The Export of Democracy and Corporate Foreign Policy by Malcolm


Malcolm

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

July 19, 2007

Many people(and most Iraqi’s) have made the conclusion long ago why the US/UK went into Iraq. Well, folks, some very interesting sources have come up with some astounding evidence.

George Schultz of the Bechtel Corporation stated on Frontline/PBS that he and future Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice personally asked George W to run for President. The same George Schultz that asked Ronald Reagan to run for President and served as Secretary of State when they won. The same George Schultz is currently on the Board of International Tax and Investment Counsel (ITIC). The ITIC is a Washington ‘think tank’ that was formed in 1993 to advise former Soviet countries on how they should run their affairs such as taxation, infrastructure, oil industry and the like(1).

Since the United States decided to export democracy, ITIC decided it should write a little paper on how to advise Iraqis regarding their oil business(2). The plan is to allot almost 80 percent of Iraqi oil production for ‘privatization’ by foreign oil companies(3). Working together, the IMF, US and UK government officials, with oil companies BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and ENI (Italy) began using all the pressure they could to secure an oil contract that suited them, maximizing profit and shielding themselves from any interference.(4)

The plan passed thru committee as of 13 July 2007, is supposed to be passed by the Iraqi Parliament and to be monitored by a cabinet level committee called the Panel of Independent Advisors as stipulated in the document· The bill specifically states the Panel is to include members of foreign oil companies. What the Panel achieves is that there will be no public oversight of this cabinet level committee or their policy decisions. In addition, the Panel becomes the decision-maker of last resort: ”In case the initial contract has serious discrepancies as compared to the model contracts and guidelines issued by the Federal Oil and Gas Council, the Federal Oil and Gas Council will make a decision on the contract relying on the opinion of the Panel of Independent Advisors….“(5) No surprise, ITIC also has nine board members from oil and oil service companies.

So if you think this is incredible, check this: when Bremmer landed in Baghdad 2003, one of his first actions was to say that no unions would be allowed in state run businesses. Despite this edict, the technicians and workers of the Iraqi oil industry did so anyway. Further, the Union being aware of this proposed oil bill have threatened a strike if it is passed by Parliament(6). Meanwhile, sandwiched between US pressure and sectarian factionalism within the Parliament, Maliki knows that either the Oil Bill will be passed or his tenure might be briefer than anticipated.(7)

During the week ending July 13, 2007, the proposed bill passed thru committee and will now be put to the legislature, and soon. The first deadline of June has already passed, but the new one is July. Same old song: exporting ‘democracy’ and taking your oil.

Remember Arbenz in Guatemala?

Footnotes:
1
www.iticnet.org/

2
Petroleum and Iraq’s Future: Fiscal Options and Challenges
by INTERNATIONAL TAX AND INVESTMENT CENTER (ITIC) in cooperation with: OXFORD ECONOMIC FORECASTING, TRANSBORDER, and Center for Global Energy Studies
Fall 2004

3
Muttitt, Greg: Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq’s Oil Wealth
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2005/crudedesigns.htm
“The Iraqi government would be left with control of only the 17 fields that are already in production, out of around 80 known fields.” and “Running to hundreds of pages of complex legal and financial language and generally subject to commercial confidentiality provisions, PSAs are effectively immune from public scrutiny and lock governments into economic terms that cannot be altered for decades.”

4
Fisher, Becca CorporateWatch.org http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=2912
“Shrouded in secrecy, the US and UK governments, big oil companies and the IMF pushed for the new oil law. BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and Italian oil and gas company ENI have been working through a major lobbying organization, the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC). The document they produced amounts to a hymn of praise for the form of contracts, known as Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs), which are now written into the law.”

5
Council of Ministers/Oil and Energy Committee Draft Oil and Gas Law 15 February 2007

6
Ben Lando, UPI. Posted July 12, 2007.
http://www.alternet.org/story/56513/
“Opposition to American Oil Grab is Unifying Iraqis” “The oil law already faced opposition from Iraq oil experts — including two of the law’s three original willing to stop production and exports if the law gives foreign oil companies too much access to or ownership of the oil.”

7
International Herald Tribune, AP Report, 13 February 2007
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/03/13/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq-Oil.php
Al-Maliki tells aides U.S. benchmark deadline is June 30 or his ouster possible.
“ ‘Al-Maliki is committed to meeting the deadline because he is convinced he would not survive in power without U.S. support’, one of the associates said.
But standing in the way of forward movement is a recalcitrant Cabinet which al-Maliki has promised to reshuffle by the end of this week. So far, however, he is at loggerheads with the political groupings in parliament which are threatening to withdraw their support for the prime minister if he does not allow the blocs to name replacements for Cabinet positions.

The impasse amounts effectively to a threat to bring down the government if it does what the Americans reportedly are telling al-Maliki he must do to win continued U.S. backing.”