Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oil Companies Look to the Future in Iraq


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 9:56 AM
Subject: re: Oil Companies Look to the Future in Iraq
To: letters@nytimes.com

To the Editor:
    From the hour of our invasion, the U.S. has studiously ignored our most important potential ally in Iraq.  Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani welcomed the demise of Saddam Hussein and the advent of democracy in his adopted country. As the highest-ranking Shiite cleric alive, his pronouncements carry huge weight among Iraq's population.  Our Bush administration however couldn't accept his insight that Iraq's mineral wealth belongs to the nation, and cannot be privatized.  Now, the major international oil companies are signing service contracts with the Iraqi government, rather than production-sharing agreements. The implication is that the mineral wealth remains the asset of Iraq.  Now that the interested parties have agreed on this, shouldn't the government of the U.S. enjoy a relationship with the most powerful man in Iraq? The government that prefers a relationship with a fugitive like Chalabi to one with a revered leader like al-Sistani earns only derision in Iraq.
Barry Levine

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