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In Iraq, it's all about oil

Full Speed to Port!

Posted: April 16, 2008 1:17 a.m.
Updated: June 17, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Many believe we have had a successful surge in Iraq. But few if any troops are coming home to stay. Instead, rotation from home to Iraq has been bounced from 12 months to 15 months, depending on whether you like Gen. Petraeus or the president. Could it be that we don't plan, for covert reasons, to have our armed forces permanently leave Iraq in numbers any time soon? And it may have nothing to do with the military success or failure.

In five years, if we believe our government's own reports, we have been unable to sufficiently train an Iraqi police force or an army that is dependable to do the job assigned. Are we trying that hard, or could it be that we want to stay there and pave the way for Big Oil to stick its tendrils into the ground and do its corporate mischief?

Could it be the U.S. administration doesn't want out? If the administration were being honest, wouldn't one say, after five years of training Iraq's armed forces, the job should be complete? Isn't it time Iraq took care of its own destiny? Which, of course, it will never do as long as our troops are there to do it for them. Or what if the United States doesn't really want out?

Some say the administration is looking for victory. What that means has never been entirely made clear. McCain suggests it is wiping out all the bad guys - which is about the same as eliminating all crime in the United States. Why hasn't the term "victory" been defined?

Could it be because the ultimate goal of this administration is to occupy Iraq indefinitely? Maybe the 100 years of Iraq occupation Sen. McCain has mentioned is for real.

Few are noticing, but why are we building an American embassy in Baghdad the size of Rhode Island? It will be our biggest embassy, probably the world's biggest. It will cost $592 million and house 1,000 public servants. Is this about controlling oil sources or what?

Does this suggest we are going to leave Iraq or reduce our footprint anytime soon?

The Iraq War is costing us $2 billion to $5 billion a week, depending on the accounting. Accurate numbers aren't fully disclosed. There are 140 billion proven barrels of oil in the ground in Iraq. Its oil represents 10 percent of the world's known oil reserves - the third-largest oil reserves on the planet.

The value of this oil - at $100 a barrel and climbing - is astronomical. Does anybody believe American enterprise is simply going to stand aside, not profiting in any way from this treasure? Is there anyone who believes that this Cheney-Bush administration and its neo-con mafia that started the war hasn't salivated over this enormous potential? Are we fighting a proxy war for Oil Inc.?

What's $2 billion to $5 billion a week for a war compared to 140 billion proven barrels of light crude at $100 a barrel, oil just waiting in the ground for Exxon-Mobil and other administration buddies to suck it out? Why would the administration want to withdraw troops from Iraq? Is the administration's real objective to keep Iraq dependent and weak, grab the country's oil and further its clandestine plan?

Several articles online tell about "Production Sharing Agreements," or PSAs. They are described in Wikipedia online as the share a private company will receive of the natural resources of a country extracted from a particular country. Using this instrument, British Petroleum and Shell Oil in Britain and Exxon Mobil and Chevron in the United States will sign contracts with Iraq, good for up to 30 years, to extract Iraq's oil. Does this sound like we're focusing on reducing our oil consumption by developing alternative energy sources?

The administration is dragging its feet on anything that sounds like attempts to relieve global warming, much of it caused by burning petroleum. We get more studies, but little real change. Why? Could it be the administration, overcome with oil lust, cannot be trusted to lead for our greater interests?

We know that the Environmental Protection Agency is supposed to be protecting the environment. Instead, in a Bush-led world, it's ignoring the American Medical Association and others and its own scientists who suggest improvements in air quality standards. Could it be all that the riches of oil in Iraq cools the administration's fervor for environmental achievements at home?

California, along with several other states, is being denied a waiver by the EPA that would allow us tighter auto emission standards than those set by the federal government. Does this sound like the administration is really dedicated to getting out of the oil business, or does it sound like they are in bed with oil producers?

Do the new EPA rules have more to do with enabling oil consumption over finding newer, cleaner alternative energy sources?

The administration's direction on energy is now being investigated.

Congress has accused the EPA of shirking its duty. The Supreme Court made it clear in April 2007 that the EPA was responsible under the law for regulating greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.

Congress has now expanded a probe which suggests that the EPA has halted all efforts to create regulations to control carbon dioxide emissions, which are mostly caused by the burning of oil. Does this suggest again that the administration gives a hoot about reducing oil consumption? Why should it, with all that oil just waiting to be extracted in Iraq? Why should it, when its favorite charity, Oil Inc., is coining money?

Is it possible that those "wackos" were right from the beginning when they said five years ago the Iraq war was about oil? After all, five years on, Saddam's weapons have never been found. But the oil is still there and so are we.

Phil Rizzo is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Full Speed to Port" runs Wednesdays and alternates between two writers.


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