by digby

During the run up to the Iraq war, people used to ask me why Tony Blair would lend his more liberal cred to the misbegotten adventure and join himself at the hip with Bush on such an obvious blunder. I would simply say" "BP."

A BP-led group won a deal to develop Iraq's biggest oilfield but had to slash its fee as Baghdad's tough terms put off other investors in the country's first major energy auction since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Other companies, including firms from resource-hungry China and India that are eager to get a share of the world's third largest oil reserves, balked at the fees and Iraq failed to strike deals on most of the eight oil and gas fields on offer.

The controversial auction of Iraq's prized assets took place on the same day that the U.S. troops who toppled Saddam Hussein quit Iraq's cities and left security chiefly to the country's own forces. The sale aims to raise funds for reconstruction as Iraq also takes greater charge of its economy.

"Today we have seen that the Iraqi Oil Ministry and international oil companies are living on different planets," oil analyst Ruba Husari said.

The results of the auction were not a disappointment, said Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad.

"The participation of these well-known, major companies is a good sign and it reflects the desire of these firms to invest in the Iraqi oil sector," Jihad said.

A BP-led consortium including the Chinese National Petroleum Corp NPC, was the only foreign firm to strike a deal -- for the 17-billion barrel Rumaila oilfield, Iraq's biggest, in the Shi'ite south.

Does any of this strike you as remotely plausible? I didn't think so.

This was why the war was fought and the people who run the world didn't leave any of this to chance or to some functionaries in the Iraqi government. What is happening is what was always planned to happen.