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SecretIraqOilPlan * DrillingArctic * JusticeVision

17 March 2005
War Is A Racket.
A racket is best described,
I believe, as something that is not what it seems
to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside"
group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit
of the very few, at the expense of the very many.
Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

Major General Smedley Butler
(US Marine Corps, Retired)

1) "Secret US Plans for Iraq's Oil" by Greg Palast
- - 43 Reps Vote Against $81 Billion To Continue War in Iraq
- - Bush taps defence hawk for helm of World Bank
- - Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans -- Why Wolfowitz?
2) Senate approves drilling in the Arctic Refuge
- - TAKE ACTION -- League of Conservation Voters
- - Barbara Boxer in Wonderland and Fighting Back
- - The Arctic Refuge and Public Are About to Get Drilled
- - Democracy Now! - Headlines for March 17, 2005
3) Justice Vision resources for alternative media

Editor's Notes:

The first item contains another potent investigative article by Greg Palast on the "Secret US Plans for Iraq's Oil." Fascinating reading. And from a positive perspective, please note that 43 US Representatives voted against $81 Billion to continue war in Iraq. And in your face, following the Negroponte nomination for US Intelligence, Bush has nominated Paul Wolfowitz to take the lead for the World Bank. What's next? Say it is not so in item 2: "Senate approves drilling in the Arctic Refuge." This includes suggested actions you can take in response, including a plea by Senator Barbara Boxer for you to send an email to the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch/Shell, and ChevronTexaco and tell them to "stay out of ANWR!"

The third item provides information on an alternative media resource:

A free screening of the film:
will be presented at the Keene Public Library
- Auditorium - 60 Winter Street; Keene, NH -
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005
7:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow
Learn as if you were to live forever.

Mahatma Gandhi

1) "Secret US Plans for Iraq's Oil" by Greg Palast

- - 43 Reps Vote Against $81 Billion To Continue War in Iraq
- - Bush taps defence hawk for helm of World Bank
- - Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans -- Why Wolfowitz?

By Greg Palast
Reporting for BBC Newsnight
17 March 2005

The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed.

Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.

In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists."

"Big Oil" appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began "within weeks" of Bush's first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

An Iraqi-born oil industry consultant Falah Aljibury says he took part in the secret meetings in California, Washington and the Middle East. He described a State Department plan for a forced coup d'etat.

Mr Aljibury himself told Newsnight that he interviewed potential successors to Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Bush administration.

Secret sell-off plan

The industry-favored plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.

The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Ahmed Chalabi shortly after the US entered Baghdad, according to Robert Ebel. Mr. Ebel, a former Energy and CIA oil analyst, now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, flew to the London meeting, he told Newsnight, at the request of the State Department.

Mr Aljibury, once Ronald Reagan's "back-channel" to Saddam, claims that plans to sell off Iraq's oil, pushed by the US-installed Governing Council in 2003, helped instigate the insurgency and attacks on US and British occupying forces.

"Insurgents used this, saying, 'Look, you're losing your country, your losing your resources to a bunch of wealthy billionaires who want to take you over and make your life miserable," said Mr Aljibury from his home near San Francisco.

"We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities, pipelines, built on the premise that privatization is coming."

Privatization blocked by industry

Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of Iraq's oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion, stalled the sell-off scheme.

Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: "There was to be no privatization of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved."

The chosen successor to Mr Carroll, a Conoco Oil executive, ordered up a new plan for a state oil company preferred by the industry.

Ari Cohen, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, told Newsnight that an opportunity had been missed to privatize Iraq's oil fields. He advocated the plan as a means to help the US defeat Opec, and said America should have gone ahead with what he called a "no-brainer" decision.

Mr Carroll hit back, telling Newsnight, "I would agree with that statement. To privatize would be a no-brainer. It would only be thought about by someone with no brain."

New plans, obtained from the State Department by Newsnight and Harper's Magazine under the US Freedom of Information Act, called for creation of a state-owned oil company favored by the US oil industry. It was completed in January 2004, Harper's discovered, under the guidance of Amy Jaffe of the James Baker Institute in Texas. Former US Secretary of State Baker is now an attorney. His law firm, Baker Botts, is representing ExxonMobil and the Saudi Arabian government.

View segments of Iraq oil plans at

Questioned by Newsnight, Ms Jaffe said the oil industry prefers state control of Iraq's oil over a sell-off because it fears a repeat of Russia's energy privatization. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, US oil companies were barred from bidding for the reserves.

Jaffe said "There is no question that an American oil company ... would not be enthusiastic about a plan that would privatize all the assets with Iraq companies and they (US companies) might be left out of the transaction."

