Group: Cheney Task Force Eyed on Iraq Oil

By H. Josef Hebert - Associated Press - Friday 18 July 2003

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force appeared to have some interest in early 2001 in Iraq's oil industry, including which foreign companies were pursuing business there, according to documents released Friday by a private watchdog group.

Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq's oil fields, terminals and pipelines as well as a list entitled "Foreign Suitors of Iraqi Oilfield Contracts."

The papers also included a detailed map of oil fields and pipelines in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates and a list of oil and gas development projects in those two countries.

The papers were dated early March 2001, about two months before the Cheney energy task force completed and announced its report on the administration's energy needs and future energy agenda.

Judicial Watch obtained the papers as part of a lawsuit by it and the Sierra Club to open to the public information used by the task force in developing President Bush's energy plan.

Cheney's Halliburton Will Pump Iraq's Oil

Click here for Waxman's letter to Flowers.
For more stories on: Halliburton

Wolfowitz: ‘Iraq War Was About Oil’

By George Wright - The Guardian - Wednesday 04 June 2003

Oil was the main reason for military action against Iraq, a leading White House hawk has claimed, confirming the worst fears of those opposed to the US-led war.

The US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz - who has already undermined Tony Blair's position over weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by describing them as a "bureaucratic" excuse for war - has now gone further by claiming the real motive was that Iraq is "swimming" in oil.

An Open Letter to the U.S. Military

by Charlie Liteky in Baghdad - Congressional Medal of Honor Winner - Wednesday 07 May 2003

By way of introduction, my name is Charlie Liteky, a U.S. citizen, a Vietnam Veteran, and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. However, I renounced the Medal of Honor on July 29,1986 in opposition to U.S foreign policy in Central America. What the U.S. was supporting in El Salvador and Nicaragua, namely the savagery and domination of the poor, reminded me of what I was a part of in Vietnam 15 years earlier.

I placed the medal at the apex of the Vietnam Memorial Wall into which are etched the names of 58 thousand young American men. In depth study of the Vietnam War revealed political and military liars insensitive to the value of human life, inclusive of their own countrymen. The biggest liar was the Commander in Chief of U.S. armed forces, President Lyndon Johnson, who lied to Congress about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. It was this lie that motivated Congress to vote the money for the war. As a veteran of an ill-fated war, in the waning years of my life, I’d like to share some reflections on my country’s attack on Iraq.

Once again, I find myself in protest of a U.S. military action that no court in the world will declare legal. The U.S. attack on the sovereign country of Iraq fails to meet any of the necessary provisions of a just war. Iraq on the other hand, met the most fundamental condition for a country to use military force against an adversary, namely the defense of its homeland against an unjust aggressor. But, because of the incredible superiority of the U.S. military, there was no possibility of a successful defense.

In its attack on Iraq, the U.S. violated the UN Charter, international law and universal standards of morality. This is borne out by the worldwide condemnation of the U.S. attack by mainstream religious denominations and spiritual leaders.

Claiming liberation of the Iraqi people as a just cause for a war that kills thousands of innocents is hypocrisy at its worst. If liberation of an oppressed people were the real motive behind the invasion of Iraq - why did the U.S. wait 25 years to act? Why did the U.S. refrain from condemning Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons in its war with Iran in the 80s? Why did the U.S. fail to prevent chemicals critical to the production of biological weapons from reaching Iraq? How is it that what we condemn today we approved yesterday?

Many Iraqi people rejoiced at the sight of their American/British liberators, but many more did not, because they had no legs to walk to the sites of celebration, no arms to wave in jubilation or they had no life left to celebrate. The sanitary military term for such people is “collateral damage.”

I first came to Iraq in November of 2002 in response to the bellicose words of war coming from the President of the U.S. and his staff. When I think of children, the most vulnerable of the innocents. In my imagination I could hear them crying, I could see the terror in their eyes and faces as they heard the planes overhead, followed by bombs exploding. I wanted to be with them to offer what small comfort I could.

This cartoon [of a sly, American eagle with its talons deeply planted in Iraqi earth] published in the Jordan Times on April 23, 2003 depicts what many Arab people believe is the U.S. motivation behind its attack on Iraq, namely, a deep-rooted, long-lasting presence. Recently, newspapers have reported that plans are underway to establish four military bases in Iraq.

