On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border, most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.
But don't kid yourself – Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you've forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original announcement, three years ago, launching what he called 'Operation Iraqi Liberation'. O.I.L.
How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to 'OIF' – Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq's OIF.
“It's about oil,” Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA's top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam's former oil minister to finalise plans for 'liberating' Iraq's oil industry. In London, Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing of Iraq's crude.
And what did the US want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many, and it is uglier, more twisted, and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will 'enhance its relationship with OPEC'.
Enhance its relationship with OPEC? How strange: the government of the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel that is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude.
Specifically, the system ordered by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production – limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.
There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil – not to get MORE of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing TOO MUCH of it.
You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. They – and their buck-buddies, the Saudis – don't take money from pumping more oil, but from pumping LESS of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.
It's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an 'oligopoly' – a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every time the 'insurgents' blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time a Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just LOVE it.
Dick and George didn't want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you insist, no matter what I write, that our President and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so that you can fill your family Hummer cheaply; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the US is bumping up to $3 a gallon.
Not so, these gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion profit in 2005 – compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other words, it's been a good war for Big Oil.
As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation 'enhanced its relationship with OPEC'; and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317 per cent.
In other words, on the third anniversary of invasion, we can say the attack and occupation is, indeed, a Mission Accomplished. However, it wasn't America's mission, nor the Iraqis'. It was a Mission Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2006