Bush/McCain Not Even Good at Imperialism: China Gets Iraq’s First Foreign Oil Contract


(Iraq President Jalal Talabani walks with his China President Hu Jintao)
George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and presidential hopeful John McCain (as well as his new internationally ignorant but charming vice presidential running mate) have been promulgating the need to stay in Iraq to protect American interests.
Well. . .it seems we are also serving China’s interests. Some might say, “of course we are — given that China finances the largest share of America’s debt-burdened economy.”
China National Petroleum and Iraq have just signed the first major oil deal between the occupied-by-America nation and a foreign oil company. The deal is valued up to $3 billion (or 21 billion Chinese yuan…better start learning about those yuan).
A prominent international observer sent me this note this morning:

The Bush administration is not even good at imperialism.
Bush sacrifices American money and military lives to prop up a government allied with Iran in the hope of getting a few military bases and some oil contracts for its friends.
Meanwhile the Maliki government steals them blind, gives the first oil contracts to China, and tells Washington to forget about those military bases.
Oh, but thanks for taking care of the Baathists and the Sunnis for us!

— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “Bush/McCain Not Even Good at Imperialism: China Gets Iraq’s First Foreign Oil Contract

  1. Kathleen says:

    Carroll… “efforts”… you get an A for diplomacy.. and Sharon stirring up dissent by taking a group to the Temple Mount and scuttling the Camp David talks….the list goes on…


  2. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen Aug 30, 4:37PM
    And add to that the 10 year cease fire plan Hamas offered to Israel after their election that Israel refused.
    And the Iran overture to the US submitted thru the Swiss that the US refused to even accept from the Swiss.
    And probably we can add the US-Russia nuclear weapons control deal that was in the works before Russia became the new stand alone EVIL, to the list of could have, should have beens also.


  3. Carroll says:

    Posted by JohnH Aug 30, 2:03PM
    Very interesting about Iraq taking over the MEK base camp. Unless there is something really hidden that we can’t know, I don’t believe that Iraq would have any reason to either protect and definitely not to aid the MEK in their covert activities in Iran.
    The neo’s (Bolton and others) held a rally for the MEK in DC 2 years ago and tried to get them off the US terrorist list and if I remember correctly the UK recently took the MEK off their terrorist list so maybe we have too. Hersh has written a lot about the MEK activities in Iran. The US has been funding them…obviously for their regime change ‘efforts’ in Iran.
    It does sound like some kind of deal..a pullout deal maybe for the US. But very odd.


  4. Kathleen says:

    This is an interesting long range view of war and presidential politics,and October Surprises by Robert Parry.
    The Maliki gov’t proposed a peace plan, right after their election, which included an agreement with the Sunni to lay down their arms if we withdrew within two years.. we refused and began paying the Sunni, so it’s not fair to say Maliki used us to deal with the Sunni….it’s a mutually exploitative relationship, at Americans’ expense…


  5. Bartolo says:

    This would be a big media story had it happened under a Democratic war-of-choice.


  6. rich says:

    I caught this news as well. (Though the Hunt Bros. did secure an oil contract with the Kurds.)
    Bush could never isolate Iraq or Iran sufficiently, militarily or economically, since Russia and China have every reason and every means to outflank us.
    It shouldn’t be a surprise that China has a tighter grip on our currency & debt than is generally advertised.
    Whether Bush intended to exclude access to Iraq or use Iraqi oil as a chokepoint or a bargaining chip, may not matter. Distributing that access may be the point, and as long as Maliki and Iran are on the same page, there could be a lot of happy oil companies and trade ministers out there, of various nationalies.
    The question may be, Did George Bush get anything in return for it? Or do the new contracts come with the same set of economic relations, with the U.S. in a worse position due to the war?
    This article suggests the war and sanctions have cost us, putting ‘American’ oil companies at a disadvantage. Predicts most oil contracts will go to Asian companies (Vietnam, etc.)
    But the Asian firms are also well positioned to grab further contracts.
    Having avoided military entanglements in the region, they may curry more favor with the Iraqi people.
    “They have no involvement with the secular or ethnic people,” said Aljibury. “The conditions favor them.”
    . . . .
    But none of this suggests Western firms like ExxonMobil (Charts), Chevron (Charts), BP (Charts) and Royal Dutch Shell (Charts) will be completely cut out of the action.
    First, their technical prowess is world renowned.
    “I have not heard anything from any Iraqi ministers against U.S. oil companies,” said Aljibury. “In fact, I have heard the opposite. They are the best in field exploration and development. They want them.”
    Second, Iraq’s oil contract game has just begun.
    According to a letter supplied by John S. Herold’s Ruppel, memorandums of understanding have been signed with all the oil majors for several years. And Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani has said the country plans to tender for major oil projects in the second half of 2007.
    Steve Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International, an industry watchdog group, criticized the draft oil law for allowing long-term oil contracts to be awarded to foreign oil firms, a practice he said was unique in the Middle East.
    “Giving out a few crumbs to the Chinese and Indians is one thing,” said Kretzmann, who noted the draft law was seen by both the Bush administration and the International Monetary Fund before it was given to Iraq’s parliament. “But the real prize are the contracts that award long-term rights. I think the [Western oil companies] are biding their time.”
    And this one suggests the new contract hardly precludes the ‘blood for oil’ scenario–which remains the dominant view no matter how the geopolitical chip is played.


  7. JohnH says:

    Something is happening. BBC reports (in Arabic, not English) that the Iraqi army has taken reponsibility from the Americans for Camp Ashraf, the base of the Mujaheden-e Khalq, an organization listed by the State Department as terrorists but widely known to be supported by the Bush administration to destabilize the Iranian government.
    Al-Maliki said that the takeover was not to rule over the Mujaden-e Khalq but to protect them.
    Since when is the Iranian-allied Al Maliki in the business of taking over bases targeting Iran? And since when did the American military contol a terrorist base? Or is this part of some deal being worked out with Iran?
    As usual, the corporate media is nowhere to be seen on this story.


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