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Will oil companies provide Kurdistan its de facto statehood?

Iraq, Kurds, Turks and oil - A tortuous triangle The governments of Turkey, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan play a dangerous game [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 2, 2013 - 9 comments

Surely this. . .

"Liberal Hawk" Peter Galbraith played a major role in justifying the American invasion of Iraq. Later he helped write the new Iraqi constitution. Turns out he failed to disclose the hundreds of millions he stands to make on Kurdish oil fields, in part because of his engineering of the same constitution to put him in a favorable business position. Another blogger remembers the good ol' days of 2003 when the media and politicians were shocked --shocked! -- that anyone would dare suggest that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was "all about oil."
posted by bardic on Nov 12, 2009 - 75 comments

“I wish we had found water.”

The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil: requires registration, but it's worth it.
...dependency on natural resources can poison a country’s economic and political system. Inflows of hard currency push up prices, squeezing the competitiveness of non-oil businesses and starving them of capital. As a result, productivity growth withers (a phenomenon known as “Dutch disease” after the negative effects of North Sea gas production on the Netherlands). Meanwhile, the state institutions in charge of oil often become corrupt and evade democratic control. And oil-rich states almost invariably waste the income it brings, many ending their oil booms deeper in debt than when they started.

posted by anotherpanacea on Aug 29, 2009 - 32 comments

war profiteering in Iraq

It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. However, today's bidding was not the bonanza that was expected. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jun 30, 2009 - 44 comments

Waiting for the New Way Forward

Fables of the Reconstruction. According to a new GAO report [PDF of full report], the surge has resulted in security gains and reduced violence in Iraq, but the political goals the surge was supposed to buy time for mostly haven't happened. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Jun 24, 2008 - 32 comments

It's the Oil

It’s the Oil (Stupid)
posted by i_am_a_Jedi on Oct 11, 2007 - 69 comments

Adding up US subsidies for auto travel with and without the costs of war

In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way. The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia on Oct 2, 2007 - 99 comments

Backpedal fast, Johnny!

PM John Howard denies Iraq-oil link
posted by andihazelwood on Jul 5, 2007 - 37 comments

Don’t mention the O word

Following the script from A Crude Awakening, Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson announced today that new reasons for staying the course in helping Iraqi forces stand up as we stand down is not regime change nor ridding the country of weapons of mass destruction, but… ensuring Australia's “energy security”.
posted by mattoxic on Jul 4, 2007 - 22 comments

To the Person Sitting in Darkness

"The Blessings-of-Civilization Trust, wisely and cautiously administered, is a Daisy. There is more money in it, more territory, more sovereignty, and other kinds of emolument, than there is in any other game that is played. But Christendom has been playing it badly of late years, and must certainly suffer by it, in my opinion. She has been so eager to get every stake that appeared on the green cloth, that the People who Sit in Darkness have noticed it – they have noticed it, and have begun to show alarm. They have become suspicious of the Blessings of Civilization."
posted by homunculus on Jun 13, 2007 - 13 comments

Much to do about nothing?

This opinion piece in Prospect magazine argues that perhaps the importance of the problems in the Middle East are overblown. Interesting read.
posted by zeoslap on May 17, 2007 - 33 comments

an off the books slush fund that both the Americans and their Iraqi allies could use with impunity to cover expenditures they would rather keep secret

How Much Oil Has Iraq Been Exporting Since We Invaded? And how much revenue should be recorded? --Iraq’s oil exports hit another post-invasion low in December and January, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. How do they know? Good question: according to Reuters, production and exports have gone unmetered since the Coalition Provisional Authority took over the country following the 2003 invasion; until new meters are installed (in 1-2 more years), everybody’s just guessing. Our Government's Energy Information Administration has all sorts of statistics--anyone wanna figure out how they're derived regarding Iraq?
posted by amberglow on Apr 4, 2006 - 22 comments

God's Own Party

Former GOP senior strategist Kevin Phillips wrote the political Bible of the New Right, The Emerging Republican Majority. He coined the term "Sun Belt." He voted for Reagan twice and still considers himself a staunch Republican. But now Phillips, the author of a new book called American Theocracy, is warning that the party of George Bush and Karl Rove ("W brand Republicans," in the phrase of GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen) has become "God's own party" -- the champion of a convergence of "petroleum-defined national security; a crusading, simplistic Christianity; and a reckless credit-feeding financial complex." Phillips also cautions that the W-brand party's "sense of how to win elections comes out of a CIA manual, not out of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution." [Phillips was also discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Apr 2, 2006 - 27 comments

They have no idea what an Arab is. . .

