To understand the plundering of Iraq’s oil wealth, we have to look first at the original sin of the invasion itself. Blueprints showing how oil could help rebuild the country were drawn up post Desert Storm in the 1990s and resurrected in 2003. It never happened.
Journalist Erin Banco explains why, as she talks to Jeff Schechtman in this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast. She laments the dashed hopes of the Kurds and the Iraqi people. She explains the hapless actions of the Bush and Obama administrations, the real role of big oil and the damage done by tribal rivalries in Iraq.
She tells the story of the Talibani and the Barzani families, and how they got rich — along with oil company executives, government staffers and political parties. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people, who knew very little about what was happening, ended up with virtually nothing.
Banco says that for years Iraqi journalists have been killed in Iraq for even trying to report this story. Today, with entirely different players, the corruption and mismanagement goes on, and may be the keys to the Iraq elections scheduled for May.
Erin Banco is the author of Pipe Dreams:The Plundering of Iraq’s Oil Wealth (Columbia Global Reports, January 2018).