Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

In Thy Seed: a book for Jews, Christians, Muslims

November 28, 2007
'In Thy Seed': The Scriptures Revisited: Genesis of the Middle East Imbroglio
‘In Thy Seed’: The Scriptures Revisited: Genesis of the Middle East Imbroglio by Abdul Malik (Paperback – Jul 9, 2007)
Buy new: $20.99    2 Used & new from $20.99

Get it by Thursday, Nov 29 if you order in the next 11 hours and choose one-day shipping.

Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

Editorial Reviews
The book is divided into six parts. Part I deals with the origins, composition and structure of the Bible, and Part II discusses some core beliefs. Part III examines some of the key Biblical texts from a new perspective, while Part IV gives essential points about Islam. Part V highlights other relevant issues, with Part VI dealing with the historical background and long relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The book thus covers a wide canvas, but does not lose sight of its central theme. Biblical quotes are from the King James’ Authorised Version, the oldest English text. Later translations have been avoided as they give edited texts or fresh meanings, which only complicate matters. Quotes appear in the text instead of as Footnotes or Chapter Notes. The Bibliography at the end will assist the reader in undertaking further study.”

About the Author

The author received his early education at missionary schools. He was familiar with many Christian concepts when, under Pope John-Paul II the Vatican called for a dialogue with other religions. As part of this initiative, in 1979-80 the author was invited as a lay Muslim to deliver a series of talks on Islam to some Roman Catholic nuns. This led him to look at the Bible from a Muslim perspective, and his interest grew as he learnt more about the misconceptions and historical factors that have alienated Christians from Islam. The impact of this on world events prompted further study and reflection, the results of which appeared partly as some press articles in 1998. Notes made during the study in more than a quarter of a century have now been updated and are presented in this book.

In Thy Seed looks at the Bible from a completely new angle, and also discusses some related aspects to help clarify the issues. Though the author presents his findings from the point of view of a Muslim, he does it in a spirit of conciliation and to promote understanding.

Developments following 9/11 make such a work both relevant and urgent, and it is hoped that the book will contribute to developing a better relationship among the worlds great monotheistic faiths and bring them closer. Different branches of the same tree, they count around one half of the worlds population as their adherents, and can together bring harmony and peace to a troubled world.

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (July 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0973368799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0973368796
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

November 27, 2007

At Least 7 of the 9/11
Hijackers are Still Alive

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

The muscle hijackers ‘picked by bin Ladin’:

Satam al Suqami, Wail and Waleed al Shehri (two brothers) Both Alive, Abdul Aziz al Omari Alive, Fayez Banihammad (from the UAE), Ahmed al Ghamdi, Hamza al Ghamdi, Mohand al Shehri Alive, Saeed al Ghamdi Alive, Ahmad al Haznawi, Ahmed al Nami Alive, Majed Moqed, and Salem al Hazmi Alive (the brother of Nawaf al Hazmi).

How can the 9/11 Commission be taken seriously when they refer to alive ‘hijackers’?

American Airlines Flight 11
Boeing 767-223ER. Fuel capacity 24,000 gallons

Seating Capacity 181
81 passengers (including hijackers)
9 flight attendants, 2 pilots

Alleged hijackers:

Original hijacker list Final named hijackers
Mohamed Atta
Adnan Bukhari
Ameer Bukhari

Abdul Alomari
Amer Kamfar
Mohamed Atta
Waleed M. Alshehri – Alive
Wail M. Alshehri – Alive

Abdulaziz Alomari – Alive
Satam M.A. Al Suqami

Full details

Scheduled flight: Boston – Los Angeles

Flight departed 07:59 a.m.

Crashed into WTC 1 08:46 a.m.

American Airlines Flight 11, Reexamined

United Airlines Flight 175
Boeing 767-222. Fuel capacity 24,000 gallons

Seating Capacity 181
56 passengers (including hijackers)
7 flight attendants, 2 pilots

Alleged hijackers:

Marwan Al-Shehhi
Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad
Ahmed Alghamdi
Hamza Alghamdi
Mohand Alshehri – Alive

Full details

Scheduled flight: Boston – Los Angeles

Flight departed 08:14 a.m.

Crashed into WTC2 09:03 a.m.

American Airlines Flight 77
Boeing 757-223. Fuel capacity 11,000 gallons

Seating Capacity 200
58 passengers (including hijackers)
4 flight attendants, 2 pilots

Alleged hijackers:

Original hijacker list (ph)
[CNN 9/14/2001]
Final named hijackers
Cammid Al-Madar
Majar Mokhed
Salem Al Hazni
Nawar Al Hazni
Mosear Caned
Khalid Almihdhar – Alive?
Majed Moqed
Salem Alhazmi – Alive
Nawaf Alhazmi
Hani Hanjour

Full details

Scheduled flight: Washington to Los Angeles Flight departed 08:20 a.m.

Crashed into the Pentagon 09:38 a.m.

Dulles Airport is ~20 miles from the Pentagon. Why would terrorists intent on hitting the Pentagon chance a round trip of hundreds of miles?

United Airlines Flight 93
Boeing 757-222. Fuel capacity 11,000 gallons

Seating Capacity 200
38 passengers (including hijackers)
5 flight attendants, 2 pilots

Alleged hijackers:

Saeed Alghamdi – Alive
Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi
Ahmed Alnami – Alive
Ziad Samir Jarrah

Full details

Scheduled flight: Newark to San Francisco

Flight departed 8:42 a.m. (delayed 41 mins)

Crashed in Pennsylvania 10:06 a.m.

Flight 93 was delayed, so why didn’t the hijackers head straight for Washington to make up time?

9/11 Airport Surveillance Video Discrepancies

The story that the hijackers used box-cutters and plastic knives in the attack on the World Trade Center is a functional fictoid. In this case, the function was diversion. This fictoid serves to divert public attentions from the responsibility, and legal liability, of the government and airlines to prevent major weapons- such as guns, bombs, chemical sprays and hunting knives from being carried aboard airplanes. If such illegal devices had been smuggled aboard the planes, the liability could amount to billions of dollars. If, on the other hand, it could be disseminated that the hijackers had only used plastic knives, such as those provided by the airlines for meals, or box cutters, which were allowed on planes, neither the airlines, the screeners at the airport, or the FAA, which regulates the safety of airports, could be held legally responsible. [Full Details]

A lingering question is why the passenger loads on the four planes hijacked in U.S. skies are being described by industry officials as “very, very low.” … Through July, airlines in the United States reported flights on average were 71 percent capacity this year. [CNN 9/20/2001]

The total passenger seating capacity of the four 9/11 airliners was 762 people. There are 229 passengers and crew members on the four death lists issued by CNN (although this figure varies). The total number of passengers on the four airliners was only 26 percent of capacity.

Several major news organizations wrongly identified at least four pilots of Middle Eastern descent as likely hijackers. Two of the wrongly suspected pilots had Arabic names similar to those of two dead hijackers. A pilot living next door to one of them became a third wrong suspect. A pilot with the same last name became the fourth wrong suspect — even though he’d been dead for a year. [Wall Street Journal]

The BBC reported a transcript of a phone call made by Flight Attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney to Boston air traffic controls in which she gave the seat numbers occupied by the hijackers, and these seat numbers did not correspond with those of the men claimed by the FBI to be responsible for the hijacking:

The FBI has named five hijackers on board Flight 11, whereas Ms Sweeney spotted only four. Also, the seat numbers she gave were different from those registered in the hijackers’ names. [BBC News]

CNN reported that the men who hijacked the aircraft used phony IDs containing the names of real people living in Arab nations in the middle east.

The Saudi Airlines pilot, Saeed Al-Ghamdi, 25, and Abdulaziz Al-Omari, an engineer from Riyadh, are furious that the hijackers’ “personal details” – including name, place, date of birth and occupation – matched their own. [Telegraph]

The FBI says there is no evidence to link the above men to the 9/11 hijackings.

In September 2002, [FBI Director Robert Mueller] told CNN twice that there is “no legal proof to prove the identities of the suicidal hijackers.” [Insight]

So, one fact is apparent. If those who hijacked the 9/11 airplanes were using stolen identities, then we don’t know who they were or who they worked for. We can’t. It’s impossible.

A Saudi embassy official said it was difficult to know for certain whether the hijackers used bogus names. “You cannot throw a stone in Saudi Arabia without hitting an Al Ghamdi,” he said, referring to the alleged last name of three of the hijackers. [Chicago Tribune]

Now, people who are intending to commit suicide normally don’t worry about whether anyone knows their real name, and it is here that some other odd aspects of this case take on a new meaning.

We are told that the group that planned and carried out the 9/11 attacks were highly trained (possibly by the CIA) experts, with knowledge of how to steal identities and forge fake IDs, yet at the same time we are being told that these men were incapable of correctly filling in US visa applications.

We are also being told that they spent the night before the attack getting drunk in bars, making noise, screaming insults at the “infidels”, and doing everything they could to attract attention to themselves. They used the credit cards issued in their stolen names, allowed their driver’s licenses with the stolen names to be photocopied, and used public library computers to send emails back and forth using their stolen names signed to unencrypted messages about their plans to steal aircraft and crash them into buildings, then decorated their apartments with absurdly obvious props such as a crop dusting manual to the point where the whole affair reads like a low budget “B” detective movie from the 1930s.

In short, these men did everything they could to make sure everyone knew who they were, or more to the point, who they were pretending to be.

Because the IDs used by the hijackers were phony, we cannot know who they really were or who they really worked for. But what is apparent is that those who planned the hijackings and the 9/11 attacks went out of their way to leave plenty of clues pointing to citizens of middle eastern Arab nations.

Many of the investigators believe that some of the initial clues that were uncovered about the terrorists’ identities and preparations, such as flight manuals, were meant to be found. A former high-level intelligence official told me, “Whatever trail was left was left deliberately—for the F.B.I. to chase.” [The New Yorker]

We don’t know who planned 9/11 attacks.

But we do know who they wanted us to think they were.

We do know who they intended America to blame for the attacks.

Share speculators have failed to collect $2.5m (£1.7m) in profits made from the fall in the share price of United Airlines after the 11 September World Trade Centre attacks. The fact that the money is unclaimed more than a month later has re-awakened investigators’ interest in a story dismissed as coincidence. It may be that investors who were able to predict the share price crash so skilfully are reluctant to be seen profiting from tragedy. But investigators now wonder whether there is a more sinister explanation.

Click for full sized image

The authorities are examining the possibility that if they knew what was coming, traders were intent on taking their profits immediately, before regulators had woken up to any possible scam. But investors failed to foresee that the first response of the US stock markets to the disaster was to suspend all trading for four days, thereby denying them the chance of cashing in their profits. [Independent 10/14/01]

It just so happens that pre-9/11 insider trading leads to the CIA’s highest ranks.

