But it is not the specific story of Blackwater that matters so much as the broader story of imperial excess that it illustrates.
If Blackwater, with an assist from the U.S. government, beats back the attempt by the Iraqis to regulate the firm’s activities — as now appears likely, considering Friday’s report that the firm has resumed guarding U.S. State Department convoys in Baghdad — we will have all the confirmation that is needed of the great truth of the U.S. occupation of Iraq: This is a colonial endeavor no different than that of the British Empire against America’s founding generation revolted.
But even if Blackwater loses its fight to stay, even if the corporation is forced to shut down its multi- billion dollar, U.S. Treasury-funded operation in
It is not enough that Blackwater is shamed and perhaps sanctioned. A Blackwater exit from Iraq will mean little if its mercenary contracts are merely taken over by one or more of the 140 other U.S.-sanctioned private security firms operating in that country — such as Vice President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton.
Whatever the precise play out of this Blackwater moment may be, the likelihood is that the colonial enterprise will continue. That’s because, in the absence of intense pressure from grassroots activists and the media, Congress is unlikely to go beyond a scratch at the surface of what is actually going on in
The deeper discussion requires that a discussion about the substance that no less a figure than former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan describes as the reason for the invasion and occupation of this particular Middle Eastern land: oil
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. aptly observed that “colonialism was made for domination and for exploitation,” and there is no substance that the Bush- Cheney administration is more interested in dominating and exploiting than oil.
Thus, while it is right to pay close attention to the emerging discussion about Blackwater’s wicked work in
The new “production sharing agreement” between Hunt Oil and the Kurdistan Regional Government puts one of the administration’s favorite firms in a position to reap immeasurable profits while undermining essential efforts to assure that
The Hunt deal is so sleazy — and so at odds with the stated goals of the Iraqi government and the
Unfortunately, as with the Blackwater imbroglio, however, there is no assurance that the stance of the Iraqi government is definitional with regard to what happens in
That is why it is disturbing that, for the most part, members of Congress — even members who say they do not want the
One House member who has raised the alarm is Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who in his capacity as a key member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has asked the committee’s chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman, to launch an investigation into the Hunt Oil deal.
“As I have said for five years, this war is about oil,” argues Kucinich, who is mounting an anti-war bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, declared on the floor of the House this week. “The Bush Administration desires private control of Iraqi oil, but we have no right to force
With that in mind, Kucinich explains, “I am calling for a Congressional investigation to determine the role the Administration may have played in the Hunt-Kurdistan deal, the effect the deal will have on the oil revenue sharing plan and the attempt by the Administration to privatize Iraqi oil.”
Waxman has been ahead of the curve on Blackwater, seeking testimony from the firm’s chairman at hearings scheduled for early October.
But Waxman needs to expand his focus, and the way to do that is by heeding Kucinich’s call for an investigation into the Hunt deal.
That inquiry should begin with two fundamental questions:
And, if the claim is that the Iraqis are in charge, then why is Ray Hunt about to start steering revenues from that country’s immense oil wealth into the same Texas bank accounts that have so generously funded the campaigns of George Bush and Dick Cheney?