THE AMERICAN PLANS TO EXHAUST IRAQ AND TO STEAL ITS RESOURCES
FACTS AND FIGURES
BY: MOHAMMED AL-KAYSSI
So many are the investigations and debates that came up analyzing the aims of the US administration war-on-Iraq campaign. Although the occupation of Iraq is against the international law and all the Iraqi people ambitions and targets, the US administration is insisting on completing its occupation plans and projects in Iraq. What ever the justifications the American media or its agents are declaring, we, Iraqis, are now very sure that the main motive for this administration’s war is to control the oil, the best global source of power, which will enable America, following long-term plans, to dominate the whole world as the only super power.
The following brief research is emphasizing the impact of the USA plans which began since the early eighties and continued up to the current Iraq occupation on the Iraqi economy.
1. Targeting Iraq and the Iraqi economic losses due to the Iraq-Iran war
The after-shah Iranian Islamic revolutionary regime in the world oil richest and vital area posed a big threat for the west. The western imperialism opened all the channels to stimulate the tension between the two old ages rival countries Iraq an Iran to trigger the war in September, 1980. Fighting against this evil with a deliberate foreign intensification of the warfare, Iraq, with all of its economic and human resources became a victim for the western capitalist countries and their co-operating regimes in the Middle East region.
The Iran-contra scandal showed the strong military US-encouraged relations between Iran and Israel through which Iran got massive supplies of the American weapons. Donald Rumsfeld, the current US secretary of defense, and many of the current US administration members, played a big role to cover up the Iranian usage of chemical weapons in northern Iraq - Halabja as an example - and later on they turned the stories 180 degrees back. On the other side and to increase the warfare spending, the US offered a lot of loans and financial support to Iraq to develop its industrial military projects. Many western countries like the UK, Germany and France sold Iraq the techniques and the know-how to produce unconventional weapons in very high price and Thatcher, the British prime minister, gave Iraq in that time a loan of 1 billion sterling pounds and different monetary facilities to serve the same subject.
Because of the war long time and the heavy direct and indirect expenses accompanied by the decrease in oil barrel price from 40 to 17 dollars and the decrease in the dollar value itself, all Iraqi ambitious developing plans came to a halt and spending on the civil sector in Iraq came to the minimum and the war economy policy dominated all the life activities in Iraq. The choking Iraqi economic crisis was very clear in the beginning of 1986 at the time parts of the Iraqi territories were already occupied by Iran. By the end of the war in 1988, the Iraq’s total foreign debt used on covering both the military and civil expenses totaled 120 billion dollars. Because oil is the main source of income in Iraq, Iraq found itself forced to develop and rebuild the oil production and export facilities that mostly have been bombarded and destroyed by the Iranians during the war. Close to the Iran-Iraq long borders and in the southern Iraq borders were most of the vital industrial facilities and agricultural establishments destroyed. The decrease in oil exports was so huge. The Iraq 3.4 MMBPD production was shut down for several months and later on little quantities were exported through turkey and Syria and stopped in 1982. The oil exports from the southern Iraqi ports stopped in September 1980 till running the pipeline running through KSA in 1985. Because of this war-forced decrease in oil exports, Iraq lost l06 billion dollars while the other oil neighbors Kuwait, KSA and UAE got a so more money as their exports increased by compensating for the Iraq export OPEC share along the 8 years of the war. After the war all of these neighbors, considered the money they donated to Iraq as a support during the war as loans that should be, consequently, paid back.
The Iraqi leadership tried hard to rehabilitate the exhausted Iraq post-war-economy but the results were strategically minor because of the big obligations at the time of low income and the huge due debts with their interests. In 1990 the official Iraqi debts totaled, including the interests, 65 billion of dollars in addition to 10 and 12 billions for Kuwait and KSA. The major part of the last 22 billions, mostly as services not in cash, were given to Iraq as assistance and support for Iraq against the common Arab’s enemy, Iran, but later on after the war the two countries particularly Kuwait considered all this money as loans with very soon due date.
Iraq proved for the UN by thousands of official documents that Iran was the beginner of the war and called the UN to investigate all the suspended issues between the two countries and to affirm both sides’ responsibilities. The US and its allies in the UN stressed very hard not to solve those minor remaining issues between the two countries to ruin Iraq's future.
The agony here is that USA and Israel tried hard to embroil Iraq in the war and to lengthen its period with the aid of some Arab countries like Kuwait, KSA and UAE which earned so much money because of the increase in the oil prices and the suspension and the shut down of Iraq’s oil exports. Turkey built and established so many industries that pumped all of its low quality products in the Iraqi markets. The Jordanian economy that was on the brink of a catastrophe got resuscitated because of the open activities to the Iraqi economy. Syria supported Iran by missiles and stopped the Iraqi oil export pipeline that passes through Syria. Egypt got rid of all of its Russian weapons selling them to Iraq in cash to purchase the American weapons after the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel signed by Sadat. The Russian abstained supplying weapons to Iraq at the beginning of the war claiming to stay neutral but later on after the Iran contra scandal they made up their minds. Iraq was, staying isolated suffering the scourge of war, bleeding and all of its economical and human resources were being destroyed and the dream of building its modern country vanished.
2. The Iraqi economic losses because of the Kuwait oil policy
While Iraq was busy sacrificing souls and blood in the fight against Iran defending all the Arab territories including Kuwait's. Kuwait took the chance to carry out a scheme of programmed and gradual occupation of the Iraqi territories. Kuwait was building military bases, oil facilities and farms on the Iraqi land. Iraq's foreign affairs ministry addressed this in an official memo to the Arab League on 15/7/1990 stating that Iraq has a complete documented record for all of these violations committed by the Kuwaiti government. All the documents were presented to the Arab League to solve this problem through the Arab League practices and the Arab fraternity relations.
After the liberation of Al-Faw peninsula and during the Arab summit in 1988, Iraq notified the Kuwaiti government about the Iraq intention to solve all of those bilateral problems through the even direct dialogues but there was no response from the Kuwaiti side who continued to raise up faked complications and to build petroleum military and police installations on the Iraqi territories.
The Kuwaiti and UAE governments pursued a satanic procedure to flood up the international oil market by producing more oil then their OPEC predetermined shares with historically unprecedented rationalizing. The oil market flooding up process led to a horrible decrease in the oil prices. The oil prices decreased from 24 dollars / barrel to lower than the minimum OPEC agreed-on price - 18 dollar to 11-13 dollar/ barrel. Every 1 dollar reduction in the oil barrel price was causing Iraq lose 1 billion dollars/year. Because of the Kuwait and UAE policy the oil barrel price deteriorated, In 1990, from the common price 28$ to 18$ and the total Iraq losses totaled 14 billion dollars per year while Iraq was defending it's and all the Arab’s territories and security for 8 years.
