Interpol says Syria “very cooperative” on Terrorism: US Oil Majors Back in Iraq

US Oil gets no-bid contracts in Iraq. I guess there have to be rewards? 

Deals with Iraq are set to bring oil giants back
By Andrew E. Kramer
Thursday, June 19, 2008, Bloomberg

BAGHDAD: Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing
their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP – the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company – along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq's Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq's largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.

The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American
invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations.

The no-bid contracts are unusual for the industry, and the offers prevailed over others by more than 40 companies, including companies in Russia, China
and India. The contracts, which would run for one to two years and are relatively small by industry standards, would nonetheless give the companies an advantage in bidding on future contracts in a country that many experts consider to be the best hope for a large-scale increase in oil production.

There was suspicion among many in the Arab world and among parts of the American public that the United States had gone to war in Iraq precisely to
secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract. The Bush administration has said that the war was necessary to combat terrorism. It is not clear what role the United States played in awarding the contracts; there are still American advisers to Iraq's Oil Ministry.

Sensitive to the appearance that they were profiting from the war and already under pressure because of record high oil prices, senior officials of two of
the companies, speaking only on the condition that they not be identified, said they were helping Iraq rebuild its decrepit oil industry.

For an industry being frozen out of new ventures in the world's dominant oil-producing countries, from Russia to Venezuela, Iraq offers a rare and prized opportunity. While enriched by $140 per barrel oil, the oil majors are also struggling to replace their reserves as ever more of the world's oil patch becomes off limits. Governments in countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are nationalizing their oil industries or seeking a larger share of the record profits for their national budgets. Russia and Kazakhstan have forced the major companies to renegotiate contracts.

The Iraqi government's stated goal in inviting back the major companies is to increase oil production by half a million barrels per day by attracting modern technology and expertise to oil fields now desperately short of both. The revenue would be used for reconstruction, although the Iraqi government has had trouble spending the oil revenues it now has, in part because of bureaucratic inefficiency.

For the American government, increasing output in Iraq, as elsewhere, serves the foreign policy goal of increasing oil production globally to alleviate the exceptionally tight supply that is a cause of soaring prices.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry, through a spokesman, said the no-bid contracts were a stop-gap measure to bring modern skills into the fields while the oil law was
pending in Parliament.

It said the companies had been chosen because they had been advising the ministry without charge for two years before being awarded the contracts, and because these companies had the needed technology. A Shell spokeswoman hinted at the kind of work the companies might be engaged in. "We can confirm that we have submitted a conceptual proposal to the Iraqi authorities to minimize current and future gas flaring in the south through gas gathering and utilization," said the spokeswoman, Marnie Funk. "The contents of the proposal are confidential."

While small, the deals hold great promise for the companies. ……

Interpol says Syria "very cooperative" in combating terrorism
Jun 18, 2008, (dpa)

Damascus – Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said Wednesday that Syria is 'very cooperative' in fighting terrorism.

'We do not accuse countries of being terrorists. We just ask countries to cooperate with us, and Syria is very cooperative,' Noble told a press conference on the sidelines of an anti-terrorism conference in Damascus.

The Interpol chief said that owing to the help of countries like Syria and Iran, they were able to add many details and pictures to around 8,900 wanted people.

The two-day conference, where 28 Middle Eastern and North African countries take part, aims at boosting international cooperation in anti-terrorism.


Comments (22)

Alex said:

1) Elbaradei says there is no evidence Syria is developing nuclear weapons
2) Interpol says Syria “very cooperative” on Terrorism
3) Hariri investigation did not find links to Syria after three years of trying really hard …
4) Syria was instrumental in helping the Lebanese solve their problems in Qatar
5) Hamas being rather reasonable lately
6) Hizbollah too

Neocons, Likudniks, and AIPACists … you need a new set of lies… the ones above expired.

Yalla .. back to work … you can do it.

June 19th, 2008, 6:47 am


SImoHurtta said:

Neocons, Likudniks, and AIPACists … you need a new set of lies… the ones above expired.

