News Release

Behind Bush’s Rhetoric on Iraq: · Democracy · Oil


Jarrar, the Iraq Project director for Global Exchange, is just back from a trip to the Mideast which included meetings with Iraqi Parliament members in Jordan and a visit to Syria.

Bush said today at his news conference: “The United States of America must understand it’s in our interests that we help this democracy succeed. As a matter of fact, it’s in our interests that we help reformers across the Middle East achieve their objectives.”

Jarrar said: “Our meetings with the Iraqi Parliament members were very fruitful, especially with the mainstream Sunni and Shia parties, because we got this strong united message from Iraqi Sunnis and Shia demanding a timetable for pulling out the U.S. troops.

“What is developing in Iraq is an anti-occupation parliament, especially after the war on Lebanon, where people are in the streets in Iraq rallying against the British, the U.S. and Israeli occupations.

“So, rhetoric aside, the U.S. will try to go back to their original plan and insert yet another dictatorship in the Middle East in Iraq that will take its cues from Washington like the dictatorships in Egypt or Jordan or Saudi Arabia which are supported by the U.S. government.”
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Juhasz is the author of the book The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “More than three years since the war began, President Bush is finally telling the truth about why the U.S. is in Iraq: Oil. Bush told reporters today that U.S. troops must stay in Iraq because ‘terrorists and extremists’ must be denied access to Iraq’s oil sales. Of course, Bush not only wants to keep oil out of his enemies’ hands, he also wants to put it into the hands of his friends. And this front in the war is right on track.

“Iraq’s new oil law is set to be implemented this year, possibly within a month. It opens Iraq’s oil sector to private foreign corporate investment using Production Sharing Agreements. No other Middle Eastern nation uses PSAs because they provide unnecessarily lucrative terms to the foreign companies, at the expense of the national government. Oil companies including Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Conoco are ready to sign PSAs once the law is passed. They will, however, need security to get to work. This is where the U.S. troops come in. It is this ‘oil timeline’ that is determining how long U.S. troops will stay in Iraq.”

Juhasz has recently written about the findings of the July 2006 report to Congress from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. See The Bush Agenda.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167