What the cartoon does not include is the U.S. interest in and access to Iraq’s immense oil reserves. A two-time Medal of Honor recipient, General Smedley Butler, said that “War is a Racket” and that he spent his 33 year military career being a bodyguard for U.S. business interests. I submit that protecting U.S. business interests, sometimes referred to as “national interests” is still the primary mission of the U.S. military. Wartime profits go to a select few at the cost of many. Again to quote Gen. Smedley:

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

This letter containing some of my reflections is not meant to cast blame for an attack on Iraq on U.S. military personnel. I’m sure you believe that what you are a part of is right and just. I once believed the same of my participation in the Vietnam War. I share my thoughts and conclusions as gifts of truth revealed to me through years of studying U.S. foreign policy.

Charlie Liteky, Vietnam Veteran

PS: God be with you in your search for truth, your quest for justice, and your efforts to help a beautiful people.

For more stories on: Veteran Patriots

This Is Your Country Now

Kathy Kelly, Iraq Peace Team - 21 April 2003

I'm sitting in Amman now because of Sattar. Yesterday morning, he drove me here, from Baghdad. Silently, we passed through the shattered and wrecked streets. It was his story that persuaded me to leave.

For three weeks, we had waited anxiously for news about Sattar who, since 1996, has been our closest Iraqi companion. What a relief, four days ago, to see him finally walk into the hotel lobby.. "Please, Sattar," I begged, "Share some of the oranges and dates we have upstairs." "Thank you," he said, "but I am fasting." He didn't tell us exactly what motivated his fast, nor would he disclose details about the swollen knob on his forehead.

When the war began, he took his family to live with relatives outside of Baghdad. After several days, he returned to check on the family home. A missile had hit a house nearby, and two brothers were missing. Sattar went to the Saddam Hospital in the impoverished and dangerous Al Thawra neighborhood to look for them. "I found it terrible," he said. "Many, many people were asking for help. One family with five injured people had gone from place to place, seeking help, and by the time they came to this hospital, five of the family members were dead. I was coming to ask about two, but I thought, here there are so many, all needing help, so I asked a doctor if he could use me."

Sattar joined thirteen volunteers who assisted three physicians as they tended hundreds of patients. "At first, I just helped to bring the medicines and move patients. You know, always before, I could not even look when people suffer blood and wounds. But I began to learn how to insert IV injections. I could clean wounds and wrap bandages." He worked at the hospital for twelve days. "There is one doctor, his name is Thamer," said Sattar, with a measure of awe, "and he stayed in the operating room for two days and nights, without a break, performing 75 emergency operations. We heard gunfire outside, but fortunately several sheiks and imams were able to protect the hospital."

"If you go to that hospital you can see many pictures in one moment," he continued. "Some people trying to kill, some people trying to steal, some people trying to help by cleaning the hospital, making food, and delivering patients, some sheiks and imams giving advice."

Some western press came to the hospital and talked with Sattar. An interviewer pressed the idea that Iraqis should be grateful for liberation. Sattar attempted to explain how much suffering he'd seen, but the reporter insisted on a positive spin. Sattar said, "Leave now."

His eyes welled up with tears when describing what he saw on the roads while driving in Baghdad. "I saw myself many tanks protecting the Ministry of Oil. They need the maps, the information. But they do nothing to help the people, the hospitals, the food storage. American companies are already trying to repair the oil refineries so that they can produce 2 million to 6 million barrels per day; this will bring the price of oil down. They can control the price of oil to serve American interests."

He also encountered a US tank in front of a huge storage site, where one to two years worth of grain and rice were stored. He heard a US officer with a Kuwaiti accent order the tank to blast open the entrance and then tell people standing there, "Take what you need. Then you can burn it."

After 12 days, Sattar returned to his family to let them know he was all right and to bring his brother Ali back to Baghdad. At a checkpoint, a US soldier questioned him. "I was wearing blue jeans and, trying to be friendly, he touched my pant leg and said `These are good.' I told him `Yes, but these were made in China, not in America.'" The soldier, surprised that Sattar spoke English, asked him, "Are you glad that we're here?"

"I said, 'No,' - again, Sattar's eyes filled with tears--`I wish I could have killed before you could destroy us. You have destroyed our homes, and our `big home.' (Baghdad). Now you should go home.'"

