Saturday, March 31, 2007

Operation Imposing Law = OIL

There's a oft-ignored line in the Iraqi Accountability Act of 2007 that refers to an Iraq "Hydro-carbon Law." There follows no explanation of exactly what this law means or does. It would be more accurate to call this important provision the "Iraqi Oil Privatization Law" - it is, in a nutshell, the real reason that we went to war against Iraq and the reason why we are still there after over four years of gruesome deaths, unbelievable destruction, and huge costs.
Here is the text from the aforementioned legislation:

From H.R.1591
U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (Public Print)
BENCHMARKS FOR CERTAIN RECONSTRUCTION ASSISTANCE FOR IRAQ SEC. 1710.
(a) BENCHMARKS- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, fifty percent of the funds appropriated by this Act for assistance for Iraq under the headings `Economic Support Fund' and `International Narcotics and Law Enforcement' shall be withheld from obligation until the President certifies to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives that the Government of Iraq has--
(1) enacted a broadly accepted hydro-carbon law that equitably shares oil revenues among all Iraqis;
(2) adopted legislation necessary for the conduct of provincial and local elections, taken steps to implement such legislation, and set a schedule to conduct provincial and local elections;
(3) reformed current laws governing the de-Baathification process to allow for more equitable treatment of individuals affected by such laws;
(4) amended the Constitution of Iraq consistent with the principles contained in Article 137 of such constitution; and
(5) allocated and begun expenditure of $10,000,000,000 in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.
(b) EXEMPTIONS- The requirement to withhold funds from obligation pursuant to subsection
(a) shall not apply with respect to funds made available under the heading `Economic Support Fund' that are administered by the United States Agency for International Development for continued support for the Community Action Program, assistance for civilian victims of the military operations, and the Community Stabilization Program in Iraq , or for programs and activities to promote democracy, governance, human rights, and rule of law.
(c) REPORT- At the time the President certifies to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives that the Government of Iraq has met the benchmarks described in subsection
(a), the President shall submit to such Committees a report that contains a detailed description of the specific actions that the Government of Iraq has taken to meet each of the benchmarks referenced in the certification.

Here's an e-mail that I sent not to Stephanie Miller, but rather to Jim "Voice Guy" Ward AKA the SMS's conspiracy theorist. You'll understand why as soon as you read the following message:

Jim,
I'm not sure how interested you are in this topic - the privatization of Iraqi Oil - but the article I sent you yesterday sent me to researching the House Bill referenced therein (Iraqi Accountability Act 2007). I found the following article (Behan, Alternet.org) that is referenced in the article that I sent you yesterday (CommonDreams.org), along with text from the actual legislation (HR 1591) that mentions the "Hydro-carbon Law," but interestingly enough nowhere in HR 1591 is the nature of the "hydro-carbon law" spelled out or even defined. So then I did some research on the Iraq Hydro-carbon Law (see NYTimes article below) and I had an eureka moment "Ah HA, it IS ALL about the OIL!" Now it makes perfect sense to me why Dick Cheney is so eager for the US to maintain its presence in Iraq against all evidence that we are doing more harm than good there. Maybe this has been clear to everybody else all along, but I don't think so. Evidence is that Congress doesn't seem to be questioning the provision of the "Hydro-carbon Law" benchmark in the HR 1591. It appears to me to be a critical piece of the puzzle that is Iraq and the Bush administration's entire plan/approach to the Middle East. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that in the end Oil Boys will reward Oil Boys, but I can't believe how obvious, yet seemingly ignored, it is, considering the legislation that is before Congress. I think that this is the lynch pin that could, and likely should, bring down the entire Bush administration, which we've all suspected was corrupt to its very core, but doesn't this illustrate it perfectly? Here's the High Crime (i.e., impeachable offense) committed by Bush and Cheney in a nutshell: A unnecessary and illegal war of aggression waged against a sovereign nation (Iraq) that has arguably had the impact of creating a more dangerous situation in terms of international terrorism, and that the invading country (US) in the process of pursuing this war has squandered many lives and much treasure and continues despite all evidence that the presence of the occupying country (US) is seriously damaging the occupied country (Iraq) to the detriment of Iraq's infrastructure, political stability and the very safety of its citizens. And all of these highly suspect, immoral and ultimately illegal actions were taken to benefit BIG OIL (not coincidently, Bush and Cheney's biggest supporters) NOT to fight a trumped up "war on terror." Call me a paranoid cynic, but the evidence is right there in front of all of us - we ignore it at our own peril.

1 comment:

Dick Behan said...

Ms. Hadley,
Thanks for your activism and the fire in your belly. AND for providing the location in HR 1591 of the KEY words. I looked and looked and looked and simply couldn't find that language, so I relied on a summary published on Steny Hoyer's website. I've been nailed a couple for the omitting the citation: Now I'm ready. Thanks. Beware: librarians can kill!
RWB

(Sending this to a lot of folks:
Good friends and fellow citizens;
Thanks for reading the "Land Mine" article--it's a compliment to have you do so. And thanks for your note in reply.
I must apologize for this form-letter response, but find it inescapable if I am to respond to your notes in a timely way.
Many of your notes were gracious and generous expressions of gratitude. They mean more than you can know. Thanks, thanks, and many thanks. A great many raised some poignant and important questions.
There were several complaints I'd like to answer: why didn"t I mention the deliberate destruction of the Trade Towers, why did I ignore the impact of AIPAC, and why did I sidestep the "peak oil" issue?
All these issues bear directly on the story I'm telling. I am aware of all three of them, but have studied none of them in sufficient detail to comment comfortably . The purpose of my writing is to disclose the hideous and illegal behavior of the Bush Administration, and to seek the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. I'm looking to tell the story of the oil wars as clearly, cleanly, and briefly as possible--but still in a credible way. So the three issues are left for the most part unremarked. It is pleasing to see so much written about all three, and I enthusiastically support the work and the workers.
One other legitimate complaint was registered rather frequently: what are my sources? "How do I know your story is even true?" was asked often, and that too is a legitimate inquiry.
Some time ago the AlterNet website published a much longer and detailed accounting of the oil wars, which was a bit more responsible in citing sources. Here's a link to it:
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/47489/
No one is terribly thrilled with a love letter addressed "To Whom It May Concern." Again, I'm sorry for this one. But if this fails to answer your concerns, please email again. It may take some time--a week or more--but I'll try to provide a more personal touch.
With much hope for peace and justice,
Dick Behan