Seeing Only Evil: An Interview with Retired CIA Agent Robert Baer, Author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War Against Terrorism.
posted by exlotuseater on Feb 5, 2006 - 21 comments

Iraq - All oil, no gas.

Iraq - All oil, no gas. A consortium of 34 Turkish companies have joined together to stop all exports of petrol / refined oil products to Iraq, because Iraq's government owes them over $1 billion that they have so far been unable to pay. Iraq's largest refinery was forced to shut down in December, after its truck drivers walked off the job due to insurgent threats. They reopened ten days later, only to shut down again after an insurgent swarm attack killed and wounded more drivers. The refinery has once more ceased activity, as their reserves of refined fuel are full and there is no way to get them to their customers. Iraq's diesel-driven power plants are undersupplied too, leading to worsening outages.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 22, 2006 - 37 comments

Fables of the reconstruction.

Fables of the reconstruction. The Bush administration does not intend to seek any further funding for Iraqi reconstruction, leaving only $3.5 billion left to spend out of the $18.4 billion the US budgeted. Approximately half of all reconstruction costs spent so far -- $7.5 billion -- have been eaten up by increased costs due to the insurgency. All remaining reconstruction costs will depend entirely upon foriegn contributions and Iraq's oil industry. But will foriegn aid come through if its too dangerous to work there? Can Iraq's oil industry pay for reconstruction when its output has been in a tailspin for well over a year, falling from 2.8 million barrels a day in May 2004, to 1.82 million barrels per day in January 2005, to 1.2 million barrels a day by November. and ending the year with a low of 1.1 million barrels a day in December? As for the Iraqi infrastructure left to be rebuilt, water and sanitation is still poor in most areas, and electricity production, which looked promising last summer after imports from Iran and Turkey, has deteriorated again, falling to only 3700 megawatts in November 2005, essentially at the same level produced in May 2004.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 2, 2006 - 26 comments

Is the West robbing the Iraqi people?

Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq’s Oil Wealth Detailed argument from the Global Policy Foundation, et al, that the use of Production Sharing Agreements - "quite common in countries with small oil reserves and/or high extraction costs" - is inappropriate for Iraq and effectively robs the Iraqi people by ignoring other, more equitable options.
posted by mediareport on Nov 22, 2005 - 22 comments

A Short Guide to Iraq

How things do change! A short Guide to Iraq published in 1942 by the US government. The handbook was written for American soldiers who were stationed in Iraq to prevent Nazis from seizing the country’s oil. .... 63 years later.
posted by threehundredandsixty on Oct 27, 2005 - 30 comments

Look the other way

What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn? "The money missing from all ministries under the interim Iraqi government appointed by the US in June 2004 may turn out to be close[r] to $2bn... Many Iraqi soldiers and police have died because they were not properly equipped. In Baghdad they often ride in civilian pick-up trucks vulnerable to gunfire, rocket- propelled grenades or roadside bombs. For months even men defusing bombs had no protection against blasts because they worked without bullet-proof vests. These were often promised but never turned up."
posted by Rothko on Sep 18, 2005 - 20 comments

No war for oil?

Turns out that it's about the oil, after all. We've been screaming it for years, and he's totally ignored our allegations. But, there's no demonstration chant a good spin-doctor can't turn into a point for their side. Remember, the terrists hate our Amercun freedom petroleum.
posted by Netzapper on Sep 2, 2005 - 55 comments

Power Cut Shuts Down Iraq Oil Exports

Power Cut Shuts Down Iraq Oil Exports ASRA, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq's oil exports were shut down Monday by a power cut that darkened parts of central and southern Iraq, including the country's only functioning oil export terminals, Iraqi and foreign oil officials said.
posted by celerystick on Aug 22, 2005 - 21 comments

She went down to the crossroads.

A Maoist take on Cindy Sheehan. To quote the Revolutionary Worker quoting Ms. Sheehan: "I want him (Bush) to tell me 'just what was the noble cause Casey died for'?", she declared. "Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. "We're not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT ACT. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism! There, I used the 'I' word--imperialism, and now I'm going to use another 'I' word -- impeachment--because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail." (Meanwhile, on the spot, Bush's neighbor is becoming irate; more on that via Yahoo News.)
posted by davy on Aug 15, 2005 - 69 comments

Mr Galloway goes to Washington

In response to allegations of kickbacks, George Galloway gets to tell the American Senate just what he thinks. Skip the article and watch the film. Your 50 minutes of fun video footage are here. [realMedia] (That'll be fun in a "Controversial British MP vs American NeoCon Senator" sort of way)
posted by seanyboy on May 17, 2005 - 244 comments

US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals'

US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals' The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation. A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them. The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
posted by Postroad on May 17, 2005 - 124 comments

Regarding Blood And Oil

Whereas, in the past, national power was thought to reside in the possession of a mighty arsenal and the maintenance of extended alliance systems, it is now associated with economic dynamism and the cultivation of technological innovation. To exercise leadership in the current epoch, states are expected to possess a vigorous domestic economy and to outperform other states in the development and export of high-tech goods. While a potent military establishment is still considered essential to national security, it must be balanced by a strong and vibrant economy. 'National security depends on successful engagement in the global economy,' the Institute for National Security Studies observed in a recent Pentagon study.

