Jump to content
Washington DC Message Boards

Things Americans need to know about Iraq

Guest PHILIP_*

Recommended Posts

Guest PHILIP_*

Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq?


Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?


Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?


Did you know that Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?


Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January

2005 for the reestablished Fulbright program?


Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational?! They have five

100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.


Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add

16 UH-1 helicopters and four Bell Jet Rangers?


Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?


Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?


Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over

3500 new officers each 8 weeks?



Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.


Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?


Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?


Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?


Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?


Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?



Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?










Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades.




The lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes. It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American citizens.


---- Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site. .....Pass it on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Guest Dissident Voice

There was, as well, the vexatious problem of sorting out the 30 major oil development contracts Saddam’s "regime had signed with companies based in Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Vietnam. The key unresolved issue was whether these firms had signed contracts with the government of Saddam Hussein, which no longer existed, or with the Republic of Iraq which remained intact".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
Guest American for Progress

KBR CITED IN PROBE OF ACCIDENTAL ELECTROCUTIONS IN IRAQ: The Houston Chronicle reported last night that "[a]t least a dozen soldiers and Marines have been electrocuted in Iraq over the five years of the war" and that "investigators now are trying to learn what role improper grounding of electrical wires played in those deaths." At the center of the probe is private contractor KBR, a company that not only dodged $500 million in Medicare and Social Security taxes but also provided "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water to U.S. troops in Iraq. A soldier who was electrocuted last January while taking a shower prompted the investigation. The Army originally said he "had a small, electrical appliance with him in the shower" but further investigation by the soldier's mother revealed his death resulted in faulty wiring and that KBR had been contracted to provide maintenance on the building. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) recently wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates seeking details of the investigation. Noting a 2004 Army-issued safety warning regarding improper grounding of electrical wires, Waxman asked, "You wonder how it even could happen one time. But if a tragedy does occur once -- because of a mistake -- how could it possibly occur 12 times?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
Guest Dissident Voice

'Ayatollah will not allow US-Iraq deal'

Sat, 24 May 2008 21:07:14


Iraq's most revered Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has strongly objected to a 'security accord' between the US and Iraq.


The Grand Ayatollah has reiterated that he would not allow Iraq to sign such a deal with "the US occupiers" as long as he was alive, a source close to Ayatollah Sistani said.


The source added the Grand Ayatollah had voiced his strong objection to the deal during a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the holy city of Najaf on Thursday.


The remarks were made amid reports that the Iraqi government might sign a long-term framework agreement with the United States, under which Washington would be allowed to set up permanent military bases in the country and US citizens would be granted immunity from legal prosecution in the country.


While the mainstream media keep mum about the accord, critics say the agreement would virtually put Iraq under the US tutelage and violate the country's sovereignty.


The source added Ayatollah Sistani, however, backed PM al-Maliki's government and its efforts and that of the nation to establish security in the country.


The mandate of US troops in Iraq will expire in December 2008 and al-Maliki's government is under US pressure to sign 'a mutual security agreement' which would allow the long-term presence of US troops in Iraq.


Washington's plan has so far faced fierce protests by religious figures including Ayatollah Seyyed Kazem Haeri, another senior Shia cleric, and it is expected that other religious figures join the efforts to prevent the deal.


The US has signed similar agreements with countries like Japan and South Korea and thousands of US troops are now stationed in the countries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Guest I.Star

Months before a new president takes office, the US affirms the main purpose of invading Iraq.




EVENTS in Iraq have been gathering pace in recent days, and it’s far from the mounting death toll on all sides long pushed into the background.


The latest news topic instead is how Western oil giants are salivating at the prospect of carving up Iraq’s oil wealth in no-bid contracts later this month. The theme of triumphant giantism ranged from the size of the oil companies to the size of Iraq’s oil reserves.


First, some history: soon after a rising Saddam Hussein nationalised Iraq’s oil assets in 1972, US players had been itching to get back in. In 1980, “peace president” Jimmy Carter said Persian Gulf oil was so vital to US interests that it justified military action to get it, laying the groundwork for US Central Command (Centcom) to do that.


When Saddam took power in July 1979, five months after Ayatollah Khomeini took over in Iran, Saddam seemed useful to US interests in checking leftists within and Islamist Iran next door. But he later entertained visions of being another Gamal Nasser in a pan-Arabism that would restrict oil flow westwards.


