Wednesday, July 18, 2012

iraqiraq (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)
According to the Washington Post (15 September 2002): "A U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq, scuttling oil deals between Baghdad and Russia, France and other countries, and reshuffling world petroleum markets… A proposed $40 billion Iraqi-Russian economic agreement also reportedly includes opportunities for Russian companies to explore for oil in Iraq's western desert. The French company Total Fina Elf has negotiated for rights to develop the huge Majnoon field, near the Iranian border, which may contain up to 30 billion barrels of oil." Similarly the Franco-Belgian consortium Total-Fina-Elf, in partnership with Italy's ENI, also has sizeable investments in Iran. Total had established, together with Russia's Gazprom and Malaysia's Petronas, a joint venture with the National Iranian Oil company (NIOC). Washington has on several occasions, attempted to break France's deal with Tehran on the grounds that it openly contravened the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

It is hardly surprising that the recent UN Security Council debates over action to be taken against Iraq have divided the permanent members, with two of the five - USA and UK - demanding immediate military action, two - France and Russia - clearly opposing such an initiative, and the fifth - China - standing equivocally in the sidelines. The resultant "compromise" UN Security Council resolution is a particularly fragile one, with both the US and the UK maintaining their threat to act unilaterally. Indeed both continue to bomb, on a regular basis, the "no-fly zones" established over the northern and southern parts of Iraq, on the increasingly hollow pretext that they are thereby protecting the minority ethnic groups present in these two areas. Moreover, immediately following the adoption of the November 8th UN Security Council resolution, the Pentagon released its plan to invade Iraq, which calls for the deployment of a land, sea and air force of 200,000 to 250,000 troops: "Pentagon planners had considered an approach that would have used 100,000 or fewer troops, but they settled on a much larger force favored by Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the Central Command" (Associated Press, 10 November 2002)

Scene Magazine (December 1962)..INSIDE SCENE.....Scene Magazine (December 1962)..INSIDE SCENE..Volume 8..Number 6 .....item 1..Why Americans Should Care About Failing European Bank Dexia (October 07, 2011) ... (Photo credit: marsmet522)
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