Monday, March 28, 2005

Palast on why Iraq's oil fields weren't privatized

BBC reporter Greg Palast is reporting that the curious reversal of Bush administration policy regarding the privatization of the Iraqi national oil company was the result of pressure from international oil companies that are enjoying high oil prices. In my previous post, Global resource wars: The Rosetta Stone, I suggested that the administration's neoconservatives wanted to privatize Iraqi oil as a way of increasing world oil production and bringing down prices. Palast confirms that this was the original plan until Big Oil stepped in and said "no."

His reporting explains why a central aim of the neoconservative agenda has been abandoned. The story also points up the venality of the Bush administration. Far from being focused on achieving its objectives, the administration shows once again that it simply shifts course depending on the whims of its biggest contributors regardless of the consequences. Naturally, the neocons are now asking what the point of the war was if the main objective, increasing oil supplies and breaking OPEC, has been abandoned.

Of course, much of the American public still believes the fables the administration told them about Iraq's involvement with 911, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, even though all of these have been thoroughly debunked. What would they think if they understood that the real reason for the invasion was to lower oil prices through privatization and increased production? And, what would they think if they also knew that the real and main aim of the war has now been abandoned because one of the Republican party's biggest contributors, international oil companies, told the administration to abandon it?

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