THE IRAQ OIL RUSH

Have you noticed lately that George W’s Iraq adventure has turned out to be … well, oily?

Have you noticed lately that George W’s Iraq adventure has turned out to be … well, oily?

For years, the Bush-Cheney regime decried any suggestion that their invasion had anything to do with helping Big Oil get its hands on Iraq’s wealth of crude. No, No, they insisted, it’s about WMDs … or al Qaeda… or democracy – not oil. However, in this final year of their reign, the Bushites are blatantly pushing an oil agenda.

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First, they’ve been trying to squeeze a law out of the Iraqi government that would allow the likes of Exxon Mobil to control the country’s massive, undeveloped oil fields. Unsurprisingly, the Iraqi people have balked, since these reserves are their chief national asset, not only representing future wealth, but also their sovereignty.

Then came news that Iraq’s U.S. backed government has issued no-bid contracts to five Western oil giants, authorizing them to prepare some existing oil fields for commercial production. This special deal gives the Exxons a leg up on winning longterm licenses to privatize Iraq’s massive reserves, yet the Bushites said they played no role in this. But – whoops – now it’s been revealed that a team of administration lawyers and private sector consultants had quietly helped draft the no-bid contracts.

Meanwhile, up pops Ray Hunt, the billionaire CEO of Hunt Oil and a longtime political crony of George W. It seems he cut a special deal with one of Iraq’s regional governments to develop oil fields there. This move violates U.S. policy and is considered illegal by Iraq’s central government, so the Bushites claimed not to have known about Hunt’s end run. But – whoops again – internal documents have been uncovered showing that the Bush team not only knew about the deal, but welcomed it.

Despite their denials, Bush & Company are covered in crude.

“Panel Questions State Dept. Role In Iraq Oil Deal,” www.nytimes.com, July 3, 2008.

“U.S. Advised Ministry On Oil Deals,” www.nytimes.com, June 30, 2008.

“Iraq Oil Rush,” www.nytimes.com, June 22, 2008.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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