[Marxism] A telling quote

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 24 12:40:22 MDT 2011

On 8/24/2011 2:33 PM, Joseph Catron wrote:
> Yeah? So's Iraq. Have they even had a government post-2003 that wasn't
> elected on a "kick out the Yankees" platform?

I guess it is worth posting this if I haven't already. I have been 
so busy fending off the anti-anti-Qaddafi left across a wide 


Operation Iraqi Freedom is completed. Really?
American troops withdraw from Iraq
By Alexander Cockburn

The last American combat brigade in Iraq has left the country, so 
the Pentagon is announcing. The 40,000 personnel from 4th Stryker 
Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division began crossing into Kuwait this 
very morning, August 19,. The US combat mission in Iraq – 
Operation Iraqi Freedom - is scheduled to end on August 31. But 
the State Department feels it necessary to emphasise that US 
involvement in Iraq is far from over.

In 2008 Obama campaigned on pledges of withdrawal from Iraq and 
escalation in Afghanistan. Addressing cadets at West Point 
military academy on August 2, 2010, he said that the war in Iraq 
had been won: "This is what success looks like." Departing US 
troops will leave behind a "democratic" and "sovereign" Iraq, one 
that is now "no haven" for "the kind of violent extremists who 
attacked America on 9/11."

It's a bizarre definition of success. The Shia-dominated 
government of Iraq is backed by America's demon of the hour, Iran. 
If this really was a "war for oil," it scarcely went well for the 
United States. Run your eye down the list of contracts the Iraqi 
government awarded in June and December 2009. Prominent is 
Russia's Lukoil, which, in partnership with Norway's Statoil, won 
the rights to West Qurna Phase Two, a 12.9 billion–barrel 
super-giant oilfield. Other successful bidders for fixed-term 
contracts included Russia's Gazprom and Malaysia's Petronas.

Only two US-based oil companies came away with contracts: 
ExxonMobil partnered with Royal Dutch Shell on a contract for West 
Qurna Phase One (8.7 billion barrels in reserves); and Occidental 
shares a contract in the Zubair field (4 billion barrels), in 
company with Italy's ENI and South Korea's Kogas. The huge Rumaila 
field (17 billion barrels) yielded a contract for BP and the China 
National Petroleum Company, and Royal Dutch Shell split the 12.6 
billion–barrel Majnoon field with Petronas, 60-40.

So either the all-powerful US government was unable to fix the 
auctions to its liking, or the all-powerful US-based oil companies 
mostly decided the profit margins weren't sufficiently tempting. 
Either way, "the war for oil" doesn't look in very good shape.

> I Googled and read the one from which you posted an excerpt. Do you really
> believe that "the European Union will work hard with the new Libya to ensure
> that democracy thrives and lasts," Louis? Or anything Catherine Ashton says
> for that matter?

What is this supposed to mean? That there aren't a lot of 
newspapers being started in Benghazi?

Here's another report although I doubt you will believe it since 
it appeared in Le Monde. I guess we will have to wait until it is 
vetted in MRZine or Counterpunch.


More information about the Marxism mailing list