Demonstrators in cities around the world chanted “No Blood for Oil” as a Western invasion of Iraq became more and more likely in 2002.

Memos obtained under the U.K.’s Freedom of Information rules confirm some of the fiercest critiques by the war’s opponents. They detail arrangements made between the British government and the world’s largest oil companies, orchestrating trades of access to oil and gas for military commitment.

The Independent reported, “Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

“The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being ‘locked out’ of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.”

Former President George W. Bush and Blair have been adamant in maintaining that Iraq’s natural resources did not factor into their decision-making, as have BP and other energy companies. –KDG

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