Only if the Americans had not interfered.

The Oily Americans

Why the world doesn’t trust the U.S. about petroleum: A history of meddling

By DONALD L. BARLETT AND JAMES B. STEELE

DMITRI KESSEL/TIME LIFE PICTURES/GETTY

SAURABH DAS/AP

Trickle to Gusher?: Iraq’s Crude Awakening

CNN: Boxer suggests ‘hanky-panky’ in Halliburton contract

Monday, May. 12, 2003

For more than a half-century, American foreign policy dealing with oil has typically been manipulative and misguided, often both at the same time. The pattern of intrigue has ranged from U.S. officials’ secretly writing tax laws in the 1950s (so the Saudi royal family could collect more money from the sale of its oil and American companies could write off the added payments on their tax returns) to overthrowing a government that showed too much independence in handling its oil sales. To illustrate the dark side of American oil policy, we offer two tales, stitched together from declassified government documents and oil-industry memos, involving a pair of Iraq’s neighbors, Iran and Afghanistan.

Time

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