Has the US-UK War for Oil Detonated the “New Iraq”?

Felicity Arbuthnot

What a black, tragic irony. Just two months ago, on the 11th anniversary of the (illegal) invasion of Iraq, the Guardian reminded that the mass slaughter, the incineration of swathes of towns, cities and the use of US-UK weapons of mass destruction was not about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, but about oil (a fact long established for any one with even minimal gray matter.)

Today flames are rising from Iraq’s largest oil refinery at Baiji, 130 miles north of Baghdad, the result of mortar attacks by the varying forces sweeping towards the capitol city.

The Guardian outlined the invasion’s “real goal, as Greg Muttitt documented in his book Fuel on the Fire, citing declassified Foreign Office files … was stabilising global energy supplies (especially) ensuring the free flow of Iraqi oil to world markets” with advantage to US and UK companies. “The most important strategic interest lay in expanding global energy supplies, through foreign investment, in some of the world’s largest oil reserves — in particular Iraq.”

The documents showed that the US and UK sought to privatise Iraq’s oil production and carve it up amongst favored investors.

Further, according to the Independent, in March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd.”

As ever, it seems Tony Blair had tossed truth under a bus. In October and November 2002, documents came to light showing that then, just months before the 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.

Further, 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.

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