Blair strikes Oil in Iraq

By Jayne Lyn Stahl

In the United States when someone mentions "UI," most of us think of Unemployment Insurance, but not former UK prime minister Tony Blair.

Late last week came word of a major scandal from the UK Daily Mail. In the three years since he stepped down as prime minister, Blair pocketed more than $30 million in oil revenues from his secret dealings with a South Korean oil consortium, UI Energy Corporation. Despite all his best efforts to keep his connection to UI secret, word is spreading like wildfire throughout the U.K.

Now, you might ask, that he's no longer in government and has his own company, Blair Associates, why would anyone care what his business dealings are? Well, for openers, Mr. Blair is also the West's envoy to the Middle East. Of concern to British politicians, too, is that a former prime minister has been stone cold silent about being on the payroll of an immense multinational oil corporation, specializing in oil exploration in Iraq, and one that coincidentally happens to find itself in another challenging part of the globe.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Blair isn't the only prominent politician on UI's payroll. Others reportedly include former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke, as well as politicians like Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, former secretary of defence Frank Carlucci, former ambassador to Egypt, Nicholas A. Belites, and U.S. Commander for the Middle East General John P. Abizaid. And, these are just the ones who acknowledge any association with the oil conglommerate.

Two-time presidential candidate, Ross Perot, is listed on UI Energy Corp.'s Web site as part of their extended family. One wonders if there are any other presidents, or presidential candidates, who may have been considered family by the South Korean oil firm.

While they've only been around for about twenty years, it didn't take UI long to come up to speed. A message from the company's president, posted to their Web site, says they are interested in "development of overseas resources such as the Middle East and Africa. Especially, Iraq where various Energy (sic) developments are expected."

UI is now considered among the largest investors in Iraq's oil rich Kurdistan region, which is said to have obtained a modicum of autonomy since the Iraq war.

Some argue that Blair is benefiting hugely from the connections he made during the Iraq war, but maybe it's the other way around. More likely, the decision to collaborate with the U.S. on military adventurism in Iraq was on account of connections already in place by then leaders of both countries.

Blair worked hard to prevent disclosures of what is alleged to have been only a three year relationship with the South Korean oil firm, but it's not inconceivable that his relationship with UI Energy Corp. precedes his departure as prime minister. It's also quite conceivable that his dedication to keeping this matter confidential was meant to protect other international political figures besides himself.

As the UK Daily Mail notes, "The secrecy is particularly odd because UI Energy is fond of boasting of its foreign political advisors." Who else may be found to be among UI's secret foreign political advisors?
Importantly, it is one thing to consult with a firm that acknowledges resource "development" in Iraq when one is envoy to the Middle East.

Yes, that may well be conflict of interest, but multiply that conflict of interest exponentially should evidence emerge of his dalliance with UI Energy while he was acting prime minister.

Clearly, the Blair scandal calls into question the exact nature of the alliance between two central figures, and engineers of the Iraq war; then UK prime minister, Tony Blair, and an American president, George W. Bush.

Jayne Lyn Stahl is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Courtesy

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other International Articles
Big powers in G20 under scrutiny by smaller nations
Blair strikes Oil in Iraq
The spreading Somali pirate threat
The service revolution: Lessons in India’s growth
Last Supper is growing by Biblical proportions
Pinkie finger triggers rethink of human odyssey
Quarter of Republicans think Obama may be the Anti-Christ
Dung beetle is world's strongest insect: Study
Allawi to start coalition talks after slim win over Iraq PM
US, Russia finalize landmark nuclear arms treaty
46 missing after S.Korea warship sinks near N.Korea border
'24' hours ticks down final season
Myanmar to hold polls in October or November: official
Vatican dismisses fresh New York Times allegation
Arab leaders gather in Libya for 'Jerusalem' summit
TB: a killer that can't be kept behind bars
In South Africa, whites are becoming squatters
India’s obsession with white is big business
Disputed island 'disappears'
'God particle' hunt set to start


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 2010 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.| Site best viewed in IE ver 6.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution