Iraq was invaded in order to keep world oil prices artificially high, a noted investigative journalist reports.
"Whether by design or happenstance, this decline in [Iraqi] output has resulted in tripling the profits of the five US oil majors to $89 billion for a single year, 2005, compared to pre-invasion 2002," Greg Palast writes in his new book Armed Madhouse (Plume)."When OPEC raises the price of crude, Big Oil makes out big time," says Palast, who has contributed to BBC Television and the Guardian newspapers.
"The rise in the price of oil after the first three years of the [Iraq] war boosted the value of the reserves of ExxonMobil Oil alone by just over $666 billion," Palast wrote. What's more, Chevron Oil, "where [Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice had served as a director, gained a quarter trillion dollars in value."
Another big winner in the Iraq war is Saudi Arabia. The war-stoked jump in oil prices, Palast writes, put $120 billion in Saudi Arabia's treasury in 2004, triple its normal take.
Among the big losers have been American motorists.
Rising oil prices are an anomaly. The world's petroleum reserves have doubled from 648 billion to 1.2 trillion barrels in the past 25 years, Palast reports. According to free market laws of supply and demand, discovery of these immense new pools should cause prices to drop.
[Excerpt of an article by Sherwood Ross, Middle East Times]