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1) Republicans want the surge to last till September. Why?

2) Dick Cheney is off somewhere in the middle east, on another secret mission, immediately just after Rice got back. Why?

3) We still do not have oil flowing from Iraq, four years after ‘mission accomplished”, Why?

Is there a connection between these three threads?

Now four years after the war was won, we still do not have a contract with a legitimate Iraqi government to remove the oil from Iraqi sands. What is wrong with those Iraqi’s. Don’t they want our oil revenues to rebuild their country?

The holdup seems to be what is known as the PSA’s (production sharing agreements). These clauses guarantee US oil companies 70% of the profits up to amortization and 20% after that, whereas the going standard rate is 10% of profits to oil companies, and 90% to the country. This oil bill must be passed before the Iraqi congress goes on recess May 31st, just 21 days from the date of this posting.

The oil companies estimate that it will cost between 1$ and 1.50$ to extract a barrel of Iraqi gold, the premium of all crudes. At today’s prices of 75$ a barrel this rate of return would be equivalent of kicking a baby in its face and stealing its candy.

Iraqi resistance understands this. And yet this insider’s fact has not even made our evening news.

This is not the result of a random compilation of events.

As we moved in immediately after the invasion, instead of allowing Iraqi’s oil engineers to redevelop their own oil fields, (we are talking about the same men who kept the oil flowing during the sanction years to the amazement of the world, with little more than ingenuity), two Texan companies, Halliburton and Bechtel, were both put in charge. As recent congressional hearings have discovered, these non-bid corporations were paid on a nominal cost-plus basis, meaning they used the most expensive technology available, thereby running up the costs as well as their percentages, and then stopped, unfinished, right before the wells were working. Now, at this point in time, no one else but either of these two companies can “turn on ” the wells, with the quick installation of one or two mother-boards. They sit now, bidding their time, while they wait for a “legitimate contract” which once passed, will guarantee at least 70% of the substantial profits.

This is actually the fuel that flames the insurgency. Iraqis want the oil developed, not stolen. The bomb we saw that killed the Iraqi Vice President Mahdi, a feverish PSA oil law supporter, was detonated at the same time while the preliminary oil bill was being debated in their congress. As with all Arab attacks, the timing of these events is important; it is meant to send a message. Again, as far as I know, no one in the US news media, has yet made the connection.

This rape of the Iraqis’ oil rights, finally explains why Iraqi sentiment shifted so drastically after the war. In the beginning the Iraqi’s welcomed us with open arms, (Viva George Bush) until they realized we really were moving in on their oil. This also explains the timing of the insurgency, and why the fighting continues, as well as to why there is a Civil War.

The Sunnis benefit if the oil bill is to pass, since they will get 10% of the profits: (1/3 of 30%); Sunni’s have little or no oil resources on their territory if the country splits into three federations. The Shiites, and Kurds, both who have an abundance of oil, want Iraq to develop their own oil at contracts similar to their neighbors, with oil company’s taking a paltry 10% of the profits, and 90% coming back to Iraq.

So what’s behind the Cheney visit? Why now?

Last week, the Kurds signed deals with both Norwegian and Turkish companies to develop new oil fields in their province. These were not at 70% PSA rates.

This electrified Cheney and his Iraqi leadership, which said that any contracts signed before the new law was passed, would be invalid and illegal.

Right now the Kurds hold 58 out of the 275 seats in the Iraqi Congress. At a 29.10 % voting bloc, the oil bill can be passed without one Kurdish vote, if the Sunnis decide to hold firm and in one bloc vote together. Hence Cheney’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and now Iraq.

He needs to persuade (pressure) those governments to lean on the Iraqi Sunnis and force them to line up behind the Oil Bill, so that none of the votes of the Kurds are needed.

In a democracy it is commonly assumed that open discussion will generate the best results. However as of May 6, the Iraqi legislature had not yet seen a draft of the Oil bill that Cheney wants passed by May 31st. Who has seen it? Here is what Chinese intelligence had to say about it:

The law was in essence drafted, behind locked doors, by a US consulting firm hired by the Bush administration and then carefully retouched by Big Oil, the International Monetary Fund, former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz’ World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development. It’s virtually a US law (its original language is English, not Arabic).

