"....Did we have to do this [invade Iraq & topple Hussein]? I saw the intelligence right up to the day of the war, and I did not see any imminent threat there. If anything, Saddam was coming apart. The sanctions were working. The containment was working. He had a hollow military, as we saw. If he had weapons of mass destruction, it was leftover stuff -- artillery shells and rocket rounds. He didn't have the delivery systems. We controlled the skies and seaports. We bombed him at will. All of this happened under U.N. authority. I mean, we had him by the throat. But the president was being convinced by the neocons that down the road we would regret not taking him out."
Gen. Anthony Zinni (The Generals Speak, Paul Alexander)
Commander in chief of the United States Central Command, 1997-2000

What the General wasn't (perhaps) told...

Yes, General, the neocons were right. They had known what they wanted from the start: "we" would indeed regret not taking Hussein out, because "we" knew (from ongoing corporate negotiations, bids, etc.) that, if Saddam remained in power when the sanctions lifted, he would resume extending oil contracts to the wrong companies and the world's emerging crown jewel of oil flow would not fill the coffers of the Big Four: Exxon-Mobil (world's most profitable company in 2001 at $15 billion), Shell, BP Amoco and Chevron-Texaco (see oil articles below).

The parents of these US and UK oil companies lost their control (which began with the British seizure of Iraq after W.W.I and British use of poison gas) of roughly 3/4 of Iraq's oil production when Saddam Hussein nationalized Iraq's oil industry in 1972, negotiated more broadly for contracts, and developed relationships with French, Russian, Japanese and eventually Chinese companies and others.

As alternative oil sources (North Sea, etc.) continued drying up, these US/UK companies badly wanted back into Iraq.

Ergo, the first Gulf War of 1991 and the twelve year sanction period. The war and the sanctions restricted Iraq's oil sales, devastated its economy, drove up prices/profits for oil from other Big Four sources around the planet, and prevented other oil companies from effectively producing in Iraq (see oil articles below). These seem to be the real reasons why the sanctions-induced deaths of a half million Iraqi children were acknowledged by the US Secretary of State with the comment: "We think the price was worth it."

But though regular US/UK air attacks and steady vetoes at the UN Security Council kept the sanctions in force, they lost momentum. The world community began turning away from sanctions; hopefully, at least in part, sickened by the human toll.

The neocons knew if Saddam remained in power when the sanctions lifted he would extend oil contracts to the wrong companies, so they invented weapons of mass destruction and terrorized US/UK citizens with the mushroom cloud. The faith-based results were predictable, exactly the pattern that happened in Guatemala, then Vietnam, then Nicaragua, etc. when deception was used quite deliberately to create fear in the US homeland in order to justify US aggression for the sake of economic dominance and control. For example, in the early 1950's black propaganda and phony commie weapon stashes convinced US citizens that Guatemala was a communist threat to national security. A decade later, US aggression in Vietnam was presented as a defense against international communist aggression, "proven" by the Gulf of Tonkin deception. And so on. It's an incredibly consistent pattern.

But after the invasion another general screwed up. Bush's first Iraq manager, General Jay Garner, told the Iraqi's they would have elections within 90 days of takeover. Apparently he wasn't quite informed either, because the secret Bush-Cheney planning committee for post-Hussein Iraq (which included executives from Royal-Dutch Shell and ChevronTexaco) needed over a year to privatize Iraq's oil production industry and divvy it up among the Big Four.

So Garner was quickly replaced by Paul Bremer, a former honcho for (Oh God, this is pathetic) Kissinger & Associates. Bremer knew what to do. He postponed elections and first installed those patent, copyright and tax laws needed by the Big Four, etc. (see Adventure Capitalism by Greg Palast October 26, 2004).

Our troops would have to stay longer, a popular insurrection would inevitably emerge, thousands (yes thousands) of US troops will die, and hundred of thousands (if not millions -- after all 3-4 million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians were dispatched) of Iraqi's will die, mostly civilians, too. But never mind, say the Big Four and their neocon servants, "the price is worth it."

What makes all this so terribly unfortunate (forget the fact that there is no moral justification) is that humanity has the immediately available ability to make everyone completely wealthy and secure through a design-science-initiated deployment of an abundant, clean and sustainable, durable and dispersed, and easily affordable renewable energy infrastructure. Something scarce oil can never do.

-Mike Nuess

Nuess is an educational consultant, primarily in the fields of energy and building science. He is the author of the recent book, General Plenty Always and Only the Path to Peace.

Click this link to read the reference articles below:  http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2003/2003companiesiniraq.htm

Oil Companies in Iraq:

A Century of Rivalry and War
By James A. Paul
Global Policy Forum
November 2003
Conference in Berlin on Corporate Accountability November 25-26, 2003

Iraq: the Struggle for Oil (August 2002)
Oil in Iraq: the Heart of the Crisis (December 2002)
The Iraq Oil Bonanza: Estimating Future Profits (January 28, 2004)

The United States and the United Kingdom did not wage war on Iraq for the officially stated reasons. That much is obvious. The world's superpower and its key ally were not acting because they feared the Iraqi government's weapons of mass destruction or its ties with the terrorist group al-Qaeda. Nor were they fighting to bring democracy to the Middle East, a region where the two governments had long supported reactionary monarchs and odious dictators, including Iraqi president Saddam Hussein himself.

It is time, then, to set aside the sterile discussions about "intelligence failures" and to consider a deeper reason for the conflict. This paper will argue that the war was primarily a "war for oil" in which large, multinational oil companies and their host governments acted in secret concert to gain control of Iraq's fabulous oil reserves and to gain leverage over other national oil producers. In arguing for the primacy of oil, we do not imply that other factors were not at play. The imperial dreams of the neo-con advisors in Washington contributed to the final outcome, as did the re-election strategies of the political operatives in the White House. But the Iraq war did not emerge solely from the Bush administration. As we shall see, it involved both London and Washington, through the course of many governments. And it emerged from a decades-long effort by the world's largest companies to appropriate the planet's most lucrative natural resource deposits.

Several elements contribute to make the case for an oil war: the enormous, long-term political influence of the oil companies, the close personal ties between the companies and their host governments, the long history of prior conflicts and wars over Iraqi oil, and the enormous potential profitability of the Iraqi fields. To consider the evidence, and answer the questions of skeptics, we must begin by reviewing the companies' power and influence over a period of many decades. Later, we will turn to the immediate events leading up to the 2003 war itself.......

Adventure Capitalism

Greg Palast,  
October 26, 2004

In February 2003, a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a 101-page document came my way from somewhere within the U.S. State Department.  Titled pleasantly, "Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Growth," it was part of a larger under-wraps program called "The Iraq Strategy."   The Economy Plan goes boldly where no invasion plan has gone before:  the complete rewrite, it says, of a conquered state's "policies, laws and regulations." Here's what you'll find in the Plan:  A highly detailed program, begun years before the tanks rolled, for imposing a new regime of low taxes on big business, and quick sales of Iraq's banks and bridges -- in fact, "ALL state enterprises" -- to foreign operators..... (read more)

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