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

Oil Robbery by Law: The Economic Invasion of Iraq

by Joachim Guillard Thursday, Aug. 03, 2006 at 9:07 AM

The US does not rob Iraq of its oil. The emphasis is on sharing. Production Sharing Agreements are long-term agreements between oil corporations and coil states. Richard Perle once said solidarity means countries agreeing with the US.


The New Constitution Promotes the Selling Off of the Land

By Joachim Guilliard

[This article based on the 2005/05 IMI study “Iraq’s Constitution – A Constitutional Occupation,” IMI, December 2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, Joachim Guilliard is a member of the Heidelberg Forum against Militarism and War.]

With the elections on December 15, 2005, the Bush administration nearly completed its “transition process” in Iraq. The newly elected National Assembly and the future cabinet are no longer interim stopgap solutions but sovereign and constitutional organs of a new Iraq. With an internationally recognized government, Washington can begin to convert its ambitious plans in a way binding in international law. Three months after the elections, the government is not yet settled, a clear sign of the fragility of this façade.

One essential element of this “transition process” was the introduction of a new constitution. This took effect by referendum at the end of October 2005 after a constitution-giving process described as completely “irregular” by the historian and Middle East expert Juan Cole. The accelerated constitutional process reflects pure US priorities, not Iraq’s compelling urgencies. Instead of reaching consensus and balancing interests of different groups of the population – reflecting the secular tradition of Iraq for decades -, the particular goals of three extreme powers were reflected in the text of the constitution: the Kurdish and the radical Shiite parties constituting the interim government and the US government.

The introduction of Islamic law is very contested. The planned transformation of Iraq into a loose federation on an ethnic-confessional foundation provides even more dynamite. The constitution accelerates “the violent disintegration of the land.” The NATO-near International Crisis Group (ICG) says the situation is developing “toward a division of the land and an uncontrolled civil war.” (1)

While much attention was given to these aspects and the spotty anchoring of women’s rights and universal human rights, at least one equally important controversial question was left out of discussion: the future economic structure of the country.

According to the first drafts of the constitution, most members of the constitution commission had in a mind a welfare state of the Scandinavian type in which Iraq’s oil wealth would finance every Iraqi’s right to free education and health care, housing and other social services. “Social justice is the foundation for building a society,” we read for example in a June 2005 draft published by the Iraqi newspaper “Al-Mada.” Social justice should also be the basis of the economy. Iraq’s natural resources should remain the collective property of its citizens. (2) These proposals were attached to the old constitution that declared “social solidarity” was the “first foundation of society.”

These ideas are hardly compatible with the intentions of the US government. Long before the military invasion, the US government worked out very different plans for the oil-rich land. These plans can be looked up in detail in a contract of the US government with the consulting firm “BearingPoint.” The firm was charged with concretizing the ambitious project. BearingPoint was commissioned “to create the essential legal framework for a functioning market economy so capital could cash in on the unique possibility for quick progress offered by present political conditions.” (3)

Beside the growing resistance, the deficient international law legitimation stood in the way of a rapid conversion of these plans. Given the broad rejection of US policy in the population, every investor has to fear his contracts could be declared null and void by a future sovereign government. With the help of the new constitution, the necessary legal certainty for investors would now be established.

Therefore the US pressed for a hasty ratification. The new US ambassador in Iraq, Zalmay Khallizad, is taking up the constitution process. A little circle consisting of Khallizah and the leaders of allied parties worked out the draft that was ultimately voted on, not the commission appointed by the parliament.

As expected, the article that would have made social justice the foundation of society disappeared at the end. Instead the state is now committed “to reform the Iraqi economy according to modern economic foundations” in a way that “encourages and develops the private sector.” The protective clause that narrowly limited the possibility of individual foreign persons and corporations acquiring Iraqi property was removed. Its regulation was now left to simple laws. Such laws exist in the practical form of “Order 39” of the former US administrator Paul Bremer allowing foreigners 100% takeover of Iraqi economic assets and equating them with Iraqi citizens. This “order” is still in effect.

Article 110 “Applying Strategies” based on “the most modern techniques of market principles and favoring investments,” is demanded especially for the oil sector. These strategies already flow into a new law about crude oil production worked out parallel to the constitution that was to be passed after the new government assumed office. What is “modern” is the planned introduction of the so-called “Production Sharing Agreements” (PSA).

PSAs are very long-term agreements between oil corporations and oil-rich states with terms of 25-40 years. With these businesses, the corporations take over the development and exploitation of sources of oil. The revenues will e shared according to a negotiated formula. During the whole term, the firms are protected from all legal changes that could lessen their profit.

Since oil resources formally remain the property of the state, PSAs avoid the stimulus word “privatization” and thus are more easily accepted by the population. However the oil multinationals are given complete control over oil production. Producing countries gain initial savings at a costly price through enormous long-term losses in income reflected on the side of the corporations as terrific profit rates. Only a few larger oil-producing countries relied on PSAs in the past. The share of oil revenues left to them varies from country to country and depends on the respective negotiating position. Since Iraq does not have an independent government and oil corporations sit indirectly at the other side of the negotiating table, these corporations have the best presuppositions for gaining very favorable conditions – legally established for up to 40 years.

According to the new law, the actual producing oil fields will be operated by the state (or later partially privatized) Iraqi national oil company (INOC). On the other hand, all new oil fields beginning production will be developed and exploited by private firms. Only 17 of the 80 known oil fields were in operation in the past. With the remaining 63, the multinational conglomerates gain access to 64% of Iraq’s previously known oil reserves and over more than 80% of the presumed reserves. (4)

Negotiations over the first twelve oil fields with US and British oil conglomerates through PSAs have already begun. The conglomerates are sheltered up to the fall of 2006.

According to estimates of experts, Iraq will lose between and 4 billion in oil revenues within the next 30 years.. The losses could quickly expand to more billions of US dollars. On the other hand, participating firms can expect annual profits of 42% to 162% from invested capital.

Report this post as:

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

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

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

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

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

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

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

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

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

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