In addition to the aforementioned oil market flooding up policy, Kuwait, since 1980, started founding petroleum installations on the southern part of Al-Rumaila oil field and started stealing the oil in the Neutral Zone which is an extension for the southern Al-Rumaila oil field. Kuwait established Alretka 33- oil-well field to bleed up the Iraqi oil reservoir. on the 17th September, 2000 the former Iraqi oil minister Amer Al-Obaidi accused Kuwait of steeling 300,000 barrels /day stating "The Iraqi oil steeling is a fact that the Kuwait can not deny and this takes place at the southern Al-Rumaila field".
The Kuwaiti oil market flooding up policy which included the stolen Iraqi oil represented doubled action harm to Iraq by weakening its economy through reducing its export profits, at the time Iraq is in bad need of every cent to restore its demolished capabilities, and by stripping its natural resources.
The Iraqi oil stolen by Kuwait between 1980-1990, which is against all the Arab fraternity principles and values, totaled 24 billion dollars. The Iraqi government proved in official documents presented to the Arab League all the Kuwaiti violations against Iraq and called for the refund for all the oil stolen of its reserves and territories and appealed Kuwait to be responsible for all the misbehavior and violations against Iraq. Iraq did its best to resolve these suspended issues with Kuwait through the Arab League but Kuwait continued its policy without any response.
Iraq concluded that Kuwait’s policy was just a military aggression; Kuwait was continuing extorting the Iraqi territories and oil resources, which is considered a military aggression, while Iraq was trying to impair its economy and was facing big Zionist threats. Iraq was the only Arab power that really confronting Israel. Invading Kuwait was the only way that Iraq could follow after trying all the possible peaceful initiatives and solutions.
The USA administration concentrated all the international public opinion against Iraq enforcing it to withdraw its troops from Kuwait and to destroy Iraq’s military power, infrastructure and Iraq’s vital structural civil and military industries for the benefit of the Zionism whose main goal is to kick Iraq from the strategic Arab core location and to disable Iraq’s military effective acting in the region.
The disaster on this issue was that many of the Arab countries participated in and incited the others to join the operations called "The Desert storm" to retaliate for old issues with Iraq for the sake of Zionist entity service.
3. The Iraqi losses due to the 1991 American aggression and during the sanctions and blockade years
The whole world got mad against Iraq and its political regime after invading Kuwait as, in this way, Iraq could get hold of 20% of the world oil reserves.
The Gulf war against Iraq was not to defend or liberate Kuwait but to defend the economic and strategic interests of the international imperialism in the region. The "Desert Storm" war in 1991 resulted in a terrible devastation in Iraq. Most of the civil facilities were hit, bombarded or destroyed. The damaged civil facilities and utilities included the main bridges, the transportation junctions, oil refineries, the communication centers, schools, institutes, universities, hospitals; potables water plants, irrigation plants, mosques, churches, government buildings, museums, food depots and mills in additions to the human casualties. According to the Iraqi government estimations, the losses due to this war totaled 230 billion dollars. The “Arab Funds Corporation” estimated the resulting losses to be 190 billion dollars.
Moreover, The US administrations abused the U.N to execute its oppressive policy against Iraq and issued a resolution to block all the Iraqi deposited funds in all the banking associations around the world. As a result to this, the Iraqi accounts have been frozen in 56 countries as the following,
i) 3 billion dollars in the USA alone managed by the Federal Bank in New York.
ii) About 6.1 billion dollars in the UK in addition to 350 billion dollars in Al-Rafidain Bank, London branch.
iii) More than 1.0 billion dollars run by the Swiss National Bank.
iv) More than 1.5 billion dollars in French banks.
v) 700 million dollars in Japanese banks.
vi) About 2.5 billion dollars in EU banks supervised by the EU countries central banks.
vii) 500 million dollars in Jordan under the supervision of the “Iraqi Funds Managing Corporation” that belongs to the Jordanian Central Bank and assigned only for this job.
viii) More than 500 million dollars in Lebanese banks.
ix) Many other accounts in different European, Asian and African counties.
x) Al-Rafidain branches accounts in Oman, Cairo, Beirut and Bahrain.
xi) The Iraqi commercial commissions outside Iraq and the Iraqi airlines.
xii) The Iraqi shares in companies with other Arab counties.
Very big burdens and obligations have been imposed on Iraq. Iraq was supposed just to fulfill his obligations without any right for discussions, objections, modifications or even explanations. The legitimacy of these obligations and how they are estimated were not determined according to any known rules or practices. Thus Iraq was forced to pay Kuwait, and some other countries, compensations for the Iraqi troops 7 months invasion. Kuwait asked for a compensation of 350 billion dollars. Saudi Arabia asked for 28 billion dollars because of the damage the Iraqi forces caused to its environment as result of setting its oil wells in fire during the Iraqi army withdrawal and also for the rehabilitation of the coasts, deserts and fisheries. In addition Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Syria have asked also for compensations. The compensations committee that the UN set after the Gulf war imposed compensations of 48.6 billion dollars of which only 8.4 billion dollars were paid. The assessment of the Kuwait compensations was very exaggerated because, later on after Kuwait rebuilding and rehabilitating, the Kuwaiti government official ministry of treasury and Kuwait National Bank reports stated that the total Kuwaiti economy losses due to the invasion and the Desert Storm war were 99 billion dollars of which 30 billion dollars are rebuilding costs, 23 billion dollars are non exported oil value and the rest was Kuwait’s contribution in financing the desert storm war. It is very clear that the overestimation of Kuwait compensations and losses by over than 25 billion dollars was just to keep Iraq in debts for many generations. By abusing the international legitimacy, The US administration imposed oppressive and unlawful economical sanctions, embargo and financial blockade against Iraq. The sanctions and the blockade continued for about 13 years and severely affected all the Iraqi people. Due to this blockade Iraq lost about 150 billion dollars as oil export losses. Iraq could manage itself using all of its strengths and human efforts in a very big mission to restore what the war has damaged. The Iraqi capabilities have generally been weakened and undermined at the time of its so heavy after-war enforced obligations, imposed by the UN, and the negative financial blockade burdens such as the big budget deficit and the due debts. With the continuation of the oppressive economic sanctions and blockade, Iraq was exhausted and its people day life economic and social difficulties got highly intensified. All the infrastructure, the public utilities, health and education foundations collapsed. Iraq could not any more conceive any plan for development even on the minimum level and life become so miserable leading to the unknown.