The right to self determination in a democracy apparently does not apply to oil. Condoleeza Rice was ineffective in her tactics of persuasion and now Cheney (not as Vice President, but as a representative of “Big Oil”), has gone to play hardball. Expect him to say behind closed doors: “Our meters are on your wells. You will have NO oil, and no income period, unless you give me the PSA’s. If you refuse, you no longer have our confidence in your leadership. Without our protection, you are at the mercy of your own people…….”

And we saw what happened to VP Mahdi even with our protection.

With this much pressure being placed by the US on this one bill, we can now understand why Cheney and his supporters told us the surge was so important. He needed it to provide enough stability in Baghdad so this bill could pass. It is now clear why Republicans are saying “wait till September”. At that point we will have our 70% rate of return. We can further decipher why Democrats are saying “we will know by June”. They are implying you’ve got till May 31st, Mr. President, or we are pulling the plug.

In the meantime, people who we were told are terrorists, continue to fight a nation who seems intent on stealing their livelihood from out of the very ground they stand on.

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al Basra Oil Terminal

Thanks to Chatterjee and CorpWatch for this reporting. This is one more grain of evidence that this war was fought not for the benefit of America, but for the benefit of Cheney’s stock futures which expire in 2009, well after his current term has ended. Harsh as that statement may sound on its surface, if one uses this frame of reference as a polarizer, then the “idiotic decisions” that have led this country to its current situation inside of Iraq, actually make financial and rational sense.

 

What idiotic decisions? Those very decisions that seem to prolong the war, instead of resolving it.

 

The trail starts with a map found in Cheney’s drawer showing Iraq carved up into parcels of real estate. It runs through the Energy Task Force, through his private “Iraqi reading room” in Langley Field; it continues through deliberately misleading America in the case to invade Iraq, through micromanaging the personnel decisions within Garner’s team at the onset of the Iraqi reconstruction, through the shifting of funding from successful Iraqi programs to unsuccessful ones, through his insistence of “no-bid” contracts, and now through these new revelations.

 

What was revealed six days ago was that the meters measuring the Iraqi crude now being pumped into tankers at the mouth of the Euphrates, do not work. And have not worked since the invasion in 03. The responsible party is none other than Halliburton. This supposedly quick fix, is still pending. Basically no one, no one, can monitor how much crude is leaving Iraq.

 

According to this contributor at the Stars and Stripes, a back of the envelope calculation, that every centimeter lowering of a tanker equals 6000 barrels of crude, is how business is done. A miscalculation by a couple of inches, can mean the difference of 30,000 barrels or oil or at today’s price of 75 dollars a barrel, 2 ¼ million unreported dollars.

 

If you don’t already have stock in Halliburton, you need to invest today. In fact, being a betting person, I would say the odds are good that Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Mike Castle, and every other congressperson who votes in line with Cheney on this issue, has some Halliburton hidden somewhere in their portfolio. For they are certainly not voting for the American people.

 

For if truth is to be known, as long as there is chaos in Iraq, Halliburton will continue to reap enormous profits. Ironically, it is only when we actually do succeed, and the Iraqi’s can proclaim their own self rule, will the bonanza end for all of those holding stock options in Halliburton. Ending the war early, will no doubt cost Republicans dearly, literally.

Here is my breakdown of tomorrow’s vote. It is an educated guess, no voter or candidate should take it seriously, but I raced to post it before polls opened, so that I could see if I did better tomorrow than on my March Madness Brackets. To my understanding, it is the only pre- election poll conducted in the 41st.

 

 

  Hastings
Bullock Burton Write In Total  
01 of 41 399 549 147 16
1,111  
02 OF 41
318 383 106 28 835  
03 OF 41 426 315 158 38 935  
04 OF 41 307 236 163 31 737  
05 OF 41 648 529 226 56 1459  
06 OF 41 305 285 109 27 726  
07 OF 41 886 729 317 91 2023  
08 OF 41 779 901 149 74 1903  
09 OF 41 193 176 92 16 477  
Total 4261 4103 1467 375 10206  

 

 

Prognosis: Atkins’s end run will have been irrelevant.

Bullock lost a “sure thing” by supporting NRG.

