F*** the constitution - there's profits to be had

A few years back, when Bush signed the annual National Defence Authorisation Act, he not only increased the funding for the already bloated shadow government, but increased the powers of the executive branch and formally announced it was preparing for domestic insurrection, pre-emptively stripping state governors and legislatures of their powers. The federal government was openly stating that it is the only authority – screw the people, we do what we want, where we want, when we want.

Then on May 9th 2007 President Bush signed the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, unlawfully granting himself further powers. The presidency officially became a dictatorship Whereas In the past, continuity of government has been shared between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government, now all power was invested in the president. For the smallest of reasons, according the document’s own text, any incident in the world, regardless of location that affects population, infrastructure, environment, economy or government function, can trigger, at the president’s will, total martial law.

This week, signing the National Defense Authorization Act 2008, Bush declared that he has power to circumvent four more laws, including a ban against using federal funds to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq. He declared that four sections of the bill unconstitutionally infringe on his powers, and so the executive branch is not bound to obey them.

Bush has inadvertently admitted that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was aimed primarily at seizing major influence over its oil by establishing military bases. One section Bush targeted created a statute that forbids spending taxpayer money "to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq" or "to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."

We learn also this week that Washington is negotiating a long-term agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that includes the basing of US troops in Iraq after 2008, as well as security guarantees and other economic and political ties between the United States and Iraq.

Every time Bush or a senior administration official has been questioned about permanent US military bases in Iraq, they argue that it is not their intention to construct such facilities, that the object is the democratisation of Iraq priot to a US departure.

Bush did not explain the specific basis for his objection to the prohibition on establishing permanent military bases in Iraq, but last year, the White House told Congress that a comparable condition in another bill "impermissibly infringes upon the president's constitutional authority to negotiate treaties and conduct the nation's foreign affairs."

The incessant signing of statements to advance executive power has been a trademark of his presidency. Presidents have done this in the past, but Bush has contested more sections of bills than all of his predecessors combined – including the ban on torture.

Clearly, the White House is determined to establish that the commander in chief can defy laws limiting his options in national security matters. to determine how and when US force will be used abroad, and which is widely perceived as a snub to the American constitutional. Or, fuck the constitution, there’s profits to be had.

Antonia Juhasz of the group Oil Change International argues that the issues of oil and permanent military bases are related.

"We've got the Bush administration pushing aggressively for an (Iraqi) law that would give oil companies 20- to 25-year contracts for oil in Iraq and if they were to be at work for an extended length of time, they would need security…If the U.S. military is going to stay in Iraq for 20 or 35 years, they're going to need bases….The bottom line has to be in the willingness to give the money. The budget for the war this year has reached 170 billion dollars for just the next year."

And meanwhile we learn from Akhbar Alkhaleej , a Bahraini daily (translation here) :

An Iraqi member of parliament said secret talks have been opened by parties representing American oil companies, that include an American offer to give deputies who vote in favor of the Oil and Gas Law money amounting to five million dollars.

”The Iraqi deputy, who preferred his name not be mentioned, said the amount of money that could be paid for passage of the Oil and Gas Law [thus] doesn't exceed $150 million, if the $5 million figure is specified for each deputy, and this will be an insignificant amount compared to the concessions these American companies will obtain. He was referring to the fact that the Oil Law needs 138 votes to pass, and this is what the American parties are trying to obtain by several different methods, including the buying of votes, and blandishments, and threats.

“The deputy said he thinks the Americans will adhieve their aim with some deputies who will promise to vote for the bill in exchange for the mentioned amount of money, but he said others will not be selling their votes for any price, or under any type of pressure.

”The Iraqi deputy said these talks, which are being kept in the highest degree of secrecy, are centered on the leaders of parliamentary blocs, and on persons with influence in Parliament, so as to obtain the biggest number of votes possible. He said the Americans already had the votes of the Kurdish lists assured, but what they are trying for is to get sufficient votes to pass the bill and enact it at the earliest possible time.

”Recall that there are still parliamentary blocs that are firmly against voting for the Oil and Gas Law, and that there are others that say this should be put to a popular referendum, since it is something that concerns the fate of Iraq's oil wealth, and the sustenance of the Iraqi people."

Looks like the anti-war movement had better invest in a sturdy banner. US capitalism's blood for oil programme looks sent to continue until the last barrel of black gold is extracted from beneath the sands of Iraq. And it looks, too, as if average Americans are in for a tough future, with Bush giving himself increasingly more powers that will enable him to crush dissent. Makes sense though - if you're gonna pull of something big, like annex Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran and bog down US forces in a lengthy war for oil - and personally I think this is coming - then you're gonna need someone with dictatorial powers to quell opposition at home for, as any ruler knows, sometimes your own people can be the biggest obstacle to your profits overseas

No comments: