petroleum got a chance to loot it first!
These thieves just don't want the common folks to take anything before they roll into town!
Duane J. Roberts
From The Australian
US protection pours oil on mistrust's fire
By Peter Wilson in Baghdad
April 15, 2003
THE MINISTRY of Irrigation, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Oil, the Iraq Olympic Committee and the Sahat Antar Telephone Exchange.
All but one of these Baghdad public buildings has been looted, burned, or destroyed in the past few weeks.
Even the Kindi Hospital, Baghdad's largest, has been attacked by looters while the US military controlling most of the city said it was not its job to protect every institution from the breakdown of law and order following the US-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.
The glaring exception is the Ministry of Oil, the nerve centre of Iraq's lucrative oil export industry and the only one of these major public sites to be specially protected by US troops.
While most other public buildings in Baghdad have been left unguarded, the huge Oil Ministry headquarters on Palestine Street has been ringed by more than 70 US troops and protected by up to a dozen or more armoured personnel carriers.
That glaring contrast has convinced many angry Iraqis that Washington's invasion of Iraq was motivated by its own commercial interests and the state of international oil markets rather than its professed concern for the Iraqi public and its democratic rights.
Iraqis had long been told by Saddam Hussein's regime that any US invasion of Iraq would be motivated by oil, and the special protection of the Ministry of Oil has become a public relations disaster that Washington is likely to regret.
The growing scepticism about American motives in Iraq is now the greatest threat to US chances of installing a new Iraqi government with some chance of enjoying popular support.
Middle-class Iraqis have complained bitterly over the past week that the looting of ministry buildings will have to be paid for by taxpayers, while Muslims have been deeply offended by the failure of US troops to protect shrines such as the 1200-year-old Abu Hanifa Mosque, which had its cherished clock tower blasted in a US attack.
"People only have to use their eyes to see what the Americans are really interested in," Hayder Daoud Salman said yesterday.
"Everyone is looking around at what the Americans are protecting and what they are leaving to the Ali Babas (looters), and knowing why they came here."
Salman, a television repairman, was working yesterday as a spokesman for armed Shi'ite Muslims protecting the Kindi hospital.
The new informal Shi'ite militia began by protecting the hospital in the mostly Shi'ite slum area of Saddam City but has now expanded its role to protect several other hospitals like Kindi.
"I spoke to a (US) officer and asked them to secure the hospital and he said 'I am not allowed to protect you'. I said 'can just one tank stay so everybody can see it and they will leave the hospital alone', and he said 'I'm following orders, we can't do that.' Yesterday the soldiers came for two hours; today nothing.
"Instead it is only the Ministry of Oil they protect. I think it is a message that their only interest is oil. They are showing us the truth. My personal opinion is there is a message here for other countries that America is interested in something bigger (than Iraq)."
The same argument has been aired by dozens of angry Baghdad residents in interviews with The Australian in recent days, following similar sentiments expressed in southern Iraq over the previous two weeks. The breaking of the coalition's promise to maintain law and order and basic services such as water, power and hospitals had stoked suspicions that Washington was not really driven by the needs of the Iraqi people.
A US military spokesman yesterday defended the high-profile protection of the Oil Ministry, saying the US military had no regrets about the way it had handled the law and order challenges in Baghdad.
"Our military presence, given the size of the city, is very small," said Major Paul Konopka of the US Marines 1st Regimental Combat Team. "It was appropriate to the size of the (Iraqi) military force we faced but it is very small in terms of protecting the whole city.
"So when you had the looting, we could only protect so much of it. In that situation it's like first aid. You have to set priorities and stop the bleeding, then you can do other things later. The first priority was things like water, power and sanitation, things the Iraqi people told us they wanted."
On that basis, why would the Ministry of Oil rank above basic services, such as hospitals?
"The answer is obvious. Oil fuels everything it fuels hospitals, trucks that deliver food, everything."
Report this post as:
Change Links September 2018 posted
More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre
Site Outage Friday
Change Links August 2018
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
More Local News...
Addendum: Benjamin Tucker American Mutualist: Tucker Did Not Advocate Voting in Businesses
OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala
Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation!
Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme
Paraphysique de psychosomatique
Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal
Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy
Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc
Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk
Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement
The Dictatorship of Corporations
18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting
Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue
Shopping du bashing
After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Probabilités de fin d'humanité
Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW
Steer clear of work morality!
The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally!
August 2018 Honduras Coup update
Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges
Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts
Paraphysique de contextualité
Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism
Ex-voto de réification
More Breaking News...