Zionists are the masterminds of 9/11

November 27, 2007
Why do we believe Zionists
are the masterminds
 the September 11 attack?Let us count the reasons…
updated 13 April 2006

1) The Five Dancing Arabs

Five Arabs — dressed in Arab clothing — were seen celebrating after the World Trade Center towers were hit with airplanes.Later that day he police spotted their van and stopped the. The police discovered that they were Israeli army veterans, not Arabs.

Their Arab clothing was discovered in their van, along with box cutters and weapons, and their visas had expired, so they were in the country illegally. They were arrested and put in a federal jail in Brooklyn.

However, they were not investigated. Rather, they were released from jail and sent back to Israel. About 60 other young Israeli Jews were arrested in the weeks following the 9-11 attack. They were also sent back to Israel without any investigation. A3879-2001Nov22

Reports several months later claim that up to 200 young Israelis, some of them former members of military intelligence units, had been arrested and sent back to Israel without any investigation.
 • 2002/03/07/ixworld
 • article

You can watch 3 of the 5 dancing Israelis talking about this on Israeli television:
ForBollynsSpeech11Nov2006_DancingIsraelis.wmv  2.4 mb

This video excerpt is also at this page:

2) The Israeli spy ring

Carl Cameron, of Fox news, has a four-part investigation into an Israeli spy ring. The exposé was shown once, and then erased from the Fox web site, never to be seen again.You can watch Cameron’s video here:  (new link)

Since Cameron’s report is coming from a Zionist media company, they try to twist the story to make is appear as if the Israelis were spying on the evil Arabs terrorists who did 9/11.

Cameron’s program is what we refer to as “damage control”. Try to learn from this deception so that you don’t get fooled by it.

By spying on American military, FBI, and other officials, the Israelis would know how to avoid getting caught, and they could acquire blackmail material over the large number of immoral officials.

3) Larry Silverstein is a Zionist

Larry Silverstein was the landlord of Building 7, and he got control of the World Trade Center towers a few weeks before the attack. He quickly replaced some of the security and maintenance personnel. He is receiving billions of dollars in insurance money as a result of the 9-11 the attack.Silverstein announced on television that the fire department decided to demolish Building 7 rather than put out the fires. If you have not heard this video clip, please watch the video 9/11, A Closer Look, at this site:

Larry Silverstein and Benjamin Netanyahu are such close friends that Netanyahu would call Silverstein every Sunday:  itemNo=97338

Hufschmid explained the significance of Silverstein’s friends in a speech for a 9/11 conference in Italy:

4) Pentagon cannot account for $2.6 trillion

The accountants at the Pentagon claim that they cannot account for $2.6 trillion. The man at the top of this accounting mess is Dov Zakheim, a dual Israeli/American citizen.In testimony before the Congress, Donald Rumsfeld minimizes it as an innocent mistake:


I know Dr. Zakheim’s been trying to hire CPAs because the financial systems of the department are so snarled up that we can’t account for some $2.6 trillion in transactions that exist, if that’s believable. And yet we’re told that we can’t hire CPAs to help untangle it in many respects. 

And then he makes a joke about it:

REP. LEWIS: Thank you, Mr. Moran.Mr. Secretary, the first time and the last time that Dov Zackheim and I broke bread together, he told me he would have a handle on that 2.6 trillion by now. (Laughter.) But we’ll discuss that a little —SEC. RUMSFELD: He’s got a handle; it’s just a little hot. (Laughter.)

The transcript is here:

  5) The 9/11 attack follows a pattern

Israelis have been caught many times as they stage terrorist attacks and blame them on Arabs or Nazis. This is called “false flag” operations. We have a short video to explain “false flag opertions” at this page:
HowToHelp.htmlThe actual video is:

For more information on previous Israeli false flag operations:

• Zionists got caught after they blew up the King David Hotel chapter_5

• Zionists got caught in Egypt in 1954  lavon_affair
 • The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967

James Ennes interview
Wayne Kyle interview

• The Zionist boycott of German products in 1933 was intended to create anger towards Jews. This is a complex but very important issue; when you find the time, here are some articles to help you understand this:

Ben FreedmanSamuel Untermyer (updated with image from 1933 newspaper)

• A list of Zionist deceptions:

6) Israelis are suspected of instigating fights even today in Iraq

Who really was behind the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison? Take a look at the Israeli ties to the abuse at Abu Ghraib: is “John Israel”?

Do Iraqi’s have video cameras built into their rifles?

Who are the “contractors” in Iraq?

7) The media is controlled by Zionists

One the most important pieces of evidence that Zionists are the masterminds to almost all the world’s corruption is that they dominate the media of Europe, North America, and Australia.No crime network could get away with a crime as enormous as the September 11 attack unless they can suppress investigations and evidence.

The media executives must either be under the control of the crime network, or they must be part of the crime network. 

Some people claim that the media companies are helpless victims of a mysterious, nebulous group called the Globalists, or the New World Order, or the Illuminati.

However, until somebody can identify these mysterious people and explain how they force media companies around the world to cover up horrendous crimes, it makes more sense to assume that the media is directly involved in these crimes, and they are among the top members of this criminal network.

