Just one month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, investigative journalist Greg Palast was given a State Department document that laid out the United States
government's plan to seize Iraq, its oil and everything else of value in the country.
The document, called "Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Growth," was a dream come true for neocons and their corporate supporters. It called for
- lowering taxes on big business,
- quick sales of Iraq's banks, bridges and all other "state enterprises" to foreigners (mainly Americans),
- allowing foreign corporations to take all of their profits out of Iraq,
- eliminating tariffs so U.S. imports would not be taxed and even
- revising Iraq's copyright laws to provide fifty years of retroactive royalty payments to the U.S. recording industry and twenty years of royalties to Microsoft.
- taking the oil industry out of the hands of Iraqis and placing it in the control of Americans and other Westerners.
- Cargill – the world's biggest grain dealer – was able to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat on the Iraqi market, thanks to the U.S. elimination of taxes and tariffs on imported foreign products.
- J. Paul Bremer promptly issued 100 orders designed to carry out the goals of big oil and other corporate interests
- Bremer cancelled scheduled elections and only allowed them to be held after Ayatollah Ali Husaini Sistani threatened to bring a million Shi'ites into the streets to protest Bremer's action.
- General Jay Garner, who preceded Bremer as head of the CPA but was quickly fired after refusing to carry out the Economy Plan, said he was bitterly opposed to U.S. attempts to seize Iraq's oil, pipelines, refineries and ports.
- The Iraq Study Group report includes plans to control of Iraq's oil, including privatizing it, opening Iraq to private energy and oil companies, and "helping" the Iraqis draft a new national oil law. This proposed law, which American "advisers" are working on virtually every day, would assure U.S. and Western control of Iraq's oil for decades to come. Under this law, as under the rule of the previous colonial powers, the people of Iraq would have virtually nothing to say about who gets their oil and how much they have to pay for it.
- U.S. oil companies have said that passage of a new Iraqi oil law is even more important than security concerns in deciding when they will move into Iraq. Many people, therefore, see the continuing presence of U.S. troops in Iraq as necessary both to pressure Iraqi lawmakers to pass the new law, and to try and guarantee security for the oil companies.
- When Bremer quickly left Iraq (some would say when he "fled"), he left behind nearly 200 American "experts" to oversee each new Iraqi minister (these ministers also had to be approved beforehand by the U.S. government).
- The proposed new law are called "production sharing agreements" (PSAs). PSAs are usually negotiated with weak governments and typically last for at least 15 to 20 years. Most Iraqi lawmakers don't even know details about the law. Iraqi knowledge or consent isn't considered necessary in the taking over of Iraq's oil. ...at a meeting of members of the Iraqi Parliament (MPs) and asked how many "had seen the law. Out of twenty, only one MP had seen it."
- The same lack of Iraqi participation was evident when Iraq's constitution was drafted, giving Americans and other Westerners the ability to assume effective control of the country's oil. The U.S. has even locked in its new laws, rules and regulations, so that it will be almost impossible for any future Iraqi government to change them.
- Said one Sunni negotiator: "This constitution was cooked up in an American kitchen, not an Iraqi one."
- U.S. has spent billions of dollars to build permanent military bases in Iraq.
- This country has also built the biggest embassy with the biggest staff in the world in Iraq:
- Paul Wolfowitz is now president of the World Bank,
- he is pressuring Iraqis to sign the new oil law quickly, before Chinese, Russian and Indian oil firms can move in.
- To put more pressure on the Iraqis, Wolfowitz recently opened a World Bank office in Baghdad.