Day 5: The vanquished US military still seeking control of Iraq's vast oil resources
Pakistan -- March 29 2006 -- Wednesday -- Safar 28, 1427
KARACHI: Iraq war part of oil politics: WSF delegatesBy Arman Sabir
KARACHI, March 28: Iraqi people have defeated the US forces and their allies in military war and now the latter are trying to control their resources to win the war, an Iraqi student visiting the World Social Forum claimed here on Tuesday. Nadia Muhammad, a student pursuing her studies in London, said that people in Iraq had been fighting against the forces, who wanted to occupy their country. “It is not the war. It is a blatant occupation by the western powers and their allies on the huge reservoirs of oil in Iraq,” she said.
She was of the view that the US forces had entered three years back to conquer the country and its resources, particularly oil. The government forces did not put up resistance that Iraqi people had been expecting and the US with its allies entered the country with facing least resistance. However, she said, the US forces and its allies had not been expecting strong resistance from the people of Iraq who believed that the US forces were not messiah but the occupiers.
She said that not all of the Iraqi people had been putting up resistance but there were different groups, which had been formed after the occupation by the western powers. The groups had been struggling to get their country freed from aliens.
She maintained that the ratio of unemployment had enormously increased and the jobless youth, who did not see their career in near future, picked arms to fight against the foreign forces. They believed that their country would only progress if they got it freed. “I know arguably this is the biggest resistance,” she added.
She was very happy to be in Pakistan and the World Social Forum 2006 saying that Pakistani people were just amazing. “I am the strong supporter of the WSF and that is why I am here,” she added.
An Irish trade union activist, working for a Chicago-based NGO for the rights of the trade union workers, Caoiwhe Butterly said that she had been to Palestine and then Iraq for the past some years.
About her experience in Iraq, she said: “Americans are losing the war but one has to remain focussed on the fact that the war is also an economic occupation”.
She was of the view that Americans had controlled the economic resources of Iraq including the oil reservoirs. Now they had been selling them up to the multi-national companies.
Later, at a special session of the World Social Forum devoted to Iraq and Palestine, the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions demanded immediate and unconditional withdrawal of occupation forces.
The organisation representing 30,000 workers called for ensuring human rights, and no intrusion of foreign firms in oil sector. The IFOU’s message, read out by Caoiwhe Butterly, said that it would stand firmly against all those who want to ‘tamper with the security of Iraqi people.’
“We will not allow the intrusion of foreign firms in oil sector and producing sharing deals, and we will stand with our force against monopoly firms such as Halliburton, KBR, Shell and others,” the IFOU vowed.
It urged the patriotic forces, the anti-war movement and peace-lovers to support the anti-privatization drive.
The oil workers demanded unconditional cancellation of Iraq’s foreign debts as the same never benefited the Iraqi people but served the buried regime.
Jamal Juma, a Palestinian activist, said that nothing could be more troubling than your houses being demolished. He pointed out that a woman in Gaza whose two sons were killed by Israel told the visitors not to shed tears for her sons and if she had more sons, she would have sacrificed them for freedom. “With a woman like her, we would never be defeated,” he said.
Ms Leila, another Palestinian activist, also addressed the session.