How would US strategists overcome that? Towards the end of Bill Clinton’s second term, neo-conservatives in the US oil industry were aching to seize the “ultimate prize” of Iraqi oil.


Vice-President Dick Cheney headed the shadowy Energy Task Force soon upon taking office in 2001, and then Sept 11 happened. The following year the State Department set up a “working group on oil and energy” in a project that included Iraqi political exiles.


In March 2003 Iraq was invaded and occupied, Saddam was overthrown, and the Iraqi exiles became part of the new US-friendly government. Since then, US “advisers” worked on the new Constitution and the controversial petrochemical law, both now accepted by the Iraqi Cabinet.


This proposed law would effectively hand over control of dozens of rich oilfields to the “Big Four” ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and Chevron, with Australia’s BHP and France’s Total squeezing in with the last two. The contracts to be signed this month are unusual in avoiding tenders, edging out some 40 oil companies from countries like China, India and Russia that Saddam had preferred.


The earlier contracts with these countries had already been stalled by US-engineered UN sanctions. After the invasion of Iraq, US officials threatened to stop financial and military aid until the new Iraqi Cabinet accepted the new oil law.


The Cabinet complied, only to see the Bill held up by Parliament, so this month’s “surge” by the oil companies seeks to push it through. Most Iraqis and many parliamentarians reject the Bill, particularly since US officials had studied and “approved” it before they could even look at it.


This month’s contracts are for an initial two years, and will favour the Big Four in much larger deals to come. They conform with US moves to seize Caspian oil since 2002, pushing out other countries like Russia and China in the process.


US officials deny any role in determining the contracts, showing that official statements only confirm what they deny. The so-called Production-Sharing Agreements effectively make Iraq pay for the war and the losses and damage caused.


Some officials like former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan have been more forthright upon retirement. Admitting that he had lobbied for the war, he conceded that it was “largely because of oil,” confirming what 75% of Iraqis and Americans already knew.


Iraqi oil is highly prized because of its quantity and quality. The reserves, among the world’s largest, are of a high grade and easy to access.


To get it, US officials are now pressuring Iraqi leaders to agree to a long-term military presence by July 31, exactly one month after the oil contracts are signed on June 30. This would extend the US military presence in the country beyond the UN mandate, a plan already seeing local resistance.


Among other things, US forces seek to retain the power to arrest Iraqis and detain them in US facilities, while US forces remain immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts. US forces also want no restriction on their presence in the country, without guaranteeing protection for Iraqis.


Meanwhile, Israel as a key US ally has been conducting major military exercises to prepare for an attack on Iran, raising oil prices further. Russia on Friday warned against such an attack, insisting that Moscow and the IAEA had found no evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons facilities.


An attack on Iran would again use the “weapons of mass destruction” excuse to topple another oil-rich nation’s leadership. So far the US war on Iraq has been highly successful, contrary to widespread opinion.


It has raised oil prices, increasing profits for oil cronies of the White House while restricting access by China and others. It has also changed Iraqi law to favour US interests and enabled US forces to remain indefinitely to protect those interests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LAW_*

The Bush administration has been caught awarding no-bid contracts to develop Iraq's oil fields. Documents provided to the Oversight Committee show that Administration officials knew about Hunt Oil’s interest in the Kurdish region months in advance, contradicting claims that Administration officials were caught off-guard and opposed Hunt Oil’s actions. In a letter sent to Secretary Rice, Chairman Waxman requested information about the U.S. role in the efforts of other oil companies to obtain Iraqi contracts.


The Honorable Condoleezza Rice


U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:


I am writing to report the results ofmy investigation into U.S. involvement in the oil exploration agreement that the Hunt Oil Company signed on September 8, 2007, with Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government. I am also seeking information about the U.S. role in the efforts of other oil companies to obtain Iraqi contracts.


The Hunt Oil contract was controversial and complicated the efforts to enact a national oil law for Iraq. After it was announced, Administration officials expressed public concern and denied any knowledge or involvement. The President stated: "I know nothing about the deal."

A senior State Department official wrote the Committee that to the extent State Department officials were aware of the negotiations, they sought to dissuade Hunt Oil from entering the contract because "signature of such contract would needlessly elevate tensions."


