Iraq: US Army Depots Named After Oil Giants
by Neela Banerjee, New York Times
March 27th, 2003
The subtleties surrounding the sensitive role oil plays in the Iraqi war may have eluded the United States Army. Deep in some newspaper coverage yesterday was a report that the 101st Airborne Division had named one central Iraq outpost Forward Operating Base Shell and another Forward Operating Base Exxon.
The Pentagon shrugged off concerns that now might not be the time to mention the names of foreign oil companies on Iraqi soil. "The forward bases are normally refueling points they're basically gas stations in the desert," a Pentagon spokeswoman said. "Whether or not we're going to lecture everyone that, due to political sensitivities, you should be careful what you call your gas stations, I don't know if that's something that should be done or would be done."
Neither Royal Dutch/Shell nor Exxon knew about the Iraqi bases. Cerris Tavinor, a spokeswoman for Shell, heard of the base only when a reporter called.
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