Alex the US neocons have been busy in EU, so their lost “grip” of Syria is understandable. 🙂

John Bolton was lobbing in Ireland against the EU referendum. Amusingly he was declaring the Lisbon Treaty posed a threat to Nato and undermined democracy by handing more power to Brussels bureaucrats. Ireland is not even a member of NATO and US dominated NATO can hardly be seen as democratic. At least most Europeans do not like the colonial wars Nato is forced to fight.

Neocons are also in troubles with their missile shield in Poland. Poland is demanding more benefits and USA has failed to deliver the promises from participating that famous “limiting terrorism” by attacking Iraq. Poles are little pissed off with Americans. US informed that it is negotiating with Lithuania of the missile base, which Lithuania denied, by saying it has only been discussed in some informal military meetings. The big European powers are not so happy with US missile plans, because USA deliberately bypasses both NATO and EU.

USA is playing the same divide and rule game in Europe as it is playing in Middle East.

June 19th, 2008, 9:04 am


Shai said:

Here’s what happens when endless media talks about a possible handshake:

June 19th, 2008, 1:00 pm


Observer said:

اخطأت يا موسي: العرب مغفلون
عبد الباري عطوان
ليسمح لنا السيد عمرو موسي امين عام الجامعة العربية ان نختلف معه، في قوله للرئيس الاسرائيلي شمعون بيريز، اثناء انتفاضته الغاضبة، بأن العرب ليسوا مغفلين اثناء مشاركة الاثنين في مؤتمر الحائزين علي جائزة نوبل المنعقد حاليا في مدينة البتراء، ونقول له انهم فعلا مغفلون بل و اغبياء و جبناء استمرأوا التذلل للإسرائيليين وتلقي الصفعات منهم الواحدة تلو الاخري.
السيد عمرو موسي استشاط غضبا عندما دعا بيريز العرب لاتخاذ خطوات تجاه السلام، علي غرار ما قام به الملك الراحل حسين بن طلال والرئيس المصري الراحل ايضا محمد انور السادات، والاستعداد للتقدم نحو السلام، فسأله، اي موسي، عما فعلته اسرائيل من اجل السلام وما هو موقفها من المبادرة العربية، وكيف تتحدثون عن السلام وأنتم تبنون المستوطنات؟
غضب السيد موسي مشروع ومبرر، ولكنه موجه الي الشخص الخطأ، فمثل هذا الكلام يجب ان يوجهه ايضا وبأكثر حدة وصراحة الي اصدقائه من الزعماء العرب، واولهم الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك الذي خدم معه لأكثر من ثماني سنوات كوزير للخارجية.

