By Antonia Juhasz and Raed Jarrar
"While debate rages in the United States about the military in Iraq, an equally important decision is being made inside Iraq - the future of its oil. A draft Iraqi law proposes to open the country's currently nationalized oil system to foreign corporate control. But emblematic of the flawed promotion of "democracy" by the administration of US President George W Bush, this new law is news to most Iraqi politicians.
A leaked copy of the proposed hydrocarbon law appeared on the Internet at the same time that it was introduced to the Iraqi Council of Ministers (cabinet). The law is expected to go to the Iraqi Council of Representatives within weeks. Yet the Internet version was the first look that most members of Iraq's Parliament had of the new law......
Many Iraqi oil experts are already referring to the draft law as the "Split Iraq Fund", arguing that it facilitates plans for splitting Iraq into three ethnic/religious regions. The experts believe that the law undermines the central government and shifts important decision-making and responsibilities to the regional entities. This shift could serve as the foundation for establishing three new independent states, which is the goal of a number of separatist leaders........"