The most logical explanation is that the Zionists are promoting other Zionists to top positions in the government, media, banking, Hollywood, and education. The more Zionists they promote, the easier it is for them to take control of the nation and suppress evidence of their network.

• Zionist Power Structure In America chapter_7

• One of many lists of Jews:

The Zionists remove complaints about them, or they condemn critical remarks as “anti-Semitic”. For example, did you know that President Truman was irritated by Zionists:

Truman was pushed into helping Israel get established. Here is a brief description of Israel’s history to help you understand why Truman was irritated:

8) Zionists have a world-wide network

Millions of dollars of profit were made from suspicious stock trades. The governments of America, Europe, and Japan announced plans to investigate in order to determine who the investors were. However, every investigation was terminated.When looking for the crime network behind the September 11 attack, we must find a network that has tremendous influence in many nations. Does the Bush family have this much control over the world? Does **** Cheney? Does any Italian crime gang?

The only group that seems to have a network this large are the Zionists. The Zionists have been setting up organizations around the world since their movement became officially established in 1897. For example:

• The Zionist Federation of Australia

• In the UK

• In Hungary

9) Most of the 9/11 truth seekers are Zionists

Jews make up a small portion of America and Europe, and Zionist Jews are an even smaller percentage, but they dominate the 9/11 truth movement. Could this be because Zionists are more interested in exposing the 9/11 crime? Smith thinks not.It is more likely because they are trying to fool people into thinking that they are the truth seekers, when in reality they are diverting everybody’s attention away from Israel and onto Bush, Cheney, the CIA, and a few military leaders.

Please consider that the people you trust to expose corruption, such as Amy Goodman (of Democracy Now), Alex Jones (, Webster Tarpley (author of 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA), Dave von Kleist (The PowerHour radio show), and hundreds or thousands of others are deceiving us.

Why would those people lie? Here is an introduction:
To get away with crimes, pretend to be a crime fighter

Examples of Truth Seekers who are Zionists:
Crypto Zionists
What are Handlers?

10) Most people pushing UFOs are Zionists

Zionists promote a lot of idiotic theories, such as the idea that the airplanes that hit the World Trade Center towers were either holograms or illusions created by blue screen technology.This is evidence that they are trying to send people down the wrong path, and create the impression that conspiracy theories are stupid.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to figure out who among us has been fooled into believing these idiotic theories; who is deliberately lying about them; and who has been threatened, bribed, or blackmailed into promoting them. Examples are Morgan Reynolds and Jimmy Walter:
The Bovine Gas Theory
Jimmy Walter promotes Blue Screens

Another example is a person who calls himself Ghostwolfemoon. He posts messages on the Internet. One of his recent messages promotes UFOs:
US astronauts spotted UFO’s on moon???

And in this message he promotes Alex Jones, Bob Bowman, and the theory that Cheney is the main suspect for 9/11:
Cheney main 9-11 suspect????

Jeff Rense promotes UFO theories on a regular basis. One of his most recent:
Were US astronauts ordered not to report UFOs & aliens?

11) AIPAC and Jack Abramoff

Does Jack Abramoff — another Zionist — merely provide Israel with influence over America? Or did he assist with the 9/11 attack?Daniel Hopsicker thinks so; he reported that days before the 9/11 attack, Mohamed Atta and several other alleged hijackers were invited on Abramoff’s casino boats:

If this accusation turns out to be true, this is evidence that the hijackers were patsies for the Zionists. Furthermore, Abramoff’s connections with AIPAC, Tom delay, and other people should be investigated.

Professor Cole describes Jack Abramoff’s “charity” as a front for Zionist terrorism.

Of course, Daniel Hopsicker is like many of the “9/11 truth seekers”; specifically, he provides some valuable information, but tries to convince us that everything is the fault of the Bush administration or CIA.

12) Goyim are the victims, not Zionists

News reports frequently remind us that Arabs and Iranians are determined to destroy Israel. For example:,7340,L-3239476,00.htmlHowever, most of their victims are other Arabs, or goyim from America and Britain. Why don’t the Arabs attack Israelis? Why don’t they attack American Zionists

For example, the Syrians are blamed for killing Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister of Lebanon:

However, the crater from this car bomb is a sign that the bomb was actually underground, not in a car:
 – Bollyn-Hariri-Feb2005.html
 – Bollyn-Hariri-Nov2006.html

On October 15, 2003, another large bomb destroyed a car, supposedly with CIA agents inside:

It also excavated a crater that has the telltale signs of the bomb that was underground:

Have you seen the enormous crater from the 1996 “truck bomb” at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed US Military personnel: does Al Qaeda do this?
If you believe the Arabs are doing this with car bombs, please look at this “Science Challenge” and pass it to college students:

And if you think this is going to stop anytime soon, please read this, and think about it:

We do not yet have enough people who care. Will we in the future? Only if you can help us find more people who are tired of the corruption.

More information on the Zionist connection in our interviews, such as this one with Christopher Bollyn:

Standing up to Italian crime gangs is not anti-Italian; standing up to American crime gangs is not anti-American; and standing up to homosexuals who have been blackmailed over their homosexuality is not anti-homosexual.So don’t be fooled into thinking that standing up to Zionist crime gangs is anti-Semitic!

When you are ready to stop being a victim of crime networks, join with us by helping to educate people.

And prepare to fight this criminal network:

Prepare for the Battle

What Does Iraq’s New Hydrocarbon Law say About the War?

April 19, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

What Does Iraq’s New Hydrocarbon Law say About the War?


