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Since January, when George Bush announced his latest sure-fire plan for victory in Iraq, one of the key benchmarks for success was to be when the Iraqi government passed legislation on oil revenue sharing.  As Bush described it that night:

To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.

And since then, Bush has cited that benchmark as proof that progress was being made.  In February he said:

They're in the process of finalizing a law that will allow for the sharing of all revenues among Iraq's peoples...making it clear to the Iraqi people that they have a stake in the future of their country by having a stake in the oil revenues.

And in March he said:

As we help the Iraqis secure their capital, their leaders are also beginning to meet the benchmarks they have laid out for political reconciliation. Last month, Iraq's Council of Ministers approved a law that would share oil revenues among Iraqi people.

Then came April:

The Council of Ministers recently approved legislation that would provide a framework for an equitable sharing of oil resources --

And May:

The council of ministers has approved legislation that would provide a framework for equitable sharing of oil resources. We strongly believe...that a good oil bill will help unite the country.

In June the tone changed a bit:

At home, most of the attention has focused on important pieces of legislation that the Iraqi Parliament must pass to foster political reconciliation -- including laws to share oil revenues...I speak to the Prime Minister and I speak to the Presidency Council quite often, and I remind them we expect the government to function, and to pass law.

And apparently all the Iraqi government needed was a reminder, because two days ago, Tony Snow announced that Bush:

...had phone calls with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the three members...They do report that they have now transmitted to the council of representatives, their legislature, the oil law, and are hoping quite soon to have a related piece of legislation, one that has to deal with the distribution of oil and hydrocarbon revenues, before the legislature quite soon.

Quite soon lasted until yesterday:

Attempts to pass a key oil law sought by the U.S. were snarled once more Wednesday by deep differences among Iraq's Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders, delaying parliament debate despite the prime minister's claims of a breakthrough.

But it was probably just some little glitch, some minor detail to be ironed out, right?

The influential Sunni organization, the Association of Muslim Scholars, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, blasting the bill as "religiously forbidden" and warned that those who back it "anger God for usurping public money."  [...]

But the Kurds also objected, fearing concessions had been made to the Sunnis. The Kurdistan Regional Government warned it would oppose the bill if it made "material and substantive changes" to an outline agreed upon during weeks of negotiations. [...]

Meanwhile, the Shiite party loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which opposes too much decentralization, outright rejected the draft, saying it "left nothing of Iraq's unity."

Yes, getting this oil revenue sharing law passed should be a cakewalk. And then all the violence will end.

Update:  Read more about the fatwa in Savage's diary.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:48 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why don't we just cut to the chase and admit (12+ / 0-)

    The oil belongs to Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and BP-Amoco.

    I mean, isn't that why we're there "spreading democracy?"

    Some jerk infected the Internet with an outright lie. It shows how easy it is to do and how credulous people are. ~ Vonnegut

    by Chrispy67 on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:50:26 PM PDT

    •  It all ours... (6+ / 0-)

      ...all that gooey sticky stuff.

      OURS... ALL OURS...

      Don't get in the way... or we will kill you!

    •  BARBinMD is a Bush CRONY!!! (0+ / 0-)

      How else can one explain Barb's slavish devotion to the Karl Rove spin on the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Council Law (Hydrocarbon, btw, is used, because "OIL" is just too obvious)...?

      Every one of those Bush quotes that Barb placed in her Post is so full of spin and B.S. that it makes me crazy to see supposedly progressive people unwittingly climb unto Karl Rove's spin bandwagon.


      While the White House and BarbinMD tell us that the law is about "dividing the oil revenue" between the various ethnic groups in Iraq, the most significant things in the law, that the WHite House and BarbinMD do not mention are the following:

      1. That the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Council --the council responsible for Iraqi Oil policy and approving oil contracts with ExxonMobil and Chevron-- will consist of American Oil executives and some Iraqis.
      1. That PSA agreements are written into the Law whereby Iraq --once the law is enacted-- signs over close to 50% of its oil wealth to western (read: American and British) oil companies.

      Now, please reconsider Barb's post:
      According to Barb, Bush just wants to get these (read between the lines) crazy Arabs to agree to something that is beneficial to Iraq.  After all, according to Bush and Barb, this law is all about dividing oil revenue equitably between Iraqis... (and Barb even provides quotes from the American media as to what the hang-up has been in the Iraqi Parliament --VERY BELIEVABLE).

      I ask you to consider:  What is more likely to motivate Bush: equitable distribution of oil revenue between Iraq's ethnic groups, OR western oil executives gaining complete and total control over Iraqi oil, with massive profits for ExxonMobil, Chevron (Condi's company), etc.?
      You see, if I were an Iraqi parliamentarian, I would not vote in favor of this bill either... because I think the Iraqi people would rightly want to take my head off if I did.