العرب مغفلون فعلا، وتتعامل معهم اسرائيل والولايات المتحدة، وربما العالم بأسره، علي هذا الاساس، ولا نري ان هناك ما يجبرهم علي تغيير هذه القناعة الراسخة، ودليلنا الدامغ علي هذه الحقيقة المؤلمة نوجزه في بعض الامثلة:
اولا: وزراء الخارجية العرب، وكبيرهم السيد عمرو موسي، اشترطوا تجميد كل الانشطة الاستيطانية الاسرائيلية لذهابهم الي مؤتمر انابوليس للسلام الذي دعا اليه الرئيس الامريكي جورج بوش في تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) الماضي، ونجحوا فعلا في اصدار قرار عن المؤتمر يؤكد مطالبهم، فماذا فعلوا وحكوماتهم الموقرة عندما خرقت اسرائيل هذا القرار وبنت اكثر من ثمانية آلاف وحدة سكنية في المستوطنات المحيطة بمدينة القدس المحتلة في الاشهر الستة الاخيرة التي تلته؟
هل سحبوا السفراء احتجاجا، او اغلقوا السفارات، او حتي طردوا دبلوماسيا اسرائيليا واحدا من السفارات التي ترفع النجمة السداسية في قلب عواصمهم، وتضم اقساما ضخمة للموساد؟
ثانيا: العرب الرسميون شاركوا في كل حروب الادارة الامريكية الاخيرة، سواء بالمال او الجيوش ابتداء من حرب تحرير الكويت عام 1991، ومرورا بالحرب علي الارهاب عام 2001 في افغانستان، وانتهاء بغزو العراق واحتلاله عام 2003، فماذا قدمت لهم الولايات المتحدة الامريكية في المقابل؟ لا شيء علي الاطلاق، بل الأنكي من ذلك انها سلمت العراق مقشرا للنفوذ الايراني، الذي يتباكون منه حاليا، ويحرضون الادارة الامريكية علي شن حرب علي ايران نيابة عنهم وتبديدا لمخاوفهم.
ثالثا: اسعار النفط بلغت ارقاما قياسية، واقتربت من المئة والخمسين دولارا للبرميل، بسبب حالة التوتر في المنطقة الناجمة عن عمليات المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين والعراق، تماما مثلما ارتفعت بسبب حرب تشرين الاول (اكتوبر) عام 1973. الرئيس بوش هرع الي المملكة العربية السعودية طالبا زيادة الانتاج لتخفيض الاسعار، وامتصاص غضب المستهلك الامريكي. الحكومة السعودية زادت كمية انتاجها بثلاثمئة الف برميل في تجاوب فوري لطلبه، ثم قررت زيادة مئتي الف اخري اعتبارا من اوائل الشهر المقبل. فماذا اخذت الحكومة السعودية من ادارة بوش في المقابل؟ لا شيء علي الاطلاق باستثناء تصريح للسيدة كوندوليزا رايس اطلقته اثناء لقائها بالرئيس محمود عباس في رام الله، قالت فيه: ان التوسع الاستيطاني لن يؤثر علي نتيجة مفاوضات السلام.
رابعا: الاردن دولة وقعت معاهدة سلام مع اسرائيل، وأجّرت اراضي للمستوطنين في الغور لعدة عقود قادمة.. واستضافت كل رؤساء، ورؤساء وزارات، ووزراء اسرائيل تقريبا، فماذا حصلت في المقابل؟ تصريحات لوزير اسرائيلي قال فيها ان العاهل الاردني الحالي هو آخر ملك للبلاد، ومفاجأة اخري غير متوقعة من روبرت كاغان مستشار المرشح الجمهوري جون ماكين بأن الاردن هو الوطن البديل للفلسطينيين.
% خامسا: تقدم العرب عبر قمتهم في بيروت عام 2002 بمبادرة سلام بالتطبيع الكامل مع اسرائيل، مقابل انسحابها من الاراضي العربية المحتلة، فردت حكومة ارييل شارون في حينها باعادة احتلال الضفة الغربية وتشديد الحصار علي الرئيس الفلسطيني الشهيد ياسر عرفات في مقره وتدمير معظمه فوق رأسه الي ان اغتالته بالسم، والتوسع في الحفريات تحت المسجد الاقصي، وبناء مستوطنات جديدة حول القدس المحتلة. كيف جاء الرد العربي علي هذا التجاوب الاسرائيلي؟ اعادة طرح المبادرة العربية للسلام مرة اخري في قمة الرياض وعقد اجتماع لوزراء خارجية الدول العربية برعاية السيد موسي نفسه لتفعيلها، وتشكيل وفد من وزيري خارجية مصر والاردن للذهاب الي القدس المحتلة لشرحها للمسؤولين الاسرائيليين في عملية استجداء يندي لها الجبين.
% سادسا: الرئيس مبارك قدّم خدمات جليلة للولايات المتحدة لم يقدّم مثلها اي زعيم عربي آخر حتي الآن، ومع ذلك عامله صديقه الرئيس الامريكي بازدراء شديد في الزيارتين العابرتين اللتين قام بهما الي مصر في كانون الثاني (يناير) وايار (مايو) الماضيين، فقد توقف لمدة اربع ساعات في الزيارة الاولي، ولم يقابله في الزيارة الثانية الا لبضع دقائق ولم يكلف نفسه بحضور خطابه، اي خطاب مبارك، الذي القاه في المنتدي الاقتصادي المنعقد في شرم الشيخ، وجاء بسببه الرئيس الامريكي للمنتجع المصري الشهير. والاكثر من ذلك ان الرئيس بوش بلغ به حد الاستهتار بمضيفه المصري درجة القاء محاضرات عليه في الديمقراطية واحترام حقوق الانسان.
سابعا: اسرائيل تحاصر مليونا ونصف المليون عربي مسلم في قطاع غزة، وتقطع عنهم الماء والكهرباء والمواد الطبية والوقود وكل اسباب الحياة، واثنتان وعشرون دولة عربية لم تستطع ايصال لتر واحد من النفط اليهم، ولا حتي علبة دواء واحدة، خوفا من الغضب الاسرائيلي ـ الامريكي.

