This is a re-publication of a published letter to the editor from the Washington Post
Sunday, June 17, 2007; Page B06
The June 10 front-page article “Military Envisions Longer Stay in Iraq” provided much useful information regarding a planned long-term U.S. military occupation in Iraq, but it failed to give a reason why 40,000 or more U.S. troops might be there for decades.
The answer is surely oil interests. Last month Congress passed a bill continuing funding for the Iraq war with a “benchmark” provision threatening suspension of reconstruction funds if Iraq’s government fails to enact a law opening up its oil industry to privatization, something no other oil-rich Middle Eastern country has done. Predictably, this idea is vigorously opposed by many in the Iraqi parliament and the oil workers union.
No one should be shocked to learn that U.S. elites plan a long military presence in Iraq on behalf of oil interests; even less surprising will be the American and Iraqi peoples’ resounding rejection of such a project. People in Iraq and the region already think the United States is there because of oil. Is there any logical reason to think this will change, and that four years of fierce resistance to our occupation will magically dissolve, especially as our long-term plans become clear?
Peace Action Education Fund