On May 28th, Amman Jordan is set to play host to a 3 day economic trade show, a corporate meet and greet between powerful, well moneyed investors and those who the guard the gates of vital decision making government ministries in the perilous but oil rich place called Iraq.

On its website, ‘The Iraq Development Program’, loosely defined organizers, call the
Jordan gathering “historic” and “landmark”. Officially titled an Oil, Gas, Petrochemical & Electricity Summit, the three days of face to face meetings could impact Iraq’s economic future for years to come.

Efforts to contact IDP directly and understand the origin of their funding and purpose were not successful, but the group’s stated mission is to “aid Iraq as an economic force.”

The Iraq Development Program’s web page says ‘following declaration of new foreign investment laws for the extractive industries, noting that the government is now finalizing its new hydrocarbon laws’ to which promoters of the event say “the timing of this summit could not be better.

Iraq’s new oil- hydrocarbon law, and the push to see it quickly passed, has begun to raise serious questions among observers and critics.

The Iraqi cabinet approved the hydrocarbon law on February 26th and sent it on to Parliament where it now sits. If fully approved, Iraq’s oil reserves would be opened to investment from foreign multinational oil companies. The current legislation would also provide oil companies the option for long term contracts of up to 30 years. The laws would set up a Profit Sharing Agreements or PSA’s arrangement, where revenue is based on the profit after oil companies’ deduct their production costs. Reportedly, remaining profits would then be divided among the Iraqi provinces.

Critics charge the law offers excessive and unfair profits to the oil companies. Others worry that since Iraq is now a country experiencing horrific turmoil, the time is not right to debate such important economic legislation..

Supporters of the oil law disagree. They say the regulatory, legal and tax structure the oil law sets up, will invite the necessary outside investment the country needs to jump start its economy. They see the law as an enabler of market based economic infrastructure that will produce streams of revenue, helping restore stability and prosperity for the Iraqi people.

In the background, outspoken opponents of the war, say the push for such a law is evidence that that the war had more to do with gaining access to oil than what the public was told.

“This story raises so many more questions than it answer” said Dr. Louay Bahry, Adjunct scholar of Public Policy at the non partisan Middle East Institute in Washington D.C.“As I read it, these foreign companies are fighting to get to Iraqi oil” said Dr. Bahry noting such practices would be new.

On Background, oil company representatives were clear about hopes to enter Iraq but stressed security, democracy and an oil law that included investment incentives are necessary.

PSA’s are a primary incentive of the oil laws.. According to the International Energy Agency, 12 percent of the world’s oil reserves are subject to Profit Sharing Agreements.
“This would completely break from normal practice in the region where all the major oil producing industries are in the public sector” said Greg Mutitt, co director of the British research and watchdog organization, Platform London. Mutitt said
Iraq would be the only major Middle Eastern oil producing nation where production is controlled by foreign companies.
Platform London’s “Unraveling the Carbon Web” project states that it seeks to reduce the environmental and social impact of oil corporations and help citizens gain a say in decisions that affect them.

According to Muttit, oil companies have been lobbying hard to get what they want in Iraq by working with both the
US and UK governments, and through the International Tax and Investment Center.

Mutitt, who authored a chapter in a new book called “A Game as Old as the Empire” says that ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and ENI funded ITIC’s efforts at influencing the oil legislation in

Founded in 1993, after the fall of the former
Soviet Union, The International Tax and Investment Center is a Washington D.C non profit research and education foundation with some of the world’s largest corporations as sponsors. Co chair’s of the organization are former Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering and The Rt. Hon Lord Walker, MBE, PC, former UK Secretary of Trade and Industry.

“Our purpose is to improve tax and investment regimes” said Daniel Witt, President of the ITIC in Washington DC. The organization works with economies in transition and according to
Witt, Iraq fit that profile perfectly.

Witt says the challenge in Iraq was, how to attract investment where there is no stable economic infrastructure? In
Iraq, ITIC commissioned a number of experts and looked at contract and fiscal options in the petroleum sector.

“Make no mistake, donor money is important in transition periods” said Witt.

But, he says both the oil companies and the people of
Iraq, stand to benefit from ITIC’s recommendations.

In 2004 ITIC published its Petroleum and Iraq’s Future: Fiscal Options and Challenges report that said every $1 increase in oil sales may translate into an extra $2 for the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The report said the Iraqi government should write legislation that will create a framework where resources, rent and risk are shared between the investor, consistent with underlying economic potential and drawing on current industry norms and best practice.

The study says that profits based systems tend to align parties toward common objectives.

Beyond rebuilding the country, oil company representatives say Iraqi oil plays another necessary role, meeting the world’s energy demands.

“Given the scale of Iraq’s resources and ambitions, we find it hard to see a future in which production of these resources will not play a significant role in meeting the global energy challenge” said a representative from Shell International in London this past March 29th.

But a number of critics worry the Iraqi people will be short changed. Some Iraqis see the oil companies as trying to gain partial ownership of the country’s primary source of revenue.

“These laws give these foreign oil companies the right to actually have shared ownership of the oil” said Raed
Jarrar, Iraq Project Consultant with The American Friends Committee.

Jarrar says that since the laws do not set any limits of the percentage shared, over the next 30 years or so, the PSAs could cost Iraq billions of dollars.

Privatization proponents disagree, arguing that Iraqis will maintain ultimate control over their reserves of oil while benefiting from world market trends.