الأمثلة علي الهوان العربي كثيرة، يضيق المجال لحصرها، ولا بد ان السيد موسي يعرفها، مثلما يعرف ما هو اخطر منها، ولذلك لا نستغرب غضبته هذه، ولكننا نستغرب حضوره هذا المؤتمر وجلوسه الي مائدة واحدة مع الرئيس الاسرائيلي، وهو الذي لم يفز بجائزة نوبل، فلماذا يعرّض نفسه وجامعته لمثل هذه الاحراجات اذا كان لا يستطيع تحملها؟ واليس هذا تطبيعا مجانيا بين الجامعة العربية واسرائيل؟.
السيد موسي يستحق الشكر علي انسحابه احتجاجا، ولكن كان عليه ان يكمل جميله، وان يتمسك بموقفه، ولا يعود الي قاعة الاجتماع، حتي يثبت لنا وللضيوف الحاضرين انه جاد فعلا في موقفه هذا، وانه مختلف عن الزعماء العرب الذين يمثلهم، ولكنه لم يفعل وللأسف الشديد، وجاءت غضبته هذه زوبعة في فنجان، انتهت في دقائق معدودة، وأعطت عناوين جيدة لبعض الصحف العربية، ونحن منها.

June 19th, 2008, 1:21 pm


Alex said:

Akbar Palace,

1) The “Syrian government” lies for sure, like most other politicians.

I DO NOT … catch me telling lies before you convince yourself that I am comparable to your friends the neocons and likudniks.

2) I admire the dedication of your robotic helpers from AIPAC or from who assembled that list of links to Christian friends of Israel but … Akbar … I hate to tell you that if you were not a robot, you would have realized that I was being sarcastic … imitating your friend “Another Israeli Guy” who loves to make sweeping statements about us Syrians and he loves to make them sound more powerful and convincing by adding his “It is a fact” to a generalizing statements of his own personal, almost always negative, opinions of Syrians.

My “It is A FACT that Israelis hate us Christians.” .. couldn’t have been a more obviously a sarcastic imitation of AIG … thank you for proving that you are a robot who does not understand much outside his AIPAC area of “knowledge”.

At least AIG got it.

By the way … some of the “Christians” in Texas who love Israel so much that they urge Israel to destroy its enemies are not exactly what Jesus intended to inspire in his followers. Gandhi can be called a Christian, but definitely not some of those “friends” of yours.

June 19th, 2008, 3:08 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Responding to Alex:

The “Syrian government” lies for sure, like most other politicians.

Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps, one day, a free Syrian press will emerge which will help Syrians to distinguish what is true, what is false, and the various shades of gray in between.

I admire the dedication of your robotic helpers from AIPAC or from who assembled that list of links to Christian friends of Israel…


It was not robots, helpers from AIPAC, or helpers from that assembled that list. It was just little ‘ol me. I just did a Google search on: “Israel” “Christian organizations in Israel” “Relations”. Freedom of information is a powerful thing.

I hate to tell you that if you were not a robot, you would have realized that I was being sarcastic … imitating your friend “Another Israeli Guy” who loves to make sweeping statements about us Syrians…


Please don’t “hate” to tell me anything. I’m a big boy; I can handle it;) I’m sorry I didn’t see your “sarcasm”. Sometimes it is hard for me to know when I’m supposed to understand you literally or when your joking.

BTW – Feel free to show us examples of AIG’s “sweeping statements”.