Regarding Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency by Michael T. Klare, here is an excerpt from the book and here is his most recent article--Oil and the Coming War With Iran. Well, at least he has been consistent--consider The Geopolitics of War, Wars Without End, Oiling the Wheels of War, and Imperial Reach from his articles for The Nation alone. Here is an excerpt from his previous Resource Wars and here is Scraping the bottom of the barrel and Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil. Well, as to his position on current events, I don't think we need to draw a picture here.
posted by y2karl on Apr 13, 2005 - 52 comments

The Sky (and Global Oil Production) is Falling!

The Sky (and Global Oil Production) is Falling! With all the recent news on Global Warming, here's an article on the root cause of the problem: Global Energy Use. Has oil production peaked? Is the real focus of the Iraqi insurgency foreshadowing an energy-dominated future? Is there a solution to the problem??
posted by DAJ on Feb 18, 2005 - 13 comments

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors. The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
posted by Postroad on Feb 3, 2005 - 28 comments

The Sinking PetroDollar - abandon ship!

Is Hugo Chavez Frias a marked man? What about Gerhard Schroeder or Pooty-Poot? We know that Saddam got Euros for oil. October 31, 2000 The United Nations Sanctions Committee approves an Iraqi request to be paid in Euros, rather than United States dollars, for oil exported under the "oil for food" program, which is part of the sanctions regime stemming from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Iran has interest in changing to either the new gold dinar or the nifty Euro. Implementation would be in 2005. If you belive Rense.com about The Sunburn (and keep in mind Iran hasn't had over a decade of sanctions to keep its military in check), the float of the PetroDollar may stop once the lighter than water part leaves the Dollar - and the invasion trick won't float (for long) this time.
Anyone scared yet?
posted by rough ashlar on Nov 4, 2004 - 24 comments

"Confident Bremer hurries away from Baghdad"

"Confident Bremer hurries away from Baghdad" "Brave Sir Robin ran away. Bravely ran away, away!" Hey! Where's that $20 billion in Iraqi oil revenue money? I know it was laying around here somewhere (maybe in those pants I threw in the laundry?)
posted by troutfishing on Jun 29, 2004 - 85 comments

UNSCAM: Oil for Money

UNSCAM: The scandal surrounding the UN and their oil-for-food program with Iraq hasn't received a whole lot of media attention and hasn't, surprisingly, even been brought up on MeFi. It boils down to Saddam Hussein taking the money from oil sales and using it to give kickbacks to France, Russia, and the UN itself, while Saddam built palaces and such, rather than buying food and medicine. It's complicated, but could be the biggest public financial scandal in history. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that Russia is trying to block any investigation into the matter.
posted by MrAnonymous on Apr 19, 2004 - 93 comments

It's NOT about the Oil !!

Has anyone heard anything more about the State Dept's Oil and Energy Working Group?
posted by ahimsakid on Sep 17, 2003 - 16 comments

Anybody see this coming?

Anybody see this coming? The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
posted by FormlessOne on Aug 25, 2003 - 28 comments

Watchdog's Bark

Watchdog's Bark Judicial Watch, the group that's been suing for access to Cheney's Energy Task Force notes, finally gets some docs, and guess what? Way back in 2001, Cheney, et al, were looking at maps of Iraqi oil fields. Is this the bookend clue, that coupled with Rumsfields 9/12 comments about going after Iraq, starts to shed real light on the administrations foreign policy objectives?
posted by tellmenow on Jul 18, 2003 - 36 comments

Blowback: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire plus War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era

Chalmers Johnson is an provocative proponent of the American Empire theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire

I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era of The Whole Wide World

The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?

It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

The Euro Effect Iraq Oil and threat to the dollar

Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War? "The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 11, 2003 - 35 comments

Do you want a piece of it?

