Freedom And Liberty? For Whom?
We all know the litany of lies promulgated by the Bu$h (mis)Administration in its quest for justification for the occupation of Iraq's oil industry. We all remember the photo of the US GIs standing above the sign denoting the Iraqi Oil Ministry. We have recently noted that Iraq does not have an OPEC production quota, which opens the door to the sort of abuse of Iraqi petroleum assets that this article exposes.
The United States is helping the interim Iraqi government continue to make major economic changes, including cuts to social subsidies, full access for U.S. companies to the nation's oil reserves and reconsideration of oil deals that the previous regime signed with France and Russia. "So I think this is very promising to the American investors and to American enterprises, certainly to oil companies," Abdel Mahdi said at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Freedom from retribution for liberating Iraq from its oil?
Iraq's oil sector is essential both to world energy markets and to the nation's economy. Iraq sits on the planet's second largest oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia, and oil revenues account for more than 95 percent of the country's current budget. (The rest comes mainly from taxes and profits of certain state-owned enterprises).
Even for a Texan, that represents a lot of money. So where is it all going? Not to the Iraqi people!
Washington has installed hundreds of U.S. economic advisors in all Iraqi government ministries, who have a decisive say on most economic decisions. It has also sponsored the bulk of the nation's economic changes, based on a neo-liberal model that emphasizes privatization of government entities and cuts to social spending.
And they want us to believe that Iyad Allawi is heading a real sovereign government? Fool me once, shame on me ...
This is the real crime of these actions taken by the Iraqi 'government':
One major move the country is inching towards under U.S. guardianship, which was discussed this week, is a rollback of Iraq's huge subsidies system, which may have kept millions of Iraqis from starvation under U.S. and UK-backed sanctions imposed by the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War. Under its October agreement with the IMF, Baghdad's interim leaders agreed to cut the support, among many other conditions. The IMF has been notorious for imposing conditions that its economists say are necessary to slash nation's budget deficits.
Think about this for a minute. Ninety-five percent of Iraq's wealth comes from oil production, and this oil production is being given to US multinationals who aren't about to provide much to the Iraqi people out of those assets. HOW ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO REPAY THE 'LOANS' IMPOSED UPON THEM BY THE IMF???
They aren't supposed to. Slaves are lucky that they are still alive to enjoy the torment being liberally dispensed to them.
We've been told for years by the die hard Confederate wannabes (read: State's Rights advocates) that the South would rise again. The South could not have risen in the first place without slavery, and it is now going to be the norm for any country that is taken over by the IMF for the benefit of US multinational corporations. So everything you hear about this upcoming vote, probably being programmed by Diebold and ES&S as I write, is a lie. So, it seems, is the 'democracy' that is so near and dear to Bu$hCo's black mechanical heart.
U.S. President George W. Bush claims his policy is to promote democracy because democratic countries do not wage aggressive wars. Most observers would probably accept that the United States, Britain, Japan and countries in Western Europe are democracies, but it would be unwise to be complacent about the nature of democracy in our countries.
The principle of promoting democratic regimes is one that the vast majority of people living in countries where the government can claim to have been democratically elected are likely to support. But there may well not be full agreement on the meaning of democracy or on which countries can rightly claim to be democracies.
It is also questionable whether U.S. foreign policy lives up to the president's claim.
It is hard to make sense of the U.S. government's advocacy of democracy in the world in general. For Bush supporters apparently, a regime is considered truly democratic only if it supports the policies advocated by the U.S. administration. Bush oversimplifies by putting other countries into just two categories: (1) those that support the U.S. and are therefore "good" and (2) those that oppose or criticize U.S. policies and are thus "bad." States that are not democratic can be forgiven and their sins overlooked if they support U.S. policies.
Democratic states that do not support U.S. policies are, in Bush's view, either not really democratic or have electorates that been misled by foolish or evil leaders.
Like the United States?
It is hardly surprising, then, that some observers consider the president's attempt to promote democratic regimes as disingenuous, if not hypocritical. Most observers think it very unlikely that democracy can be imposed on Iraq, which has no democratic traditions and is, in any case, deeply divided among the Shiite majority, a Sunni minority and a large Kurdish population. It seems improbable that full, free and fair elections can be held in Iraq on Jan. 30, as planned, even if security in the main centers of population can be assured. The best that can be hoped for is the emergence of an Iraqi regime that can claim a reasonable element of legitimacy.
After all that has happened in Iraq since March 2003, it is inevitable that the new regime will be judged according to how it stands up for Iraqi rights and brings together the various elements in Iraq. It will have to be nationalist in its policies, if it is to win the backing of the Iraqi people.
Above all it must not be viewed as an American puppet. It must be prepared to criticize and oppose U.S. policies if it considers them not in Iraq's national interest. It will be difficult for the Americans to accept opposition from a new Iraqi administration, but they will have to do so if the new Iraqi regime is to be seen as independent.
As I noted above, this is already not going to happen with US officials making all of the important decisions about how Iraq will be governed. The Iraqi people are already being tossed overboard in the mad frenzy to stabilize the country for Halliburton and Bechtel.
It is one of the lessons of history that a people oppressed to the point of abject poverty will have nothing to lose and everything to gain by rising up against its oppressors. As the policies being implemented in Iraq to meet IMF rules can be demonstrated to bring about abject poverty in every nation which is subjected to them, we know what is going to happen in Iraq.
More and more people will decide that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by joining the jihad against the occupation of their nation. More and more American troops will be needed to quell the uprisings which will then occur, even if these are only the spontaneous outbursts of hungry people and not militant guerilla attacks. More and more it will be clear to the people of the world that multinational corporatism is merely the new colonial slavery system, and more and more national populations will rise up in opposition to neocon economics. This will engender the backlash of 'authoritarianism' so near and dear to Republican fascists, maybe even in our own country.
We are about to enter a new dark age in which the candles of freedom and liberty will be snuffed out by the tsunami of wealth transfers, and buried under oppression to maintain that control. The needs of the people will not be as important as the needs of the greedy. It will continue to grow until there is nothing left to do but take one of them with you when you go.
It IS about the oil.
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