      Somehow, Barb and Bush conveniently ignore the most significant portions of this law.  The oil give-away portion.  Why do they ignore it... because it makes it look as though the USA is coveting IRaq's oil... and GOD KNOWS... that has NOTHING to do with why we're in Iraq! Right Barb?  I would STRONGLY recommend that individuals who have never read the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law do so... it is very illuminating and has very little to do with "equitable distribution" of oil to Iraqis... it has everything to do with "inequitable distribution of oil" to ExxonMobil and Chevron.

      •  The real test (0+ / 0-)

             What position would the administration
        take if Iraq's parliament voted to share all "hydrocarbon" revenues among Iraq's disparate factions without commiting Iraq to  deal with Western oil companies on terms more favorable to those companies than generally previal throughout the mideast.    
        •  Let me venture a guess: NO DEAL! (0+ / 0-)
        •  Perhaps we'll find out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74, Chrispy67

          China agrees to cancel $8 billion Iraqi debt and discusses a 1997 deal for China's National Petroleum Corporation to develop the billion-barrel Al Ahdab oilfield.

          •  Great headline: "China Wins BUSH'S WAR" (0+ / 0-)

            Gotta love it.

            BTW: Doug MacArthur took responsibility for what was going to happen to Japan after WW II.

            He had several little tiny problems to deal with:

            1. A major Death Cult based on the exaggerated samurai culture that had grown up in the two centuries after the samurai wars ended.
            1. The undefeated army from Manchuria with 2-million plus battle toughened Japanese soldiers.
            1. Minimal restraints on government power, based on prior winner-take-all struggles.

            MacArthur acted with anti-BushCo effectiveness. He wrote a NEW CONSTITUTION for the country.

            He set new trade, business owner/operator, and banking laws.

            He had the proud army from Manchuria marched through HEAVENLY VALLEY, the wreckage of Nagisaki, as they disembarked their returning troop ships. Never had another bit of trouble with them....

            The classic book on MacArthur is "American Caesar." Great read.

            Too bad the BushCo crew don't read. And never served in the real military, any of them.

            Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

            by vets74 on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 04:54:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe Barb has only been reading American media (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I have been tracking US media related to the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law... and uniformly, the mass media outlets report the law as "a law that seeks to equitable distribute Iraq's oil wealth between its ethnic groups"... sounds so benevolent! You know, like Bush himself!

        Most interesting was the space the NYT gave to US Ambassador (at the time) Khalilzad who wrote in glowing terms about this "equitable distribution" aspect of the law.  This appeared in the NYT c. 3-4 months ago.  Of course, the editor-in-chief of the NYT is Mr. Bill Kelleher, whose father was Chairman of the Board of Chevron for decades --until his death a couple of years ago.  The NYT  allowed Khalilzad in his oped piece- to completely ignore the portions of the law that give control of Iraqi oil to western oil companies like Chevron. Only three days later did a letter to the editor appear (which I suppose the NYT considered to be some sort of rebuttal) which took Khalilzad and the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Council law to task about the oil give-away provisions in the law.

        Every media outlet parrots the NYT/Khalilzad/Bush/BarbinMD line... that the law is about "equitable distribution" of oil revenues among Iraqis.  Talk about propagandists! No wonder BarbinMD has no clue as to what this law is really about.

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think she is assuming everyone knows that!  Think Colbert not Bush.

        * 3586 *

        by BDA in VA on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 04:38:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here as some of the main problems (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I would STRONGLY recommend that individuals who have never read the Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law do so... it is very illuminating and has very little to do with "equitable distribution" of oil to Iraqis... it has everything to do with "inequitable distribution of oil" . . .

        Well yes that "sharing" line is part of the spin.  The sharing of the oil revenue is only part of the deal and not really the most problematic.  There was a story a while back about some sort of agreement on profit sharing that was reached with the Kurds and it was presented as though it was on the whole deal.

        Then it turned out that it was only for that one small part and that the real problem is all the things that have been inserted into the agreement to try to attract foreign capital to invest in as politically risky place as Iraq is, and will remain, until the de facto occupation and civil war end. 

        Here is a list of the concerns that the London-based group Platform has come up of the problems with the "Exploration and Risk Contracts" framework (a name chosen to try to avoid all the bad connotations of the term "Production Sharing Agreement").

        A Surrender of Sovereignty: Article 41 legislates for any disputes between foreign companies and Iraqi authorities which cannot be resolved through negotiation to be resolved ‘through arbitration or the competent authority’. In practice this means through a secretive and remote international arbitration tribunal – over riding domestic law. Iraq will not have the power to intervene using its own judicial system.

        • Parliament By-passed With revenues (article 11) as with contracts, there is no provision for Parliamentary scrutiny. Fields such as West Qurna and Majnoon could each alone account for up to 10% of all government revenue. As such, the terms of these developments should be subject to Parliamentary debate as they are in many other countries.

        • No Guarantee of State Participation: No minimum level has been set for state participation in contracts. For a country as well endowed with resources and technical skills as Iraq, a high minimum threshold would have been expected. Article 35 allows companies unlimited transfer of profits outside of Iraq. This could restrict the government’s ability to manage financial crises.

        • Sectarianised Decision-Making: The newly created Federal Oil and Gas Council will decide which contracts are accepted. The Prime Minister, in consultation with the main parties is likely to decide its composition. All decisions on the fairness of the contracts and whether they serve Iraqis’ interests will be completely removed from public or parliamentary scrutiny. As with the structure of the current government, grown from the original sectarian composition of the Governing Council of June 2003, the Federal Oil and Gas Council will be sectarianised, leading to regional and sectarian agendas impacting on national economic policy. Iraqi oil union leader Hassan Jumaa comments: ‘We believe this law to be more political than economic; it threatens to set governorate against governorate and region against region’.

        • Iraqi Companies Undermined: Foreign companies are only ‘encouraged’ to co-operate with Iraqi companies and purchase goods and services from them ‘whenever they are competitive’ (Art 9) Iraqis should only be employed ‘to a reasonable extent’. Normally contracts specify minimum Iraqi content and employment and minimum levels of training and technology transfer.

        • Limited Regulatory Space: The definition of ‘good oil field practices’ (Art 4. Def 4) including relating to health and safety and environmental standards is equated to what oil companies think is right. This could seriously restrict the regulatory influence of the Iraqi government .

      •  Can you give us a link to the law? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Just maybe... (0+ / 0-)

        Methinks that this was meant as a piece of satire, but the snark tag got lost. Certainly as I read it, it seemed to me that BARBinMD's writing was very tongue in cheek. Then again, I am European, so what do I know about American satire....

      •  cronyism (0+ / 0-)

        Dan, honey, I'm confident Barb meant the whole diary as snark.  We are all aware that the "Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law" is just intended to legalize American oil companies stealing as much oil from Iraq as they can pump.

    •  Well, since it's a 10 second duplicate... (3+ / 0-)

      of a better comment I put forth my obsevation that no law of the puppet government is enforceable when we leave.  And we will, they live there.

      •  I hope Parliament doesn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fred in Vermont

        doesn't pass it.  If they should, I hope you're right that it isn't valid.

        "They" (we) keep saying that Kurds and various religious groups can't agree.  My impression is rather that it's nationalists against separatists.

        The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

        by DSPS owl on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 01:57:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eh, Parliament is no bargain either (0+ / 0-)

          If they don't like the law, then fine, come up with another alternative that they do like.  It's been over 4 years now.

          We may have "broken" it, but these buffoons in the Iraqi parliament are doing a fine job of smashing it into ever smaller pieces.  

        •  The message is in the agreement itself (0+ / 0-)

          I hope Parliament doesn't . . .  pass it. If they should, I hope you're right that it isn't valid.

          It depends upon what you mean by valid.  On Wednesday the Parliament was unable to get a quorum to discuss any of the key issues that are pending.  This AM Professor Juan Cole (who reads the Arabic reports) explained the problem this  way

          The suspension of participation in its deliberations of the Sadr Movement (Shiite fundamentalist, 32 seats), the Iraqi Accord Front (Sunni fundamentalist, 44 seats) and the Dialogue Front (Sunni secular, 11 seats) led to the failure to reach a quorum. (On the other hand, if so many parliamentarians were not out of town, even out of country, a quorum could still have been had, even with these defections).

          So it might be possible to bring enough vacationing and/or hiding delegates back to get a quorum and ram through approval of the Oil Law, but what would that achieve?

          The whole idea of the unfair terms in the proposed development framework is to attract foreign capital despite the obvious political risk of investing in a country in the middle of a sectarian civil war. Given this fact, the idea of reaching a political agreement on the law itself will be seen as even more important to potential development "partners" than the actual details of the law.

          According to this article in McClatchy News (a very good new source for online news that everyone should bookmark and read)

          Ministers from parliament's Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front have boycotted voting for the bills. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday predicted that parliament would begin debating the legislation. But on Wednesday an official for the group said no draft should be considered until the Sunnis return to session.

          "Any draft law that is approved in the absence of the Iraqi Accordance Front only represents the groups that approved it," Khalaf al-Ilyan told al-Sharqiya television.

          There is the rub.  What good will the foreign oil companies see in an oil law that large groups of Iraqi see as an illegitimate rip-off imposed by a rump Parliament controlled by the Kurds and one faction of the Iraqi Shia? In a situation like that you would probably have to give the companies even more to have them even consider risking an investment in Iraqi oil.

    •  Even Australia has admitted it (7+ / 0-)

      How long does this need to go on for to convince everyone that oil is all this war has ever been about. With the Chinese now sucking up more and more crude oil, America needed to secure enough to last it until......well until someone invents an engine that can run on something else. Oh they have done? How silly of me. I guess we are pouring millions into developing this then aren't we? We arent? Oh dear I guess we'll need to invade someone else soon then to make sure we have enough for our lifetime, and screw the next generation.

      Anyone know anything about Iran? You do, well that's a surprise.....

  •  Give the surge time to work chimpie repeated (6+ / 0-)

    The call.

    Now the elections were also a benchmark, but dividends will take many yrs to pan out - or so the GOPers will spin.

    Wow this illegal occupation is just not outraging folks enough.

    •  This is why they're floating the Korean meme (0+ / 0-)

      This has too many problems.

      Korea is a monolithic society, 100% Korean(except for the 30k ethnic Chinese).  

      Iraq is a devils brew of Arabs, Turk-men, and Persians, tribes, and religions.  

      There is no parallel.

      Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

      by groggy on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:21:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Precisely. Korea is a monoculture ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... with an ideological schism. No comparison to the malstroem of  ethnic, social, religious, geographic, and tribal chasms keeping Iraq in constant turmoil.

        "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

        by SteinL on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:35:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  indemic turmoil, not to mention (0+ / 0-)

          a US occupation inflicting random, incoherent  shock-and-awe treatment for the last 4 years.

          Establishing hegemony, (corporate or otherwise) in the ME ain't a cakewalk.  Ask the British, the Russians.  Soon, the Americans.

      •  Well, there is one parallel...ours. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        groggy, Spoc42

        Perhaps these divisions aren't so different than those dividing our country -- at it's founding and to this very day.  National government vs. states' rights, sectarian violence (bombed any abortion clinics or shot any doctors lately?), economic divisions (slavery/farming/manufacturing), unions vs. right-to-work states, faith-based tax-supported organizations and churches who favor anti-democratic policies, anti-gay religious fanatics enforcing their views in public policy and laws, yadda, yadda, yadda.....

        Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

        by oldpro on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:50:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Bench Mark For Bush (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ek hornbeck, Spoc42, Phil S 33, Ekaterin

    One right across the backside.

  •  Good grief (13+ / 0-)

    The influential Sunni organization, the Association of Muslim Scholars, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, blasting the bill as "religiously forbidden" and warned that those who back it "anger God for usurping public money."

    Question is, whose God will win -- because everyone knows that Jesus wants the U.S. to have the oil...

    (I would like to tak thes opportunitee to ask for a blankit parden for my typos. I typ very fas, thanks. SOrry.)

    by feduphoosier on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 11:56:09 PM PDT

  •  Ignorant, sickening, lying bags of crap. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Savage, chimpwatch, Phil S 33, tecampbell

    Remember "No War for Monica?" Fuck it, let's have a war for Monica. Makes as much sense to me.

  •  Fatwa (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, tecampbell

    "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

    by Savage on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:03:43 AM PDT

  •  According the General Pace, the true measure (5+ / 0-)

    of success is determined by how "optimistic" the Iraqi people are feeling... not by American casualties...

    Clearly they're "optimistic" that we'll continue to dump the lives of our fighting men and women into their fetid hellhole indefinitely...

    I wonder where the "optimism" of the American people fits into that equation?

    Apparently even further down the list than the lives of our soldiers...

    George W. Bush... wiretapping the Amish since 2001...

    by ThatSinger on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:05:19 AM PDT

  •  Day 1526 of the Troop Hostage Crisis ... (14+ / 0-) which the REAL benchmarks are 3588 dead Americans, 284 dead from the rest of the Coalition, 1000 or so dead contractors, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, millions of Iraqis in exile, millions displaced inside Iraq. Heaven forfend that we might have a "premature" withdrawal.

    •  Glad you posted the numbers, MB! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Savage, truong son traveler

      I watched "The Last King of Scotland" tonight (perhaps a more fitting movie for this fourth of July than I realized) and as the one of the closing title cards read,

      300,000 Ugandans were killed during Amin's rule -

      My mind immediately switched to herr Bush and the number of lives sacrificed for his political ambitions.  I see no difference between the two men.

