Wake Up and Smell the Oil

Eddie J. Girdner
Monthly Review

Book review: Greg Muttitt, Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq.

Greg Muttitt quotes an Iraqi friend who pointed out that there would be two phases to the war in Iraq: first the U.S. invasion and occupation, and second the struggle over the gas and oil. Ten years after tanks rolled across the border from Kuwait, the second phase continues. To a considerable extent, the United States has gained control over the vast petrochemical reserves. In that respect, the war was a success for the Bush neoconservatives. But as this book makes clear, they did not get everything they wanted. There is still no oil law, which the United States has pushed hard to get passed since 2007 and the Iraqi Parliament has no desire to pass soon. This means that the oil rush by the multinational oil companies goes on in a legal vacuum. While the international press blames sectarian strife for holding up the law, it is, in fact, due to a broad people’s struggle for sovereignty. This is the side of the story which the corporate press ignores as ordinary Iraqis struggle for sovereignty over their vast natural resources.

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