The population of Iraq want some say in how their country's oil reserves are developed. We must support them.
By John Hilary
".....A unique public opinion survey has just been published which asked respondents from all sections of Iraqi society whether they feel the country's oil sector should be opened up to development by multinationals such as Shell, BP and Exxon, or kept under the control of Iraqi public sector companies instead. Eight in 10 believed that wise use of Iraq's oil could still provide some prosperity for them and their children in the future. Yet, more tellingly, two in three respondents said they wanted to see the country's oil kept under Iraqi control rather than see it opened up to foreign companies. And that view is shared across all ethnic and sectarian groups......
The battle over Iraqi oil lays bare the motives behind the US-led invasion in 2003 and our continuing occupation of the country four years on. Yet if our own political leaders wish to maintain their supposed commitment to democracy in Iraq, they must respect the Iraqi people's opposition to foreign takeover of their oil wealth. Hassan Juma'a, president of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, visited London last month to pledge his union's commitment to an ongoing campaign against the theft of Iraq's oil wealth. The least we can do is support the Iraqi people's right to dissent."