this is one of the so-called benchmarks for progress that would enable u.s. troops to begin leaving iraq, and thus the ongoing status of the debate over iraqi oil can serve as a useful index less to iraqi than to real (as opposed to stated) u.s. intent and design.
one story that went unreported in the mainstream media last week was the nearly-averted strike by the largest of iraq's largest oil workers' union. seems they have a legitimate concern that these oil law benchmarks run the very real risk of making too much of their oil revenue open to foreigners.
david bacon has a good piece at truthout about this. and kenneth anderson at opednews goes further. follow his links, especially to the piece in american lawyer by daphne eviatar about the DC lawyer who's purportedly advising the iraqis on how to manage their oil interest. eviatar includes this choice tidbit of background info:
Under Saddam Hussein, foreign investment was strictly limited, as it is in most major Middle Eastern oil-producing countries. Under the new law, the Iraq National Oil Company would have exclusive control of only about 17 of Iraq’s approximately 80 known oil fields.be certain tho that, when this president's surge is declared the failure that it inevitably will be in september, it will be the iraqi people who will take the blame for not meeting their benchmarks.