If George W. Bush's policies on Iraq are mystifying, fret not -- there's
a method to his organized chaos after all.
Bush's recent unveiling of a "plan" for victory in Iraq projected
an exercise in utterly hollow rhetoric, unless it's understood to whose victory
he is really referring. After the upcoming December 15 parliamentary elections
in Iraq, victory will rest securely in the pockets of corporatists and their
partners in the administration.
Although the national discussion revolves around exit strategies, democracy,
torture, suicide bombers, et. al., it would appear that Bush's underlying intention
is to stall until after December 15 before he'll openly ponder, with furrowed
brow, any nod toward a military withdrawal. What will happen after December
15? U.S. corporations will have a headlock on Iraq's economy, most importantly
its oil reserves, even though we were led to believe that oil, as a primary
motivation behind the invasion, was conspiratorial nonsense, as with all inquiries
that Bush wishes to avoid and dismiss.
As soon as the new Iraqi government provides the appearance of democratic legitimacy,
major oil contracts known as Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) between U.S.
corporations and the newly minted, U.S.-friendly Iraqi government will be signed
and sealed. Bush's ultimate invasion goal will be a fait accompli -- victory
for the forces of privatization over an entire, towed-away nation. When Bush
says that "rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator is a large undertaking,"
he demonstrates, once again, his projective skills.
The Global Policy Forum explains
how the above scenario will probably unfold: "The new Iraqi constitution
of 2005, greatly influenced by U.S. advisors, contains language that guarantees
a major role for foreign companies. Negotiators hope soon to complete deals
on Production Sharing Agreements that will give the companies control over dozens
of fields, including the fabled super-giant Majnoon, but no contracts can be
signed until after the elections when a new government takes office."
Furthermore, according to a November 22, 2005, Reuters UK report, "For
international oilmen, deprived of access to vast Iraqi reserves for decades,
long-term PSAs offer the ability to book reserves, protection from future adverse
legislation and healthy profits during low oil prices." Any poor and vastly
deprived oilmen's names come to mind?
Along with Bush's unilateral March 2003 Executive Order No.13303, which seized
full control of Iraq's oil revenues, Paul Bremer, former head of the Coalition
Provisional Authority, concocted 100 Orders designed to control Iraq's economy
and daily life. An August 5, 2004, Los Angeles Times story, for example, reports
that Bremer's Order No. 39 carries an economic wallop: "(1) privatization
of Iraq's 200 state-owned enterprises; (2) 100 percent foreign ownership of
Iraqi enterprises; (3)'national treatment' -- which means no preferences for
local over foreign businesses; (4) unrestricted tax-free remittance of all profits
and other funds; and (5) 40-year ownership licenses."
Consider, too, Order No. 49, which "drops the top tax rate on corporations
from a high of 40 percent to a flat 15 percent," and Order No. 40, which
"allows banks to purchase up to 50 percent of Iraq's banks." Do any
of these sound like diktats to shift Iraq's economy to a privatized one, and
who exactly would such a forced shift benefit? Certainly not the citizens of
Iraq for whom Bush weeps crocodile tears.
The plan from the onset was always clear: plunder and privatize, privatize.
And as demagogic Bill O'Reilly says, "That's what ah'm talking about."
Interestingly, when U.S. soldiers invaded Baghdad, they named their initial
bases Camp Shell and Camp Exxon -- even then they knew it'd eventually be a
gusher of a war. And on December 15, just in time for Christmas, Bush's mission
will be accomplished.