Fuel on the Fire

Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq

A groundbreaking investigation confirming what many have long felt: oil interests lay at the very heart of the Iraq War—a legacy that continues to haunt us

“Nothing short of a secret history of the war.” —Naomi Klein, bestselling author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine

The departure of U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of 2011 left a broken country and a host of unanswered questions. What was the war really about? Why and how did the occupation drag on for nearly nine years, while most Iraqis, Britons, and Americans desperately wanted it to end? And why did the troops eventually have to leave? And what is the legacy of the war?

In a gripping account of the war that dominated U.S. foreign policy over the past decade, investigative journalist Greg Muttitt takes us behind the scenes to answer some of these questions and reveals the heretofore-untold story of the oil politics that played out through the occupation of Iraq. Drawing upon hundreds of unreleased government documents and extensive interviews with senior American, British, and Iraqi officials, he exposes the plans and preparations that were in place to shape policies in favor of American and British energy interests. We follow Muttitt through a labyrinth of clandestine meetings, reneged promises, and abuses of power; we also see how Iraqis struggled for their own say in their future, in spite of their dysfunctional government and rising levels of violence. Centered on the taboo subject of what has happened to Iraq’s oil, this is the story politicians do not want you to hear.

In light of the Arab revolutions, the war in Libya, and renewed threats against Iran, Fuel on the Fire provides a vital guide to the lessons from Iraq and of the global consequences of America’s persistent oil addiction.


“Excellent . . . a textbook example of how international pressures are put on politicians to get them to buckle.”
—Jonathan Steele, The Guardian
“A painstaking piece of investigative reporting with 48 pages of footnotes, based on documents released under freedom of information legislation and interviews with Iraqis, [Fuel on the Fire] gives the best account yet of a hitherto under-reported story.”
Financial Times
“Superb . . . provides incontrovertible evidence that the rush for cheap oil was a paramount goal among Western leaders even before the war.”
Tribune magazine

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