News Release

Will the Oil of Iraq Belong to the Iraqi People?

On Friday (April 25) the Wall Street Journal reported on U.S. government plans to restructure Iraq’s oil industry. These plans, which would replace the oil ministry with a U.S. corporate model, are expected to be announced this week. The Journal reports that the Iraqi oil industry will be overseen by an “advisory board.” The board is slated to be headed by Philip Carroll, an American who is a former chief executive of Shell Oil, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch/Shell Group.

JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, which monitors policy-making at the United Nations, Paul is author of the report “Oil in Iraq: The Heart of the Crisis.”
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MICHAEL RENNER
Author of the report “Post-Saddam Iraq: Linchpin of a New Oil Order,” Renner said today: “There’s no shortage of Iraqis who know how to run the oil industry, so why exactly do you need someone like Carroll? Competing factions within the administration are jockeying to determine the specifics of the industry’s future. But it’s likely that Iraqi oil is headed toward de facto privatization — a scheme that puts real control in the hands of the oil multinationals.”
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DOUG HENWOOD
Editor of the Left Business Observer, Henwood said today: “This may not have been a war about oil in the narrowest, most literal sense — its context is one of broad imperial ambition. But oil would still rank high on any list of reasons. It’s been widely noted that the U.S. military guarded the oil ministry while the rest of Baghdad sank into chaos. Is that a taste of what the administration has in mind for the whole country? Heavily guarded oilfields run by Americans while the rest of Iraq can go to hell?”
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FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of law at the University of Illinois and author of Foundations of World Order, Boyle said today: “The United Nations Security Council must continue to control Iraq’s oil and convert the proceeds into a trust fund that it will administer for the benefit of the Iraqi people in accordance with the international laws of belligerent occupation. Otherwise, the Bush administration and its private sector cronies will loot Iraq’s oil fields, exploit the Iraqi people, and mortgage their future by setting up a puppet government…”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167