Can't We Seize Resources Right Anymore?
(Snark Tag is "On.") There was a time when a US President could call the ambassador of a country on the carpet and say, "%^&@ your democracy, %^&@ your country, and %^&@ you. You're nuthin' but a fly on an elephant's ass." (Quotes are from Lyndon Johnson's chastising of Greece's ambassador, circa 1968, before sponsoring a coup to depose that country's elected Prime Minister over a perceived slight.)
How times have changed. Even after invading Iraq and Afghanistan with our energy reserves firmly in mind, after Cheney's energy task force divvied up the fields beforehand, and after the BushCo Administration openly stated that the new oil fields would pay for the war, we apparently can't even grant our companies pillage rights to one measly little subjugated hell-hole. Maybe it's their hell-hole now that we've withdrawn combat troops, but it's still sitting over a whole bunch of our oil, and we can still bomb the ingrates back into the camel age. What's going on here?
We might be seeing the next stirrings of a free and independent Iraq, and that would be a complete disaster. Saddam himself would've been easier to deal with, and as anyone knows, "free and independent" is just high and mighty wonk-talk for "pain in the ass." Here is how they are resisting sucking up their only valuable commodity:
Only one of the bidders for the eight contracts to run oil and gas fields in Iraq has accepted oil ministry terms.In short, Iraq is setting a cap on how much money each oil contract can make, an unexpected wrinkle oil companies don't find very sporting. Oh, they can still make nice money, honest profits, and could treat the fields as a non-OPEC hedge pools, but that's not the point. The point is, nobody gets away with this, and the Iraqi parliament has taken all the fun out of free market oil extraction. They're offering complex government-interference contracts which unfairly limit the upside, and what self-respecting oil company wants to play that?
Six oil fields and two gas fields were available in a televised auction that was the first big oil tender in Iraq since the invasion of 2003.
Iraq has asked the rest of the companies to consider resubmitting bids for the other seven contracts.
For this we spent trillions, killed millions, and tortured thousands? Policy Fail!! (Snark Tag "Off.")