The Liberty Transcript Service
The comedy team of John Bird and John Fortune (in the guise of George Parr) describes the current War on Terror as a war for oil and why America is waging that battle quite well.
John Bird: George Parr, you are a Councilor of the British Embassy in Washington.
John Fortune: Yes, I am.
Bird: And you’ve been working very closely with the Americans on Iraq.
Fortune: Yes — but it’s not my fault!
Sorry? What isn’t your fault?
Well, I didn’t suggest that anything was.
I’m sorry. I’ve been under a lot of strain.
I’m sorry to hear that. Just very recently, the former head of the American central bank, the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, just published his memoirs in which he said, and I quote, “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: that the Iraq war is largely about oil.”
Well, I think I should point out, although it gives me no pleasure to do so, that Alan Greenspan is 81 years old.
Are you saying that it’s not about oil?
Absolutely. Absolutely! Tony Blair himself said in the House of Commons, that the oil revenues which some people falsely claim we want to seize, should be put in a trust account for the Iraqi people.
This was in March of 2003.
Yes. Just before we invaded Iraq.
Yes. And in May of 2003, Britain co-sponsored a resolution — in the Security Council, Resolution 1483 which put Iraqi oil revenues under the control of Britain and America.
Yes, but by that time, you see, there was a war on. Anything could have happened. I mean, Saddam Hussein could have run off with the oil!
Well that’s not very likely — it’s in the ground isn’t it?
Well…so is Saddam Hussein. Well in any case, there is going to be a new law in Iraq which will be ratified by the Iraqi Parliament which sets out exactly what is going to happen to the Iraqi oil.
And who has written this law?
The Americans. Well, they know a lot about oil. I mean — they use more of it than anyone else in the world.
And who has seen the drafts of these…?
People who matter have seen the draft: the American government, the World Bank and of course, major oil companies.
Yes. And the Iraqis?
The Iraqis — have they seen it?
Iraqis…(thinking…) Oh yeah, the Iraqis! (Motions that his lips are sealed.) They will need to ratify it you see, and they will see it at some point. And it’s a wonderful thing because it gives no fewer than 17 of the known oil fields in Iraq to the Iraqi National Oil Company.
How many oil fields are there?
Eighteen. And that’s only the known reserves — they have about 115 billion barrels of oil.
Are there more than that?
Oh yes, many, many more. It is thought there could be around 220-300 billion barrels of oil.
Worth how much?
Well, at the present price — at about…umm…30 trillion dollars.
What kind of deal will the oil companies get under this new legislation?
Ah, yes. What will happen is that after recovering their development costs obviously, the oil companies will keep 20 percent of the profits and the rest will go to the Iraqi government.
But it is a risk doing business in Iraq?
No! Oh no, not to get the oil. Not at all you see, because all the fields have been mapped, and there are no exploration costs, and the oil is just beneath the surface of the sand, so all you have to do is pump it out. Though, I suppose, they — you know, they have to work with the Iraqi government and in some ways, you know, they might have preferred in the best of all possible worlds that the Iraqi government was strong —
Would they not prefer that?
NO! Because if the Iraqi government was strong, they wouldn’t get such a good deal for the oil. And if it was very strong, the Iraqis might say, “We’ll nationalize the oil and look after it and you must go away.”
Go away. Yes. But everybody agrees, don’t they really, that Iraq is now in a mess and that the reason they are in a mess have been the mistakes the Americans have made since the invasion. I mean that’s generally agreed, isn’t it?
Oh, I don’t know…disbanding the Iraqi Army, firing the Civil Service, alienating the population, the ‘surge’ which inflamed the violence and the millions of middle class Iraqis who have left the country?
Yes, but by leaving the country, you see, the oil industry can’t be run by that middle class…so it’ll have to be run by the Americans. And also the violence justifies the Americans in building their bases.
Sorry. What bases?
Oh, they’re building five permanent military bases in Iraq. Each will take about 20,000 troops and the one that’s already built, Balad — has, next to Heath-row the busiest runway in the world.
You aren’t saying that despite all the — including all the Iraqi deaths, the thousands of American and British casualties — this is all part of a plan?
Well, what has happened is this situation is an excuse is for the Americans to have their troops there.
So “the mess” which we think of as a mess, isn’t really a mess at all?
Well if you call a ‘mess’, sitting on a quarter of the world’s oil, and getting it cheaply for the next 30 years, I imagine it’s a mess they are very happy to be in.
So this can mean only one thing.
Only one thing. It means that George Bush is a genius.