By the way … some of the “Christians” in Texas who love Israel so much that they urge Israel to destroy its enemies are not exactly what Jesus intended…

What about Christians in the other 49 states? Are they the same as “Christians in Texas”? Of course, Jesus promoted the notion of “turn the other cheek”. But I’ll wait for the “Christian” armies of the world to lay down their defenses before I tell Israel to.

June 19th, 2008, 4:20 pm


Alex said:

Dear friend Akbar,

That whole post I was imitating AIG … every time he repeated his old propaganda examples, I linked to a You tube video showing Israeli soldiers breaking bones of Palestinians children… another old Arab propaganda tool.

I was trying to show AIG that if I decide to NOT turn the other cheek in this discussion, if I decide to retaliate with an eye for an eye for his negating Syria’s religious tolerance through his mention of his favorite stupid antisemitic “Tlass book” that practically no one read in Syria, then we will end up with a shouting match with no one listening.

As for Syrian media … I look forward to the day we will have that free Syrian press. But in the mean time, Syrians do not trust their AIPAC (the Baath robots) …. luckily, Syrians listen to non-Syrian sources for news. They can read Liz Cheney and John Bolton … they hear everything Hariri and Jumblatt say about their president (the snake, the most savage killer! …)

I will not give you examples of AIG’s statements … like “Syrians treat their women like sh*t”

You’ll find them yourself … you just told me that you are good with searching : )

June 19th, 2008, 5:24 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Taking what I said out of context are you?
Is honor killing a crime in Syria? Yes or no?

June 19th, 2008, 5:52 pm


Alex said:

AIG … 20 million Syrians … how many honor crimes per year?

When you write “Syrians treat women like sh*t” .. you make is easy for anyone to tell Akbar that you generalize.

Why not try in the future to edit your statements before you press on the “submit comment”? … you will not give me the easy opportunity to point to your generalizations.

June 19th, 2008, 5:57 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

You were not imitating me, you were imitating Sim. I never use single examples by a one person and deduce from it about all the people in the country or group that person belongs too.

You just become shrill when you lose arguments.

June 19th, 2008, 6:00 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Do you really not understand the difference? According to Syrian law, killing a women for having sex before marriage is not a crime. This is a law that applies to ALL Syrian women. This is a law that the Syrian government could easily change by doesn’t.

If any other state than Syria would allow women to be killed for having premarital sex, how would you categorize how that country treats its women?

June 19th, 2008, 6:05 pm


Shai said:


What’s the point of trying to show how backward Syria, or Saudi, or Iran might be? What do we gain by so doing, except for further animosity? Discussion then degrades to mutual accusations, generalizations, stereotyping, and anger. Why not let Syrians be proud of Syria, as Israelis are proud of Israel. Dealing with the faults of each, should be left to the respective citizens, without external interference. Believe me, Syrians don’t need your “mirror”, anymore than you need theirs. I find such discussions to be useless, and almost always serve to reinforce harbored ill-feelings towards one another.

June 19th, 2008, 7:21 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Did you follow the discussion above? Alex is accusing me of making generalizations.

If Israel had a law that allowed killing women because they had premarital sex I would not be proud of it and I would do my best to change the law or I would not live there. The same goes for you.

June 19th, 2008, 7:27 pm


Shai said:

AIG, I know. But I’m not talking about the content of the discussion, only about the type or character. It’s not only the generalization (whether true or not), it’s the unstated intent that likely bothers the “other side”. I, at least, find that to be a major barrier when others try to generalize about Israel. I ask myself: “What are they trying to do, embarrass me as an Israeli, lecture me on morality, etc.?” And inevitably, I turn a blind ear on such a person. That’s what I’m getting at.

June 19th, 2008, 7:40 pm


Alex said:

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

You were not imitating me, you were imitating Sim. I never use single examples by a one person and deduce from it about all the people in the country or group that person belongs too.


So in that case that stupid thing that you kept mentioning a thousand times this year .. the book by Tlass is only reflective of the opinions of Tlas and the less than 0.01% of Syrians who might have purchased it?

In that case why do you have to bother us with it every time we tell you how we all want Syrian Jews to come back and live in Damascus??