In addition, Ms. Jaffe says US oil companies are not warm to any plan that would undermine Opec, "They [oil companies] have to worry about the price of oil."

"I'm not sure that if I'm the chair of an American company, and you put me on a lie detector test, I would say high oil prices are bad for me or my company."

The former Shell oil boss agrees. In Houston, he told Newsnight, "Many neo-conservatives are people who have certain ideological beliefs about markets, about democracy, about this that and the other. International oil companies without exception are very pragmatic commercial organizations. They don't have a theology."

Greg Palast's film - the result of a joint investigation by BBC Newsnight and
Harper's Magazine - will broadcast on Thursday, 17 March, 2005.

You can watch the program online - available Thursday, March 17 after 7pm EST for 24hrs - from the Newsnight website:

You can also read the story in greater detail in the latest issue of Harper's magazine - now available at your local newsstand.

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- - 43 Reps Vote Against $81 Billion To Continue War in Iraq

From Progressive Democrats of America

U.S. Representatives Vote Against $81 Billion To Continue War in Iraq

On March 16, 2005, the U.S. House of Represenatives voted 388-43 to provide another $81.4 billion for continued U.S. occupation of Iraq. While the margin has been described as "lopsided" in the press, we know that the Congressional anti-war movement is, in fact, growing fast – thanks in part to YOUR e-mails and phone calls!

Now is the time to join with PDA in congratulating and thanking the fearless forty-three who voted against this funding. They are:

Abercrombie (D-HI), Baldwin (D-MN), Blumenauer (D-OR), Capuano (D-MA), Clay (D-MO), Coble (R-NC), Danny Davis (D-IL), Duncan (R-TN), Farr (D-CA), Filner (D-CA), Frank (D-MA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Hastings (D-FL), Hinchey (D-NY), Holt (D-NJ), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Kucinich (D-OH), Lee (D-CA), Lewis (D-GA), Maloney (D-NY), Markey (D-MA), McCollum (D-MN), McDermott (D-WA), McGovern (D-MA), McKinney (D-GA), Meehan (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Owens (D-NY), Pallone (D-NJ), Paul (R-TX), Payne (D-NJ), Rangel (D-NY), Sanders (I-VT), Schakowsky (D-IL), Serrano (D-NY), Stark (D-CA), Thompson (D-CA), Tierney (D-MA), Towns (D-NY), Velázquez (D-NY), Waters (D-CA), Weiner (D-NY) and Woolsey (D-CA).

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- - Bush taps defence hawk for helm of World Bank
Published by Globe and Mail

He helped craft the Bush regime's bold plan to 'democratize' [privatize] the Middle East, and now George W. Bush wants Paul Wolfowitz to shake up the venerable World Bank

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- - Nomination Shocks, Worries Europeans -- Why Wolfowitz?
By Keith B. Richburg and Glenn Frankel
The Washington Post
Thursday 17 March 2005
and Why Wolfowitz? By Farhad Manjoo
Published originally by
for text and links to original postings, see:

2) Senate approves drilling in the Arctic Refuge

- - TAKE ACTION -- League of Conservation Voters
- - Barbara Boxer in Wonderland and Fighting Back
- - The Arctic Refuge and Public Are About to Get Drilled
- - Democracy Now! - Headlines for March 17, 2005

- - Senate approves drilling in the Arctic Refuge
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 01:25:56 -0500 (EST)
From: "John Adams, NRDC President" < >
Subject: Senate approves drilling in the Arctic Refuge

Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

As you may already know, our campaign to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge suffered a major setback in the U.S. Senate today.

The Senate is about to pass a budget resolution that calls for oil development in the refuge. An amendment that would have stripped the Arctic drilling provision from the budget bill was defeated by only two votes, 49-51.

This fight is far from over, however. To become law, the Senate budget bill must still be "reconciled" with the House budget bill -- something Congress has been unable to do the past few years. You can be sure that we will be battling at every opportunity -- and there will be several -- to remove Arctic drilling from any budget that actually winds up on President Bush's desk.


We gave it everything we had. But in today's vote we just could not overcome a White House that was shamelessly trumpeting the need to sacrifice the Arctic Refuge for the sake of America's energy security and national security -- an argument that is as erroneous as it is destructive to our natural heritage.

Congress must still pass two different budget measures to complete its assault on the refuge, and I can assure you that we will battle every step of the way as these bills play out over the months to come. That's why, in the wake of this most recent setback, I would urge you to convert your outrage and sorrow into action. We're going to need your redoubled commitment to our cause in the fight ahead. I know we can count on you.