It is very important to mention here again that the Kuwaiti government continued to steel the Iraqi oil though the wells that have been drilled in the Neutral Zone to the south of the southern Al-Rumaila oil field. Naji Al-Hadithi, the former Iraqi foreign affairs minister assured that Kuwait, after the UN borders demarcation in 1993, offered long term concessions for American and British companies to invest on oil exploration and production in Southern Al-Rumaila and Al-Zubair where the first extends to Al-Retka and the second ends at Safwan region on the borders between the two countries. The Iraqi minister added that after the year 1995 the international companies, working for Kuwait, intensified their activities using huge drilling rigs and reclamation and landscaping equipment to work directly in the two regions. Later the Iraqi oil ministry assured, depending on technical reports and surveys, that the Kuwaiti government has stolen millions of oil barrels along the blockade period from the wells drilled in the two aforementioned regions which illegally were granted to Kuwait according to the UN oppressive borders demarcation.
On the other hand the behavior of Iran against Iraq was also so weird. To protect the Iraqi civil and military aircraft from being hit or bombarded by the Americans and their allies, Iraq sent 11 civil Boeings, Falcon, Jet star and 115 fighter and bombing fighter planes, and 15 Ilyushin airfreight planes to the Iranian airports to be hosted during the war according to the agreement set between the Iraqi transport minister Mohammed Hamza Al-Zubaidi and the Iranian former president Rafsanjani in the presence of the Iranian transport minister. The Iraqi fighter planes included some of the best military planes like the Meg, Sukhoi, and Mirage. Later after the war Iran refused to give these planes back to Iraq claiming that Iraq has so many due obligations for Iran due to last war between the two countries. The fighter plane were annexed to the Iranian air forces and the 5 civil Boeings aircrafts, 5 Falcon, one Jet star and 15 Ilyushin airfreight planes were painted in the Iranian air ways colors and registered as part of the Iranian airways fleet. This action represents a big scandal and unlawful way to settle any conflicts or obligations.
Facts and opinions about the figures stated about the Iraqi funds and obligations
It is possible to authenticate the information about Iraq's funds and debts for the following reasons:
1- All the aforementioned data are officially documented. Working for government departments involved in economic affairs, I was able to read such documents as this was part of my job as an economy specialist and as a part of a supervision and executive follow up team on the issue of the Iraqi obligations – Availables and Requirements - to the other countries and particularly the Gulf’s. There was a supreme economical committee established in 1989, the economical committee, following the resolved “economical operations chamber” directed by Taha Yassin Ramadan. The economical committee was related to the presidency department and supervised by Sa’adoun Hammadi then Hikmet Mizban Ibhraim , the minister of treasury, and included the ministers of Commerce, oil, Planning - later became the planning corporation - the Iraqi Central Bank governor and some associated specialist managers. In addition to its responsibility as an economical operation chamber for the Iraqi economy program, which was an eccentric case in planning and execution according to the centralization policy, this committee was responsible for preparing the lists and the data base for the Iraqi obligations – Availables and Requirements - and its periodic traffic according to the branch data made by the government departments associated with Iraq obligations to the other countries. The technical part of this committee was in charge of the preparation and the follow up of the obligations traffic report. This report and its data were systematically proceeded to the economy section in the presidency department for evaluating, assessing and commenting the processing and the recommendations that the committee presents to find their best possible solutions.
We are very sure that all the data and the information exist in the following places:
A. The economical section in the presidency department inside the republic palace buildings compound in Karadat Mariam.
B. The ministers council located inside the former central statistics foundation building which is annexed to the ministry of planning buildings.
C. The economical committee which occupies a building annexed to the National Iraqi Council in Al-Salehia. This place was recording all the details about the creditors and debtors, the kinds of assets and their values and all the funds sums in details in addition to the due dates and the details of the agreements and the financial protocols and the names of the banks and the finical institutions.
In the first hours of Baghdad occupation, the coalition occupation troops broke into these places and later on they let Ahmed Al-Chalbi bands get all the documents, files and the floppy disks that exist in these buildings. Later, all the people and employees involved with these economy matters were arrested according to lists prepared by Al-Chalabi band. The arrested employees included Mohammed Mehdi Saleh AL-Rawi, minister of commerce, Esam Huwaish, Central Bank governor and the economy consultant Khalid Al-Mamouri.
2- There have been so many official appeals from Iraq in official meetings with the UN to discuss the possibility to release the blocked Iraqi assets. There have been also trials with the Arab League to support these requests which were documented and including all the details of those frozen assets and funds.
3- The Iraq debt according to statuary official documents in 1990, i.e. before Kuwait invasion, was 65 billion dollars including the loans’ interests. This didn’t include the disputed 10 and 12 billion dollars for Kuwait and KSA who insist that the 22 billion dollars were real loans while this sum consists of several components one of them is exporting quantities of oil on the behalf of Iraq during Iraq - Iran war. Kuwait & KSA were exporting, as a beginning, about 50,000 barrel/day from the Neutral Zone which is currently called also Al-Khafji for a short period of time as a result of the war break up and the stop of oil exports through the Iraqi southern harbors Al-Bakr and Khor Al-Amia which were located in the range of the Iranian fire and this was not only because of Iraq financial needs but also for the continuing of oil flow in the international markets. The Kuwaiti and Saudi regimes were always declaring, on all of there official meeting with the Iraqi officials, that the biggest part of the exported oil funds is an assistance and support for Iraq in its war against Iran. The real part of the debts as loans is the Saudi and Kuwait, on the behalf of Iraq, fulfilling of the Iraq’s financial obligations to the others or the guaranteeing Iraq with others or enabling the Kuwaiti and Saudi private sectors to freely deal with the Iraqi government. The rest of the real debt is supplying Iraq with civil equipment that help in the military sector such as carriers, vehicles, loaders and all of them were recorded as donations and support for Iraqi civil sector. The civil support also included facilitations in the Kuwaiti and Saudi harbors like exempting from customs and loading and unloading fares, fueling the Iraqi tankers, sheltering the Iraqi navy pieces, maintenance work for the Iraqi pipeline passing through Saudi Arabia and other kinds of help during the Iraqi Iranian war.
The situation understanding was nearly like this in 1990 before the first Gulf war and the American aggression against Iraq which is different from the estimation of the UN and the international financial bodies in 1991 where the Iraqi debts were estimated to be 86 billion dollars according to the exaggerating data and information supplied by the countries to which Iraq is claimed to have obligations especially after Kuwait and KSA had considered all of their donations to Iraq as loans with interests counted since being provided to Iraq.