According to Daniel Witt at International Tax and Investment Center, “as oil prices go up or down, you have these dynamics in the contracts but Iraq is not surrendering sovereign rights” over the oil he said.

In 1972, Iraq nationalized all assets of the country’s private oil consortium, the Iraq Petroleum Company, or IPC, after years of disagreements over revenue. In the past, Iraq relied on oil for up to 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings. According to a CIA memo that same year, Iraq’s move to nationalize was the result of 11 years of tensions that resulted from the IPC’s refusal to satisfy Iraq’s demands for back payments it claimed the consortium owed. The Iraq Petroleum Company, or IPC, included French, Dutch, British and United States oil firms including British Petroleum, Shell, Mobil, Standard and Compagnie Francaise des Petroles. Nationalization meant that one hundred percent of oil revenues went directly to the central government, a move that many in the Middle East saw as a move towards greater economic self determination, a step that stood to benefit the Iraqi people directly through social programs, healthcare an education. Nationalization set’s up a system whereby foreign oil companies buy oil from the state, under the state’s terms.The move set the stage whereby Western oil companies, and the powerful economies they supply, found themselves in even more vulnerable positions, subject to the whims of oil rich countries.

The Central Intelligence Agency 1972 memo expressed its displeasure calling the move “sudden and dramatic.”

Some say that multi national oil interests have been anxious to get back to Iraq ever since.

Public debate over the law, both in Iraq and the
United States, has remained hidden beneath front pages filled with daily death and destruction.

According to Greg Muttit at Platform London the majority of
Iraq’s citizens have no idea that this important law is being discussed.

“Most Iraqi’s would be extremely angry about this if anyone had bothered to tell them this was being done” he said.

He says that those who are, MPs, trade unions and oil experts, are actively organizing against it.

“The oil companies and governments are planning to take advantage of the occupation and the general weak position of Iraqi state institutions to push through deals on highly profitable terms, at the expense of the Iraqi people” said Muttit.

A few Iraqi political leaders have raised opposition.

A March 13th, “Voices of Iraq” report said Iraqi National Slate Party member Hussein al-Fallui was arguing that it was not the right time to be dealing with the issue.

“Socio-political and security circumstances do not allow such a step now, as the draft would allow investment companies to re-wield power over Iraqi oil” Falluji told Parliament according to the “VOI” report.

ITIC’S Daniel Witt disagrees, saying the time is right to invite new investment that will re start the stalled economy.

“Given the lack of infrastructure needed to jump start the economy, and get investment in now, verses waiting 10 or 15 years so they (the Iraqis) can debate these laws til kingdom come” he said.

But some have questioned whether the law takes into account
Iraq’s reality on the ground.. They worry about tensions that might arise between the various, deeply divided provinces once the market system is in place.

Dr. Louay Bahry says there is a great deal of opposition from both the sunnis and shite regarding the law. He says the Kurds, who apparently offer the most support, would prefer total freedom, and see revenue from their region go directly to them.

“When it comes to revenue sharing, the law is not clear how exactly that is going to happen” said Dr. Louday Bahryl.

He says that 80 percent of the country’s oil specialists have fled the country.

“We have so many oil specialists from Iraq, but they are no longer there” he said.

Raed Jarrar goes further, saying the law will exacerbate those divisions. He calls the law a marriage of convenience between the Bush Administration and Iraqi separatists who are monopolizing power within the Iraqi government.

“The oil law threatens the concept of a unified Iraq’s existence” because the law “decentralizes” most of the important authority of signing oil contracts he said.

The recent surge by American troops h as raised eyebrows as some ask whether the increase is an attempt to buy time so outside oil interests can have a chance to gain a greater foothold over the direction of the fragile economy.

An April 5th analysis report in “Iraq Updates” by UPI’s Pamela Hess, said US officials are planning “a range of options to maintain the troop increase, from late summer through early spring 2008” whereby the hope is to quell the violence long enough in Iraq for the nascent government to address some of the ‘underlying causes of the conflict, including the oil wealth sharing law.

Supporters of Iraq’s current hydrocarbon law cross both sides of the American political spectrum. They see the law as not only as business friendly, but a chance to bring Iraq into the world marketplace which they believe will foster democracy.

“The only way to fuel economic growth is through an engine of private sector investment” and “the sad part is, advocating state run equals slower economic growth which also equals slower improvement in quality of life” said Daniel Witt.

Recommendations 62 and 63 of Baker/Hamilton Iraqi Study Group recommends that the United States assist the Iraqi in drafting an oil law that helps privatize the industry and encourages investment.

One of the Study Group’s members, Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta plugged the law in an April 4th “New York Times” op-ed.

In the article, Panetta listed the eventual approval of Iraq’s oil law as one of a number of steps the Iraqis could take to encourage democracy and achieve national reconciliation.

In his April 3rd Rose Garden Press conference, President Bush told reporters he had spoken to Iraq’s Prime Minister about the ‘oil law’ earlier.

