The Iraq Oil Law Swizz

Updated: It goes like this, there are 2 bills/proposed laws. One is about how the revenue (left over after big oil et al have their way) will be shared out to the country. This is the law that supposedly is to calm the fighting because all groupings get a cut. That bill is not the one they are talking about now, the bill now -the hydrocarbons law- is the one that gives the Iraq oil over to big oil and it’s chums (hereinafter referred to as Bushco). Accompanied by much union busting and minimising the nationalised oilfields. This bill being pushed through now and being hailed by corporate media has a small mention of revenue sharing (and is ineffective without a subsequent bill), that the morons latch onto this (press, Dems -who enabled this in the war supplemental bill- included) and pretend that is the focus of this bill is appalling, part of the same lying deference to power that cheer led the invasion. This bill right now is the key part of the invasion oil grab:

Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, former commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq, forwarded claims made by the Bush administration and Congress that if Iraq passes an oil law, the fighting factions there will come together because revenue from oil sales will be distributed to all.

The oil law (also known as the hydrocarbons law), however, does no such thing. A separate revenue-sharing law would decide how the oil revenue is spread around the country. It is currently being negotiated, though far behind the hydrocarbons law in the Iraqi legislative process.

Only a small portion of the law mentions revenue, and explicitly states that, according to the Iraqi Constitution, a separate “federal revenue law” is required to dictate how the revenue is spent.

President Bush, during remarks with visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on May 21, said, “We’re working very hard, for example, on getting an oil law with an oil revenue-sharing code that will help unite the country.”

Such a law was included in Bush’s “benchmarks for reconciliation” in Iraq. The Democratic-led Congress, despite calls from the more progressive members, enshrined the oil law benchmark for the Iraqi government in the Iraq war-spending bill…

“The draft hydrocarbons framework law does not define specific terms for the distribution of Iraq’s oil revenue,” Christopher Blanchard, Middle East policy analyst for the Congressional Research Service, told United Press International. “The law would require Iraq’s Council of Ministers to submit a separate federal revenue law to regulate a central Oil Revenue Fund and ensure the fair distribution of oil revenue.”

As an occupying power in a country rocked by instability after more than four years of war, the misguided pressure on the oil law from the U.S. government actors is likely to work against their stated aims — ensuring Iraqis reap the benefits from their oil.

Because as ever the stated aims are a pleasant lie for sheeple so they think -we are the good guys- how did Bushco’s oil get under the Iraqi’s feet? The process is so murky that key groups still have not seen the draft law, pushed through by a boycotted parliament by puppets (likely bribed or in fear of their lives). One of the main objectives of the invasion is closer to being realised.

Iraq’s Kurdish and Sunni leaders have complained that they have not yet seen the draft oil legislation which is to be put to parliament.

The amended oil bill was approved by the cabinet of Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister, on Tuesday and forwarded to parliament for a first reading, but the debate is not likely to take place for a week.

It was unclear how many ministers were present at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, as six ministers from Muqtada al-Sadr’s group and six ministers from the Sunni bloc are currently boycotting the government.

Additional Update: (via, Crooks&Liars) The privatisation of the rest of Iraq’s assets is also speeding onwards with the hydrocarbon law acting as a symbol and catalyst:

The Iraqi government has begun preparing the groundwork for what could be one of the biggest privatisations of state-owned assets.

The Sunday Telegraph has learned that officials from the government have recently held talks with banking and legal advisers in London. City sources said Iraq’s minister for industry, Fawzi Hariri, was looking to appoint advisers to draw up a memorandum of understanding to sell off the country’s non-oil assets, ranging from petrochemical plants to construction companies, hotels and airlines, as early as this month.

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Mordechai Vanunu Sentenced To 6 Months For…

Erm, talking to people, um. No really he is in jail for, erm having conversations.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court sentenced Mordechai Vanunu on 2 July 2007 to six months in jail for violating the terms of his parole.

The conditions of Vanunu’s parole were issued on his release after serving 18 years in prison for exposing secrets relating to Israel’s nuclear capabilities to the British Sunday Times newspaper in 1986. He is former technician at Israel’s nuclear plant near the southern town of Dimona. Upon his release in 2004, Vanunu was banned from leaving the country and talking to foreigners without approval, because Israeli authorities claimed he could still divulge classified information. Some two months ago, Vanunu was convicted of 14 parole violations including contact with journalists and attempts to leave Israel proper to go to Bethlehem, which is in the West Bank. The court’s sentence was unexpected, and even the prosecution expected the court to hand down a suspended sentence, meant solely as a deterrent.

Mordechai Vanunu: “My target is to be free, to leave this country, I don’t want to live here. I have 18 years in prison now another three years. I want to leave and to start my life. I have the right to be free. I am a free man, I want to be free and I want to leave…I am not answering any questions now. Thank you.”

Avigdor Feldman: “Vanunu was convicted for violating a rule that does not exist in any other democratic world that forbids speaking to foreigners, regardless of the contents of the conversation. The court convicted him, sentenced him to six months in prison. This sentence is not acceptable and not imaginable.”

Apparently the Israeli govt. thinks people believe it when it pretends not to have nukes, so come on everyone, let’s pretend it doesn’t have nukes, c’mon make believe is fun.

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Johnston Freed, EU Urged To Unfreeze Relations With Hamas

EU governments were urged today to resume formal links with Hamas after the release of BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston.

And as he is released the button from the sidebar can be retired.

Direct cash aid from Brussels to the Hamas-led Palestinian government was suspended last year after its refusal to renounce violence and recognise Israel.

The only aid still flowing has been direct to welfare agencies to help support the Palestinian economy and its population. But last month marked a breakthrough when the European Commission announced a three million pound aid package to the Palestinian Ministry of Finance – a drop in the ocean compared with the vast EU sums still on hold, but seen as recognition that a National Unity Government is now in place.

The money is being used on training schemes which began in the Finance ministry’s Ramallah office on July 8 and which also start in its Gaza office next week. And although Hamas has still not formally renounced violence or recognised Israel, the part played by the organisation in Mr Johnston’s release has raised hopes amongst Euro-MPs of a new phase in Middle East relations.

Liberal Democrat Liz Lynne, a member of the European Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, and a campaigner for the rights of Palestinians, commented: “This is obviously great news for Alan’s family and friends and all those who have campaigned for his release. “Let us hope that this is the start of a new phase in the Middle-East and will persuade the European Union and other international bodies to start talking to Hamas, because only through dialogue can we achieve a long-lasting peace”