In Olympia, on the 19th October 2003, during a seminar for encouraging investments in Iraq, Richard Segal, the manager of the British "Exotex Limited" research center uncovered statistics for Iraqi loans from KSA and Kuwait presented to the UN. The statistics showed that the Iraqi debts for KSA and Kuwait totals 42.1 billion dollars, 23.5 in the eighties during in the Iraq Iran war until 1991 - i.e. before Iraq invaded Kuwait. The rest was presented in other statistics presented later and they were 4.9 billion dollars in 1992, 4.8 billion dollars in 1993, 4.6 billion dollars in 1994, 2.9 billion dollars in 1995 and 1.3 billion dollars in 1996 and later years. It is very clear from Segal's report that KSA and Kuwait presented theses figures just to enlarge the Iraqi debts as these loans took place after the withdrawal of the Iraqi troops from Kuwait when there were no political or commercial relations between Iraq and the 2 countries due to the invasion of Kuwait and the war. On the other hand the economical blockade did not allow Iraq make any economical deal with any country around the world. There may be a question that the above figures are interests for the due debts but simple calculations can prove that these figures are fabricated imaginary figures and absolutely very far from any reasonable loans' interests. The figures should have been compared to the Iraq official obligations and debts data which the American destroyed at the beginning of Baghdad occupation by helping some mobs who burnt the government departments and the official documents. More than once Iraq presented the UN documents with the real Iraqi debts but the organization response to Iraq was that such issues would not be considered before Iraq fulfils all of the obligations stated in the Security Council resolution. At the same time the international organization considered the statistics, appeals and the claims against Iraq that the other countries presented. From this it's proved that during the political and the economical Iraq blockade and on cornering Iraq to fulfill the UN resolutions, so many international parties abused the situation to authenticate faked obligations and rights against Iraq with the complete help of the UN as a result of the US extorting policy that dominated the un and its resolutions against Iraq. The exaggeration and the overestimation of the Iraq debts value is just a kind of economical and political extortion coming along with the status of aggression and hostilities against Iraq and its people.
Iraq set several plans to face the problem of debts and the Iraqi economy rehabilitation. I participated in an official study that assured Iraq's capability of paying back all of its foreign debts and the unnecessary for any more foreign loans to rehabilitate the Iraq economy according to the following indications and processes:
1. Following a firm military spending shrinking policy especially military industrial spending.
2. Diverting a big part of military industrial projects to civil products and preparing economy balance for these projects to work on profit - loss principle.
3. Diverting many of the government installations from central to self financing to work as self independent units to finance its activities according to the profit - loss principle also.
4. Increasing the oil production which might have reached 7 million barrel /day if the joint venture investing Italian, Russian or Chinese agreements have been approved. With the help of some foreign expertise and by pumping some more national investments in the oil sector, Iraq with only the national capabilities the oil production could have reached 5.5 million barrel /day.
5. Encouraging foreign and Arab investments according to special mechanisms and rules that include a lot of exemptions, facilitations and stimulants.
6. Resolving the financial ties between the government and the public foundations which were depending on the government support to finance some of their activities. In this way these foundations can cover their expenses by finding means of investing the primary government supporting funds to cover their expenses. This plan was implemented really when the national Ba’ath Party leadership decided to be independent and cover its expenses through some investments.
7. Encouraging investments in the private sector and stimulating it to establish and run economical and social projects without any ceiling for the capital funds.
8. Selling a big portion of the government projects and foundations according to a program set to expand the general sector privatizing without any social or economical impact or deviation from the state general policy of serving the society and modernizing it socially and economically.
9. Seeking the capabilities and the possibilities of Iraqi international investments to get additional income sources. This investment may be with the co-operation of other countries or associations.
10. Investing the Iraqi technical the human resources in the international market to get additional revenues for both the society and the individuals.
By implementing the above processes and others it was estimated that Iraq could have paid back all of its debts in 5-7 years while executing the Iraqi economy rehabilitation plan but the problem that prevented the implementation of these plans was the behavior of the Gulf countries, especially the government of Kuwait and UAE, which flooded up the oil market with more than the OPEC predetermined shares and with the abetting of KSA, Qatar and other Gulf countries which ignored the issue to get use of this situation producing and exporting oil more than the OPEC shares that ended with the collapse of the oil prices with a tremendous impact on the Iraqi economy. Kuwait was also continuing the southern Al-Rumaila oil field stealing presenting a threat to the political and economical Iraqi future triggering Gulf war.
Before talking about the Iraqi losses, casualties and the programmed stealing and looting operations of its resources due to the Anglo - American aggression and occupation, we should talk about some important facts about the nature of the Iraqi economy operations during the blockade and before the braking up of this aggressive war.
1. Because of the sharp decrease in the oil prices beginning from 1980 with its big impact on the Iraqi economy and the concurrent decrease in the US dollar value, the Iraqi leadership, stressed by the Iranian occupation of the Iraqi Al-Faw peninsula, followed some wise and important steps. The most important was opening a special account called “Exceptional Batch“ to be a strategic reserve in case of top emergencies. The account started with 3 billion dollars transferred from the Central Bank oil revenues, and with the time the process continued calling this as the Exceptional Account going sometimes to 10 billion dollars. The transferred money to this account was done according to official documents and recorded as a debt to the presidency budget which was formed and prepared in top confidentiality with the direct supervision of the leadership and the Central Bank Governor. In some cases the special account was very helpful but some economy specialists don’t support such kind of processes because financing this special reserve didn’t appear in the lists of the national accounts due to state security issues. The emergency account financing priority has a big effect on the economical planning and the economy performance assessment as a whole. In addition, some government sectors were squandering like the military industry association when it was supervised by Hussein Kamel. The special account continued until 1988 when it was divided into 2 sections, the first one was about 2 - 3 billion dollars in gold and banknotes in the possession and under the direct supervision of the presidency as a strategic reserve in case of only top special emergencies while the other section was in the Central Bank and any transaction was done with also the presidency approval for the emergency needs of the national vital sectors like the defense, military industry or its related industries or any unconventional issues necessary for the continuing operation of the government and the Iraqi people in the troubled war economy which was away from the national general budget. The above system continued in the following years to keep the country running its work adapting itself to the limited resources specified by the general official budget and to enable the leadership respond to the emergency needs using its special accounts and strategic reserves and that’s the reality about the money and gold found in the presidency headquarters and the special government complexes and taken by the occupation troops on entering Baghdad. There were so many dirty rumors and false cheap claims propagated by the occupation and its agents that this money was belonging to the president and his family and these lies were just to cover the criminal section of the invaders and their co-working thieves in Iraq.
2. Iraq became unable to get use of its oil or other resources income because of the blockade dictated by the USA and its allies. The oil export began only in 1996 according to the oil - for - food agreement which was restricting the exported quantity to a certain figure. In the beginning Iraq was allowed to export oil in the range of 2 billion dollars every 6 months and later on it became 5.26 billions every 6 months but in December 1999 the UN cancelled this upper limit. Two thirds of the export revenues were allocated to cover the humanitarian needs of the Iraq people such as food and medicine and the last third was for covering the Kuwait war compensations and the expenses of the UN inspectors commissions in Iraq with its offices and activities including he weapons search commission and all the oil for food program committees’ expenses and any UN committee or association involved in any Iraqi issue according to the UN resolution No 986. It is very ironic to mention the UN was covering the expenses of any thing that passed by the name of Iraq even the expense of a printed paper from the Iraqi oil revenues. Sometimes international delegates heading to different parts of the world in non-Iraqi issues missions were covering their expenses from the Iraqi oil revenues if they mentioned Iraq or any of its problems in their talks. Iraq was monitoring all of this nonsense and presented so many objection memos against the corruption that dominated the implementation of the UN programs in spending, contracting, compensating and UN expenses estimating. The UN ignored the Iraqi memos and there were only vague promises and procrastination and the corruption continued for about 7 years of the program life.