Thank you for all you've done.


John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. If you would like to learn how your own senators voted on this issue, link or copy and paste into your web browser the following URL::

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- - TAKE ACTION -- League of Conservation Voters

Click at following URL to write to your Senators and tell them how you feel about their vote. Let them hear from you before the Senate votes again.

Although this vote is a setback, this battle is far from over. The vote was 51-49, so we can turn this around. The most important thing you can do today is let your Senators know you are watching their every move on this and other important environmental issues.

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- - Barbara Boxer in Wonderland and Fighting Back
From: Barbara Boxer

Every day on the Senate floor is more and more like "Barbara in Wonderland." Sometimes the Senate seems so foreign to me, I wonder if I'm living in some kind of bad dream. And just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it has.Read on to learn more about this week's Senate Republican scheme to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling -- and then reject these radical efforts by signing my petition to Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist .

..Now we face the ultimate special interest issue: Drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For six months of oil, not to be realized for ten years, my colleagues seem bent on handing over this most pristine land to the big oil companies. Never mind that we can save the equivalent of an infinite number of ANWR fields by simply raising fuel economy a modest amount -- that doesn't matter. The Republicans don't care about the native peoples whose lives will be ruined; they don't care that President Eisenhower set this land aside; they don't care about the more than one hundred species of wildlife that depend on this refuge.

What they do care about is the precedent. If they open up ANWR, they'll think they can do anything to the environment -- anything at all. Drilling in Yosemite? In the Grand Canyon? What's next? Stand with me and reject any attempts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling -- sign my petition today!

Please stand with me on this critical issue.

In Friendship,
Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator

P.S. Thanks to the more than 14,000 of you who contacted your Members of Congress in support of the Count Every Vote Act last month! I'll keep you posted on our progress with this important election reform legislation in the coming weeks.

Invite your friends and family to join Barbara Boxer's PAC for a Change! Tell-a-friend!

If interested, - you can sign up with Barbara Boxer - PAC for a Change .

The fight for ANWR continues
Update from "Barbara Boxer" < >

Send an email to the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch/Shell, and ChevronTexaco now and - :
tell them to stay out of ANWR!

I'm planning to organize a consumer boycott of any oil company that decides to drill in this pristine Alaskan wilderness area. If, through our pocketbooks, we can convince these companies to do the right thing, we can still save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the destruction that would be wrought by the oil drilling rigs.

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- - The Arctic Refuge and Public Are About to Get Drilled

Published March 16, 2005 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The Arctic Refuge and Public Are About to Get Drilled
by Joel Connelly
also posted:

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- - Democracy Now! - Headlines for March 17, 2005

- Bush Nominates Wolfowitz to Head World Bank
- Senate Oks Oil Drilling in Arctic by 51-49 Vote
- Kevin Martin Named New FCC Chairman
- Bomb Kills Five in Afghanistan; Election Delayed
- House Oks Spending $82B in New War Spending
- Navy Expressed Concern Over Guantanamo Interrogation Techniques
- Bush Defends Practice of Extraordinary Rendition
- European Nations Investigate CIA Abductions
- UN Warns of Humanitarian Crisis in Congo

To read, listen, or watch, visit:

3) Justice Vision resources for alternative media

JusticeVision - Ralph Cole - DemocracyU

Ralph Cole, founder of JusticeVision, is offering a video program series for democracy in action. Check out these following program titles, and with a price at $2.50 per DVD, he is reaching out to the progressive community in a big way with a focused JusticeVision.

DVDs available (since 2/2005)

Democracy Digest Volume 64:
"Solving the 9/11 Crime: A Citizens' Grand Jury"
Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, Los Angeles, California; October 23, 2004

Democracy Digest Volume 65:
"Crack & the CIA: 4 Events, with Gary Webb, Norman Solomon, Maxine Waters, and Dick Gregory"

Democracy Digest Volume 66:
"City Repair," Asra'a Mizyad, Dennis Kucinich and others

Democracy Digest Volume 67:
"Southern California ADA's 2004 Book Fair: Democracy & Truth: Regime Change 2004"

Democracy Digest Volume 68:
"Human Rights Abuses in Our Hemisphere," 4 Events with Dennis Banks, Jennifer Harbury, Charlie Clements, and Kevin Pina

Democracy Digest Special Edition: 3 Events with Gary Webb

Democracy Digest Special Edition: UUSC's 2004 Encuentro with Jennifer Harbury
"U.S. / Corporate Empire in Our Hemisphere: The People's Response"

For more information visit:

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