>U.S. advised Iraqi ministry on oil deals

>Well, it seems our perceptions of the Bush administration’s involvement with Iraqi oil has been confirmed.

According to this NY Times article, a group of American advisers played a crucial role in drafting contracts between Iraq and five Western oil companies. The advisers were led by a small State Department team.

In their role as advisers to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, American government lawyers and private-sector consultants provided template contracts and detailed suggestions on drafting the contracts, advisers and a senior State Department official said.

It is unclear how much influence their work had on the ministry’s decisions.

The advisers — who, along with the diplomatic official, spoke on condition of anonymity — say that their involvement was only to help an understaffed Iraqi ministry with technical and legal details of the contracts and that they in no way helped choose which companies got the deals.

The article goes on to say that the contracts are expected to be awarded to Exxon Mobil, Total, BP, Shell, Chevron and other small oil companies.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino denied that the Bush administration had any involvement with pushing contracts, saying “Iraq is a sovereign country, and it can make decisions based on how it feels that it wants to move forward in its development of its oil resources.”

Like I said earlier, the Bush administration’s involvement in steering Iraqi oil policy is nothing new to us. In fact, this story just makes my position on this issue clear: along with the neo-conservative policy of promoting American democracy in the Middle East, oil was one of the main reasons why the U.S. invaded Iraq.

The administration changed its reasoning behind taking out Saddam Hussein’s regime (from his war crimes to liberating women and children), the subconscious reasoning has always remained the same: to take control of the oil fields.