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I’m Wolf Blitzer.
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Critics of the Iraq War long maintained oil was the driving force behind the U.S. invasion. But the U.S. is actually one of the biggest losers in the latest battle over rights to tap Iraq’s lucrative oil fields.
Get this — the Russians, the Europeans and the Chinese.
Our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, is joining us now with more on this story.
I would assume the U.S. has a right to be pretty angry, given the trillion — maybe a trillion dollars the U.S. taxpayers have spent in Iraq and the thousands of American lives lost.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, and when you look at the contracts, you have Russia’s LUKOIL along with Norwegian’s Statoil gaining a huge contract. Chinese got contracts. Even Angola got a contract. Now, it’s not as if the Americans were completely exed out, because Exxon and Occidental as a consortium did get in contracts. This shows business is business, and we’re free from outside influences. In fact today, Wolf, I asked Secretary Clinton about this and she’s putting the best face on it. She says what we think is important is that foreign investment is back in Iraq. If it came out the other way, if Americans got all the contracts, it would be very hard to defend against that idea that the United States went into Iraq because of oil.
BLITZER: It does come at a time, at an awkward moment for the Obama administration. Just the other day Defense Secretary Robert Gates went to Iraq, risking his life still to go there. He had a scheduled meeting with the Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki he says I don’t have time to see you so he went back to his little area, had dinner with other folks. That was pretty shocking.
DOUGHERTY: Pretty notable. They did reschedule it for the next day. But look at his situation, al Maliki is in a very bad domestic situation. They’ve had this spate of terrorist attacks. He’s under the gun, in fact that meeting he went back to was on that subject, and the other part is the elections are coming up March 7th. He has to look as if he’s not under the numb of the Americans.
BLITZER: Still, when you think about it, it’s — I guess it’s pretty shocking given the huge American investment of treasure and blood that was made in Iraq...MORE...LINK