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Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq Paperback – 21 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847921116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847921116
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Since the invasion of Iraq Greg Muttitt has kept his eye firmly fixed on the prize: Iraq's vast oil wealth. His tireless investigations have produced nothing short of a secret history of the war. As the demand for freedom sweeps the Middle East, it is also an important reminder that democracy without economic sovereignty is a hollow victory." (Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine)

"A cracking read. This book lifts the lid on what many suspected - the West's need to grab Iraq's gigantic oil reserves was the main driver of the Bush-Blair war agenda. A compelling read, brilliantly researched, revealing how the oilmen colluded with politicians trying to outwit a determined Iraqi people traumatised in the aftermath of the invasion." (David Hencke, former Westminster correspondent, the Guardian)

"Greg Muttitt has done a great service with this painstakingly researched, timely book. Armed with a great depth of knowledge of oil, modern Iraq, and international politics, he reveals an untold and largely unknown facet of the occupation of Iraq, giving us a picture that is that is illuminating, informative and objective. On a subject where truth was the first casualty, this book is the closest to that truth." (Tareq Y. Ismael, Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary)

"Iraqi civil society voices ...resound with dignity in this brilliant, comprehensive account" (New Internationalist)

Book Description

A revelatory account of how oil has shaped politics and worsened violence in occupied Iraq.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an authoritative, readable account of the war in Iraq, focusing on the all-important oil industry.

The analysis is backed up with impressive original research and first-hand accounts of the author's time in Iraq spent with a colourful cast including oil executives, Iraqi oil workers and ministers.

Muttit resists the temptation to portray any of the actors as entirely good or bad, choosing instead to dig deeper into their motivations and incentives. He does this with a rare mixture of hard-headed logic and humility.

This is the best account I've read of the war and the Iraqi people's struggle to rebuild their nation. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in this fascinating subject.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ron Tocknell on 25 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brilliantly written and thoroughly researched booked exposing the true objectives of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We all knew it was about oil all along so there are no great revelations in that respect. What we haven't seen (until now) is evidence of what Blair described as an "absurd conspiracy theory". This book delves into the history of Iraq's oil and the West's determination to control it. This is an important book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Imtiaz Shamsuddin on 23 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Fuel on the Fire is a great all rounder, not only does it get its hands dirty in respect to the political (international and natoinal) grand scheme of things, but it dispels a lot of the myths about Iraqis themselves. Sectarians? How, when every other Iraqi has some grandmother or even spouse from another sect! Lack of technical expertise? The Iraqi oil techs weren't engineers, they were craftsmen. They cobbled together a relatively decent oil sector when they had little investment and sanctions placed across the industry.

Altogether this is a marvellous book, giving not just an account of the tyranny associated with the war in Iraq, but also the hope springing out from a home grown civil movement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Selchau on 15 April 2012
Format: Paperback
'Fuel on the Fire' is a detailed account of a far too neglected question - what happened to the Iraqi oil? And what role did it play in the politics of Iraq, before and after the occupation?

Author Greg Muttitt has obtained several internal British government documents discussing the British government interests in the Iraqi oil which, despite official claims to the contrary, were described as 'vital' in said documents. However, Muttitt goes on to show that the interest of Western governments was more complicated than merely obtaining the physical oil. The book details the struggles and political conflicts as Iraqi civil society tried to resist pressure from Western government, multinationals and sectarian politicians in their bid to control the Iraqi oil.

Another major force of the book is that it brings Iraqis to the fore and show Iraqi civil society to be far richer than it is usually portrayed in Western media. It shows how the US-led coalition were, to a high degree, the cause of sectarian conflict in Iraq, and how many Iraqis fought to resist the sectarianism that the coalition was imposing. Labour unions struggling for workers' rights, civil society groups fighting for civil liberties and government accountability and how Sunnis and Shias worked together in many respects which have gone mostly unacknowledged in the West.

The author has interviewed several Iraqis from many social backgrounds. He has spoken to oil analysts from both commercial and security backgrounds, as well as Western civil servants and politicians. There are countless fascinating quotes and perspectives. In fact, this is another excellent aspect of the book - it shows how diverse the tapestry of opinion is on all sides of the fence. The situation was far more complex than Sunni vs. Shia.
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Format: Paperback
The book is incredibly accessable which is one of its many star points.
First: The prose is easy and set out in a way that engages the reader detailing key events and people whilst always seeking to put across the perspectives of those most affected by the Western Occupation - ie. the Iraqis themselves.

Secondly, it sets out the prelude to the conflict, the historical backdrop of UK and US oil interests going beyond recent history and details the politics surrounding oil for both the West and for Iraq. This in itself is something much of the media and reporting fails to go into.

Thirdly, it gives an account of the political manoevering of governments, oil executives and the thought processes behind this. As well as demonstrating the manipulation that entailed the Iraq government's capitualtion to Western interests.

Finally, it enables the reader to learn more about the Iraqi population in terms of their resistance, both civil and military which sits throughout recent and past history. No longer is the Iraqi population spoken off as numbers, statistics, impersonal entities, victims and terrorist cells such as is often done in the Western media. They are portrayed as neither victims nor aggressors, but as the intelligent, resilient and capable people that they are whilst also understanding the logic behind the broader actions of various political and social groupings in the country.

This was a fantastic read. For anyone who would like to learn about the conflict but wasn't sure where to start amidst the thousands of reports and articles that have been produced, or for those who want to read about the power plays behind the conflict this is definitely a book worth reading.
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