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The New York Times reports that crude oil output in Iraq is “soaring” and that Baghdad has expressed the goal of having the capability to produce 10 million barrels a day by 2017.
But of all the American oil companies, only Exxon has any significant contracts to exploit petroleum resources. The fact that the fields bid on by Exxon lie in the Kurdish section of Iraq and were not approved by the central government angered Baghdad who has forbidden the company to bid on other, more lucrative contracts.
This raises the question: What happened to all that oil that anti-war leftists insisted was the reason we went to war in Iraq in the first place? What about “No Blood for Oil”?
The slogan “No Blood for Oil” has been an anti-war shibboleth since the 1991 Gulf War. Like most liberal jargon, it is meaningless in any other context except as shorthand for American imperialism and capitalist exploitation.
In actuality, there are few things that are worth shedding blood over more than oil — specifically, cheap oil. But when anti-war protestors chant that slogan, they are unconcerned about the reality that oil is vital to life and prosperity in the United States. Instead, the catchphrase is used to evoke anger, implying that oil is important only to oil companies who profit from selling it, and to US politicians who do the bidding of the petroleum giants in going to war to benefit the companies.
At the height of anti-war hysteria in 2003-04, there was a weird paranoia from the left about why we invaded Iraq. There were “Cheney’s oil maps” that purported to show how we would divvy up Iraq oil among American oil companies (maps for Saudi Arabia and the UAE were also part of Cheney’s grand scheme). The maps, released as a result of an FOIA request from Judicial Watch, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”
One would hope the American government had such maps — not to pinpoint the location of oil fields to take over as the left imagined, but as a necessary store of information that any government interested in Iraqi oil production would have. Scott Thompson, writing in crackpot Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review, saw it differently:
Vice President Dick Cheney has been plotting the conquest of Iraq since he was Secretary of Defense in President George H.W. Bush’s Administration—a plan then considered insane aggression. Moreover, on July 17, 2003, Judicial Watch announced that Cheney’s Energy Task Force had developed a map of Iraq dated March 2001, as well as maps of the neighboring United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Saudi Arabia, which show that Cheney knew precisely how much the conquest of Iraq would be worth.
Lest anyone think this was an isolated interpretation of “Cheney’s maps,” a simple Google search reveals nearly 5 million results for “Cheney oil maps.”
Then there was the even weirder conspiracy theory advanced in Michael Moore’s fantasy/documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 that we went to war in Afghanistan not to oust the Taliban and kill Osama bin Laden, but to secure access for oil companies to the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. The fact that the Taliban was enabling mass murderer bin Laden by allowing him to live and train his terrorists in their country after the horror of 9/11 apparently wasn’t enough of a reason to go to war for Moore and his paranoid followers. They saw the evil, grasping hands of oil companies wanting to profit from the natural gas pipeline that would transit through southern Afghanistan. President Bush, being a former oil company executive (he also owned the Texas Rangers baseball team at one time but strangely, Moore didn’t accuse the president of wanting to establish a pro franchise in Kabul), wanted to do his former colleagues in the industry a favor and throw out the Taliban who we broke off negotiations with after the African embassy bombings.
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