Most did not know that during the initial assault on Baghdad, soldiers set up forward bases named Camp Shell and Camp Exxon. Soldiers often know the score, even if Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush and of course the Pentagon?s talking points dismissed any ties between Iraqi oil and their war.
But often their actions demonstrate that yes indeed this is about oil; not just Iraqi oil but our oil, read: corporate oil: in fact U.S. corporate ownership of that oil from Iraq. How does one make such a claim? One looks to the law. Under U.S. law, whose oil and oil products belong to whom are decided by law. The Development Fund for Iraq established by the United Nations does not spell out ownership as it was assumed it would be the Iraqi people who would own the oil from Iraq. Putting Mr. Paul Bremer, an old American oil-hand in charge of Iraq made him the perfect choice as head of the fund, though most would have disagreed had they been asked, and seemed natural for the U.N. and the Bush regime.
As two authors recently pointed out, ?The Bush/Cheney administration has moved quickly to ensure U.S. corporate control over Iraqi resources at least through the year 2007. The first part of the plan, created by the UN under U.S. pressure is the Development Fund for Iraq which is being controlled by the U.S. and advised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The second is a recent Bush executive order that provides absolute legal protection for U.S. interests in Iraqi oil....In May, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1483, which ended sanctions and endorsed the creation of the Development Fund for Iraq, to be controlled by Paul Bremer and overseen by a board of accountants, including UN, World Bank, and IMF representatives. It endorsed the transfer of over $1 billion (of Iraqi oil money) from the Oil-for-Food program into the Development Fund. All proceeds from the sale of Iraqi oil and natural gas are also to be placed into the fund.? (Sources: Steve Kretzmann and Jim Valette, Media Culture, July 24, 2003; See also, White House home page)
In the creation of the Development Fund for Iraq, it was argued that this was to alleviate the poverty in Iraq and was sold as Humanitarian Assistance yet ?one finds the fingerprints of the global economic structural adjustment that has attracted so much protest in recent years. World Bank and IMF programs, backed by the rules of the World Trade Organization, have imposed dramatic financial restructuring upon much of the world. Developing countries have amassed huge debts in exchange for selling out their natural resources to powerful Northern corporations.? (Ibid.)
Instead of bailing-out the Iraqi people, new debt for Iraq?s people will formally accrue through the program that President Bush pledged would ?benefit the people of Iraq.? The Development Fund, derived from actual and expected Iraqi oil and gas sales, apparently will be used to leverage U.S. government-backed loans, credit, and direct financing for U.S. corporate operations in Iraq. Some of the funds are to go towards restructuring facilities and oil systems, pipelines, etc., and all are aware of Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown and Root receiving contracts under the Pentagon?s non-competitive bidding; some of the funds will also be used as collateral for projects approved by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (ExIm Bank). The mission directive of the ExIm Bank is the creation of U.S. jobs and the promotion of American business abroad, not humanitarian assistance.
As the two authors noted ?ExIm recently announced that it was open for business in Iraq and would begin considering applications by subcontractors (that is, companies hired by Bechtel and Halliburton) in Iraq.? (Ibid.) U.S. Corporations have found it difficult to obtain private bank credit for work in Iraq, due to the ongoing insecure environment. But the ExIm Bank has stepped in to take a lead role in facilitating U.S. business in Iraq just as it did during the Cold War when the ExIm Bank financed hundreds of American corporate projects in the Soviet Union even as Ronald Reagan called the regime the ?Evil Empire.? Also the Overseas Private Investment Company (OPIC) has, as its charter spells out, obliged by underwriting (insuring) the corporate ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan with U.S. taxpayers dollars. (Source; See ?The Hydra of Carnage? this author, 2002)*
They blow-up a pipeline you and I pay to repair it. They blow up an oil facility, not only do you and I pay up front, but the Iraqi people find their debt burden increasing, as in the end it will be the Iraqi people who must pay for all of this. The corporations make their money in compensation and profit, all their costs covered, they never lose as they control the machinery of governance as surely as they profit by it. Peter S Watson is the current director of OPIC, and has the usual suspect?s credentials for this particular governing administration.**
?The primary source of repayment, is the Development Fund for Iraq,
or another entity established under the auspices of the
Coalition Provisional Authority with access to
foreign exchange and protection from
claims of creditors of the former regime.?
