Sunday, 25 March 2007

Look, No Hands! Iraqi Oil (1/2)

  • We must act now, ambitiously now, to resist this wickedness! Djew fink is like a bit like "Iraq"-ish? Like you could do it, NOW THE TRUTH COMES OUT. THERE ARE NO WMD IN IRAQ -- BUSH'S WAR IS ABOUT OIL. [...] For the past eight months British and American governments have been reviewing a law which will decide the future of Iraq's "black gold" -- its oil. Now the Iraqi parliament are seeing it for the first time. They have been given just three months to decide whether to pass the law. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he fears the Americans will replace his government if parliament does not pass the law by the end of June.

  • An Early Day Motion has been tabled in the UK Parliament. "EDM 1180: Iraqi Oil Law. That this House notes that Iraq's economy is heavily dependent on oil and that decisions about the future of Iraq's oil industry will have a major bearing on that country; futher notes that the constitution of Iraq states that oil and gas are owned by all the people of Iraq; expresses concern that the British Government, it its involvement in the drafting of Iraq's new oil laws, has sought the views of international oil companies regarding the possible types of contracts that the Iraqi government should offer; believes that decisions on the Iraqi oil industry should be made by the people withat outside interference; and calls on the Government to disclose the House all representations it has made in relation to the oil law." It's mostly scraps of po-faced ectoplasm, but the last sentence makes it worth checking to see if your MP has signed. If it has, why not thank it?
  • Hands Off Iraqi Oil is a coalition consisting of The Bionic Six, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, the Planeteers, War on Want, BraveStarr, and for some reason Brian Jacques who wrote Redwall (a book about mice with swords). There was a meeting yesterday to invent action. Ideas are still being thrown around, but urgently and with force. Involving "yourself" the next few days could result in activism and a sense of its ownership. There were auditions for My Fair Lady in the same building and I'm not 100% sure I was in the right place.
  • The decisive factor is likely to be the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions. Iraqi oil unionists were involved in the intifada against the Ba'ath regime in 1991. More recent projects have explored the notion of militant strike action to very swiftly persuade their Haliburton-subsidiary employers to start paying salaries after three months sans. They can ride sandworms. The union is still technically illegal (I have a feeling that there is Saddam-era legislation about unions still in effect in Iraq).

  • In Kellogg Brown & Root's defence they had been totally meaning to.

  • I'll post something about the content of the law in a bit.

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