Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power… Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields.
There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq’s Oil Ministry.
You’ve got to love the detached way the New York Times reports this, and by detached I mean, from reality. It wasn’t only in the Arab world, and in any event, the biggest anti-war protests in the history of the world should not be characterized as 'suspicion' in the first place. Protesters had a very clear understanding that the war against Iraq was a transparent move by the US ruling class to gain control of the world’s 2nd largest oil reserves, and history has proven us (I was there) correct.