      Homo Homini Lupus Est p.s. I'm a Winknut, true.

      by coffeeinamrica on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:23:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not often that I get to tease you on a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "thinko":  Heaven forfend?

      Seriously, though, we are so deeply out of our depth in the ME, I'm surprised that Cheney has foregone the nuclear option thus far.  Can you imagine Cheney's reaction to the news that a Sunni group has issued a fatwa condemning usury, at this stage of the game?  These people were supposed to have been done away with in the first month of the invasion.

      Any condemnation of usury must be a might strain on Cheney's heart.  

      Small varmints, if you will.

      by 2lucky on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:33:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Body counts rising. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarbinMD, chimpwatch


      BAGHDAD, July 4 - Nearly five months into a security strategy that involves thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops patrolling Baghdad, the number of unidentified bodies found on the streets of the capital was 41 percent higher in June than in January, according to unofficial Health Ministry statistics.

  •  Although I wish to celebrate the fact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpwatch, flumptytail

    that US oil companies will not get the bill they want through an Iraqi legislature, I cannot help but hear an echo of the word 'quagmire' in these statements.

    Are the three factions fighting each other or US corporations?  Or both?

    A REAL leader would tell our oil companies to shut the hell up and encourage the three factions to compromise.

    When was the last time a US politician told an oil company to shut the hell up?

    And why are oil companies now advertising on Progressive Talk stations?

    Holy FU$%!

    There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts. -- Voltaire

    by tecampbell on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:10:06 AM PDT

  •  Lies and the lying liars who tell them! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Homo Homini Lupus Est p.s. I'm a Winknut, true.

    by coffeeinamrica on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:10:53 AM PDT

  •  and when it fails.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bush can always commute the sentence and keep the surge free, and the benchmarks away from the gas chamber for who the F*** knows how many FU's more. I mean, it's not like he cares what the press or the public thinks anyway. All he has to do is avoid impeachment for another 18 months, and the Dems in Congress are making that easy for him.

    No real reason for Libby to talk, now that he has his commutation, no real reason for the Iraqis to act on the oil law, seeing how Bush isn't serious about removing troops, unless it becomes a political necessity to stop Hillary from becoming the next President of the United States, and maybe not even then?

    More American men and women dying to try and solve a problem with no solution, a Rubik's Cube with the stickers all rearranged haphazardly, if you will.

    Where exactly is the Iraqi rush to sell out their oil wealth so that the US and the UK can reap its profits, economically raping the Iraqi in the process? Why exactly would they hurry to get this particular job done?

  •  The Oil Law (6+ / 0-)

    That gives all the oil to US based corporations that are friendly with the Bush Administration.

    I can't imagine why they haven't passed it yet.

    •  What? (0+ / 0-)

      This is about revenue sharing between different Iraqi sects. How does it have anything to do with US based corporations?

      •  Serious? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MediaFreeze, BDA in VA, Lepanto, DSPS owl

        This is a serious question or snark?

        "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

        by Savage on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:35:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're quite mistaken. That's the spin. (6+ / 0-)

        The reality is unbelievable:
        Foreign oil companies (and not just any old company) will have exploration and exportation rights. Their costs of exploration and operation are to be covered in toto; they will have full rights over the oil and gas they produce -- Iraq will receive a cut, and this cut will then be distributed to the people of Iraq according to "formulas" that have yet to be determined.

        The Iraqis have wisely pointed out that the oil is  theirs, and that they should be allowed to do what they want with it, without it belonging to foreign companies first.

        The oil law, as drafted by Cheney's buddies, is outright theft of a kind last practised in the Congo in the 19th century. It is a recipe for corruption on a scale that will baffle everyone, as oil shoots past USD 100/barrel.

        "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

        by SteinL on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:40:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Production Sharing Agreements (8+ / 0-)

        Assuming that your question is not snark, the Hydrocarbon Law authorizes "Production Sharing Agreements" for foreign oil companies.  These PSA's guarantee huge profit margins for the foreign companies and are unheard of in this type of situation.  This is an oil grab, plain and simple.

        "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

        by Savage on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:41:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  PSAs are a reasonable agreement (3+ / 0-)

          in areas where there is (great) doubt about there being any oil (or other mineral) at all, or whether it will pay to try to get it out, AND where the country involved can't afford to do all the necessary preliminary work / investment.  The foreign/international firm takes risks and gets paid for that by keeping ~80% of the profits for an agreed upon period of time.  

          The bill that USA/UK spent months writing in secret, gives the American and British firms 30 years, renewable for 5 new years.  It also allows them to do nothing at all the first 10 of those years (presumably in hopes that violence will be subdued within 10 years).

          It also allows an oil council where foreigners have the majority specifically to override laws passed by the legislature.

