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[casi] RE: Iraqi Oil & US State Department future of Iraq plans - question?


In the small print of the article it reads:

"Leaks from the state department's "future of Iraq" office show
|Washington plans to privatise the Iraqi economy and particularly the state-
|owned national oil company. Experts on its energy panel want to start with
|"downstream" assets like retail petrol stations. This would be a quick way
|to gouge money from Iraqi consumers. Later they would privatise exploration
|and development."

Does anyone know where we can get a copy of the state department's "future
of Iraq" plans?



|No one here believes this is a humanitarian war
|Jonathan Steele in Damascus
|Monday March 31, 2003
|The Guardian <>
|In this highly politicised city where anger over the invasion of Iraq
|alternates with pride in the resistance, there is one sure way to
|lighten the mood. Suggest that George Bush and Tony Blair launched their
|war because of Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons of mass destruction.
|Hoots of derision all round. Whether they are Syrians or members of the
|huge Iraqi exile community, everyone here believes this is a war for
|oil. In nearby Jordan and across the Arab world the view is the same.
|Some suggest a second motive - Washington's desire to strengthen Israel.
|Under one theory US hawks want to break Iraq into several statelets and
|then do the same with Saudi Arabia, to confirm the Zionist state as the
|region's superpower. Others cite Donald Rumsfeld's recent comments about
|Iran and Syria as proof that war on Iraq is designed to frighten its
|neighbours, who happen to be the leading radicals in the anti-Zionist
|Oil is the war aim on which all Arabs agree. While the Palestinian
|intifada is resistance to old-fashioned colonialism with its seizure and
|settlement of other people's land, they see the Iraqi intifada as
|popular defence against a more modern phenomenon. Washington does not
|need to settle Iraqi land, but it does want military bases and control
|of oil.
|Many Arabs already define this neo-colonial war as a historic turning
|point which might have as profound an effect on the Arab psyche as
|September 11 did on Americans. Arabs have long been accustomed to seeing
|Israeli tanks running rampant. Now the puppet-master, arrogant and
|unashamed, has sent his helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles to
|Arab soil.
|The US has mounted numerous coups in the Middle East to topple regimes
|in Egypt, Iran and Iraq itself. It has used crises, like the last Gulf
|war, to gain temporary bases and make them permanent. In Lebanon it once
|shelled an Arab capital and landed several hundred marines. But never
|before has it sent a vast army to change an Arab government. Even in
|Latin America, in two centuries of US hegemony, Washington has never
|dared to mount a full-scale invasion to overthrow a ruler in a major
|country. Its interventions in the Caribbean and Central America from
|1898 to 1990 were against weak opponents in small states. Three years
|into the new millennium, the enormity of the shift and the impact of the
|spectacle on Arab television viewers cannot be over-estimated. Is it an
|image of the past or future, they ask, a one-off throw-back to Vietnam
|or a taste of things to come?
|Blair sensed Arab suspicions about the fate of Iraq's oil when he
|persuaded Bush at their Azores summit to produce a "vision for Iraq"
|which pledged to protect its natural resources (they shrank from using
|the O word) as a "national asset of and for the Iraqi people". No
|neo-colonialism here.
|Unfortunately, the small print is different, as could be expected from
|an administration run by oilmen. Leaks from the state department's
|"future of Iraq" office show Washington plans to privatise the Iraqi
|economy and particularly the state-owned national oil company. Experts
|on its energy panel want to start with "downstream" assets like retail
|petrol stations. This would be a quick way to gouge money from Iraqi
|consumers. Later they would privatise exploration and development.
|Even if majority ownership were restricted to Iraqis, Russia's grim
|experience of energy privatisation shows how a new class of oil magnates
|quickly send their profits to offshore banks. If the interests of all
|Iraqis are to be protected, it would be better to keep state control and
|modify the UN oil-for-food programme, which has been a relatively
|efficient and internationally supervised way of channelling revenues to
|the country's poor.
|Drop the controls on Iraq's imports of industrial goods. End the rule
|that all food under the programme has to be imported, thereby penalis
|ing Iraqi farmers and benefiting rich exporters in Canada, Australia and
|the US. But maintain the programme for several years to keep helping the
|60% of Iraqis who depend on subsidised food (it will be more after this
|war) rather than channel revenues to a new Iraqi government or a World
|Bank-administered trust fund which will be under pressure to pay it to
|US construction companies to repair the infrastructure which Bush's war
|machine has destroyed. US and UK taxpayers should finance the peace as
|they have financed the war. Iraqi oil earnings must stay out of US and
|British hands.
|If Downing Street has a better grasp than Washington of the need not to
|appear to be occupying Iraq, it was equally misinformed about Iraqis'
|views of invasion. Both governments confused hatred of Saddam with
|support for war. War has its own dynamic, trapping millions in the
|desperate business of daily survival. Naturally they blame US and
|British troops for the chaos. Yet, even before the first bomb fell, most
|Iraqis were against "liberation" by force.
|People living under Saddam Hussein's rule do not give opinions easily
|but British and US officials should have done a better job of talking to
|Iraqis in Jordan and Syria who are in close touch with their families in
|On the eve of the war, I interviewed 20 Iraqis in Amman individually or
|in groups of two or three friends for an hour each on average. They
|included Sunni and Shia, property owners, artists, factory workers and
|several unemployed. Most were fierce critics of the Iraqi president. But
|on the over-riding issue of whether Bush should launch a war, a majority
|was opposed. Nine were against, four were torn and only seven were in
|favour. Now that war is no longer a theoretical option but a reality
|affecting every Iraqi at home and abroad, patriotic feelings are
|Western governments apparently confined their research to people with a
|narrow vested interest. They financed exiled politicians who want a
|share in US-supplied power and then talked to them as though they were
|independent. They listened to businessmen eager to cash in when the US
|privatises the economy. They were fascinated by nostalgic Hashemite
|The voices of the poor and the professional classes were not deemed of
|interest, although these are the people who benefited from the surge in
|social investment from 1975-85 and later fell back under sanctions.
|London and Washington convinced themselves that Saddam Hussein had
|ruined the economy without asking whether Iraqis shared this view. If
|they now divert Iraq's oil revenues, they will be following a long
|tradition of blunder and exploitation.
|  <>

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