THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
The Guardian (UK)
April 26, 2003

American to Oversee Iraqi Oil Industry

by David Teather

The US is preparing to install an American chairman on a planned management team of the Iraqi oil industry, . . . it has lined up the former chief executive of the US division of Royal Dutch/Shell, Philip Carroll, to take the job of chairman. . . .

By involving non-Iraqis, the US could also expose itself to the accusation that it is attempting to take control of the industry and open the door to foreign investment by major western oil companies . . .

The oil beginning to pump in Iraq is being used for domestic purposes. Once exports are up and running again, US and British officials have said the aim is to put the proceeds into a fund to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq.

FULL TEXT

[Ahmad al-Chalabi came to international attention not for his politics, but for fleeing to London from Jordan in 1989 amid allegations he had embezzled millions from the bank he used to own. . . .

The long-time face of the Iraqi opposition in Washington, Chalabi took the reins of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella organisation created in 1992 with the assistance of the CIA.--"Unveiled: the thugs Bush wants in place of Saddam," Sunday Herald, September 22, 2002

Naomi Klein, "What is Being Planned in Iraq is Not Reconstruction but Robbery," The Guardian, April 14, 2003

Robert Fisk, "A New Colonial Oppression," The Independent, April 17, 2003

Enver Masud, "An Open Letter to the People of Iraq," April 23, 2003

[The Pentagon has begun sending a team of Iraqi exiles to Baghdad to be part of a temporary American-led government there, . . . other exiles deeply suspicious of Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi National Congress official who is seen as a Pentagon favorite. . . .

The team of Iraqi technocrats was selected by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz but is officially employed by a defense contractor, SAIC, . . . only a handful had agreed to be identified by name. 'Most of these people believe that if they are seen as agents of America, they will be killed,' . . .

By setting up office outside of the Pentagon, with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses that gave no hint of their government ties, he said, 'they have gone to some lengths not to be seen that way.'--Douglas Jehl with Jane Perlez, "Pentagon Sending a Team of Exiles to Help Run Iraq," New York Times, April 26, 2003]

Sabrina Tavernise, "U.S. Tells Iraq Oil Ministers Not to Act Without Its O.K.," New York Times, April 30, 2003

[Previously, the US Army Corps of Engineers had described the contract given to Halliburton -- run by US Vice President Dick Cheney between 1995 and 2000 -- as putting out fires at oil wells during the conflict. . . . Responding to questions from a US Congressman, the US Army Corps of Engineers has revealed that the contract included "operation of facilities and distribution of products".--"Halliburton's Iraq role expands," BBC News Online, May 7, 2003

[The proposal would give the United States far greater authority over Iraq's lucrative oil industry than administration officials have previously acknowledged. Buffeted by charges that the United States was launching a war to gain control over Iraq's oil fields, administration officials have for months sought to assure governments that Iraq's oil revenue would remain in the hands of the Iraqi people after the ouster of president Saddam Hussein.--Colum Lynch, "U.S. to Propose Broader Control Of Iraqi Oil, Funds," Washington Post, May 9, 2003]

[" Washington and London sent a letter to the council president recognizing their responsibilities and obligations under international law 'as occupying powers.'

Under the proposal, the 12-month initial authorisation would be automatically renewed unless the Security Council decided otherwise. Since the United States and Britain have veto power in the council, they could block any attempt to get them to leave Iraq . . ."--"US and Britain seek to limit UN role in Iraq," Associated Press, May 9, 2003]

[If Iraq is now handled openly—meaning the war really was about liberating Iraq from a dictator and the rest of the world from a security threat, as the Bush Administration asserts, and not about gaining control of oil reserves, as much of the rest of the world believes - it will be a historic first.--Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele, "Iraq's Crude Awakening," Time Magazine, May 10, 2003]

[The President said, . . . "I want you to pardon Chalabi." And he was stunned, because, you know, how can he pardon Chalabi after what he had done.--Seymour Hersh, "Iraq "Moving Towards Open Civil War," Democracynow.org, May 11, 2005]

[The Centre for Public Integrity in Washington counts Halliburton's windfall at more than $US10 billion - a little bit coming from the US Treasury but most coming from Iraqi oil revenue that is supposed to be used to reconstruct the country for the benefit of the people. The centre counts another 30 members of the Defence Policy Board with ties to American companies with $US76 billion (as of 2002) in largely uncontested and un-auditable military contracts.--"Cheney's boundless Iraq profiteering," The Age, July 31, 2005]

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