Re; Re: [DEBATE] : Oil Majors Say U.S. Restrictio...
mfleshman at aol.com
mfleshman at aol.com
Mon Jun 2 21:53:34 BST 2008
sorry for this delayed response to Doug's post, but real life reared
its ugly head.
I'm surprised that you set so much store in campaign contributions as a
measure of corporate influence on policy Doug, although A the sums are
huge, and B they are directed overwhelmingly to Republicans. It isn't
that Big Oil has bought the Bush Administarion, its that Big Oil IS the
administration. I could rest my case for that on two words: dick
cheney. Add "secret energy policy advisory group" to that it you want
to make it 6 words. And in fact generations of Bushs have made their
family pile from the oil business and their long habit of doing favors
for the Saudis in return for favors from them. It scarcely breaks new
theoretical ground to note that oil dominates US Middle East policy
(its starting to dominate Africa policy too) and I'm not sure which
theory of imperialism Yoshi is so afraid that self evident reality will
You say doug that an oil company flack said on your show that big oil
didn't support the invasion and you challenge me to produce statements
to the contrary. In fact, a quick google of the topic produced
virtually no hits one way or the other. Plus it may be that your guest
was mistaken or, (gasp) lying. They haven't said much one way or the
In fact i think Big Oil was lukearm about the invasion. Sanctions were
breaking down and iraqi oil smuggling was beginning to make a dent in
world supply on the plus side. Something had to be done and their pal
dick was set on regime change. what they were militantly against was
the neo-cons' occupation and privatization. that was a mortal threat to
their margins. See Palast's treatment on this below. Suprise surprise
there's James Baker and his oil-funded institute in the middle of it.
Following that is a snippet from a Baker Institute study of the Iraq oi
industry with 2 broad options for policymakers to consider: One says
that keeping iraqi oil nationalized would keep prices high for the
sustainable future. the other suggests that a privatized iriq oil
industry would drive prices down If you are in the oil business
watching prices soar while the laws of supply and demand take a
holiday, which of the 2 do you like?
There is some evidence of what they've been saying privately.
Secret U.S. Plans For Iraq's Oil
By Greg Palast 2005
Reporting for BBC Newsnight (London)
Why was Paul Wolfowitz pushed out of the Pentagon onto the World Bank
-- The answer lies in a 323-page document, secret until now, indicating
that the allies of Big Oil in the Bush Administration have defeated
neo-conservatives and their chief Wolfowitz. BBC Television Newsnight
tells the true story of the fall of the neo-cons. An investigation
conducted by BBC with Harper's magazine will also reveal that the US
State Department made detailed plans for war in Iraq -- and for Iraq's
oil -- within weeks of Bush's first inauguration in 2001.
The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before
the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil,
BBC's Newsnight has revealed.
Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British
and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the
US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.
In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy
war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a
combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department
"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight
from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of
American oil industry consultants.
Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's
first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on
An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant, Falah Aljibury, says he took
part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle
East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.
Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential
successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.
Secret sell-off plan
The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan,
drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off
of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives
intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive
increases in production above Opec quotas.
The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London
headed by Fadhil Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad,
according to Robert Ebel. Mr. Ebel, a former Energy and CIA oil
analyst, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International
Studies in Washington, flew to the London meeting, he told Newsnight,
at the request of the State Department.
Mr Aljibury, once Ronald Reagan's "back-channel" to Saddam, claims that
plans to sell off Iraq's oil, pushed by the US-installed Governing
Council in 2003, helped instigate the insurgency and attacks on US and
British occupying forces.
"Insurgents used this, saying, 'Look, you're losing your country, your
losing your resources to a bunch of wealthy billionaires who want to
take you over and make your life miserable," said Mr Aljibury from his
home near San Francisco.
"We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities, pipelines, built
on the premise that privatization is coming."
Privatization blocked by industry
Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of
Iraq's oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion,
stalled the sell-off scheme.
Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation
chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: "There was to be no
privatization of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was
The chosen successor to Mr Carroll, a Conoco Oil executive, ordered up
a new plan for a state oil company preferred by the industry.
Ari Cohen, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, told Newsnight
that an opportunity had been missed to privatise Iraq's oil fields. He
advocated the plan as a means to help the US defeat Opec, and said
America should have gone ahead with what he called a "no-brainer"
Mr Carroll hit back, telling Newsnight, "I would agree with that
statement. To privatize would be a no-brainer. It would only be thought
about by someone with no brain."
New plans, obtained from the State Department by Newsnight and Harper's
Magazine under the US Freedom of Information Act, called for creation
of a state-owned oil company favored by the US oil industry. It was
completed in January 2004, Harper's discovered, under the guidance of
Amy Jaffe of the James Baker Institute in Texas. Former US Secretary of
State Baker is now an attorney. His law firm, Baker Botts, is
representing ExxonMobil and the Saudi Arabian government.
Questioned by Newsnight, Ms Jaffe said the oil industry prefers state
control of Iraq's oil over a sell-off because it fears a repeat of
Russia's energy privatization. In the wake of the collapse of the
Soviet Union, US oil companies were barred from bidding for the
Jaffe said "There is no question that an American oil company ... would
not be enthusiastic about a plan that would privatize all the assets
with Iraq companies and they (US companies) might be left out of the
In addition, Ms. Jaffe says US oil companies are not warm to any plan
that would undermine Opec, "They [oil companies] have to worry about
the price of oil."
"I'm not sure that if I'm the chair of an American company, and you put
me on a lie detector test, I would say high oil prices are bad for me
or my company."
The former Shell oil boss agrees. In Houston, he told Newsnight, "Many
neo conservatives are people who have certain ideological beliefs about
markets, about democracy, about this that and the other. International
oil companies without exception are very pragmatic commercial
organizations. They don't have a theology."
A State Department spokesman told Newsnight they intended "to provide
all possibilities to the Oil Ministry of Iraq and advocate none".
From the conclusion to the James Baker Institute's study Iraq’s Oil
Sector: Issues and Opportunities
"The consequences of Iraq’s decisions about the future organization of
its oil sector will have
major implications for future oil market trends and global oil pricing
and security, just as Iraq’s
decisions to nationalize its oil industry in the 1960s played a pivotal
role in formulating OPEC
strategies and raising the price of oil worldwide. Because of the
extensive size of its resource
base, the manner of Iraq’s participation in oil markets will be a major
factor of the next decade
If Iraq chooses to reconstitute its national oil company under
strategies similar to the manner in
which it participated in international oil trade in the 1960s and
1970s, it could become a leader in
working together with other OPEC countries to restrain future
investment in oil resources and to
limit output to achieve sustainably high oil prices for a significant
period of time until backstop
technologies and energy efficient technologies could be brought to bear
in the market by
If on the other hand, Iraq were to restructure its industry to allow
foreign direct investment or to
privatize its oil sector, fostering increased competition among
domestic operations inside the
country’s oil sector, the consequences are likely to lead to more
competitive structures for global
oil markets in general and thereby lower energy prices over time."
From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com>
To: debate: SA discussion list <debate at debate.kabissa.org>
Sent: Fri, 30 May 2008 1:39 pm
Subject: Re: [DEBATE] : Oil Majors Say U.S. Restrictions Delay Iran
On May 30, 2008, at 1:21 PM, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
> Take a look at campaign contributions to the Republican Party
> divided by sector:
> The top contributor is the finance/insurance/real estate sector, and
> energy/natural resources is not among the top five.
Take a look at the 2000 cycle, and you'll get a lot more oil & gas/
energy. The Reps are having a hard time raising money from anyone in
Also, compare oil & gas contribs to Reps vs. Dems. Much more lopsided
> Moreover, is there any evidence that Big Oil lobbied for the Iraq War
> or has been lobbying for Iran and other sanctions?
No there's not. An oil industry economist said on my radio show early
in the Iraq adventure that the oil industry was not in favor of the
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