Skip to comments.THE FRENCH WAR FOR OIL
Posted on 03/17/2004 6:28:30 PM PST by katagious
March 16, 2004 -- MANY Americans are convinced even today that the war in Iraq was all about oil. And they're right - but oil was the key for French President Jacques Chirac, not for the United States. In documents I obtained during an investigation of the French relationship to Saddam Hussein, the French interest in maintaining Saddam Hussein in power was spelled out in excruciating detail. The price tag: close to $100 billion. That was what French oil companies stood to profit in the first seven years of their exclusive oil arrangements - had Saddam remained in power.
The French claimed their opposition to the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein was all about policy. The editor of the Paris daily Le Monde, Jean-Marie Colombani, just resuscitated those arguments in an editorial that singled out George W. Bush as "a threat to the very foundation of the historical alliance between the U.S. and Europe," and called fervently for the election of John F. Kerry. (I guess that F now stands for France.)
But Colombani, whose paper's coverage of the war in Iraq was noteworthy for its wanton disregard for the truth, had not a word to say about his country's war for oil. Indeed, the secret deals the French state-owned oil companies negotiated in the 1990s with Saddam Hussein went widely unreported in France.
Almost as soon as the guns went silent after the first Gulf war in 1991, French oil giants Total SA and Elf Aquitaine - who have now merged and expanded to become TotalFinaElf - sought a competitive advantage over their rivals in Iraq by negotiating exclusive production-sharing contracts with Saddam's regime that were intended to give them a stranglehold on Iraq's future oil production for decades to come.
The first of two massive deals was announced in June 1994 by then-Iraqi Oil Minister Safa al-Habobi - a well-known figure whose name had surfaced in numerous procurement schemes in the 1980s in association with the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, which supervised Saddam's chemical, biological, missile and nuclear-weapons programs.
Speaking in Vienna, al-Habobi confirmed that his government was awarding Total SA rights to the future production of the Nahr Umar oil field in southern Iraq, and that Elf was well-placed to be awarded similar terms in the Majnoon oil fields on the border with Iran.
Those two deals, which I detail in "The French Betrayal of America," would have been worth an estimated $100 billion over a seven-year period - but were conditioned on the lifting of U.N. sanctions on Iraq. Simply put, analyst Gerald Hillman told me, the French were saying: "We will help you get the sanctions lifted, and when we do that, you give us this."
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
Do you suppose this could be why the French LOVE Kerry and hate Bush???
Do you suppose those mysterious "foreign leaders" who want Kerry elected could be French???
I'm not clear on this. Exactly how many of them have to consecutively share a bathtub to extract a barrel.
France, Germany, Russia, Belgium and Canada are not on the side of peace or morality or the Iraqi people. The pictures from the streets of Baghdad make that plain. But we are on the side of TotalFinaElf. Twice in recent columns, Diane Francis has mentioned, almost en passant, a curious little fact:-PJ
The Western oil company with the closest ties to the late Saddam is France's TotalFinaElf. That's not the curious fact, that's just business as usual in the Fifth Republic. This is the curious fact: As Diane wrote in February and again last week, "Total's biggest shareholder is Montreal's Paul Desmarais, whose youngest son is married to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's daughter."
Let's see if I've got this straight: TotalFinaElf's largest shareholder is a subsidiary of Montreal's Power Corp, whose co-chief executive is Jean Chrétien's son-in-law, Andre Desmarais. Mr. Desmarais' brother, Paul Desmarais Jr., sits on the Total board.
For months, the anti-war crowd has insisted that "it's all about oil," that the only reason the Iraqi people were being "liberated" was so that the second biggest oil reserves in the world could be annexed in perpetuity by Dick Cheney and Halliburton and the rest of Bush's Texas oilpatch gang. Instead, it turns out that, if it is all about oil, then the principal North American beneficiary of the continued enslavement of the Iraqi people is the family of the Canadian Prime Minister -- that's to say, his daughter, France Chrétien, and his grandchildren.
Some "Liberals," leftists, and marxists, of course, are psychopaths, who are cynically exploiting their followers and are well aware of it.
Others tend to feel that they know and are determined to force everyone else to do their will. Many feel that they are intellectually and morally superior ubermenschen and this gives them vast entitlements and anointments.
Those of both groups are ruthless tyrants and bullies. The belief that they are ubermenschen, anointed, entitled, and superior to everyone else, gives their tyranny and ruthlessness ligitimacy to themselves, their comrades, and their followers.
I'm even wondering if the DNC angel, George Soros has a finger in this pie. Figures like $100 billion usually draw his attention.