          No other country in the Middle East uses PSAs, and of course Iraq is way past the need of any such thing.  They know that they have oil.

          One MP said some months ago that the draft law cannot be patched.  It must be tossed and a new one written by Iraqis.  Several of them have said that writing oil sharing legislation is not a high priority at this time.  (Source for these last comments: the blog Raed in the Middle.)

          Foreign companies should likely be allowed to bid on projects as defined and specified by the owner of the oil.

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 02:39:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, Yep, Yep (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chimpwatch, DSPS owl

            They're using agreements that are designed to protect exploration investors from the substantial risk involved in the project.  How much risk is there that there isn't any oil in Iraq?

            "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

            by Savage on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 02:45:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Iraqi percentage of PSA profit will be key. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The PSA has two aspects. First, it is a contract between an oil company or joint venture with the state oil corporation in which the former gains control of, but not ownership of, a certain portion of oil in the ground. This is important to oil accountancy which books oil reserves and reports them in due diligence fillings with the SEC, from which Wall St. investment analysts glean the profit potential of the oil company.

            Second, the contracted oil is then divided between Cost Oil and Profit Oil. The former is used to pay the cost of drilling, infrastructure, and operational expenses and sold on the open market or back to the state oil corporation. The latter is the oil left over, and is portioned out between the state oil corporation and the oil company in a ratio of 80:20.

            The rate of return on an oil field of 750 million barrels at a Profit Oil ratio of 80:20 would be 31%, twice the rate of return for most private oil companies not operating under PSAs. The exact ratio for Profit Oil depends on the bargaining position of the state, and Iraq after 2003 was in a very poor position.

            US costs in taking over Iraq will be absorbed by taxpayers, at no cost to American oil companies whose profits will not be through direct ownership of Iraqi oil fields but through PSAs  with whatever government is in Iraq. Dick's oil buddies pay nothing, and the US taxpayer forks over $500 billion on an Iraq oil patch control operation.

      •  It eliminates Iraq's control of its own oil... (3+ / 0-)

        They'll have some kind of council, that will have members of the oil companies sitting on it, approving their own contracts.

        The Iraqis will get a few pennies thrown their way, but that's about it.

        Take my word for it, even if it does pass, this Law will cause more problems than it will solve.

  •  ROFL. (5+ / 0-)

    Not at the enduring tragedy of this war, but that we really thought we could privatize Iraq to suit us, and force the Iraqis to give US companies a license to steal so that we, and not China and India, would get the oil.

    To be four years in and have this:  

    The influential Sunni organization, the Association of Muslim Scholars, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, blasting the bill as "religiously forbidden" and warned that those who back it "anger God for usurping public money."

    Uh-oh!  Bushco didn't count on fighting biblical socialism!!!!  Why, usury is next to Godliness!  

    We are so utterly out of our depth in Iraq.  To be honest, I'm finding myself a little perplexed that Cheney hasn't yet opted for a nuclear solution.  After all, this is THE battle against good and evil.    

    Small varmints, if you will.

    by 2lucky on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:20:30 AM PDT

  •  The opposition to the oil law is... (7+ / 0-)

    in the last throes.

  •  But don't you GET it yet? The surge is working! (5+ / 0-)

    according to Holy Joe. This little 1-minute clip is in honor of Joe, on our nation's birthday.

    -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
    *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

    by rhfactor on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:28:53 AM PDT

  •  Iraqi Quislings are helping Cheney steal ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... Iraq's oil. But the  legislature will not accept it - the proposals, that must have been drafted by oil companies, will place Iraq under unique "loss of rights" statutes as the oil companies bleed the country. No other oil producing nation in the region has comparable laws.
    Any legislator who accepts this will be branded a traitor and he/she and their families will be in peril.

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:30:40 AM PDT

  •  The oil law means nothing, even if it could pass (6+ / 0-)

    The funny thing is how the Bushies have convinced the Corporate Media that an oil law will somehow make everbody drop their guns.

    Even if they could get one passed--which they can't--it's not going to stop the violence any more than their silly elections did.

  •  Its all a pipe dream (4+ / 0-)

    In one respect Iraq is no different that any other nation on earth: Legitimacy is political coin of the realm.

    No leader anywhere would agree to havr their nation's primary natural resource managed by companies from a country that invaded and is currently occupying them. No matter how good the deal is (and the proposals in the hydrocarbon law are not good) they would be rightly dismissed by their own people as a puppet of a foreign power (the pinnacle of illegitimacy).

    By pushing Maliki to pass the hydrocarbon law with the sweetheart deals for the Big Four intact, Bush is making him walk the plank. The harder he pushes, the more he strengthens his rivals, like al Sadr, who, themselves, get an easy win by appealing to national pride.

