Easter Feast- The Business Of War

Saddam Hussein banned unions for public workers in 1987 because he feared a progressive movement would topple his dictatorship. When the U.S occupation of Iraq began, the U.S authorities refused to repeal that law. Instead in September of 2003, Paul Bremer, the top U.S. official overseeing the Iraqi occupation, issued an order to privatize the country’s state owned industries, which include its oil industry.

The GUOWT issued a statement on the 2 August and again on the 7 August deploring the approach taken by the Oil Minister and called on him to withdraw the memo sent and signed by his legal adviser Mr Laith abd al Hussein, on 18 July 2007 under his personal instruction to the Iraqi oil companies in Baghdad, Bejy, Kirkuk and Basra ordering them not to deal with oil unions members, and instructed them not to allow oil unions members to be part of any committee formed at the work place. The Oil Minister refused to meet the leadership of the GUOWT and sent the General Director of Information Bureau of the Oil Ministry to inform the oil workers delegation that the Oil Minister will not meet with people that represent unions in the oil sector for he said that there are no workers here but state employees. In this he is wittingly or unwittingly relying on Saddam’s decree of 150 that banned workers from organizing in the public sector. 

Hassan Juma’a Awad Southern Oil Company Union– The next government should not only ensure the security of the Iraqi people, but also oppose the privatization of industry. We oppose privatization very strongly, especially in the oil industry. It is our industry. We don’t want a new colonization under the guise of privatization, with international companies taking control of the oil. The day will come when the occupation forces leave. The US timetable foresees the formation of an Iraqi government after the elections. The US should then leave, but I don’t have faith that they will leave so easily. We should all come together to resist the occupation.

FALEH ABOOD UMARA: [translated] According to Article 111 of the Iraqi Constitution, which states that the oil and gas of Iraq are owned by the Iraqi people and they have the right to control it. But when you look into the details of the law, many of the articles of the law actually conflict with this preamble of the law, the most important point of which is the issue of the production-sharing agreements, which allows the international oil companies, especially the American ones, to exploit the oil fields without our knowledge of what they are actually doing with it. And they take about 50% of the production as their share, which we think it’s an obvious robbery of the Iraqi oil. 

This week-

The Iraqi government is expected to pay up to $2.5 billion to five top oil companies to increase the country’s oil output by nearly a quarter, a government adviser has admitted. In what would be the biggest foreign involvement for decades, Baghdad is close to signing technical support contracts with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total.

Shell is negotiating for the northern Kirkuk oilfield and is also in talks, along with BHP Billiton, for the development of the Maysan fields. BP also has its eyes on Iraq’s southern Rumaila field, while Exxon wants the contract for the Zubair oilfield in Basra. Finally, Chevron and Total are looking to work together to develop the West Qurna oilfield.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry said Sunday that it has invited local and international oil companies to bid for contracts including one to develop a natural gas field in a Sunni area in the west of the country…Early this year, the ministry said it was negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to conduct output tests for the field which has five wells that are ready to be interconnected…In a separate tender, the ministry has also invited companies to submit detailed engineering study and procurement of equipment and materials of two oil pipelines linking the Basra oil fields in southern Iraq with Iran’s Abadan refinery. 

Today at least 54 Iraqis were killed and the green zone is under attack, but we are not invited by the corporate coverage to include the context of the oil & gas resources being sold off, the anti union policies of Saddam being reinforced by the occupiers or the wholesale privatisation of Iraq. Nor in the simpleton greenwash media landscape is Iraq perceived for the environmental disaster, no, buy a cotton shopping bag & an eco bulb (of course all the solutions they offer always depend on you buying something), nevermind about the war-

Projected total US spending on the Iraq war could cover all of the global investments in renewable power generation that are needed between now and 2030 in order to halt current warming trends.

The war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective, CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.

In 2006, the US spent more on the war in Iraq than the whole world spent on investment in renewable energy.

…if the war was ranked as a country in terms of annual emissions, it would emit more CO2 each year than 139 of the world’s nations do. Falling between New Zealand and Cuba, the war each year emits more than 60% of all countries on the planet. 

Military emissions abroad are not captured in the national greenhouse gas inventories that all industrialized nations, including the United States, report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It’s a loophole big enough to drive a tank through.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest oil consuming government body in the US and in the world… in Fiscal Year 2004, the US military fuel consumption increased to 144 million barrels. This is about 40 million barrels more than the average peacetime military usage. By the way, 144 million barrels makes 395 000 barrels per day, almost as much as daily energy consumption of Greece.
The US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world.

May ’05 “The Third Army (of General Patton) had about 400,000 men and used about 400,000 gallons of gasoline a day. Today the Pentagon has about a third that number of troops in Iraq yet they use more than four times as much fuel.”

Some figures show that the U.S. military uses enough oil in one year to run all of the U.S. transit systems for the next 14-22 years. In less than one hour a U.S. F-16 fighter jet uses twice as much fuel as the average U.S. auto driver. One-quarter of the world’s jet fuel is consumed by the world’s military. And worldwide the military consumption of copper, nickel, aluminum and platinum exceeds that of the Free World. 

2007 U.S. MILITARY FUEL CONSUMPTION EQUALS:+
– 90 percent more than Ireland’s annual consumption
– 38 percent more than Israel’s annual consumption
– 20 times Iceland’s annual consumption
– 1.7 percent of U.S. annual consumption

My Sweet Lord.

Won’t Somebody Stop This Madman?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez inaugurated a new social program known as a “mission” on Saturday, which focuses exclusively on the health of Venezuelans who have disabilities.

Chávez explained Saturday that the new mission will be carried out partially by students in the Venezuelan-Cuban School for Communitarian Integral Medicine. These students do their residency and internships in small clinics in poor communities, systematically recording medical histories in communities with no previous access to health care. Last week, Chávez met directly with communitarian integral medicine students and announced the doubling of their monthly grant for living expenses to 500 bolivars ($233).

Socialised medicine, ending the marginalisation of those with disabilities? Oh the depravity!

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