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Iraq must prove viability by being nonviable

It’s becoming very clear that Iraq’s Oil Law is a give-away to Big Anglo Oil. No surprise there. What’s getting less attention is the so-called benchmarks being discussed in the US Congress. These are supposed to be the end of the free ride Congress has been giving Bush. They’re supposed to show that Iraq is actually accomplishing something with all that US aid that the Americans are firmly convinced they are giving Iraq.

Proof that the Iraqi government is finally getting a grip is that they actually get down to legislative business.

The first (and only?) legislative business they are to take care of is passage of the Oil Law. That’s the benchmark.

But the Oil Law gives away Iraq’s oil wealth and dooms it to being a poor debtor nation for as long as the Paris Club can keep it there. Judging by actions rather than words, grabbing the oil has been Cheney-Bush’s priority from the start. Now it also seems to be the priority of the (supposed) opposition Democrats in Congress.

At least on this issue, the whole pretense at opposition and vetoes is just so much theatre.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government is in an impossible position. They’re widely viewed as US puppets. If selling their whole country down the river is a bit much, even for them, the US will pull out the troops propping them up. If they do sell their whole country, the US doesn’t need them for much any more and may stop propping them up.

Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. That’s how you can tell when you’re dancing with the devil.

Technorati tags: Iraq, oil, oil industry, politics, current affairs, Oil Law