(Source: ExIm Bank Press Release)
In other words, the U.S. government is happy to provide credit to any U.S. business wishing to do business in Iraq - especially because the money comes from Iraq. OPIC guarantees the investments with U.S. taxpayers dollars. For the Bush/Cheney oil administration and their allies in the oil industry, this was not enough. Hours after the UN endorsed U.S. control of the Development Fund for Iraq, Bush signed an executive order 13303 (see text below) that we were told was simply implementing Resolution 1483, but in reality, went much further towards attracting investment and minimizing risk for U.S. corporations in Iraq.
Executive Order 13303 states categorically that ?any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void,? with respect to the Development Fund for Iraq and ?all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein.?
If ExxonMobil ChevronTexaco remove Iraqi oil, they will be immune from legal proceedings in the U.S.. Anything goes wrong where U.S. corporate oil operations are in play and they will be immune to any legal judgment. An oil tanker accident; an explosion at an oil refinery; pipelines destroyed, etc., ?the President, with a stroke of the pen, signed away the rights of Saddam?s victims, creditors and of the next true Iraqi government to be compensated through legal action. Bush?s order unilaterally declares Iraqi oil to be the unassailable province of U.S. corporations. (Ibid.) In their closing argument the two authors make their point as well as I could ever have done:
In the short term, through the Development Fund and the Export-Import Bank programs, the Iraqi peoples? oil will finance U.S. corporate entrees into Iraq. In the long term, Executive Order 13303 protects anything those corporations do to seize control of Iraq?s oil, from the point of production to the gas pump - and places oil companies above the rule of law.
It should be noted that Mr. Bush signed the EO less than three weeks after declaring a coalition victory and secession of all hostilities. We know he was dead wrong about the first; I would suggest this scam to protect U.S. monopoly corporate interests will be challenged not only in the courts, no matter that Bush has already declared all claims null and void, but challenged in blood for decades to come!
* The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was established as a development agency of the U.S. government in 1971. OPIC helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing the risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. By expanding economic development in host countries, OPIC-supported projects can encourage political stability, free market reforms and U.S. best practices. OPIC projects also support American jobs and exports-over 280,000 new U.S. jobs and $65 billion in exports since 1971.
OPIC supports projects and investments in almost every industry and economic sector, including:
? Banking & services
? Internet & information technology
OPIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government (Source OPIC website)
** Peter S. Watson, prior to becoming Chairman, President & CEO of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, was Counsel to Winthrop Stimpson Putnam & Roberts advising on international business and trade policy matters. He concurrently served as Senior Advisor to Armitage Associates, L.C. (As did Dick Cheney?s daughter, who was given the newly created post Undersecretary of State for Middle east Development.) National Security Advisor Condolliza Rice proudly admits she is also an Armitage protege.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 22, 2003
Executive Order Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has An Interest
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 5 of the United Nations Participation Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 287c) (UNPA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that the threat of attachment or other judicial process against the Development Fund for Iraq, Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, obstructs the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq. This situation constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
I hereby order:
Section 1. Unless licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to this order, any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is prohibited, and shall be deemed null and void, with respect to the following:
(a) the Development Fund for Iraq, and
(b) all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons.
Sec. 2. (a) As of the effective date of this order, Executive Order 12722 of August 2, 1990, Executive Order 12724 of August 9, 1990, and Executive Order 13290 of March 20, 2003, shall not apply to the property and interests in property described in section 1 of this order.
(b) Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under Executive Orders 12722, 12724, or 13290, or under the authority of IEEPA or the UNPA, except as hereafter terminated, modified, or suspended by the issuing Federal agency and except as provided in section 2(a) of this order.
Sec. 3. For the purposes of this order:
(a) The term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) The term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c) The term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any juris-diction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;
(d) The term "Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products" means any petroleum, petroleum products, or natural gas originating in Iraq, including any Iraqi-origin oil inventories, wherever located; and
(e) The term "Development Fund for Iraq" means the fund established on or about May 22, 2003, on the books of the Central Bank of Iraq, by the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority responsible for the temporary governance of Iraq and all accounts held for the fund or for the Central Bank of Iraq in the name of the fund.
Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulga-tion of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and the UNPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their statutory authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
(b) Nothing contained in this order shall relieve a person from any requirement to obtain a license or other authorization in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Sec. 5. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 6. This order shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 22, 2003.
Mr. Craig B Hulet: Security, Military Affairs & International Relations Expert (Author: The Hydra of Carnage: Bush?s Imperial War-making and the Rule of Law: An Analysis of the Objectives and Delusions of Empire. Available @ www.kcandassociates.org); Hulet was Special Assistant for Special Projects to Congressman Jack Metcalf (Ret.) www.craigbhulet.com Hulet can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2003 The Artful Nuance and Craig B Hulet
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