    Heckofajob, assholes.

    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. --Justice Robert H. Jackson

    by kingubu on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:34:53 AM PDT

  •  "Cakewalk in Iraq" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, flumptytail

    The "cakewalk" article linked in this diary is well worth another read, as a reminder (if we needed one) of the epidemic of blind stupidity that affected America before Bush invaded Iraq.

    Free America.......impeach Bush.

    by Ekaterin on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:36:31 AM PDT

    •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I liked this part, when he talked about people warning that there would be thousands of casualties if we didn't send in enough troops:

      In fact, we took it seriously the last time such fear-mongering was heard from military analysts -- when we considered war against Iraq 11 years ago. Edward N. Luttwak cautioned on the eve of Desert Storm: "All those precision weapons and gadgets and gizmos and stealth fighters . . . are not going to make it possible to re-conquer Kuwait without many thousands of casualties." As it happened, our gizmos worked wonders. Luttwak's estimate of casualties was off by "many thousands," just as the current estimates are likely to be.

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:58:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What they really need is an immigration bill (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        with a big fence along the Iranian and Syrian borders and a guest insurgent program.

        Yeah, I know, I know...some of the mullahs would call that amnesty...

        I'll bet Bu$hCo could help them draft and sell the bill.

  •  Pansy Asses (4+ / 0-)

    Lil AWOL Bush and five deferment Cheney thought a little shock and awe terror, a little Abu Ghraib would make the Iraqis hand over all their oil.  Little did they understand that the Middle East will fight forever to stop the theft of their future.

    It is Bush and Cheney who are the pansy ass cowards not the Iraqis.

    This right wing BS goes back to HW Bush and his endless illegal CIA covert operation failures.  Remember Iran/Contra with HW Bush lying to investigators and pardoning those caught up in the scandal.  Lil Bush is an absolute failure just like his father was.

    And yet dumb Americans voted for the SOB, despite the jaded history.

  •  Propaganda double-talk (5+ / 0-)

    So, according to Bush, the new oil law is all about reconciling, Sunni, Shia and Kurds. I suppose that's why we invaded, bombed the shit out of, and are occupying Iraq: sectarian reconciliation.
    In fact what the new oil law is all about is the Profit Sharing Agreement that would, in effect, hand Iraqi oil over to Big Oil.
    And the permanent bases are being built to impede any future Iraqi government from repudiating the oil law...
    So, who's saying we're ever going to leave Iraq?

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 12:59:57 AM PDT

    •  Hello Vietnam! (3+ / 0-)

      We aren't leaving until Americans have had their fill, just like Vietnam.  And don't count on the Dems to end it, they are just as much in on the theft as the Repugs.  It was reported that Sec of Def Gates is trying to make a behind closed door deal to reduce troop number in exchange for staying indefinitely.

      Why would we stay there indefinitely?  To protect the oil companies investment and profits.

      So much for hating us for our freedom BS or our government trying to keep us safe propaganda.

      •  We're staying indefinetly alright no matter who's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimpwatch, Spoc42

        elected in 2008.
        It will be disguised as "a continuing presence to fight terrorism, train the Iraqis, whatever" but in practice it will mean permanent bases to guard the oil and prevent any future Iraqi repudiation of the oil law.
        After all, all the Dem presidential hopefulls (with a chance) have rejected complete withdrawl and have spoken in such terms...
        Big Oil owns Congress.

        we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

        by Lepanto on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 02:22:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've been wondering what victory was.... (0+ / 0-)

    I just never imagined it was for the 3 sects of Iraqi's to pass legislation that would equally divide their oil. Pfft. what a joke. We all know what's happening with that oil. This is just more double talk propaganda from bushco.

    Thanks for this great diary.

    No Retreat Baby, No Surrender

    by WI Dem on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 01:31:15 AM PDT

  •  It's good news that the Iraqis are standing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, DSPS owl, TerribleTom

    up in opposition to this legalized theft of their natural resources. The last I had read, a day or two ago, it looked as if the bill might pass.

    Isn't it interesting that the MSM and the politicians, both democrats and republicans never dare speak of what this bill would do, but only about that small part of it that would "distribute the oil revenue fairly...". Others like to refer to it as "our strategic interests in the Middle East". I'd call it, "finishing the job" or "our mission" in Iraq. No one would explain what these expressions meant and no one would ask.

    Too bad neocons, it wasn't as easy as you thought it was going to be. Hundreds of thousands of lives lost and half trillion $$ down a rat-hole and you and your cronies still don't have the brass ring.

    Now take your military and go home. Leave those people alone.

