26 November 2007

Iraq: If it was all about oil, it worked

In return for "guaranteed long-term security," the Iraqi government is about to grant the United States the right to station 50,000 troops in the country and provide American investors, no doubt Halliburton first among them, with preferential treatment. The Americans could hardly have hoped for a better outcome: favoured access to Iraqi oil and troops on the ground to protect its privileged status.

The deal is hardly a surprise. The Americans have all along been building massive military bases in Iraq as well as their largest embassy. This was obviously a colonial enterprise from the beginning. And now it's about to pay off.

The American empire is so much neater than the old European model. The British, French, et al., had to set up entire administrations to run their colonies while the Americans leave all that tedium to the natives. Not that it's cost-free: they will still have to station 50,000 troops in Iraq, but that's a small price to pay for preferential and protected access to the world's second largest reserves of conventional oil.

One wonders if the British will feel a little miffed if they don't get preferential treatment for their investors as well after all the help they've been -- a bone for the poodle so to speak.

No comments:

Post a Comment