Recently the scandal emerged when Kufi Anan decided to interrogate the officials of the program after the confirmation of embezzlement signs of the program funds in a report done by the UN accounting association. Later on it will be uncovered that the UN and other countries are involved in the corruption and robbery operations from the Iraqi people resources. They are now trying to mix papers and propagate that the Iraqi former government is also involved in the corruption and the dirty fishy implementation of the program processes and to arrange for theses accusations they destroyed the country and destroyed all of its official documents and government buildings. Such allegations and claims are unrealistic and illogic because Iraq was the only victim of the blockade and the oil with its revenues are the Iraq's. What is important for US in this issue is the committee 661 which was responsible for approving the import contracts according to the oil-for-food program. The committee 661 was complicating the processes of approval and was rejecting so many contracts for a common reason which is “double usage“, i.e. the imported goods are for both military and civil usage. This repeated rejection banned the Iraqi community and government so many essential needs and consequently the Iraqi account balance in the program accumulated and become so huge due to the steady export with unsteady and intermittent spending and Iraq couldn’t get use of these accumulated funds. Iraq was forced to follow another way to get funds by exporting oil, away from the oil - for - food program, through the borders. ON average Iraq was exporting 100- 200,000 crude oil barrels / day in addition to several petroleum products like the liquefied petroleum gas. In December 2000, the Iraqi government imposed 25 - 30 cents/barrel as a tax on the exported oil through the oil-for-food program to get more funds for sufficing the Iraqi community essential needs which were very hard to get through the committee 661 of the oil-for-food program and to build the previously mentioned special emergency strategic reserves with its two sections the presidency section and the Control Bank section.
3. Confronting the American war threats, the Iraqi leadership took some precautions and prepared for confronting a war that would last for at least one year. Under the supervision of the central bank Iraq deposited 3.5 billion dollars in several Arab and foreign banks in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Byelorussia for the emergency needs during the war. The funds were the same as the strategic presidency and Iraqi Central Bank reserve accounts. These 3.5 billion dollars were deposited in a secret way to protect them from being frozen, blocked or confiscated by the enemy. It is worth mentioning that all of these countries notified the US administration to uncover these Iraqi accounts on preparing for the aggression.
Juan Carlos Zarate, the US assistant secretary of treasury "for monitoring terrorism financing and for the monetary crimes “ admitted that those countries co-operated with the US administration and started uncovering the Iraqi assets on the war break up night. The Iraqi government stored huge amounts of food, civil goods and petroleum products to suffice the country needs during the war so that the government will not be forced to import any thing during the first six months of the war according to the mobilization planning previously followed during Iran - Iraq war.
4. The Iraqi losses due to the last aggressive war and the current Anglo – American occupation
The Anglo-American war against Iraq overthrew its political and constitutional regime and let to its occupation. During the war thousands of tones of bombs and explosives have been dropped on Iraq to destroy its infrastructure and all of its military and civil installations belonging to both the government and the Iraqi community. All the building and the facilities have been bombarded or blown up to turn them out of order or completely out of service. Looting, Sabotage and steeling operations in Baghdad were taking place on the eye of the occupation forces with their help, abetting and protection to make Iraq go several years back because of the destruction and the ruin which dominated every corner of Iraq. The Iraqi society is now bitterly suffering and beginning from zero and is hardly in need of every aid.
In the following paragraphs, we shall state the occupation negative impacts on the Iraqi economy in the figures and the facts which the Iraqi experts got according to primary evaluations and calculations done in Iraq.
1. Direct losses: the Iraqi losses due to the aggressive war and the occupation totals, in addition to the human casualties, 450 billion dollars and this figure covers all the expenses of building the Iraqi army, which was resolved by an American illegal and unlawful decision, for arming, training, equipment, military camps, air bases, military factories, maintenance centers and all other appliances and facilities. All what results from the accumulative spending along the Iraqi army history has been destroyed by the occupation troops in the last short period. A part of the army equipment has been disassembled, split and sold as scrap to the neighbor countries in very low prices and all the revenues went directly to the occupation troops, their co-operators and the wars different - nationalities dealers who got hold of the weapons with the help of the occupation. The arms contained equipment and military vehicles, light and heavy weapons, airports' equipment, military factories machinery and all of what Iraq was purchasing along the last years. It is very interesting to mention that the retired colonel Jay Gardener whom the occupation employed as the Coalition Provisional Authority director in Iraq was weapons and military equipment dealer. The Iraqi specialists said that if those wasted weapons were sold the normal way, their value might have reached 100 billion dollars.
The Iraq's infrastructure facilities which have been destroyed included power transmission lines, wire and wireless communication systems, potable water and sewage treating plants, medical and education centers, irrigation plants, high ways, bridges, buildings, factories, government buildings, public facilities, ware houses, university labs and scientific research centers, the basic services in industry and agriculture in addition to destroying huge quantities of equipment and appliances necessary for the efficient performance of the government and the society as a whole. And at last the human resources which Iraq spent a lot to develop and prepare through education and training nationally and abroad. Iraq has got a lot of civil and military scientific specialists in all aspects of life. All of these elite staff people have been fired or forced to retire or even quit and most of the foundations, associations, factories or institutions where these valuable highly effective people were working have been destroyed or abandoned.
Killing and forced immigration became a method to destroy this important national resource. Moreover the tremendous and horrible losses of the monuments, museums and manuscripts that narrate the Iraq history where some of these pieces and artifacts exceed millions and billions of dollars.
2. The Iraqi wasted and stolen funds which have been held by the US administration and the occupation authorities after the fall of Baghdad or during the aggression and these can be summarized as follows:
1. In 2003, during the military operations in Iraq, the US administration made a decision to get hold of all the Iraqi assets and funds all over the world which total 13 billions of dollars. Another decision has been made to seize and confiscate the Iraqi funds in the USA which totals more than 3 billions and gave itself the permission to freely deal with the foreign Iraqi funds. Later on in March 2003 the Swiss second biggest bank admitted that the bank has transferred funds from an Iraqi UBS accounts to the US administration without any permission from the official Swiss authorities. The bank didn’t declare the value of these funds but "Excel Langer" the bank official speaker told the Swiss news agency that the confiscation of the Iraqi funds took place after the US treasury ministry has blocked the Iraqi assets in 17 US banks including UBS branch itself in the USA. Before that time the Swiss Central Bank declared tat there have been some assets for the Iraqi government in several Swiss banks.
