Why? The simple answer is that the Sunni and Shia factions can’t get along, right? Well, that’s true, but it’s not the whole story There’s another issue that’s been making a mess of the process of putting a government together in Iraq–an issue that is rarely mentioned in the press. From the start, the U.S. has insisted on certain provisions in the structure of the Iraqi government with respect to Iraq’s oil reserves. Namely, the U.S. insists that the new government of Iraq must agree to allow two-thirds of the Iraqi oil reserves to be controlled by a consortium consisting of the usual suspects (Exxon, BP, Shell, etc.) This consortium would have seats on Iraq’s governing bodies and have veto power over legislation. Furthermore, the agreement states that if there is civil war or unrest in Iraq, making it too dangerous for Exxon, BP, etc. to operate in Iraq, that they can wait until the problems are solved and then they can jump in, plant their flags, and take over the oil fields. Adding to the complexity, the Kurds very much want to keep 100 percent of the oil reserves they feel are theirs.
No wonder the Iraqi government is a mess. No wonder government officials hardly show up for sessions. No wonder the reception of American soldiers has changed from enthusiasm to where 70 percent of Iraqis feel it’s okay to kill American soldiers. They do not want to give away the sovereignty of their country and its resources. I can understand that. It’s always good to remember that the U.S. does not have a monopoly on patriotism. Iraqis feel just as patriotic about their country as United Statesians feel about the United States. I have found this to be true in every country I’ve ever visited, regardless of whether the government was oppressive or not. It must be a human trait.
Below is an article in the New York Times discussing the latest breakdown in passing the “law governing Iraq’s rich oil fields”, but they don’t touch on the details of this law. What’s the problem with the law? Now you know what the problem is.