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Retort

The takeover of Iraq

Retort, 21 April 2005

“Iraq was to be made an example: it would provide the stage for a new attempt at the radical denationalisation of oil. By creating an ‘emerging market’ from a decrepit state-owned petroleum industry, the war would lay the foundations for something dear to the hearts of the Washington cabal: an end to (other people’s) economic nationalism and producer cartels. In this ideological universe, oil figured centrally, since oil had remained one of the Third World’s most effective bulwarks against the neo-liberal attack. The appointment of the former Shell executive Philip Carroll to run the Baghdad energy ministry was logical, given Paul Bremer’s belief that the Iraqi Governing Council’s attachment to oil nationalisation ‘had to be changed’.”

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