Invisible Hand: Washington Role in Iraq Oil Deal Revealed

(Bad link corrected.)

I.

Here's a follow-up to yesterday's post on the sham sovereignty of the American client state in Iraq. The New York Times reports – in a story of the "Sun Rises in the East" variety – that  Bush Administration has admitted that American government officials and selected corporate cronies "helped" the Iraqis draw up the sweetheart contracts that will bring the original exploiters of Iraqi oil back to their old stomping grounds.

This admission comes just weeks after Condi Rice publicly proclaimed that there was no U.S. government involvement in the oil deal. "It's a private sector matter," she told Fox News. Although the denial of Washington meddling was the usual outright lie – "advisers from the State, Commerce, Energy and Interior Departments are assigned to work with the Iraqi Oil Ministry," the Times reports – on the second point, the Secretary of State was not just flapping her gums: the backroom, no-bid contracts are indeed designed entirely for the benefit of the private sector -- or rather, for that oily part of the private sector from whose bowels have emerged so many top officials of the current administration, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and, er, Condi Rice.

Given the fact that the deal will only further confirm the near-universal belief among Iraqis that the Americans destroyed their country in order to steal their oil, it will certainly exacerbate violent resistance to the continued American presence in Iraq, as well as giving added fuel to the fire (and propaganda efforts) of extremists elsewhere.

In other words, the deal will result in the deaths of more Americans, more Iraqis, and an increase in terrorism around the world. So yes, it is indeed a "private sector matter," because only the private sector will profit from it. The rest of humanity will get it in the neck.


II.
But do let's be fair. The blood-money barons are not simply bigots or racists out to steal the wealth of subhuman foreigners; they very cheerfully devour their own people too, as we noted in the piece below from 2006. The runaway profit-gouging mentioned in the story has only grown greater since then – as has the pile of dead bodies which supports America's crony conquistadors in their wealth and privilege:

(Continued after the jump.)

From "The War for Oil Comes Home":

The "War for Oil" is not just being fought in Iraq, you know. For as the Warmonger-in-Chief never tires of telling us, the "Homeland" itself is a major front in his never-ending war on – not terror, because his policies are fomenting and exacerbating terrorism around the world – but on anything and everything that might impinge in the slightest degree on the profits, power and privilege of the tiny clique of predatory elites that he represents.

[A recent NYT story] lays out the details of the scam – just one of many by which Big Oil uses its hired hands in Washington to cheat the American people out of billions of dollars in fees and royalties from the use of public land for corporate profit. As [the story] makes clear, the entire system is honeycombed with sweetheart clauses and deliberate ambiguities that allow the oil barons to take vast rake-offs – some of which they obligingly return in various forms of baksheesh to their political servants.

We hear a great deal – and rightly so – about the pernicious evil in the Bush Regime's attempt to wrest away the oil wealth of the Iraqi people and hand it to corporate cronies. But of course this was done to the American people long ago, and is still going on today. It's just the way the business works: gouging the rubes and dodging the law (or in most cases these days, simply writing the law yourself and ordering your flunkies in Congress and the White House to enact it)....

These companies and their ungodly profits are sustained at every turn by the infrastructure supported by American taxpayers. Who pays for the roads that distribute their wares? Who pays for the police, the power grid, the sewer lines, the education system, the legal system and every other element that supports the existence of modern commerce? Who pays for the armies that  politicians have sent all over the world to secure Big Oil's pipelines and its ready access to the resources of other nations? Whose sons and daughters die in these military actions? Without this incomprehensively vast network of support, without the blood and treasure of the American people, the oil companies could never make a dime of profit; they'd be left with useless barrels of dinosaur juice to peddle as novelities at the county fair.

Yet not only do they reap these gargantuan private profits from public support – and from generations of politically assisted land swindles, sweetheart deals and special favors – they game the system in every possible way to escape or reduce their own contributions to the common insfrastructure. Jim Smith and Mary Jones can die for them in Iraq or Colombia; whole cities can groan under a creaking, decaying, underfunded infrastructure; but the oil barons will still slither and scheme to claw back every penny they can from the already mild obligations the system places upon them.