President George W. Bush has issued executive order 13303, which gives all oil companies involved in extraction of Iraqi oil total immunity from all lawsuits arising from contractual disputes, discrimination claims, international treaties, violations of labor practices, human rights violations and environmental disasters. It further gives immunity to all sellers and marketers of this oil. What this means is that if an environmental disaster occurs in California due to criminal negligence on the part of an oil company, they are immune from liability if some of their oil revenue can be traced back to Iraq. And it goes without saying that the Iraqi people are totally out of luck in receiving any compensation for damages to their health or environment, and the US and British oil companies can make as much profit as is humanly possible. This is another glaring indication that the war was really about oil, rather than these phony excuses about weapons of mass destruction or "liberating" the Iraqi people.
Iraq has been "liberated" before. In 1917 the British invaded Baghdad and "liberated" Iraq from the tyranny of the Ottoman Turks. British oil companies then proceeded to steal Iraqi oil until 1958, when a nationalist revolution overthrew the British puppet ruler King Faisal and the oil was nationalized. It is very disconcerting and depressing that many Americans think the United States is not similar to all other capitalist powers in history and is completely uninterested in exploiting the natural resources of the Third World, but instead wants only to bring them democracy and freedom. The US-installed Shah of Iran didn't bring the Iranian people democracy and freedom, but terrible repression and torture by his secret police. And the US oil companies made huge profits under the Shah's dictatorship. Do people who believe in the innocence and benevolence of US foreign policy also believe in the tooth fairy, or is the corporate media simply so sophisticated and powerful that these people are incapable of thinking critically and logically about anything?