Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq
A revelatory account of how oil has shaped politics and worsened violence 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?
“A cracking read. This book lifts the lid on what many suspected - the West's need to grab Iraq's gigantic oil reserves was the main driver of the Bush-Blair war agenda. A compelling read, brilliantly researched, revealing how the oilmen colluded with politicians trying to outwit a determined Iraqi people traumatised in the aftermath of the invasion.”
David Hencke, former Westminster correspondent, the Guardian
“Greg Muttitt has done a great service with this painstakingly researched, timely book. Armed with a great depth of knowledge of oil, modern Iraq, and international politics, he reveals an untold and largely unknown facet of the occupation of Iraq, giving us a picture that is that is illuminating, informative and objective. On a subject where truth was the first casualty, this book is the closest to that truth.”
Tareq Y. Ismael, Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
“Iraqi civil society voices ...resound with dignity in this brilliant, comprehensive account”
“Since the invasion of Iraq Greg Muttitt has kept his eye firmly fixed on the prize: Iraq's vast oil wealth. His tireless investigations have produced nothing short of a secret history of the war. As the demand for freedom sweeps the Middle East, it is also an important reminder that democracy without economic sovereignty is a hollow victory.”
Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine