By Richard W. Behan Counterpunch 03/30/07 -- George Bush's Land Mine:
George Bush has a land mine planted in the supplemental appropriation legislation working its way through Congress.
The Iraq Accountability Act passed by the House and the companion bill passed in the Senate contain deadlines for withdrawing our troops from Iraq, in open defiance of the President's repeated objections.
He threatens a veto, but he might well be bluffing. Buried deep in the legislation and intentionally obscured is a near-guarantee of success for the Bush Administration's true objective of the war-capturing Iraq's oil-and George Bush will not casually forego that. [...]
The legislation pending now in Washington requires the President to certify to Congress by next October that the benchmarks have been met-specifically that the Iraqi hydrocarbon law has been passed. That's the land mine: he will certify the American and British oil companies have access to Iraqi oil. This is not likely what Congress intended, but it is precisely what Mr. Bush has sought for the better part of six years.
It is why we went to war.
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Related commentary by Alan Maass Counterpunch 03/30/07 - The Global Scramble for Black Gold:
The oil men of the Bush administration are trying to set up one of the biggest swindles in history--the great Iraq oil robbery.
The cabinet of the new Iraqi government--under pressure from the U.S. occupiers who put them in power--approved a law that would undo Iraq's nationalized system and give Western oil giants unparalleled access to the country's vast reserves.
The oil companies would be guaranteed super-profits--on a scale unknown anywhere else in the Middle East--for a period of 20 to 35 years from oil pumped out of two-thirds or more of Iraq's oilfields. Meanwhile, Iraqis would continue to endure poverty and the devastation of war while sitting atop what is estimated to be the third-largest supply of the world's most sought-after resource.
The great Iraq oil robbery isn't a done deal. Even if the law is finalized by May as expected, the major oil companies say they won't have anything to do with production in Iraq until "security" is established--and that would mean a success for the occupiers and their Iraqi puppets that the U.S. hasn't been able to achieve over the past four years since the invasion.
Still, the law underlines the importance of the scramble for oil to the U.S. empire--no matter how much George Bush and his administration deny it with claims about spreading "democracy" and making the world safe from terrorism.
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