Travis Morrison 0

Petition For Economic Independence of Iraq

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The events in Iraq have me deeply torn. Saddam Hussein deserves nothing less than to be removed from power. The current freedoms of the Kurdish people and the recent weapons inspections are, and were, depressingly dependent on foreign military threat. I do not want my country to indefinitely fly air cover for the Kurds, nor do I want to have the American military always having to ensure that inspections are possible. However, I do not trust the current American administration and its motivations. I am worried that this war will provide a cover for American oil interests to drive a stake deep into a nation\'s natural resources when said country at its most vulnerable and chaotic. Because of this, I have very serious reservations about this war. I would like to think we are doing the Iraqi people a favor but it is not obvious that we will. Because of this, I believe that one of the first priorities for the occupying forces\' governments is the establishment of a nationalized Iraqi oil company, the profits of which will be 100% dedicated towards the rebuilding of Iraq. Two functioning examples of this kind of thing are the Norwegian oil company Statoil, and the tax breaks and royalties enjoyed by the citizens of the state of Alaska because of oil revenues. I don\'t necessarily know if those approaches are the right ones for Iraq, but I know the principle involved is inarguable and we can learn from examining both approaches. Iraq is not a backwards country and there are people there that can run an oil industry. They don\'t need Mobil or Total Fina Elf or Lukoil to do it for them. Someday, after we are gone, Iraq may decide to privatize their oil industry, but that is their decision to make when the people of that nation have a real say in it. It will be none of our business. Furthermore, all international debts owed by the Saddam Hussein regime--for example, the weapons bought from Russia--should be cancelled. This includes American debts. I will stay abreast of this issue, and it will color my voting decisions in the future. It is perhaps the single most important issue facing American international policy right now, even more important than the war itself. If we do anything less than establish beyond a doubt that Iraqi oil is for the Iraqis to profit from, then we lose all credibility, and we bring upon ourselves endless trouble. I don\'t presume to know what our administration\'s plans are. Perhaps they intend to implement this very idea. But the public silence on the issue must be broken, and so I am signing this petition. Don\'t blow it, President Bush.

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