We thought we were well informed about the Iraq war supplemental spending bill, but not widely reported was Benchmark #1 - the U.S. demand that the Iraqi Parliament pass the "Iraq Oil Law." The law's primary purpose is to divide oil revenues among Sunni, Shia and Kurds. But the law also contains provisions that would privatize 70% of Iraq's known oil reserves and all future oil discoveries, primarily for the benefit of U.S. oil companies. This law would not require the foreign oil companies to invest their oil profits in the Iraqi economy, hire Iraqi workers, or share new technologies.
No other nation in the Middle East has privatized its oil. The natural resources of Iraq belong to the Iraqi people. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong. With such a requirement, violence and hostility in the region will continue and grow and our sons and daughters in the military will continue to die - to protect the interests of U.S. and other foreign oil companies. This public forum will provide you the opportunity to listen to Antonia Juhasz, an international expert on this subject. We'll explore how we can work together to put a stop to this travesty.
Antonia Juhasz is a policy-analyst, author and activist living in San Francisco. She is the Tarbell Fellow at Oil Change International and Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and the author of The Bu$h Agenda - Invading the World, One Economy at a Time. She is a teacher at the New College of California in the Activism and Social Change Masters Program.
Recorded Thursday, July 26, 2007 at Beth Emet Synagogue.