The threatened Iraqi oil rip-off was highlighted in central London on 11 October in a lively demonstration. The demo, organised by Hands Off Iraqi Oil, featured a huge puppet of Dick Cheney trying to grasp an oil well. It was timed to coincide with the start of the last 100 days of the Bush administration, a period expected to see its sustained effort to force through a law that would mean the effective privatisation of Iraq’s main industry.
As the march snaked its way from Shell House to BP’s headquarters and then to the US embassy it attracted much attention from the public, helped by the eye-catching puppet and the pulsating rhythms of a samba band.
Deadlock in the Iraqi parliament over the oil law, and widespread opposition inside Iraq to the grasping agenda of big oil companies, mean, even as Bush walks to the exit door, there’s no guarantee he will “seal the deal” on this issue. The last days of his presidency will be a critical time for both supporters and opponents of the oil law.