BP “stranglehold” on Iraq economy in War on Terror for Oil
Baghdad government secretly agreed to pay BP, even when no oil is being produced by Rumaila oil field, as confidential documents obtained by Observer show, what The Guardian highlighted as a “stranglehold” on Iraq’s government plus more evidence the war on Iraq has been for its oil, not terror say critics. Some of those critics are hitting the road this week with their new movie, “Freedom” to prove Americans can stop violence for oil now and instead, manufacture safe, healthy, renewable energy.
BP’s original deal to operate Iraq’s Rumalia oil field, Iraq’s largest field half as big as the entire North Sea, has been rewritten so BP will be compensated immediately for civil disruption or government decisions to cut production.
“Iraq’s oil auctions were portrayed as a model of transparency and a negotiating victory for the Iraqi government,” said Greg Muttitt, activist and author of Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq.
“Now we see the reality was the opposite: a backroom deal that gave BP a stranglehold on the Iraqi economy, and even influence over the decisions of Opec.”
Recently, through Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, The Independent obtained 1,000 documents detailing talks between the British government and BP, Shell oil and other oil companies in fall of 2002 about their Iraqi petroleum share.
The FOI requests over five years by Muttitt contradicted denials of “War for Oil”:
1) Shell’s denials that its representatives met with the Blair government on Iraq at that time;
2) BP denials that it had “no strategic interest” in Iraqi petroleum; and
3) Tony Blair denials that it was a “conspiracy theory” that he was interested in Iraq’s petroleum as a motive for war.
(Also see Australian ABC report, “Government admits oil is the reason for war in Iraq”, Youtube)
Tony Blair could not have negotiated an oil deal with Saddam Hussein, because of US congressional sanctions on Iraq, sanctions like those on Iran, that were strongly backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) among, if not the most effective and powerful lobby entitiy on Capitol Hill, as highlighted by Mr. K. Dilkington.
Sanctions ensured that Iraq and Iran, oil states hostile to Israel, remained weak and unable to benefit from their petroleum riches.
In 2002, according to British government documents, “George W. Bush was quietly approaching US petroleum corporations and trying to do deals with the French and Russian governments and their energy companies regarding Iraqi petroleum fields in fall of 2002,” wrote Professor Juan Cole.
BP learned of these secret negotiations, and arranged for Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Trade Minister, Lady Elizabeth Symons, to lobby Bush on behalf of BP, which was afraid of being “locked out” of the Iraqi fields after the war.
The anxieties were palpable in a memo written by Edward Chaplin, director of the Middle East department at the Foreign Office, in October of 2002, after a meeting with the companies: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”
After a BP executives’ meeting at the Foreign Office on 6 November 2002 to discuss post-war Iraq, an FO official wrote, “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”
Why have U.S. and ally troops been killing Iraquis and dying? Muttitt commented on June 20, “They secured the fields (which would suffer irreparable geological damage if set alight) but allowed the Iraqi infrastructure to be comprehensively looted.”
“So protect the oil (US wants it) but get rid of the Iraqi facilities (US wants them out of the way). One of the other docs I reveal shows Pentagon planners concerned that, to repair the infrastructure would weaken the arguments for foreign investment!
“As for Blair, we had a TV comedy drama over here just before he left office, called the ‘Trial of Tony Blair.’ It was very funny and well-made, but also hugely enjoyable because the prospect of him being locked up for war crimes was immensely satisfying, even a relief. Sadly there’s no prospect of it in reality.”
Professor Cole has stated, “The documentation of BP’s negotiations with the Blair government on Iraqi petroleum suggests that researchers should look further into the role in the Iraq War of Big Oil in the United States.”
“Though, since the US is now more of a plutocracy than Britain, and US citizens now have fewer rights than UK citizens, we will not find it as easy to get to the bottom of it all.”
Freedom from violence for oil opportunity spreading across North America
To dispell dangerous myths relateing to why non-renewable energy, such as nuclear energy, is needed in the United States, Joshua Tickell and his wife, Rebecca Harrell Tickell are embarking this week on “The Freedom Tour,” a 3-month, North American Clean Energy Tour focusing on displacing gasoline with clean, safe, healthy, renewable alternatives.
From filmmakers of the Sundance Award Winning Movie, FUEL that was featured on CNBC this April, comes the new documentary Freedom, via a Freedom Bus.
The Freedom Bus leaves Los Angeles this week to travel to movie theaters and univeristies across the United States and Canada, supporting the release of the Tickell’s “Freedom” film.
Josh Tickell is a professional speaker, author, filmmaker and alternative fuels enthusiast. His new movie Freedom, produced with his wife, Rebecca, takes a hard look at North America’s ever-growing addiction to foreign oil, and delves into pros and cons of the “black sheep,” ethanol.
With 18 solar panels, an E85 bio-fuel engine and power generator, energy efficiency, wind, solar and water displays, touch screens, eco-building materials, on demand green energy videos, a projection system for outdoor viewing and presentations and a PA system for press conferences, the Freedom Bus is what the couple calls “a rolling clean energy laboratory and green mobile entertainment system.”
To motivate, inspire, inform and empower community about peaceful green energy solutions based on human rights rather than corporate rights, the film can be booked at a local venue by contacting Freedom.