The documents that the Committee has received tell a different story about the role of Administration officials. Ray Hunt, the head of Hunt Oil, personally informed advisors to President Bush of meetings he and other Hunt Oil officials planned with representatives of the Kurdish government. Other Hunt Oil officials kept State Department officials informed about the company's intentions. An e-mail from Hunt Oil's general manager states: "There was no communication to me or in my presence made by any of the 9 state department officials with whom I met ... that Hunt should not pursue our course of action leading to a contract. In fact, there was ample opportunity to do so, but it did not happen." A Commerce Department official who met with Hunt Oil officials in Kurdistan offered them further support and wished them "a fruitful visit to Kurdistan." Five days after the announcement of the Hunt Oil contract, a State Department official contacted Hunt Oil to describe another "good opportunity for Hunt" in Iraq, prompting a Hunt Oil official to write Ray Hunt: "This is really good for us. ... I find it a huge compliment that he is 'tipping' us off about this.... This is a lucky break."


These documents raise questions about U.S. involvement in recently reported negotiations between the Iraqi government and major U.S. and multinational oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron. You and other Administration officials have denied playing any role in these contracts. In the case of Hunt Oil, however, similar denials appear to have been misleading. I hope you will cooperate in the Committee's ongoing investigation into these issues.




On September 8, 2007, Hunt Oil entered into a contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government to explore and develop oil fields in the Kurdish region of Iraq. This contract caused outrage among Iraqi officials because it was entered into before the enactment of a national law relating to the sharing of oil revenues. The agreement was strongly condemned by Iraq's Oil Minister, who called it "illegal."


Administration officials criticized the Hunt Oil contract because it jeopardized the efforts of the Iraqi parliament to come to an agreement on the national oil legislation. When President Bush was asked about the Hunt Oil contract, he stated:


I knew nothing about the deal. I need to know exactly how it happened. To the extent that it does undermine the ability for the government to come up with a oil revenue sharing plan that unifies the country, obviously if it undermines it I'm concerned.


State Department officials similarly disavowed involvement in the contract. Department officials claimed that to the extent they were aware of any negotiations, they actively warned Hunt Oil not to enter into a contract because it was contrary to U.S. national security interests. One State Department official told the press: "It's counterproductive. Our view is the contract process should be controlled by the central government and that these regional deals could become illegal if an oil law is passed.,, In a letter to the Committee, Jeffrey T. Bergner, the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, wrote that the State Department advised Hunt Oil that "signature of such contracts would needlessly elevate tensions between the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] and the Government of Iraq.,,


The Hunt Oil deal continues to draw criticism from Iraqi officials. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussein Shahristani, "renewed his criticism of the Kurdish regional government for signing deals with foreign companies that offer them a share of the oil they extract.,,


The Involvement of Administration Officials Documents obtained by the Committee indicate that contrary to the denials of Administration officials, advisors to the President and officials in the State and Commerce Departments knew about Hunt Oil's interest in the Kurdish region months before the contract was executed.


The documents show:


On June 12 and 15,2007, Hunt Oil officials met with officials from the U.S. Regional Reconstruction Team (RRT) for the Kurdistan region, located in Erbil, "to investigate investment prospects" in the Kurdish region. During the June 15 meeting, the Hunt Oil officials "specifically asked if the [u.S.] had a policy toward companies entering contracts with the KRG.,, According to notes taken by Hunt Oil officials, they were told the "U.S. has no policy, for nor against." Synopses of these meetings were sent to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as part ofweekly situation reports on June 14 and 21,2007.


On July 12,2007, Ray Hunt, president and CEO of Hunt Oil, sent a letter to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, of which he was a member, making clear his intentions to pursue oil exploration in Kurdistan. Mr. Hunt disclosed that Hunt Oil was "approached a month or so ago by representatives of a private group in Kurdistan as to the possibility of our becoming interested in that region." He went on to describe

the visit of an oil survey team and stated that "we were encouraged by what we saw. We have a larger team going back to Kurdistan this week."


In August 2007, Hunt Oil representatives exchanged e-mails with State Department personnel discussing their return to Kurdistan in late August to "assess business opportunities in Kurdistan.,,


On August 30, 2007, Ray Hunt sent a second letter to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board informing the board that he would be traveling to Kurdistan during the week of September 3,2007, to meet with members of the Kurdistan Re!fional Government, including the President, Prime Minister, and Oil Minister.


