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Iraq’s Oil for Iraq

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Posted on Feb 20, 2010
Flickr / No Sweat UK

Posters at a gas station during a 2008 protest against foreign oil companies’ involvement in Iraq.

In an announcement that was one part election hackery and one part good domestic politics, the Iraqi prime minister has declared that his country will not sell the rights to any more of its oil fields to foreign companies, a move that signals an intent by Iraq to develop its own national oil industry.

The announcement comes only a month before a national election, but, politics aside, it does suggest that Iraq may be changing its stance toward privatization and the selling off of the country’s national resources. —JCL

Reuters:

Iraq has no further plans to use foreign firms to develop its oilfields beyond ones auctioned off last year, the country’s prime minister said on Saturday, ahead of a national election next month.

Analysts say that foreign companies may have accepted the tough terms in oilfield development contracts awarded in two rounds last year partly to secure an initial foothold in Iraq, with a view to possible access to other untapped reserves later.

Iraq has the world’s third-largest crude reserves and is the world’s 11th-biggest oil producer.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Robert Newman gets to grips with the wars and politics of the last hundred years - but rather than adhering to the history we were fed at school, he places oil center stage as the cause of all commotion.

This innovative history program is based around Robert Newman’s stand-up act and supported by resourceful archive sequences and stills with satirical impersonations of historical figures from Mayan priests to Archduke Ferdinand.

Quirky details such as a bicycle powered street lamp on the stage brings home the pertinent question of just how we are going to survive when the world’s oil supplies are finally exhausted.

A History of Oil and War, A stage show by Robert Newman:

http://brasschecktv.com/page/32.html

Understanding presented in an entertaining way.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 23, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

A History of Oil and War, A stage show by Robert Newman:

http://brasschecktv.com/page/32.html

Understanding presented in an entertaining way.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 23, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

MarthaA:
This is a post about Iraqi oil. Aren’t you getting a little off thread?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 23, 2010 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

“Since December of 2007, more than 7 million Americans have lost their jobs; a staggering 17.3 percent of the American workforce is either unemployed or under-employed; and over 6 million Americans have been out of work for more than six months, the highest on record.”

“In America today we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income in the industrialized world. With the top 1 percent earning more income than the bottom 50 percent, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty among major countries. About a quarter of our children are dependent on food stamps. Today, as the middle class continues its decline, one in nine families can’t make the minimum payment on their credit cards, and 120,000 Americans are declaring bankruptcy every month.”

Sadly, this economic pain didn’t begin when the financial sector nearly collapsed over a year ago. It has been going on for a decade. As the Washington Post reported in January, “The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times ... It was, according to a wide range of data, a lost decade for American workers ... There has been zero net job creation since December 1999 ... Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999—and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009.”

We need to fundamentally change the way Wall Street does business so that it invests in the job-creating productive economy instead of engaging in the casino-style risk-taking that led to the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history. Financial institutions that are “too-big-to-fail” need to be broken up so they no longer pose a threat to the entire economy. And we need to establish a national usury law to stop banks from ripping off the middle class by charging outrageous interest rates and exorbitant fees on credit cards.

We need to create millions of good jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure through major investments in roads, bridges, dams, culverts, schools and sewers.

We need to transform our energy system and break our dependency on foreign oil by investing in energy efficiency and such renewable energy technologies as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Making these investments will lead not only to the creation of decent-paying green jobs, save money on energy bills, and cut greenhouse gas emissions, but also will improve our geo-political position and keep us out of wars fought for oil.

We need to fundamentally rewrite our trade policy in order to rebuild our industrial base. Today, the U.S. employs fewer manufacturing workers than in April 1941, eight months before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  No nation can maintain a strong economy if it is dependent upon other countries for the products it consumes.

We need to join the rest of the industrialized world and make healthcare a right of citizenship for every man, woman and child in this country through a Medicare-for-all single-payer program. It is unacceptable that more than 46 million Americans are uninsured and 45,000 die each year because they don’t get to a doctor in time.

When the Republicans controlled the Senate and George W. Bush was in the White House, they were able to pass two major tax breaks for the wealthy with only 58 votes in 2001 and only 51 votes in 2003 through a process called reconciliation. Simply put, reconciliation allows the Senate to pass legislation with a simple 51-vote majority instead of a 60-vote super majority.

It’s time for the Democrats to use these same reconciliation rules—which the Republicans used to benefit the wealthy—to rebuild the middle class.

Above quotes from Bernie Sanders, the junior United States Senator from Vermont. He has served in Congress - formerly in the House of Representatives - for over 16 years. Read more at his Web sites:  http://sanders.senate.gov/  and http://www.bernie.org/

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By Marshall, February 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

By MarthaA, February 22 at 9:41 pm #

The Obama administration is bringing itself down - repubs don’t need to do a
whole lot.

Let me also say that i agree with obama on a number of things - namely the
numerous bush policies he kept in place (Afghanistan, Iraq, Gitmo, Detainee
photo release, wiretapping, rendition, enemy combatants, military tribunals, tax
cuts, etc…).  Bush was wrong about some things but obama’s actions prove it was
a much smaller number than most people thought (including obama).

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA:

Yes they do. They offer freedom from government. Freedom to succeed. Freedom to fail.

You like the word “populace” don’t you.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

You Republicans wish the Obama administration to be brought down, but you had better think again.  The Republicans have nothing to offer the voting populace.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Marshall:

You’re a diamond in the rough!

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By Marshall, February 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

By rfidler, February 22 at 8:11 pm #

“Where are all you “blood for oil” whiners???”

They’re busy working on their conspiracy theory for how an out-of-office Bush
brought down the Obama administration.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

I LOVE IT.

The silence on this thread is deafening.

Where are all you “blood for oil” whiners???

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, February 21, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

russian paul:  NO.

Marshall, MarthaA: right on.

Iraqis keep their oil. An Inconvenient Truth.

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By Marshall, February 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

I believe this is a rather meaningless news item.

Iraq’s oil industry has been state owned since well before the gulf war.  When
Iraq auctions off access to its oil fields to private firms, it reaps the financial
benefits of seasoned and productive oil companies successfully exploiting the
vast reserves and giving Iraq a large cut.

The statement is clearly political since Iraq has a 10-year timetable in place for
increasing oil production, and its state owned companies (of which there are
three majors) are not yet up to the task of meeting this timetable (hence the
use of private firms).  Unless the next government is able to inject huge
investment into its state owned industry, it will likely have to break its
campaign promise.

Either way, I hear little from the “it was a war about oil” crowd anymore.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

Good for Iraq.  Iraq has to take care of Iraq’s people. I sure can’t blame them for wanting to keep their own resources.

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, February 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

wasn’t a majority of the oil already auctioned off to shell and exxon?!

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