In a March 27th speech to the Washington Institute’s Public Policy forum, David Satterfield, a Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, called the national hydrocarbon law part of the Bush Administration’s “New Way Forward” in Iraq.  On March 3, 2007, US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad wrote in the “Washington Post” that the national hydrocarbon law “is a significant achievement for Iraqi’s national reconciliation.”The Bush Administration appears to have been interested in an oil law friendly to foreign investment since the invasion began in 2003. But, some have pointed to clues that a push to gain easy access to Iraq’s oil has been underway for years.In 1999, Vice President Dick Cheney, while still CEO of Halliburton, said in a speech to the Institute of Petroleum that the “Middle East, with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.”In 2003, four months after the March invasion had begun, The US Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Mc Lean Virginia consulting firm Bearing Point, a nine million dollar contract to support activities and policies undertaken by the Coalition Provisional Authority, designed to create a competitive private sector.Platform London’s Carbon Web wrote in July 2006, that the US government had hired advisers from Bearing Point to help in drafting the oil law. Bearing Point spokesperson Steve Lunceford said the firm was doing what it has done in the past in places like Kosovo and Poland, providing assistance in the review of a number of economic policy efforts.

“This included providing a single expert that consulted to the government on its oil industry” said Lunceford this past week.

“Note, this does not equal ‘drafting’ the proposed hydrocarbon law” he wrote in an email message.

Some Invasion opponents see Bearing Point’s role in helping draft the law, as part of a bridge of suggestive evidence that crosses over to the controversial period before the war, when talk of how to gain control over Iraq’s oil was quietly bubbling in pockets around the world, primarily the United States and Britain In his 2002 “American Prospect” profile of Ahmed Chalabi, America’s original choice for a high leadership position in a new Iraq, Robert Dreyfus offers a snapshot of alleged oil ambition playing a role in an eventual invasion.Dreyfus’ story quotes former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James E. Akins as saying conservative think tanks and multinationals have denationalization in mind, and the parceling of “Iraqi oil out to American oil companies.”

Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi National Congress, had allegedly met with US oil company officials and guaranteed lucrative contracts if the US overthrew Saddam Hussein.

According to the “American Prospect” 2002 story, when asked about such meetings one US oil executive said “I can’t discuss that, even on background.”Later, in a July 2003 interview with PBS television program FRONTLINE, Chalabi admitted being “close” to Bush Administration members Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith confirming he’d had easy access to Vice President Cheney’s office. When confronted by FRONTLINE with a direct quote from the “London Observer” where he assured US oil companies lucrative contracts for removing Saddam, Chalabi said “no, that’s not true” arguing he’d said Iraq’s oil needed investment to increase production.

Leading back to present day, where a number of observers and invasion opponents allege that the hydrocarbon law, and the contracts it encourages, lend evidence to the “blood for oil” charge as Green Party Chairman Jim Coplen did in a March 5th press release.

The hydrocarbon law’s supporters caution against making such allegations.

Of those who attempt to draw correlations between the new hydrocarbon law and the motive for the invasion, Daniel Witt at ITIC says “they are trying to connect dots that aren’t there” arguing such controversial theory provides a platform to advance their long stated objectives.

“They have a fundamentally different view of the world than me” but “history has proven that people are better off with economic growth.”



The Energy Wars

March 6, 2007

The Energy Wars

The rise of a new global energy elite means high oil and gas prices are here to stay.


By Michael Hirsh


Updated: 3:19 a.m. ET May 7, 2006

May 3, 2006 – It is a mantra of the globalization crowd. In today’s global economy, we are told, all that really matters is which country produces the best brains and skills. The world is flat, after all. The playing field is leveled. Wrong, wrong and wrong. What also matters, we are learning, is who controls the world’s energy resources. Evo Morales’s abrupt decision earlier this week to nationalize Bolivia’s natural-gas industry was only the latest worrisome move in a long-term trend. Morales, a leftist elected president last December, was apparently influenced by a meeting he had in Havana last Saturday with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who’s rocketed to international prominence by doing much the same thing to his country’s oil industry. President Chavez, sitting atop his growing pile of petrodollars, has gleefully thumbed his nose at Washington’s efforts to rein him in. Similarly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is defiantly enriching uranium and sneering at Western threats of sanctions. And he obviously thinks he can, perhaps because no one is threatening to cut off Iran’s oil exports as part of the forthcoming sanctions plan.

The would-be czar of this new global energy elite is Vladimir Putin. Having spent the better part of his six years in office wresting control of his nation’s vast oil and gas resources, the Russian president is now playing a brass-knuckle game of power politics. When Putin partially cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and therefore to Western Europe in the first three days of the year—mainly to bully Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko into taking a lower price—the European Union went into a state of near panic. According to the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels, by 2020 the Western Europeans are expected to get half their gas from Russia, which commands 28 percent of world gas reserves, more than any country in the world. Suddenly the Europeans realized there weren’t that many alternative suppliers. Putin’s Kremlin-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom, has hired German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, as a consultant. Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev admitted at an economic forum earlier this month that even Britain’s flagship utility, Centrica, should be considered a potential takeover target. “With our present financial strength, it is very difficult to find a company which is not on our watch list,” he said.

What does all this geostrategic strutting have to do with soaring prices at the gas pump? For one thing, the uncertainty created by Iran, Iraq and Venezuela has added a $10-$20 risk premium to the price of oil per barrel, according to Wall Street analysts. The politics of energy also doesn’t bode well for future prices, as U.S. Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman seemed to suggest last weekend when he said Americans might have to get used to paying $3-plus per gallon for gasoline.

