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Wed Aug 20, 2014, 08:06 PM

More on Kurdistan -

[I've posted a bit about Kurdistanbut this is a newer article that lies this out a little more. Probably no surprise to many in this group.]

Iraq and the Oil Wars
August 17, 2014

Oil has always been part of U.S. decision-making on Iraq, a key motive for the 2003 invasion and the bloody occupation that followed. Now, as President Obama returns U.S. forces to Iraq, the issue of oil has bubbled back to the surface, as oil analyst Antonia Juhasz explained to Dennis J Bernstein.

By Dennis J Bernstein

President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq gave U.S. and other Western oil companies a major stake in the country’s giant oil fields, a foothold now threatened by the offensive launched by the Islamic State and offering at least a partial explanation for President Barack Obama’s decision to return the U.S. military to the conflict.

Another complicating factor is Kurdistan’s control of some giant oil fields and its push for independence. As oil industry analyst and investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz says: “Western oil companies and the Obama administration will not permit ISIL to control Kurdistan and are willing to engage militarily to achieve this goal.”

Juhasz has written extensively on the oil industry and the multiple wars in Iraq, including two books, The Bush Agenda and The Tyranny of Oil. Juhasz spoke with Dennis J Bernstein in a recent Flashpoints interview about the situation unfolding in Iraq.

DB: Why are the Kurds and Kurdistan of great interest to the U.S.? What does that relationship look like? What is pushing the U.S.?

AJ: We are clearly engaged in a military action for oil. But the Obama administration is not the Bush administration. It is clear to me that if the only thing at stake in Kurdistan right now was protecting oil interests, we would not be engaging militarily. If the Bush administration were in power now, we would be. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was about many things, but one of the most dominant was oil and the desire to get western oil corporations on the ground in Iraq. That goal was achieved by the Bush administration. Today we have Exxon producing from some of the largest oil fields in the world. Other western companies like BP and Shell – all of the major western companies – are operating in Iraq and doing quite well.

From the very beginning of the invasion, however, there was a strong issue in the area of Iraq known as Kurdistan that wanted independence from the rest of Iraq, with the Kurds trying to garner western favor to achieve that goal. One of the things the Kurds have to their benefit is they have a tremendous amount of oil ...

Much more here: http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/17/iraq-and-the-oil-wars/

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