Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq
'The oil belongs to the Iraqi people. It's their asset', declared George W. Bush, at the end of a day at Camp David with his Generals and National Security Council in June 2006. The next morning he would arrive in Baghdad, and they were planning his message to the new government of Nouri al-Maliki. Bush's team spent 'a lot of time' talking about oil. 'And we talked about how to advise the government to best use that money for the benefit of the people'.
They would advise Iraq to sign over management of Iraq's giant oilfields to international companies under long-term contracts. Since before the war, members of the US and British governments had bombarded Iraqis with such 'advice'. But from Bush's visit onwards, the advice would become firmer, more insistent.
Fuel on the Fire reveals for the first time how the USA and Britain have sought to reshape the country's oil industry, at a terrible cost. Most Iraqis strongly oppose their designs, and want oil production to remain in Iraqi hands. Remarkably, a popular campaign -- all but unreported in the West -- has so far succeeded in blocking the oil plans. But this struggle, and the attempts to impose an oil agenda by force, are dragging Iraq into ever deeper violence.
Iraq expert Greg Muttitt will take the reader behind the scenes of the occupation to answer one of the war's most pressing questions: what is happening to Iraq's oil? Fuel on the Fire examines Iraq's prospects under the new US administration of Barack Obama -- published as the post-election hopes of 'victory' or 'withdrawal' begin to fade, and as Americans ask: Why are we still in Iraq? Why are things not improving?
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