If I hadn’t just used this formulation for another post, I would have titled this one, “Dude, Where’s My Oil Contract?”
Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens told Congress on Wednesday that U.S. energy companies are “entitled” to some of Iraq’s crude because of the large number of American troops that lost their lives fighting in the country and the U.S. taxpayer money spent in Iraq.
Boone, speaking to the newly formed Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, complained that the Iraqi government has awarded contracts to foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, to develop Iraq’s vast reserves while American companies have mostly been shut out.
“They’re opening them (oil fields) up to other companies all over the world … We’re entitled to it,” Pickens said of Iraq’s oil. “Heck, we even lost 5,000 of our people, 65,000 injured and a trillion, five hundred billion dollars.”
Heck, the Iraqi government conservatively estimates that 85,000 Iraqi civilians were killed by war-related violence over the five-year period between 2004 and 2008. This obviously doesn’t include the civilians who were shocked and awed to death in the initial U.S. invasion. Iraq Body Count puts the number of war-related civilian deaths at between 93,552 and 102,083. Needless to say, no matter what source you choose, the exact number of Iraqis who lost their lives either directly or indirectly as a result of the U.S. invasion can never be known — unlike American lives lost, which can be, and are, quantified with a very high degree of accuracy. That in itself provides a kind of closure that Iraqis will never have.