Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools
By Greg Palast
25 March, 2006
off it. All the carping, belly-aching and complaining about George Bush's
incompetence in Iraq, from both the Left and now the Right, is just
On the third anniversary
of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border, most of the 59 million Homer
Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was
But don't kid yourself --
Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what
they set out to do. In case you've forgotten what their real mission
was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original
announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called,
O.I.L. How droll of them,
how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House
change it to "OIF" -- Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st
Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq's OIF.
"It's about oil,"
Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA's top oil analyst,
he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a
secret confab in London with Saddam's former oil minister to finalize
the plans for "liberating" Iraq's oil industry. In London,
Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the
Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct
method of disposing Iraq's crude.
And what did the USA want
Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and
it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined
by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in
a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department.
Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is
what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain
a state oil company that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC."
Enhance its relationship
with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States ordering
Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation
with outrageously high prices for crude.
Specifically, the system
ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production
-- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia
and the OPEC cartel.
There you have it. Yes, Bush
went in for the oil -- not to get more of Iraq's oil, but to prevent
Iraq producing too much of it.
You must keep in mind who
paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and
their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't make money from pumping more
oil, but from pumping less of it. The lower the supply, the higher the
It's Economics 101. The oil
industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an "oligopoly"
-- a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less
oil, not more of it. So, every time the "insurgents" blow
up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to
cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just love it.
Dick and George didn't want
more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you, no matter
what I write, insist that our President and his Veep are on the hunt
for more crude so you can cheaply fill your family Hummer; that somehow,
these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the
USA is bumping up to $3 a gallon.
Not so, gentle souls. Three
bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal
profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with
joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled
in $113 billion in profit in 2005 -- compared to a piddly $34 billion
in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other words, it's been
a good war for Big Oil.
As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum
became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation "enhanced
its relationship with OPEC;" and the price of oil, from Clinton
peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.
In other words, on the third
anniversary of invasion, we can say the attack and occupation is, indeed,
a Mission Accomplished. However, it wasn't America's mission, nor the
Iraqis'. It was a Mission Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.
On June 6, Penguin Dutton will release Greg Palast's new book, Armed
Madhouse: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War. Order
it here today. View his investigative reports for Harper's
Magazine and BBC television's Newsnight at www.GregPalast.com.