In October 2003 the New York Times said that the US administration had confiscated 1.7 billion dollars of the blocked Iraqi funds. It is very clear then that after the disappearance and the absence of the legal Iraqi authority the US administration could confiscate all the Iraqi foreign funds and deal with these funds without any watcher or observer. All the experts think that this issue has been settled since the first days of the occupation.
2. The occupation authority, with the UN approval, got hold of the accumulated oil-for-food program funds in the opened account in the National French Bank in New York. Till March 2003 the accumulated funds were 21 billion dollars and they became all under the control of the occupation authority which became actually responsible for any issue related to Iraq or its funds.
3. In the first occupation weeks the American troops got hold and collected, only in Baghdad and other presidency complexes and other special government buildings, several billions of dollars. They declared only what totaled 6 billions and they also got hold of about 4 billions from the Iraqi Central Bank and the other Iraqi banks.
4. The US administration got hold of all the Iraqi funds in the Arab and foreign banks to which we referred to be the top emergency national reserves. They collected about 2 billions of these accounts.
Some countries like Syria confiscated a part of these funds claiming that this is to settle some Iraqi obligations for Syria. The Syrian embassy in Washington said to the A.P. agency that the total Iraqi funds in Syria were 780 million dollars and the rest of these funds were 264 million dollars after the settlement of some Iraqi debts for some Syrians where some other debts are still suspended. Also Jordon confiscated about 300 million dollars for the same reason. The two countries are forgetting that obligations should be settled according to agreements and protocols agreed on by all parties. The international financial and commercial relations history has never experienced any kind of this dirty way to settle obligations. This way can only be called theft, swindling or embezzlement.
5. Again we have to remind you that after the destruction of the Iraqi state and its entity, the occupation authorities and their co-operators got hold also of all the official documents and the details of the financial Iraqi obligations (available, required and due). We have all seen the American tanks heavily bombarding, on purpose, the planning ministry buildings which contain the offices of the specialist departments whose archives had the most important economical documents. It was the same also for the other government departments which have been destroyed and burnt after being emptied from the official important papers. There have been many reports about negotiations and bargaining with the other associated countries to rig the Iraqi obligation in return for shares of these funds. The people who committed these crimes are related to the occupation authorities and their financial and government foundations. Later we will talk about this in details. Moreover, for the same dirty reasons, the values of the Iraqi debts have been falsified.
All the destruction and the looting that have been done by the US troops and the coalition authority was not enough. Stressing the UN the US forced the Security Council to issue the resolution No 1483 which stated that the Security Council admitted the legitimacy of the Anglo-American occupation of Iraqi and this action or decision has never been historically preceded especially if we consider that the war on Iraq, according to the international law is illegal and wasn't allowed by the security council. The 1483 resolution stated also on forming the " Developing Fund for Iraq" from which the money should be spent by the occupation authority with the consultancy of the interim government. The "Fund" should get its money from the oil exports in the international rates at the time of selling without any ceiling for the quantity produced or without determining any police for Iraq oil production meaning that only the occupation authority had the freedom to deal with the Iraqi oil resources and its revenues. Thus the USA got the Iraqi oil away from the OPEC policy to which Iraq belongs. Instead of setting an account in the Iraqi Central Bank as stated on the last UN resolution for depositing the oil export funds and all the other funds Iraq can get, Paul Bremer, the American ambassador and the head of the “Coalition Provisional Authority” set the account in the American Central Bank, New York Branch, where all the financial operations of this "Funds" are being done in top secrecy.
Iraq couldn’t get any of the "Funds" money in 2003 as all the food and the products brought to Iraq that year were imported according to the previous Iraqi government deals through the oil-for-food program. The deals were always annual and were approved one year in advance. If Iraq could get all the money of his accumulated oil-for-food program his frozen or his secret reserves funds which totals about 46 billion dollars, it would have been able to start the rebuilding and reconstruction operations. These 46 billions don’t include the later exported oil revenues which we will talk about later. Shortly after the occupation, Faleh Dawood sulaiman the deputy Central Bank governor sent a request to the Security Council and the UN to restore back all the Iraqi blocked assets but he got no kind of response and later on he was discharged and Sinan Al-Shaibani who came to Iraq with the occupation forces took over his position.
On April 30th of 2004 the investigators of the "General American Accounting Office" admitted that there had been about 58 billions of dollars available for Iraq from different sources and ready for reconstruction.
Before presenting the big wonder or question about these funds fate, we should refer to only one example that expresses the occupation authorities’ evil intentions which is the electrical power. Iraq is suffering from severe lack of power for about two years since the beginning of the occupation. Some congress auditors said that the power upgrading projects in Iraq would cost 1 - 4 billions and they , the occupation authorities, failed to finish any of them although they spent about 13 billions of the Iraqi funds just during the first year of occupation for reconstruction purposes. They referred the failure to the contractors, materials availability and the security issues that delayed a lot of projects. Up till now no sign has been seen in Iraq for reconstruction except those concrete blocks that surrounds the headquarters of the Americans and their co-operators.
Now it is the time for the big question “Where did all of these funds go? “ The real typical answer for this question is that all these funds have been stolen and directly went to the Americans pockets and a part of these funds went to their agents and their co-workers in the big Iraq occupation project. In the following paragraphs we will elaborate the answer from their confessions and the confessions of some international specialist organizations and associations.
- International Advisory and Monitoring Board which has been formed according to the UN resolution No 1483, issued on 22.8.2003, in one of its reports, mentioned important information about wasting the money of the "Development Fund for Iraq" at the time of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was directed by Paul Bremer, that totaled 20.2 billion dollars. The reports said that the spent sum was 11.3 billions and on the last days of Bremer stay in Iraq he distributed some billions in a hurry before leaving Iraq and the share of the two Kurds parties was 1.8 billions of 100$ banknotes weighted about 14 tones and was shipped to Kurdistan by 3 choppers. The BBC said that the fate of these funds is a confusing mystery. The newspaper "The Financial Times" said that those funds are deposited now in a Kurdish unknown bank in Geneva and negotiations had been made with on American company to represent the Kurdish Democratic Party in Washington to invest these funds in Swiss banks. This American company was founded by two of Bosh assistants and the vice president of the "White House Consultants for Iraq".
- The "UN Financial Monitoring Agency" criticized the way of spending more than 11 billions of the Iraqi oil funds. The agency referred to a "Financial Times" report stating that the money of the “Development Fund for Iraq” was a subject of swindling and embezzling.
- The British organization "Christian Aid" uncovered that Bremer had stolen 4 billion dollars. In another report the organization wondered about the destiny of 20 billion dollars of the Iraqi funds. Up till now no clarification has been issued from the provisional authority, the US administration or from the interim government about those 20 billions.
