Mar 31, 2003
In the first week of the war in Iraq, the administration spoke repeatedly of the importance of securing the port of Umm Qasr in southern Iraq.
At a State Department press briefing on March 25, the government spokesman said, "There is a massive humanitarian and reconstruction operation, including U.S. government and multilateral assistance for the Iraqi people, that's ready to begin as soon as the port of Umm Qasr can be opened."
In fact, this port is an oil tanker port – the only direct outlet for Iraqi oil to the world's markets. It seems that the "humanitarian aid" the U.S. is interested in is "humanitarian aid" for the big oil companies which today want to put their hands on Iraqi oil.