The iconic moment of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square in Baghdad. It was a staged event with extras supplied by the now discredited neocon favorite Ahmed Chalabi. What was really important was going on in the rest of the city: massive looting. Government offices and buildings including hospitals were ransacked. U.S. troops stood by and watched. The anarchy in the streets was of little concerned to Washington. As Rumsfeld said, “Stuff happens.” But there was one building the U.S. military cordoned off and protected: the Ministry of Oil. It was no surprise. The big oil companies, with close ties to the oilgarchy in the White House, have long coveted access to Iraq’s huge oil reserves.
Antonia Juhasz (Yoo-haas) is an expert on international trade and economic policy. She is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. An award-winning writer, her work has appeared in a number of leading newspapers and journals. She is the author of Black Tide, The Tyranny of Oil and The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.