- The accounting company KPMG which was responsible for auditing the " Development Fund for Iraq " operations said that the American officials were falsifying the expenses reports and wasted about 20 billion dollars during the occupation emphasizing that many of the contracts approved by the interim authority have never been seen by the resolved interim governing council, the Iraqi people, any official body or even KMPG itself despite its repeated requests for this. KPMG also pointed out that the 2 billion dollars which Paul Bremer spent in his last 2 days in Iraq, uncovered later, were given to Barazani and Talabani in addition to 3 billions of approved contracts by the end of Bremer period and all of these funds' documents are unknown. KPMG also reported 4.6 billions for undue obligations which have never been identified up till now. In January this year the BBC agreed with the reports of the "Christian Aid" organization in one of its special investigations which uncovered the steeling of billions of dollars of the Iraqi oil revenues with the co-operation and the help of the US occupation troops and a number of the US companies specially in the time before resolving the Iraqi governing council. One of the investigation participants added that looking at the stolen funds at the beginning of the occupation, the reconstruction period will be one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history. The BBC concluded that more than 20 billions of the Iraqi funds have been wasted by steeling and bribing.
- "Charley Crone “ the coalition official speaker in Iraq said that the coalition forces which were responsible for the Iraqi resources as occupation forces got hold of a lot of cash funds found in palaces, presidency compounds and government buildings and he added "I don't know what happened to these cash funds where a lot of them has been transported by planes to unknown places outside Iraq. They might have been given to the military leaders to spend them freely in their command areas.
- Accounting auditors from the US government found that 8.8 billions of the spent money in Iraq were lost and no accounting records show on what they are spent or the identity of who got these sums. The auditors blamed the Provisional Coalition Authority for losing this money because of the financial management failure.
- Esam Al-khafaji, one of the Iraqis retuning and working with the occupation forces, admitted that the palaces and the other stuff hold before by the governing Ba’ath Party, president Saddam and his sons have been distributed by decisions of unknown entities to the new Iraqi elite group which returned to Iraq with the occupation troops and so many expensive cars have been stolen and nobody gave any records of what had happened.
- "Mohammed Bahr El Uloum", member of the resolved governing council accused Paul Bremer, the director of the Provisional Authority of fraudulence and wasting operations for the Iraqi public funds. He said that what has been spent the pervious year under the coalition authority supervision is a matter of questioning calling the current government to be so fussy about the total sums of the "Development Fund for Iraq" and he said to Al-Watan Saudi newspaper " The total income of the "Development Fund for Iraq" was 20 billions the oil exports funds were 11 billions and the funds of the oil-for-food program were 7 billions". Later his son Ibrahim, the oil minister of the resolved interim governing council, in a talk to Al-Baiena newspaper, uncovered American theft and robbery operations taking place in secret under the supervision and the official illegal covering led by the previous provisional authority director Paul Bremer. Bahr El Uloum said that steeling had been done by American officials working in Iraq after the occupation explaining that Paul Bremer had stolen more than 25 billions in cash and other valuables.
- The general auditor for Iraq reconstruction, the lawyer "Stewart Bowen", reported that the interim coalition provisional authority in Iraq led by Paul Bremer wasted about 9 billions allocated for Iraq reconstruction. Bowen pointed out so many examples of corruption and embezzlement like paying funds on expenses list for about 8206 nonexistent persons. In addition, the authority approved contracts in millions of dollars without any accounting documentation.
- Steeling was absolutely clear in the reconstruction operations and their contracts. The International Advisory and Monitoring Board report showed that the handling of the Iraqi funds, under occupation, represents a case of absolute corruption and presented hundreds of examples about this corruption as some of the following:
i) The Halliburton structural supports 1.5 billion dollars tender was paid in one single batch even before the start of the project. Dick Cheney was the president of Halliburton before being the USA Vice President.
ii) The Iraqi oil ministry American consultant ordered the payment of 1.6 million dollars for a contract about which no information has been found.
iii) An official in the occupation authority ordered, by mistake, the payment of 3 millions as a first payment for a cancelled contract to which the employee has nothing to do and the funds went with no return to the unknowns' pockets.
iv) The members of the "Provisional Coalition Authorities" allocated 800 millions for unknown contracts to be carried out after they leave Iraq.
v) Paul Bremer gave 10 million dollars for the Iraqi American nationalized Kana’an Makkiyah who claimed that he would build Saddam Hussein's victims museum" and later on he took the money and flew to his residence in America without building anything.
vi) The provisional Coalition Authority failed to present any documentation or reasons for spending 1 billion dollars for the reconstruction.
vii) The provisional Coalition Authority did not present any proofs for a lot of sums spent and claimed to get services and equipment in return.
The report pointed out that the interim The provisional Coalition Authority ruled Iraq from May 2003 to 28/6/2004 the date of the power hand over to the Iraqis and used the Iraq state funds and the oil exports revenues to do what is called Iraq reconstruction and all they could present in documents and spending legal basics is financing about 1928 projects with value of 847 millions.
Controlling the oil production and its refunds
To talk about this issue we have to explain briefly the official practice in exporting the oil before the occupation. The oil export was done by the SOMO (State Oil Marketing Organization) by bidding and proposing according to predetermined contract conditions set by the Iraqi government. A specialist committee at SOMO studied the bids and approved them with some of the contracts according to agreements and contracts between Iraq and the associated countries. All the operations and the practices details were being presented to the oil minister and the associated departments and the presidency one by one.
The official contracts copies were being sent to the UN associated committee which was supervising the oil-for-food program with a cc to the National French Bank that collects the exporting process funds and sends letters and memos about them to the Iraqi government represented by the SOMO and the UN. Exporting oil away from the UN program was in the range of 100-200,000 barrel/day with special authorities for the oil minister and complete direct presidency supervision. In addition, oil was exported to Jordan according to the special UN approved protocol “to support the weak Jordan economy" and shipped by trailer tankers and its prices were very special - nearly without any profits. The former government decided to consider some of this oil as a gift to the Jordanian brothers and this continued all the blockade years until the date of aggression in which Jordan directly participated!!!
Stealing the Iraqi oil resources
The occupation had pre intentions and arrangements to rob Iraq and its resources. The Iraq petroleum experts association IPEA pointed out that after the fall of Baghdad and the lost of law and security the oil industry was out of control and the industry management could not prevent any illegal actions against the oil facilities. The mafia
(the criminal gangs) which came with the occupation or were constituted for this purpose found it very easy for crude oil and products smuggling operation and the coalition forces did not take any actions to stop these illegal practice operations. The association reported, in January 2004, that after a few days of the occupation, big quantities of crude oil from the Iraq southern fields were shipped by trailer tankers through the Iraqi, Kuwaiti borders. One of the Arab satellite TV stations showed a talk with Mr. Mahdi Badie who was one of the southern oil company officials in charge of the fields operation by that time. Badie was talking to the TV station rep. while a long convoy of tanker trailers was moving behind him. Badie was pointing with his hands saying that those trailers, filled with crude oil, were going to the unknown i.e. the direction of Al-Basrah - Safwan high way. At the same time some of the American armed personal carriers, filled with soldiers and guarding this convoy, were seen in the background. Now the question is how come that those unknown - as called - mafia could, at the mid of the big military operations, do this work and send such crude oil tankers convoy on the reverse way of the military equipment moving into Iraq? The association assured on its report that such smuggling operations continued for more than more than 3 months.
