Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Iraqi Oil Law Means Prolonged War

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders warned
that the new 'hydrocarbon law' up for approval in
Iraq would lead to a prolonged, possibly
permanent U.S. presence in Iraq, with U.S.
military and Iraqi civilian casualties for years
to come.

"The Iraqi hydrocarbon law, if approved by Iraqi
lawmakers, will provide lucrative profits for
U.S. energy corporations by placing up to 2/3 of
Iraqi oil resources under foreign control," said
Liz Arnone, co-chair of the Green Party of the
United States. "The U.S. government, whether led
by Democrats or Republicans, will be committed to
protecting American energy company operations and
investments in Iraq by keeping U.S. troops

Greens noted that passage of the law will
aggravate Iraqi and regional anger over the U.S.
invasion, which has cost the lives of hundreds of
thousands of Iraqi civilians (as well as over
3,100 U.S. troops), destroyed Iraqi
infrastructure, and ignited a sectarian civil

"Iraqis should be allowed to decide how their
resources will be used, without the pressure of
the U.S. occupation and demands from the Bush
Administration," said Katey Culver, co-chair of
the Green Party of the United States and co-chiar
of the Green Party of Tennessee. "The
hydrocarbon law amounts to legalized pillage by a
foreign country, and that's how Iraqis will
interpret it."

The Green Party has called for immediate
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and has urged
Congress to cut off funding for the war to compel
President Bush to order the safe return of
American service personnel.

"The Iraqi oil law proves that 'blood for oil'
was a major reason for the Iraq War all along.
It demonstrates that President Bush didn't invade
Iraq because of claims about WMDs, conspiracy
between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, liberation
and democracy for the Iraqi people, or other
reasons that have proved fraudulent," said Green
Party co-chair Jim Coplen.

Major points on the Iraqi hydrocarbon law and
extended U.S. military presence in Iraq:

• The Iraqi hydrocarbon law, which was drafted
with the help of BearingPoint, a U.S. consultancy
firm, provides 'production-sharing agreements'
(PSAs) allowing major Western energy companies
like ExxonMobil, Shell, ChevronTexaco, and BP to
sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's
oil. The PSAs will allow Iraq to retain legal
ownership of its oil, but will ensure major
profits for non-Iraqi companies that invest in
infrastructure and operation of the wells,
pipelines and refineries. Iraq will be the only
major Middle Eastern oil producing nation whose
oil production is controlled by foreign rather
than state-owned companies. The hydrocarbon law
will turn Iraq into an oil spigot for western
nations, rather than a resource that benefits
Iraqis. The drafting process was secretive; few
Iraqi officials were allowed to read the text,
until it was leaked over the Internet. The law
was approved by the Iraqi cabinet on February 26
and now heads to the Iraqi Parliament, which is
under heavy pressure from the U.S. to pass it.

• U.S. control over oil from the Persian Gulf
region has been a stated goal since the late
1990s of the Project for the New American
Century, a think tank whose membership has formed
the core of Bush Administration, including Dick
Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard
Perle, and Zalmay M. Khalilzad. The Project
recommended waging war on Iraq to assert such

• Michael Hirsh, in Newsweek, reports that while
Democratic and Republican presidential contenders
and Congress members are talking about timetables
for withdrawal of U.S. troops, Gen. David
Petraeus' 'surge' plan will commit the U.S. to a
longer occupation that may last ten years.
According to a Reuters report, Defense Secretary
Robert Gates said on February 27 that the U.S.
may maintain a military presence in Iraq for a
"prolonged period," comparable to U.S. bases in
Germany and South Korea.


Green Party of the United States
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193
Green Party News Center


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