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The Controlled Takeover Of Iraqi Business Interests By The US


By James Donahue

November 2005


A report by writer Antonia Juhasz on the AlterNet website reveals a second and carefully controlled invasion of Iraq was going on even as American and British troops were completing a military takeover of Baghdad and seizure of Saddam Hussein’s personal empire.


Jahasz wrote that the Bush Administration “has succeeded in maintaining a stranglehold” on issues like ownership of natural resources, access to Iraqi oil and control of reconstruction.


The story said the orders to transition Iraq from a centrally planned economy to a market economy were put in place by L. Paul Bremer III, former U.S. administrator of Iraq, immediately after the invasion.


Consequently laws governing banking, investment, patents, copyrights, business ownership, taxes, the media and trade have been changed to favor U.S. goals in Iraq, “with little real participation from the Iraqi people.” The story said the constitutional drafting committee left all of these laws unchanged.


“A central component of the Bush economic agenda is foreign corporate access to, and privatization of, Iraq’s once state-run economy. Thus, an early Bremer order allowed foreign investment in and the privatization of all 192 government-owned industries (including oil extraction),” Jahasz wrote.


And here we find ourselves back at the heart of the reason for the US invasion of Iraq. It also may well be why there is so much resistance by the local insurgents to our being there.


There were no weapons of mass destruction, as the American people were told by its leadership. The purpose of the take-over was always about getting control of the vast oil deposits under the ground in that part of the world.


And while we were at it, there was a chance for some big business interests in the US to cash in in a variety of other ways. All they needed with connections to the White House.


Jahasz noted that the US-appointed interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi marched in lock step to the Bush plan, submitting guidelines for privatizing the Iraq National Oil Company. Plans for a new Iraqi oil law were revealed last December by US-appointed interim Finance Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi.


Since then, Mehdi has been named one of Iraq’s two vice presidents and Allawi is elected to the National Assembly. The new Iraq oil law will be implemented in 2006.


Not only has the Bush Administration seized the Iraqi oil, but it has a firm grip on the control of reconstruction of that war-ravaged country. Bremer’s orders denied the Iraqi government any preference in the reconstruction. Instead, more than 150 U.S. companies are awarded contracts totaling over $50 billion. And Halliburton, the company linked to Vice-President Dick Cheney, has the largest chunk of this work valued at more than $11 billion.


It is clear that the Bush invasion of Iraq was an oil and money grab by big U.S. business interests and it had nothing to do with the War on Terror or a threat by Saddam Hussein’s government.


Hussein is being held in an Iraqi prison, awaiting trial on trumped up charges because he shot back when we attacked. We might suggest that the wrong people are sitting in that prison.


If there is to be a trial of war criminals, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the whole Washington gang involved in the invasion and cover-up should be the defendants, not the toppled Iraqi leaders.

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