  •  Is any one of these bastards (5+ / 0-)

    going to have to stand in front of the American people and answer for this?

    Not that jackass Tony Snow.  Not bubble head Perino.

    Bush. Cheney.  On a non-Fox program being forced to answer by a real journalist.  I only know of two real MSM journalists - Olbermann, Froomkin.

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary."-Handmaid's Tale

    by JLFinch on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 02:12:14 AM PDT

    •  Short Answer -- No. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarbinMD, vets74

      "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

      by Savage on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 02:29:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Narcissists and ASPDs never "answer" for anything (0+ / 0-)

        Bush and Cheney have been operating at reduced mental capacity for years.

        Bush can't even speak English without flubbing the normal pronounciations.

        Is there some reason why the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 and the fitness standards are being ignored ?

        Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

        by vets74 on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 05:02:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pity the neoclowns. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Who can't seem to convince the Iraqi people to pass an oil law that is in nobody's best interest but the neoclowns.
    These same neoclowns also can't seem to convince the American people to commit the manpower and resources to enforcing their get neoclowns richer scheme.

  •  Any experts on international law out there? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, betson08, vets74, JML9999

    How much validity does any legislation passed by a government under occupation have? My own guess is that any laws passed by Maliki's government will be overturned shortly after the occupation ends and the whole lot of legislators will be viewed as a bunch of "quislings".

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful,,,they never stop thinking of ways to harm our country and neither do we" G W Bush

    by irate on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 04:27:04 AM PDT

    •  viewed as a bunch of "quislings" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Assuming they aren't executed for treason.

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 04:59:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some will be executed.,, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        some will flee the country and open Kwickie Marts in the Detroit area.

        "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful,,,they never stop thinking of ways to harm our country and neither do we" G W Bush

        by irate on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 05:06:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The current Iraqi Government... (0+ / 0-)

      will flee the country with our returning troops because they know that they will be targets for the Iraqi freedom fighters.  There will be no safe zone in Iraq after our military leaves.  The Iraqi people will set up their own government just like Chevez did in Venezuela.  It will be another dictator and this one will not be friendly with the US.  Instead, deals will be made with Iran, China and Russia.

  •  And then all the violence will end.-Key Largo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There's a line in the movie Key Largo

    I believe it was Edward G Robinson

    Pretty soon two or three years Prohibition will be back and all the Gangs will work together

    or similar wording

    Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 05:06:32 AM PDT

  •  Iraq is a sovereign nation... (0+ / 0-)

    y'know, they're sovereign, which means they have sovereignty.
    Why does any one of Hairdo Bremer's 100 Laws still stand? Why wasn't the whole Bremer construct thrown out with the trash?

  •  Fatwa my butt (0+ / 0-)

    Please will someone explain to me why GOD would care about oil sharing?  

    Where's the Fatwa on Barbie and Ken?

  •  This law will never pass (0+ / 0-)

    The Iraqis know that the Corporatists are trying to steal their assets.  Dick Cheney and George Bush are stuck in the 1960's mentality thinking that the Iraqis are uneducated and that they can just steal their oil assets and the Iraqis won't be able to read and understand the contract.  WRONG... along came globalization and with it advanced media and the Internet(s).

  •  Bill Richardson - we're tired of Iraq-nam (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Stephen Cassidy, CNYAlison

    Bill Richardson is the only candidate that promised to bring all the troops home if elected president in 2008.  If you want the same old same old, then vote for Obama or Clinton or Edwards.  If you are tired of Iraq-nam, then vote for Bill Richardson for president in 2008.

  •  Two stupid phrases = long war (0+ / 0-)

    Two phrases crystalize the thinking (lack of) of our leaders (?) and some media hacks.  First was "mushroom cloud" to describe the wmd (another cutie).  This brought the fear of nukes home to the only country to ever use them.

    The other was Colin Powell's Pottery Barn foolishness.  In reality, Iraq was a map makers disaster waiting to happen--and Bushie sped up the clock on it.  Yes, we made it now--we made it worse--so what?  Iraq is not a "White man's" burden problem.  It's an Iraqi problem caused by colonialism and won't be cured by colonialism.

    The US has nothing to gain in Iraq--not even oil--and continues to lose lives, money, friends, and influence.  Fact checking Bushspeak gives credence to his logic (?).  There ain't none.  We have nothing to gain--repeat this over and over--we are losing everything--it made and makes no sense to be in Iraq--no benchmark has significance--so don't make them into big deals.

  •  Does anybody have the list of benchmarks? (0+ / 0-)

    Would be interesting to read in this context.

  •  I don't get it (0+ / 0-)

    So Bush's failure here is the inability to establish US corporate hegemony over the material resources of the Iraqi people?

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