 

Update:   The results are in:


Hastings Bullock Burton Write In Total  
01 OF 41 262 185 14 144 605
02 OF 41 223 163 20 83 489  
03 OF 41 121 130 6 31 288
04 OF 41 182 189 11 89 471  
05 OF 41 277 256 28 86 647  
06 OF 41 123 116 28 41 308  
07 OF 41 298 244 49 48 639  
08 OF 41 237 251 57 27 572
09 OF 41 47 42 7 7 103  
             
  1770 1576 220 556 4122  
        11 others  

Residents living in Millsboro have got it made! No matter who wins the election this Saturday, they will have an outstanding representative to finish out the term vacated by the resigned John Atkins.

It is ironic that this election falls on Cinquo de Mayo, or May 5th in English. Residents of the 41st will be celebrating their “freedom” in two languages that day.

Politics in this small town is far removed from either the state or national trauma. In Millsboro, it is about the person running, not the party he represents. No bloggers tearing each other apart down there. Everyone gets along quite well, and the candidate still wave at each other when they drive past.There is even a rumor that they just might, if the weather is good, have a BBQ somewhere in the middle of all three of their houses. This would not be hard, for all three of them live within a two block area of the same development.

The only real difference between these candidates is that the Democratic, Lynn Bullock, is supportive of NRG’s energy plan, and the Republican Greg Hastings and Independent John Burton, both support Blue Water Winds proposal, (along with 94 percent of Delawareans).

If the name of a local entrepreneurial activity is any indication of the winner, then it may be possible that the Blue Water Grill, on Main Street, may portend good things for the Republican.

This race is a classic toss up; there are too many variables in flux to get a read……….

Lynn Bullock, the Democrat has been given a hard time by some Blue Water Wind supporters. But if the truth were known that his father was head of the NRG plant since “the war”, and it was he who was responsible for hiring many of the unemployed returning soldiers when they returned home, then one can understand and appreciate some of the personal motives for his decision. I for one would be loathe to go against my father’s legacy, and all it stood for.

However there are many in Millsboro who do not like the proximity of the plant to their neighborhood. The high rate of cancer has put many holes in what once was a tight knit community. They remember when NRG was forced to buy up all the land surrounding the plant, because pot ash and other toxic chemicals kept falling out of the sky……….The Blue Water plan appeals to this crowd, as do the candidates Greg Hastings and John Burton.

According to WGMD in a recent debate, Lynn Bullock, the Democrat, seems more concerned about NRG than anything else. His classic line was, “Let me clarify my clarification.”

The Independent candidate, John Burton, spoke about enforcing the laws we already have on the books, instead of spending time creating new ones, while the Republican, Greg Hastings, believes we have to “stand firm” on getting the current plant cleaned up, and spoke about solar power and “other options” for energy,

Will there be a Republican backlash against the party for its initial support of the previous candidate who resigned last month? If so it will be split between the Democratic and Independent candidates. And considering the choice candidate they have in Greg Hastings, it is unlikely that he will be punished for his party.

Many thought that the independent candidate had the best showing when they appeared together last week. Some residents were surprisingly impressed. He should pull votes from both parties.

And then there is John Atkins. His threat is over rated. Although his signs are ubiquitous around the town, it was hard to find anyone willing to vote for him. They still like him, and many think he got a raw deal, but to vote for him………nah, he had his run. It is time for someone new.”

Despite the prevalence of signs, only one residence could be found to display them on its property. Whereas Hastings, Burton, and Bullock signs are posted in front of every other house………

Not to mention, no drive to educate voters on how to navigate the complicated voting machine write-in process, has yet, at this late date, taken place. Those voters who may wish to say good bye to John, by one last vote for Atkins, may become too frustrated once the curtain is drawn, and spontaneously cast their vote for their second choice candidate.

However there is one area of concern. Approximately 51 % of those assisting the election got their jobs through Atkins. Voter fraud is always possible. It would be wise for each party to load every polling place with challengers and poll watchers, to insure no hanky-panky takes place. Seacrets do not mix well with politics…….. Doing so would leave fake absentee ballots as his only recourse……….

Voters of the 41st have a golden opportunity to vote for their representative without the distractions of a national or state campaign. In the quiet of this small town, home of two stop lights and a revolutionary oak tree, each citizen will have the time to consider all the options in detail, something the rest of us should envy. Whoever wins on Saturday, (at this point too close to call), will give Millsboro a great representative. They are all good men.