The IPEA said also that the smuggling mafia invented other ways for shipping the crude oil by installing small pumping units on the crude oil pipelines close to Al-Zubair bridge on Shat Al-Arab so that the small tanker ships can be filled and transfer the crude oil to bigger tankers outside Khor Al-Zubair. By that time all the marine ways in Khor Al-Zubair and Shat Al-Arab were under the control of the British troops and no small ships or boats could sail there without the complete supervision of those troops.
The association added that the crude oil smuggling operations have been video shot by same officials of the southern oil company who handed the tapes to the American and the British officials in Baghdad and Al-Basrah who said that they had more important issues than chasing the oil smugglers.
The IPEA said also that the petroleum products in the south were being smuggled in small ships (500-1000 tons) to the Gulf countries and Iran. Smuggling was also taking place across the Jordanian and the Syrian borders and the northern region in Iraq (Kurdistan). A lot of diesel fuel and LPG were being sent through those ports.
We all still remember the US troops on entering Baghdad when they were defending the ministry of oil and the related corporations in Baghdad, Mosul and the other important production areas. The Americans did not allow any looting or robbing as what happened to the other ministries' buildings. Defending those building was to keep the oil export contracts which were still valid and to know exactly the production rate before the war and the status of the wells in service and consequently get a broad idea about Iraq production capabilities in the present and in the future especially if we know that the public known daily rate does not include about half a million barrel exported through the borders away from the oil-for-food program.
Jay Gardner the former president of what is called The Coalition Provisional Authority started his work after the fall of Baghdad by forming a consultancy committee for the oil sector with the American Philip Carol as a president and Fadhel Uthman as the deputy president. This committee was responsible for oil from A to Z, production, processing and marketing. The committee got hold of all the oil industry important documents and took them to the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authorities. The aforementioned committee included also a number of other Americans and some Iraqis with American citizenship coming to Iraq with the coalition occupation forces. Philippe Carol is a former president and general manager of Shell Oil and a former president of Floior Engineering and Construction which works with Halliburton in Iraq reconstruction. Fadhel Uthman was working before as the marketing manager in the resolved Iraq Petroleum Company. Fadhel got also several positions in the ministry of oil before leaving Iraq in 1980 to live abroad. Tim Cross, the deputy president of the Coalition Provisional Authority, was directly supervising this committee until, later on, Paul Bremer became the direct supervisor of this committee. Jay Gardner employed the Iraqi Thamer Ghadhban, the current oil minister and the planning manager in the oil ministry before the war, as the executive manager of the oil ministry transient department and he continued in charge until forming the government of the interim governing council where Ibrahim Bahr El Uloum became the oil minister. The Coalition Provisional Authority, directed by Bremer employed Mohammed Al-Jubouri, the current commerce minister, as the general manager of the SOMO instead of its last manager Saddam Zain Al-Hassan who got arrested and detained.
Exporting oil by the coalition authority
By the end of March 2003 the coalition authority declared that it had set up the "Developing Fund for Iraq" supervised by the coalition authority and the transitional governing council to manage the Iraqi funds for Iraq rebuilding. The Iraqi oil export funds would be deposited in the above "Development Fund for Iraq" which would be managed by the coalition authority itself. Clearly this is different from the ""Development Fund for Iraq" which the UN formed recently to manage the donated funds for Iraq reconstruction.
Thamer Ghadhban, the Iraqi oil ministry supervisor, declared that Iraq was exporting about 700,000 barrel/day from the south after signing a lot of the long term contracts with a lot of international oil companies.
The coalition authority started, since June 2003, exporting the stored oil quantities, about 8 million barrels, which have been prepared by the former Iraqi government in the southern oil facilities. The exporting operations were being done this time directly for the first time and in unknown or posted rates. This oil was sold to American, British, Canadian and European companies like Chevron, Texaco, Shell, BP ,Total ……….etc. in addition to Asian companies from China and Japan. Thamer Ghadhban declared this in one of his press conferences and that was confirmed also by Mohamed Al-Jubouri - the current commerce minister who was employed by the occupation as the SOMO general manager. Unfortunately, Al-Jubouri was a member of Al-Ba’ath party and the government spent a lot to prepare him technically and practically but what to say about the people who color their skin according to the surrounding environment. Ghadhban confirmed also that in July 2004 they started the Iraqi oil, prepared before the occupation, exporting through the Turkish port Qihan and this quantity was 10 million barrel and was being shipped to American and European companies. By that time Iraq started also exporting the officially declared quantity which was 700,000 barrel/day when Thamer Ghadhban declared, as the oil ministry supervisor at that time, that Iraq started exporting about 700,000 barrels/day and may increase to 1 million barrel/day. These oil exporting operations enable Iraq get big revenues and if we considered that they started by the end of June or the beginning of July 2003 then till the end of December 2004 the funds collected should have been 40 billion dollars for exporting rate of 2 million barrel/day according to the declared figures all that period and these funds are calculated at the minimum rate or 37 dollars/barrel but if the rates successive shifts are considered which reached 50 dollars during the same period, the revenues, for sure, would have increased to about 50 billion dollars for the same exporting rate of 2 million barrel/day.
So many questions arise here …..Where did all these funds go?
Why are oil exporting and contracting jobs done in such secret way and according to an abnormal practice not controlled by any usual or ordinary practice or procedures?
How are the oil export funds transferred and for whom? And why are those funds held by the American? Who has the right to known the way of managing these funds? And why has no portion of these funds been used to rehabilitate the Iraqi oil industry which was in need of 13 billion dollars to raise the Iraqi oil production to its previous rate of 3.5 million barrel/day according to the ex Iraqi government technical study which was supported and appreciated by the Americas and Thamer Ghadhban, the current oil minister, on many occasions.
The Iraqi government and the American administration are day and night yelling for funds for Iraq despite all these, continuously duplicating, and funds. Simply these funds are a subject for theft and embezzlement.
So many questions deserve several trials to find the answers. So many parties have already participated and still are stealing the Iraqi oil revenues. The Americans are the first accused party because of the departments they set up in Iraq and because of their employees and co-operators like the buried interim governing council ministers and the officials they employed to run the ministry of oil. The Interim government commanded by Negroponte and a big list of opportunists, brokers, spies and traitors all are participating in these steeling and criminal operations.