Re: (OPE-L) Re: s/v & c/v: macroeconomic categories only?

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Mon Mar 22 2004 - 11:17:27 EST


Dear Cyrus,
I shall try to respond to your message by the end of the week. Here
is something interesting, though I think ultimately incorrect in the
same way that Klare's arguments are.
Yours, Rakesh

         www.sfgate.com        Return to regular view

Cheney, energy and Iraq invasion
Supreme Court to rule on secrecy
Larry Everest
Sunday, March 21, 2004
2004 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ

Larry Everest is a Bay Area journalist and author of "Oil, Power &
Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda" (Common Courage Press 2004).
He is scheduled to address San Francisco's Commonwealth Club on that
topic on May 5.

2004 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ
  Page E - 1


The case Cheney vs. U.S. District Court is scheduled to be heard
before the Supreme Court next month and could end up revealing more
about the Bush administration's motives for the 2003 Iraq war than
any conceivable investigation of U.S. intelligence concerning Iraq's
purported weapons of mass destruction.

The plaintiffs, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, the conservative
legal group based in Washington, argue that Vice President Cheney and
his staff violated the open-government Federal Advisory Committee Act
by meeting behind closed doors with energy industry executives,
analysts and lobbyists.

The plaintiffs allege these discussions occurred during the
formulation of the Bush administration's May 2001 "National Energy
Policy."

For close to three years, Cheney and the administration have resisted
demands that they reveal with whom they met and what they discussed.

Last year, a lower court ruled against Cheney and instructed him to
turn over documents providing these details.

On Dec. 15, the Supreme Court announced it would hear Cheney's
appeal. Three weeks later, Cheney and Supreme Court Justice Antonin
Scalia spent a weekend together duck hunting at a private resort in
southern Louisiana, giving rise to calls for Scalia to recuse
himself. So far, he has refused.

Why has the administration gone to such lengths to avoid disclosing
how it developed its new energy policy?

Significant evidence points to the possibility that much more could
be revealed than mere corporate cronyism: The national energy policy
proceedings could open a window onto the Bush administration's
decision-making process and motives for going to war on Iraq.

In July 2003, after two years of legal action through the Freedom of
Information Act (and after the end of the war), Judicial Watch was
finally able to obtain some documents from the Cheney-led National
Energy Policy Development Group.

They included maps of Middle East and Iraqi oilfields, pipelines,
refineries and terminals, two charts detailing various Iraqi oil and
gas projects, and a March 2001 list of "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi
Oilfield Contracts," detailing the status of their efforts. The
documents are available at www.judicialwatch.org.

These documents are significant because during the 1990s, U.S.
policy- makers were alarmed about oil deals potentially worth
billions of dollars being signed between the Iraqi government and
foreign competitors of the United States including France's Total and
Russia's LukOil.

The New York Times reported the LukOil contracts alone could amount
to more than 70 billion barrels of oil, more than half of Iraq's
reserves. One oil executive said the volume of these deals was huge
-- a "colossal amount."

As early as April 17, 1995, the Wall Street Journal reported that
U.S. petroleum giants realized that "Iraq is the biggie" in terms of
future oil production, that the U.S. oil companies were "worried
about being left out" of Iraq's oil dealings due to the antagonism
between Washington and Baghdad, and that they feared that "the
companies that win the rights to develop Iraqi fields could be on the
road to becoming the most powerful multinationals of the next
century."

U.N. sanctions against Iraq, maintained at the insistence of the
United States and Britain, prevented these deals from being
consummated.

Saddam Hussein's removal in 2003 has left the deals in a state of
limbo, but the Bush administration's insistence that only countries
supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom are eligible for postwar
reconstruction does not bode well for French and Russian concerns.
_______________

The rest is at URL:
sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/03/21/ING0H5LTDA1.DTL

Everest could have added US fear about the US being pushed out of
Iraq's future import markets. At present, Sa'udi Arabia imports
billions of dollars of worth of goods from the United States at what
seems to be often inflated prices, e.g bribed ministers purchasing
aircraft at inflated prices. It would seem that the US did  not want
to be left out of any such arrangement in post sanctions Iraq.  I
don't agree with the oil security arguments that Everest goes on to
make through an interpretation of Baker's Institute of Public Policy
reports. Here Everest's analysis converges with Michael Klare's
arguments about oil security given the putative scarcity of the
commodity.

Yours, Rakesh


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