U.S. admin using future shares of Iraqi oil to build anti-Iraq coalition. Nation building just doesn't get any better than this.
posted by magullo on Feb 5, 2003 - 53 comments

US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis

US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis Buy now. Own later. Is this odd or what?
posted by Postroad on Jan 27, 2003 - 14 comments

The real experts, on war with Iraq

Why Gen X doesn't care that Gen X doesn't care about the war - in which an irreverent, arrogant, crass young essayist hits a nerve. What RAND has to say about the impact of Iraqi oil on the world economy. Who's organizing large demonstrations against war on Iraq, and who's upset about this. Spend an hour with the real experts on Iraq, real Iraqis, and real people who can't make the case for war. (RealPlayer) This in-depth broadcast interview features some truly key players, the real arguments on both sides, and you probably never heard it, making the case for Internet Radio.
posted by sheauga on Jan 21, 2003 - 37 comments

Is it all about oil?

Is it all about oil? Daniel Yergin (The Prize) discusses Iraq's oil after Saddam. I found it highly informative and somewhat surprising. He emphasizes the small role that Iraq will play in the oil market. By the time production ramps up in five years, Iraq will still be a second tier producer, grouped with Norway and Mexico. Not exactly the petro bonanza some predict. There are more predictions by this veteran oil-watcher.
posted by ednopantz on Dec 8, 2002 - 63 comments

Iran and Iraq: too much there for countries to ignore

Iran and Iraq: too much there for countries to ignore If the peaceniks in the U.S. insist that going into Iraq is an attempt to get hold of the oil, then it might equally be said that those nations opposed to an American attack on Iraq also have self-interest in not wanting America to enter Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Oct 30, 2002 - 14 comments

Hubbert's Peak: the impending oil shortage

Hubbert's Peak: the impending oil shortage Is this the REAL reason behind the push to invade Iraq? In 1956. M. King Hubbert, a respected petroleum geologist, predicted - to within a year! - the peak in US oil production: 1970. US oil production has declined every year since. Using the same statistical methods, others now predict a world peak in oil production within a decade or even as early as 2006.
posted by troutfishing on Oct 18, 2002 - 21 comments

Is it all about oil?

Is it all about oil? Iraq war protesters insist a war wil be about oil. Others say no. Here the writer argues that it is both--it is not all about oil but we will control the oil should we take control.
posted by Postroad on Oct 16, 2002 - 51 comments

This may not make as effective a sales pitch

This may not make as effective a sales pitch as "weapons of mass destruction," but with two oil men in office, it can't be ignored as a possible ulterior motive to war in Iraq. Am I a cynic or should we be asking if this "preemptive" war is really about what they are saying it's about?
posted by karlcleveland on Sep 23, 2002 - 7 comments

War Could Unshackle Oil in Iraq

War Could Unshackle Oil in Iraq ..All five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- have international oil companies with major stakes in a change of leadership in Baghdad. Okay, everybody say it with me now...It's about the OIL!
posted by bas67 on Sep 14, 2002 - 38 comments

Mo Mowlam (former UK Government cabinet member) says the real goal of an Iraq war "is the seizure of Saudi oil".

Mo Mowlam (former UK Government cabinet member) says the real goal of an Iraq war "is the seizure of Saudi oil". The much-loved Northern Ireland peace process go-between writes that the threat of Saddam Hussein is already well-contained and that "Bush wants war to keep US control of the region". Hers is a view espoused fairly regularly of late. Would it really damage the American position to admit that this more about oil than about terrorism?
posted by skylar on Sep 5, 2002 - 12 comments

Molly Ivins wraps it up nicely and ties a bow on top.

Molly Ivins wraps it up nicely and ties a bow on top. When Dick Cheney was CEO of the oilfield supply firm Halliburton, the company did $23.8 million in business with Saddam Hussein, the evildoer "prepared to share his weapons of mass destruction with terrorists."
posted by pejamo on Sep 4, 2002 - 22 comments

Russia to Sign Oil Deal with Iraq. We saw this coming (right?) But is the timing significant?
posted by Shane on Aug 30, 2002 - 9 comments

Back from a vigorous and exhausting vacation of petty but life sustaining activities, I find this overview of our larger reality, without the noisy claptrap of narrowly self serving ideologies, yet worrisome enough to shake the world's boat I'm travelling in with some comfort and some reasonable concern spiced with anxiety. (NYT)
posted by semmi on Jul 31, 2002 - 5 comments

Saddam's oil scam

Saddam's oil scam....and other tidbits of interest about Iraq versus US. oops. I almost said "and the world," but the world seems indifferent or annoyed at the American threat to Iraq.
posted by Postroad on May 9, 2002 - 24 comments

Finally, finally, finally!! Someone in the mainstream media is finally asking some questions. Lots of people (here and abroad) have known about this book for some time. I think it deserves some checking into.
posted by bas67 on Jan 8, 2002 - 77 comments

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