Monday, February 26, 2007

What Happened While Iraqi President Talabani is in Hospital?

The first major thing to happen while the Iraqi President sat recovering in a hospital in Jordan was the Cabinet’s passage of the new Iraqi Oil Law. Is a coincidence the Kurdish President stood out of country as Kurds previously held up the bill?

And I thought President Talabani left after giving approval for Israel to use Iraqi air space, something a Shia Prime Minister would never do. It turns out Mr. Talabani left to grease the skids for that Western oil company bonanza.

If anyone thinks oil belongs to the Iraqi people, watch how public energy utilities transform in the U.S. The little guy or gal is crushed under the weight of those palletloads of cash made by business interests.

The new Iraqi oil law provides two levels with direct corporate influence. A Federal Oil and Gas Council includes representatives of executive management “from important related petroleum companies” and no more than 3 hired “experts from petroleum, finance and economy”. Another opportunity for business influence on Iraqi oil assets occurs with “an independent consultants bureau” made up of Iraqi and foreign oil experts.

It also provides for the country’s current oil company, Iraqi National Oil Company to establish subsidiaries and joint venture with other parties. This provides Western Oil companies with a second profit making opportunity.

I saw such a thing recently with an announced hospital merger in my hometown. Not only would Triad Hospitals take 55% of the profits from the merged entity (despite bringing fewer assets to the table), a subsidiary would make money off fees charged for management services. Fortunately the deal fell through but it provided a glimpse of how big corporations have multiple divisions to exponentially drive profits higher.

Welcome to the Democratixx Iraq! Freedom is the wrapper, but the program is designed for businesses. Government control represents the prize that keeps the presents flowing. The average person is needed for two reasons. One, to keep shopping and the other, to check the right box on the ballot every two years…

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