Mohammed at Iraq The Model replied to me. In response to my statement:
If a peaceful Iraq just gets to spend a small proportion of its oil wealth on its people while the rest goes to the occupier, Iraq can still be one of the richest countries in the region.Momammed wrote:
I do not question Salam's good will but I have to disagree with him, I will go farther than what he suggested and give every cent of oil revenues to the people and I will be even excessively optimistic and set a stable level for production and exports and sell the oil at the highest price oil ever reached. Now I wish my friend here and others who share the same belief do some simple math, calculate the total amount of revenue and divide it over the population of Iraq equally, and I challenge anyone who can show me a figure that says we're rich or that our only problem is that someone is stealing our money or oil.I kind of expected that response. But given that this was not the point of my original post I was not going to elaborate there, but I will now.
With all due respect, this is way too simplistic - you do not take the oil wealth, give it to individual people then assume they only live off this money and all other economic activity in the country just disappears. This is Chalabi's logic. Give people a share of oil for nothing and then buy it privately for next to nothing. Oil money, when used for the benefit of the whole country and invested at a macro-economic scale, is a whole different ball game. Then again, what if Iraq did not just suck oil out of the ground and ship it abroad? If oil is refined first in Iraq it and converted into much, much more expensive by-products the value would be immense. Have you noticed that while oil production has been reconstructed, oil refining remains far below the level required for the country, let alone for export. But I digress..
It was America that suggested that Iraqi oil money would be used for their war effort; one only needs to recall the original cost estimate that Cheney gave for the war back in 2003 and his idle boasts that the whole enterprise would become self-funding from Iraqi oil. America is not out to steal Iraqi oil just to pay their own population cash. They are out to use Iraqi oil to fund their foreign policy and use it as a way to control rival states. As a way to force international trade relations to go their way. Have a problem with European steel subsidies? Need some extra leverage at the next trade talks? Oil price and supply can be a very powerful bargaining chip.
Mohammed suggests that the reason for the war on Iraq is that: "a stable and prosperous middle east would be better for America's interests than a poor, troubled one."
America has many interests but the good of the Iraqi people is way below the bottom of the list and supporting stable democracies is a myth. The simplistic question I would ask after all these years of the War on Terror: how is it that only anti-American totalitarians have been attacked or threatened? I mean how long does it take to put pressure on Mubarak to stop imprisoning and torturing democratic opponents or King Abdullah to respect basic human rights - let alone allow their countries become true democracies. How is it that Libya can get away with remaining a one-family dictatorship and still reopen diplomatic ties with America and Europe? How can America tolerate a fascistic regime under its nose in Iraq? Can you see a pattern emerging here?
American policy to Iraq has been consistent for the past forty years. Keep Iraq under a continuous state of war. if not internal with coup's and repression then external, with Iran. I cannot see anything they have done lately to change that policy. Apart from internal sectarian war there is now a move to promote a new war against Iran that will keep Iraq under a state of war for generations.
I'll tell you a well-known story (at least among some Iraqi political circles). Back in the days when Saddam was friendly with the USSR, the Soviets told their allies - the official Iraqi Communist Party - that it should support the government and work in alliance with Saddam. So the ICP newspaper became legal, and they got a couple token ministries to take care of. After a while they fulfilled their purpose and Saddam had them tortured and executed. And several went to their execution confused and protesting that they were friends and natural allies - why should they be executed? They could not comprehend that the Party of Lenin would betray them.
Same with ITM - the neocons betrayed and will continue to betray the new Arab democrats and ITM will still be pleading "why are you doing this we are natural allies". The US and USSR are big countries with their own agenda and have zero interest in Iraqis. The Soviet Union happily sacrificed the Iraqi Communist Party to gain control of East Germany. The US is happily sacrificing its democrats to tyrants and war to remain an economic super power.