As for the law that “can easily be changed” … hey … many things can easily be changed in Israel or Iran or Saudi Arabia, but hte ultra conservative religious ones disagree … try to change those things ans see how they will react.

June 19th, 2008, 7:42 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

[deleted by admin]

We are not talking here about allowing people to shop on the Sabath. We are talking about killing women for having premarital sex. Don’t belittle it.

June 19th, 2008, 7:57 pm


Alex said:


You know what parts I removed above … try to not play stupid again.

June 19th, 2008, 8:03 pm


JustOneAmerican said:

US Oil gets no-bid contracts in Iraq. I guess there have to be rewards?

While acknowledging that the companies listed in the article are multinationals, I still feel it necessary to point out that Total is French and based in Paris, Shell is Dutch/British based in The Hague, BP is British based in London, and Exxon-Mobile is US based in Texas. The are the 6th, 2nd, 3rd and 1st largest oil conglomerates respectively. The 4th and 5th, Chevron and Conoco-Philips, are both American and not part of this deal. So I think the best that could be said is that “US Oil” is getting one out of four no-bid contracts in Iraq.

There’s also a certain irony in that Total is getting one of these contracts since it had penned secret deals with Saddam for exploration rights during the sanctions period.

June 19th, 2008, 8:53 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Let me try again. I am trying to explain why mentioning the Tlass book and deducing from it the Syria is hostile to Jews is not a generalization. That is what you accused me off. Just leave the explanation in and let the readers judge if I am correct or not.

Tlass published a book in Syria in which he claimed that Jews murder Christians and use their blood in rituals. You would expect a country that is hospitable to Jews to denounce this book. But that did not happen. No one in the regime criticized the book. In fact they highlighted the book in an international book fair in Damascus. Further more, the regime controlled press reviewed the book and gave it high marks. I am not generalizing from the fact that Tlass is antisemitc to the fact that the regime is hostile to Jews. I am basing my conclusion on how the regime reacted to the Tlass book. Therefore, this is not a generalization.

June 19th, 2008, 9:13 pm


Alex said:


Since you spent another 15 minutes writing yet anther Tlas book comment, I will not delete it…

But this will be the last time you mention it. I hope this is clear.

Tlass offended Christains too in his book … are Jews more special than Christians? … does the fact that Bashar did not publicly criticize Tlass mean that Syria is not hospitable to Christians too?

And who told you that no one criticized the book?

And who told you that ALL the regime newspapers liked it?

And who told you that if they liked the book, they liked EVERYTHING in the book?

And who told you that if they did not like the book they could criticize Tlass? … when they don’t criticize him for his corruption, does it mean that they love his corruption, or does it perhaps mean that they can not criticize him because he used to be a big shot for 30 years when Hafez was here, and Bashar does not want to offend him publicly?

From now on, no more Tlass book silliness…. Enough. It has been a year you wasted everyone’s time with it.

Next comment you will be suspended for a week.

And a year later, and a thousand times of your Tlass book story later, I think I am being much more reasonable with you than your freedom-of-speech-loving AIPAC

Thank you.

June 19th, 2008, 10:44 pm


Akbar Palace said:

From now on, no more Tlass book silliness…. Enough. It has been a year you wasted everyone’s time with it.

Alex –

cc: Shai, AIG

Now that the “Tlass book” is no longer an issue we can present on the forum, will we also not be allowed to mention comments from Israeli officials that are anti-Arab or anti-Muslim?

I doubt it. I think you will allow unlimited commentary of Israeli political figures. And, BTW, I think that’s fine.

However, if the Israeli government is to cede land for peace, IMHO, both “packages” (the land and the peace) must be hard and tangible.

Are Syrian textbooks going to continue to show a Middle East without Israel? Are embassies going to show up in both countries? Is the government-controlled Syrian media going to continue to demonize Zionism and Israel? Will Jews be protected in Syria? Will the Syrian government continue to arm and aid Lebanese “militias”, etc?

You want the Golan? Then either take it back or trade it for REAL peace. Whichever you prefer.

Interesting little article:

June 20th, 2008, 10:57 am


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