imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

It's the Oil, Stupid

by MICHAEL T. KLARE Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 12:40 AM

Oil had nothing to do with Washington's motives for the invasion, we were told. "The only interest the United States has in the region is furthering the cause of peace and stability, not in [Iraq's] ability to generate oil," said press secretary Ari Fleischer in late 2002. But at a January briefing an unnamed "senior Defense official" revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks and his staff "have crafted strategies that will allow us to secure and protect those fields as rapidly as possible in order to preserve those prior to destruction...

This article can be found on the web at


It's the Oil, Stupid


[from the May 12, 2003 issue]

On the second day of the invasion of Iraq, US commandos seized two Iraqi offshore oil terminals in the Persian Gulf, capturing their defenders without a fight. "Swooping silently out of the Persian Gulf night," exulted James Dao of the New York Times, Navy SEALs claimed "a bloodless victory in the battle for Iraq's vast oil empire."

Dao's dramatic turn of phrase revealed more about the Administration's plans for Iraq than almost every other report from the battlefield. While American forces turned a blind eye to the looting of Iraq's archeological treasures, they moved quickly to gain control over oilfields, refineries and pipelines. Even before Iraqi resistance had been squelched, top US officials were boasting that Iraq's oil infrastructure was safely in American hands.

Oil had nothing to do with Washington's motives for the invasion, we were told. "The only interest the United States has in the region is furthering the cause of peace and stability, not in [Iraq's] ability to generate oil," said press secretary Ari Fleischer in late 2002. But at a January briefing an unnamed "senior Defense official" revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks and his staff "have crafted strategies that will allow us to secure and protect those fields as rapidly as possible in order to preserve those prior to destruction, as opposed to having to go in and clean them up after."

When pressed, the "senior Defense official" (presumably Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz) claimed that these fields would be protected so as to benefit the Iraqi people "at some point in the future." Other officials spoke of holding the fields "in trust" for the Iraqis. Nonetheless, the White House has talked with US energy companies about assuming a major role in the postconflict development of Iraq's mammoth reserves.

For now, the Administration's main concern appears to be to put existing oilfields back into operation as rapidly as possible so as to help subsidize the costs of occupying and reconstructing Iraq. To insure that this process will move quickly, the Defense Department awarded a noncompetitive, multimillion-dollar contract to Halliburton, the Houston-based oil-services firm once headed by Dick Cheney to fight fires and repair damage in the oilfields and begin the task of rehabilitation. In coming months other US oil-services firms, including Fluor and Bechtel (both with close ties to the Administration), will be invited to bid for even more lucrative contracts to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure. Ultimately, about billion will be needed to restore Iraqi oil production to the levels achieved before the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War and the 1991 Gulf War.

Managing this complex enterprise will be an "interim authority" made up of Iraqis selected or approved by the US government, presumably including expatriates like Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), who enjoys close ties with the CIA and Defense. It can be safely assumed, however, that US occupation officials will retain ultimate authority over the oilfields during this period. Washington will seek United Nations Security Council resolutions lifting the economic sanctions in order to allow sales of Iraqi oil. But Administration officials vow to exclude the UN from decision-making on the disposition of Iraqi oil assets.

Once the fields are back in operation, the next item on the Administration's agenda will be to determine the fate of the Iraqi National Oil Company, the state-owned firm that has managed Iraq's oil assets since their nationalization in the 1970s. Most of INOC's current managers wish to keep the company under state ownership, but some of the exile leaders being courted by the Bush team, including Chalabi, favor privatizing the firm and parceling it out in large pieces to major American and British oil companies. "American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil," Chalabi declared in September 2002. This approach was given further support by a meeting of expatriate Iraqi oil officials convened by the State Department in early March. The officials, members of the oil and energy panel of State's Future of Iraq Project, declared that any post-Saddam Iraqi government should "develop the right economic environment to allow investment in and utilization of its oil and gas resources."

American oil firms have admitted to meeting with representatives of the INC and other exile groups to discuss postwar access to Iraqi oil. While exploitation of Iraq's existing fields, with total reserves estimated at 112 billion barrels (second only to Saudi Arabia's holdings of 261 billion barrels) is appealing enough, what US firms really want is to be able to tap into Iraq's "virgin" (undeveloped) fields in remote parts of the country.

According to the Energy Department, these undeveloped fields may hold as much as 200 billion barrels of oil, making this the largest pool of unexploited petroleum in the world. Saddam had awarded contracts to firms in Russia, China and France to develop some of these fields, but any government installed by the United States--certainly one headed by Chalabi--would declare those contracts void. With most big fields in the United States and other mature producing areas in decline, access to these reserves could prove essential to the survival and future prosperity of some of the major American energy firms. It is this fact, more than any other, that belies the Administration's claim that oil had nothing to do with the decision to invade and occupy Iraq.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Gee Mr. Wilson... Diogenes Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 12:41 AM
black gold texas tea Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 2:13 AM
Yep it's about the oil... MadMaxim Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 4:34 AM
Dao is a leftwing reporter Mao Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 6:57 AM
"Yeah, but THIS time... daveman Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 7:48 AM
test test Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 9:57 AM
geez LAIMC- Incompetent asswipes get this fixed!!! Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 10:31 AM
Data on failure Sheepdog Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 12:03 PM
Gee Kiddies MadMaxim Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 12:48 PM
they said it was all about oil lullable Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 2:26 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy