Oil. Oil oil oil oil oil. That’s why we’re in Iraq and that’s why so many people are getting killed. Greed – pure and simple. I used to think…well, at least hope…that maybe it was something bigger than that. Something more noble. But no…it is what we always thought – the massive supplies of oil. And now we don’t even seem to have the need to cover our slimy tracks.

This New York Times Op Ed piece by Antonia Juhasz says it better than I ever could. Here’s some of what she says:

Whose Oil Is It Anway?

Published: March 13, 2007

San Francisco

Illustration by: Jacob Magraw-Mickelson


“TODAY more than three-quarters of the world’s oil is owned and controlled by governments. It wasn’t always this way.

Until about 35 years ago, the world’s oil was largely in the hands of seven corporations based in the United States and Europe. Those seven have since merged into four: ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP. They are among the world’s largest and most powerful financial empires. But ever since they lost their exclusive control of the oil to the governments, the companies have been trying to get it back.

Iraq’s oil reserves — thought to be the second largest in the world — have always been high on the corporate wish list. In 1998, Kenneth Derr, then chief executive of Chevron, told a San Francisco audience, “Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas — reserves I’d love Chevron to have access to.”

A new oil law set to go before the Iraqi Parliament this month would, if passed, go a long way toward helping the oil companies achieve their goal. The Iraq hydrocarbon law would take the majority of Iraq’s oil out of the exclusive hands of the Iraqi government and open it to international oil companies for a generation or more.

In March 2001, the National Energy Policy Development Group (better known as Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force), which included executives of America’s largest energy companies, recommended that the United States government support initiatives by Middle Eastern countries “to open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment.” One invasion and a great deal of political engineering by the Bush administration later, this is exactly what the proposed Iraq oil law would achieve. It does so to the benefit of the companies, but to the great detriment of Iraq’s economy, democracy and sovereignty.

Since the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration has been aggressive in shepherding the oil law toward passage. It is one of the president’s benchmarks for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a fact that Mr. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Gen. William Casey, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and other administration officials are publicly emphasizing with increasing urgency.”

To read the entire article go to: NY Times: Whose Oil Is It Anyway?


Antonia Juhasz is an analyst with the watchdog group Oil Change International.