So let me get this straight. U.S. oil companies, such as ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobile, have been buying Iraqi oil since 1996 under the oil-for-food program implemented by the UN so that average Iraqis would have food, medical supplies, and a semblance of infrastructure. Now, all of a sudden, those same oil companies are dropping Saddam's crude exports like a Catholic priest drops his boyfriend in the light of day. And according to our "diplomatic sources," the whole reason is because, all this time, Saddam has been skimming money off the top in the form of a surcharge per barrel.
Whatís wrong with this picture? Well, for starters, oil companies are all about making money (even if they tell us that they lose billions every year). So in order for them to be making any money off the Iraqi oil, the price they were charged, kickbacks and all, was low enough for those companies to turn a profit once the oil became gasoline at the American pump. Otherwise there would have been no real reason for these oil conglomerates to buy Saddamís black gold.
Now you might justifiably think this is a case of political disassociation in time of impending war. Not a bad guess. But not entirely correct this time.
Last September (exact date unrevealed, but Iíll bet my new motorcycle that it was after you-know-what), the U.S. and Britain imposed procedures on the purchase of Iraqi oil that made it impossible for companies to know the price of the oil they were buying before they actually took possession of it. You read it right: Uncle Sam and the Queen made buying oil from Saddam uncertain, if not impossible. In defense of the oil companies, who the hell would agree to buy 2 million gallons of oil without agreeing on the price beforehand? Hell, Iím an artist and I know at least that much about business.
Turn back the clock about eleven months and remember that Tony Blair was George Bush's bosom buddy when it came to retaliation for the WTC. In fact, Blair was our only real ally for a while, and has remained so even during all this talk of a coming war with Iraq. Is it any small wonder that the two governments would concoct a type of peripheral means of starving Saddamís U.N cash flow? And just why are those same oil companies only now crying about the kickbacks they've eagerly paid up to this point? Sounds like a very well-executed, back-room diplomatic solution thought out by former oil industry executives. You and I know them as the Cabinet and Vice President. Since the plan was run through the U.N., it gathered a cloak of legitimacy, too.
And so here we are, with oil companies backing off and whining about how this was all Saddam's fault. Don't misunderstand me: I loathe that damn desert slug. Won't he just die already and save us the trouble of going over there to kill him? Honestly, he's not worth the loss of one of our soldiers, let alone thousands of them. On the other hand, Hussein's an awful easy target for western governments. Egomaniacal demagogues are like that. The harder Saddam huffs, the more effortless it is to set him up.
If U.S. oil companies had any honor whatsoever, they would have cut Saddam off on September 12, 2001. But instead, they continued to prop up the regime of a murderous thug who probably had his first orgasm in a decade by watching tape loops of the towers' collapse. It's hard to say who is more vile and disgusting. Thank GOD for the Bush administration though, for giving oil companies an easy and graceful exit from their own evil alliance with a dictatorship that Uncle Sam might erase from the planet any time now.