On September 5, 2007 - three days prior to the contract's execution - Hunt Oil's general manager informed the RRT in Erbil that "Hunt is expecting to sign an exploration contract" with the Kurdistan Regional Government. That same day, the RRT leader sent an e-mail summary of the meeting to the Embassy in Baghdad and the State Department headquarters in Washington. A second synopsis of the meeting was sent to the Embassy in Baghdad in a situation report the following day.


The Committee asked for all documents in the State Department's possession relating to the Hunt Oil contract, as well as all documents from Hunt Oil relating to contacts with Administration officials about the contract. No documents were produced that support the contention that the State Department warned Hunt Oil in advance not to enter into the contract.


To the contrary, the documents that the Committee received appear to show the opposite: State Department officials raised no objections to the contract.


Suminarizing his interactions with State Department officials leading up to the contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Hunt Oil general manager stated:


There was no communication to me or in my presence made by any of the 9 state department officials with whom I met prior to 8 September that Hunt should not pursue our course of action leading to a contract. In fact there was ample opportunity to do so, but it did not happen.


A Commerce Department official participated in the June 12,2007, meeting with Hunt Oil officials and the Regional Reconstruction Team. Following the meeting, the Commerce official wrote to the Hunt Oil executives: "It was a real pleasure meeting with you today, hope you [had] a fruitful visit to Kurdistan.... Please feel free to contact in case you need any support from our office here in Erbil.,, In the same communication, the Commerce official also provided Hunt Oil with information about other companies seeking oil exploration opportunities in Kurdistan.


Following the September 5, 2007, meeting with Hunt Oil, the head of the Erbil Regional Reconstruction Team sent a message to State Department officials in Baghdad and Washington warning that the Hunt Oil contract with Kurdistan appeared to be imminent. In response, a State Department official in Washington wrote: "Many thanks for the heads up; getting an American company to sign a deal with the KRG will make big news back here. Please keep us posted.,,


Other correspondence provided by Hunt Oil also casts doubt on the State Department's claim that it disapproved Hunt Oil's deal with Kurdistan. Five days after the announcement of that contract, on September 13, 2007, a State Department official in southern Iraq made contact with a Hunt Oil representative to suggest another business opportunity in Iraq, in this case a project to develop a liquefied natural gas refinery in southern Iraq, writing: "This seems like it would be a good opportunity for Hunt. ... If you all are not aware of this and would like some more information ... let me know." A Hunt Oil official forwarded the State Department e-mail to Ray Hunt, the head of Hunt Oil, noting: "This is really good for us.... I find it a huge compliment that he is 'tipping' us off about this. He certainly doesn't have to.... This is a lucky break.,,


Questions about the Recent Oil Deals


On June 19, the New York Times reported that Iraq was in the final negotiations to award no-bid contracts for oil development to major U.S. and multinational oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron?3 In a subsequent article, the New York Times reported that U.S. officials played an "integral" role in securing these contracts.


In response to these reports, you stated unequivocally: "The United States Government has stayed absolutely out of the matter of the awarding of Iraq oil contracts.,, A State Department spokesman added: "These are Iraqi contracts. They were made by Iraqis, for Iraqis.,, He also said they "weren't done at the behest of the Unites States or with a wink or a nudge or any kind of influence on out part.,,


The documents the Committee has received about Hunt Oil show that in matters involving Iraqi oil, official denials of knowledge and involvement can be misleading. This is a serious matter because of the widespread suspicion in Iraq and other nations that the United States went to war to gain access to Iraqi oil.


To answer the questions that have been raised about the U.S. involvement in the recent oil deals, I request that you provide the Committee all State Department communications relating to the drafting, negotiation, or signing of the recent oil development contracts with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. In addition, I am requesting all relevant information on the background and experience of government advisors and private-sector consultants working with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil to develop these contracts. Please provide these documents to the Committee no later than July 25, 2008.


The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee in the House of Representatives and has broad oversight jurisdiction as set forth in House Rule X. Enclosed with this letter is a document providing additional information about how to respond to,the Committee's document request.


If you have any questions regarding this request and to schedule the requested briefing, please have your staff contact Theodore Chuang or Christopher Davis of the Committee staff at (202) 225-5420.



Henry A. Waxman



cc: Tom Davis

Ranking Minority

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest benlando

Iraq Oil Report has posted a new item, 'Iraqi oil contracts hold key to peace?'


