Monday, March 17, 2003

'Of oil and almonds'
More discussion about the post-Saddam Iraq, here by Ruth Rosen of the San Francisco Chronicle:

But it is not only the United States and Great Britain who stand accused of coveting Iraqi oil. Right now, the Turks are poised to fight the Kurds over the oil fields in Northern Iraq.
Extremely good point. Right now, according to ABC News tonight, the two Kurdish factions who have constantly been at odds with each other have decided to join forces to fight the Turks. The Kurds believe the Turks will be invading their territories in Northern Iraq at the first sign of the Americans coming in. The Turks, who reined their own holocaust against the Armenians decades ago, don't want the Kurds to get their own land - or oil fields. Then, there are the Israelis, who have been busy killing Palestinians but are now preparing to retaliate against Iraq - or anyone else - with pre-emptive strikes, to protect themselves. Thank you "King George" W. You have brought us to the brink of World War III!

France, Russia and China also worry that in a post-war Iraq, an American-friendly government would reward U.S. friends -- Exxon Mobil Corp. of Irving, Texas or Royal Dutch/Shell of London -- with lucrative oil contracts. In addition, an interim government will award some $3 billion to $5 billion to the oil-service industry. Among those who have bid for such contracts are Fluor Corp., the Bechtel Group Ind. and Halliburton Co., which Dick Cheney ran before he became vice president. The Pentagon has already awarded the Houston- based company, Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton Co., a multimillion-dollar contract to develop a plan for fire-fighting operations in Iraqi oil fields.
This is the same Bechtel that took over a decade and $15 billion to build the Central Artery Tunnel, otherwise known as the Big Dig, here in Boston. Oh yeah, we definitely want those guys rebuilding Iraq after we get done carpet bombing the desert. The country will never get rebuilt. They are THE LAST people who should be given a contract to do ANYTHING in Iraq. And then there is Halliburton. Gotta love this stuff. War is such good business. Bush's defense contractor friends get billions more for new weapons, and then his friends get to profit from the clean up and rebuild. What an f-ing racket.

You may ask, but isn't disarmament the real goal? Indeed, it is. In a 1998 letter to then-President Bill Clinton, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, now the most outspoken hawks in the Bush administration -- wrote that "if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction . . . a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will be put at hazard. The only acceptable strategy is . . . to undertake military action, as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy."
Clinton did not follow their advice. But George W. Bush, a Texas oil man whose inner circle has become reckless with dreams of American power, has now made the removal of Hussein the goal of our new pre-emptive war policy.
Again, disarmament isn't the real goal. If it was, we would have never sold those chemical weapons to them in the first place. If disarmament was the "real goal," our government would have ended its weapons exportation program yesterday. It hasn't ended. We are the largest weapons exporter in the world. Again, it is good for business. None of this has anything to do with disarmament. As Michael Moore has said, this is Bush's "weapon of mass distraction."