Today, oil and gas experts around the world are growing alarmed not just at future scarcity—the idea that the world may have hit “peak oil” seems to be taking hold—but at who’s in control of the precious stuff. As demand for energy explodes worldwide, there is less of it available and less exploration for it. That is partly because of a dropoff in investment created by the decline in oil prices in the ’90s. But it is also because multinational corporations like ExxonMobil (despite its record profits) now own just 6 percent of supplies, versus a whopping 77 percent that’s now owned by state-owned entities, according to the Petroleum Finance Corp., a Washington-based consulting group. State control guarantees less efficiency in the exploration for oil, and in the extraction and refinement of fuel. Further, these state-owned companies do not divulge how much they really own, or what the production and exploration numbers are. These have become the new state secrets.

Quietly an understanding of this power shift in the world is growing in Washington, as well. The price shock after Hurricane Katrina, especially—not to mention the plummeting poll numbers that followed for Bush—led administration officials to understand just how fragile U.S. economic security has become because of energy. Nothing quite like it has happened since the 1973 OPEC embargo. Administration sources say the Katrina effect, as well as concern over moves by Chavez, were mainly behind Bush’s surprising call for an end to “America’s oil addiction” in his State of the Union address last January. At the same time, U.S. officials have come to realize that there is deep anger and enmity in the Kremlin against the United States (particularly over U.S. efforts to win Ukraine and Georgia to the West), and that Putin has his own agenda. One example: even as Moscow has joined the Western effort to confront Tehran over its nuclear program, Russia and Iran are taking a unified stand in resisting a U.S. effort to build a trans-Caspian pipeline that would reroute gas out of the Russian system to Baku, Azerbaijan.

Putin has long been nursing ambitions of using Russia’s vast oil and gas supplies as an instrument of power. In the mid ’90s, after 15 years in the KGB, Putin went back to school, attending the St. Petersburg Mining Institute. He wrote a dissertation titled “Toward a Russian Transnational Energy Company.” The topic: how to use energy resources for grand strategic planning. There is reason to believe that Putin’s highly publicized confrontation with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former owner of the defunct Yukos—the last of the big private energy concerns in Russia—was about much more than wresting political power from the so-called oligarchs, former apparatchiks who gained control of Russia’s resources after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Putin is not known to be personally corrupt, or even particularly power-hungry. What he is hungry for—and indeed has been since he was elected in 2000—is a restoration of Russia’s power and influence. Some observers believe that Putin’s trumped-up arrest of Khodorkovsky—who will be spending the next few years in a Siberian labor camp—was mainly about taking control of the energy sector, rather than edging aside a political rival.

It is tempting to say that oil and gas have become the new strategic weapons of the 21st century. But in one crucial respect that is not true. As Putin discovered from his aborted effort to cut off Ukraine’s gas—and as even Ahmadinejad is learning—when you threaten to cut off your customers, you only cut off your own nose. You have to sell oil to someone; otherwise crude is just black muck. Where the control of energy counts is in accumulating wealth, and therefore power and influence. As former U.S. under secretary of State Marc Grossman says, “The question is what are they doing with the money.”

The Bush administration may think it has one trump card in Iraq. U.S. interests obviously lie with the vast proven and potential Iraqi oil fields, said to be the world’s largest. The Iraqi oil ministry has signed about 40 memorandums of understanding, many with U.S. companies, according to industry sources. Under them, the majors such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips are giving technical advice “free” to the ministry (a typical get-in-the-door strategy for the industry). Challenged at a congressional hearing in March, CENTCOM commander Gen. John Abizaid was frank in suggesting that, while oil was not the reason America went to war, it may provide a critical reason for staying. “The United States and its allies have a vital interest in the oil-rich region,” Abizaid said. “Ultimately it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else in the world depend.”

But after three years of explosive anger against the U.S. occupation, it would be foolish to think that the Iraqi government, too, won’t catch the nationalist bug that’s spreading worldwide, in what appears to be an outgrowth of both antiglobalization sentiments and anti-Americanism. “I think the likelihood is high that American companies will have some significant position in Iraq,” says J. Robinson West, head of Petroleum Finance Corp. “On the other hand I think it’s highly unlikely that the petroleum sector will be dominated by American companies. We really didn’t go to war over oil, and I think at this late date we don’t want to make it look like we did.” ExxonMobil spokesman Russ Roberts adds, “The Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people. If the Iraqi people determine that they want the help of international oil companies in developing their resources, then ExxonMobil would certainly be interested in participating.”

What does it all mean? “Welcome to the age of energy insecurity,” says West, a former Reagan administration official (and friend of Dick Cheney’s, the man who once dismissed energy conservation as a “personal virtue”). “Worldwide production will peak. The result will be skyrocketing prices, with a huge, sustained economic shock. Jobs will be lost. Without action, the crisis will certainly bring energy rivalries, if not energy wars. Vast wealth will be shifted, probably away from the U.S. For the last 20 years, U.S. policy has discouraged production and encouraged consumption. If we dither any more, we will pay a terrible price, the economic equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Katrina was Category 4.”

Washington appears as helpless in preparing for this crisis as it did in anticipating Hurricane Katrina. As we have seen in recent weeks, Congress is still dithering over such silly proposals as a $100 rebate to gasoline customers. But Republican leaders are balking at sponsoring proposals that could really make a difference, like a new gasoline tax that would change U.S. consumption habits and a serious increase in CAFE (corporate average fuel-economy) standards, which require automakers to meet an average mileage requirement. With the GOP facing a bitter fight for control of the Congress later this year, such measures are considered too politically painful. There could be a lot more pain for Americans down the road, however, at the hands of Putin and his energy-rich allies.