Dr. Mahmoud Othman, a lawmaker with the Kurdistan block in the federal Parliament in Baghdad, has denied statements attributed to him by the press saying that the Kurdistan Regional Government's oil contracts are illegal, the KRG said in a press statement.


Dr. Othman has requested the Kurdistan Regional Government issue a statement on

his behalf [...]


You may view the latest post at



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Jesselee

Hunt is a former member of the board at Halliburton (1998-2007) and a very close friend to Vice President Cheney and has contributed $35 million toward the building of a Bush library in exchange for landing the deal with the Kurds. The war was all about oil and money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Guest Dan Graeberon

The U.S. got more crude oil from Iraq than Alaska in June as imports from OPEC continued to top domestic production. A review of U.S. data shows that in 17 of 18 months dating to January 2007, crude-oil imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exceeded U.S. production levels.


Halliburton is in talks with international oil companies about joint projects in Iraq, and will be reaching for Abu Dhabi’s $10 billion sour gas project, in which ConocoPhillips has a 40 percent stake. Halliburton also wants to be involved in Kuwait’s plans to produce an extra 700,000 barrels a day of heavy oil, which is more difficult to pump than conventional reserves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Guest A Friend of Dusty

International oil companies bidding on Iraqi oil and gas fields will meet with top Oil Ministry officials next month in London. At the Oct. 13 London meeting, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani will unveil the model contracts, which the oil deals will be based on, as well as release of technical details the companies will need to bid for and, if chosen, develop the fields. Reuters reports the oil fields up for grabs are Rumaila, Kirkuk, Zubair, West Qurna 1, Bai Hassan and Maysan (Bazargan, Abu Gharab and Fakka) and the Akkas and Mansuriyah gas fields. A second set of fields will be bidded on later this year or early next year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Iran, Iraq to create 3 free zones


The secretary of Iran-Iraq Economic Development Affairs (IIEDA) headquarters announced that Iran and Iraq have come to terms on establishing three free trade zones in border regions.

According to IRINN, Hassan Danaiefar said that the move is aimed at increasing two-way trade to around $4 billion per annum.


The sides’ trade value stood at about $2.8 billion in the past Iranian calendar year (March 2007- March 2008), said the Iranian official.


He added that the free zones will be founded in the three Iraqi regions of Al Kut, Al Emara, and Suleimanieh.


Danaeifar and the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maleki on Thursday held talks in Baghdad on ways to expand economic ties especially in the fields of fuel and energy, IRNA reported.


Danaeifar said the Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to satisfy the Iraqi market demands.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Hassan Hanizadeh

In his new book The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008, Woodward, who has close connections with some Pentagon officials, stated that the U.S. has even been spying on the private lives of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and some other top officials.


“We know everything he (Maliki) says,” one source bragged to Woodward.


This move shows that Washington doesn’t even trust its closest allies and plans to oust Maliki due to his fierce opposition to some points in the proposed Iraq-U.S. security pact.


The espionage operation is not only a breach of Iraqi national sovereignty but will probably also cause discord between Iraqi officials.


U.S. officials are spying on a particular group of Iraqi leaders because Washington believes that they are politically and intellectually inspired by foreign elements.


Baghdad has demanded an explanation, but it seems that Washington is conducting the espionage on the pretext that it is necessary to protect U.S. forces in Iraq.


The spying scandal will surely complicate relations between the two countries and has probably torpedoed the Iraq-U.S. security pact.


However, instead of apologizing to the Iraqi nation for the treachery, U.S. officials have tried to justify the move, which will put the last nail in the coffin of U.S.-Iraq relations.


Meanwhile, there are reports that Washington is rebuilding the Baathist movement with the goal of returning them to power at an opportune time.


Various conferences have been held in Arab states in the region, with former Baath officials in attendance, in line with the U.S. plan to oust the Maliki government and return the Baathists to power.


Prime Minister Maliki recently announced that he will never sign the security pact if certain points are not amended, although George W. Bush is insisting on getting the agreement signed before the end of his term in January.


This turn of events will surely incense the Iraqi people because it shows that the U.S. may even spy on religious leaders in the future, which would be an assault on the country’s religious values and undermine Iraq’s national sovereignty.


(Sept. 14 Tehran Times Opinion Column, by Hassan Hanizadeh)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...