His brother tried to restrain him. "Are you crazy?" asked Ali. "What are you saying?"

The soldier told Sattar, "I could shoot you now."

"Yes," said Sattar, "You can do it. Nobody can do anything to you. You are strong now, but wait three months. After that what will you tell the people? You can't manage the situation yourselves. You can't protect the civilians from themselves."

Like many Baghdadis, Sattar is mystified about what happened to the Republican Guard and the regime in Baghdad. "Umm Qasr is a small village. They could resist for 15 days. Can you imagine that all the power in Baghdad couldn't resist for two days?"

He was silent for a few bleak moments. "Nothing has changed," he said. "Only Saddam has gone away."

"Sattar," I asked, "what will you do now?" "Tomorrow," he said, "I will go to Jordan and start driving again."

I winced. A talented, courageous and kindly man, a well educated civil engineer aching to use his skills, one who never joined the Baath party, who strove for over a decade to preserve the simple values of his faith and culture, must return to work as a driver, fetching more westerners to rebuild his war-torn country.

"Well, Sattar," said Cathy Breen forlornly, "now you won't have so many problems helping Americans cross the border."

"You are right," said Sattar. "This is your country now."

Shortly after Sattar left, Cathy Breen and I decided to pack our bags.

Thomas Paine once said, "My country is the world. My religion is to do good." I don't want a country. But enormous work lies ahead, in the United States, trying to convince people that our over consumptive and wasteful lifestyles aren't worth the price paid by people we conquer.

When we reached the Abu Ghraib dairy farming area, while driving out of Iraq, a terrible stench filled the air. We're told that many corpses of humans and cattle littered the ground of this area. It was on that stretch of the road that we passed a long line of US Army vehicles, headlights on, arriving to replace the Marines. The olive green convoy resembled a funeral procession. I felt a wave of relief that Voices in the Wilderness companions remain in Baghdad. Sometime, in the not so distant future, I hope to rejoin them. But, for now, I must find a way to say, clearly, "No, Sattar, Iraq is not my country."

(1) "Consortium formed to build Central Asia gas pipeline" a_china/story.jsp?story=113662

(2) 'New US envoy to Kabul lobbies for Taliban oil rights" by Kim Sengupta in Kabul and Andrew Gumbel, January 10, 2002 Independent News (5) a_china/story.jsp?story=113662

(3) "Florida's flawed "voter-cleansing" program by Gregory Palast, December 2000 at /04/voter_file/print.html.

(4) "Scrub Helps Shrub" by Gregory Palast, The Nation, February 5, 2001.< /A>

(5) "Paris Reporters Say Bush Threatened War Last Summer: The French Connection" by James Ridgeway, Paris interviews and translation by Sandra Bisin. Week of January 2-8, 2002. The Village Voice

(6) "U.S. Policy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil - Say Authors" by Julio Godoy, Inter Press Service. November 15, 2001. s.html

(7)'New US envoy to Kabul lobbies for Taliban oil rights" by Kim Sengupta in Kabul and Andrew Gumbel, January 10, 2002 Independent News a_china/story.jsp?story=113662

(8) "Explosive New Book Published in France Alleges that U.S. was in Negotiations to Do a Deal with Taliban" CNN's American Morning With Paula Zahn, January 8, 2002.

(9) "U.S. Policy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil - Say Authors" by Julio Godoy, Inter Press Service. November 15, 2001. s.html

(10) "Carlyle's Way: Making a mint inside "the iron triangle" of defense, government and industry" by Dan Briody January 8, 2002, Red Herring,

"George is true-blue for God, but he also has a soft spot for Mammon; and an even softer spot for Dick Cheney, who spent much of the last decade scheming with his fellow oil barons to get a pipeline from the virgin fields of the Caspian Sea -- where $4 trillion in profits are waiting for them -- through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. Cheney's business interests in oil and arms, temporarily divested while he helps direct American policy in energy and defense, rival those of the Bushes and bin Ladens. Or as the Chicago Tribune noted last year: 'War is big business, and Dick Cheney is right in the middle of< /A>

A pro-western regime in Kabul should give the US an Afghan route for Caspian oil

George Monbiot - Tuesday October 23, 2001,5673 ,579174,00.html