Tag Archives: oil

Drugs And Oil Don’t Mix

Ostensibly the war on drugs and the war to deal with oil spills have no relationship with one another. Oil continues gushing from the Gulf of Mexico with latest counts indicating only 24,000 of the 60,000 gallons being captured. A robotic controlled submarine banged into the containment cover adding still another problem to the ongoing disaster of a disaster. Meanwhile, the noted drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke was captured in Jamaica at a checkpoint which checked the woman and discovered it was none only by the man they sought. Two isolated incidents. But,in both, government refuses to take action against crime because it will upset those in power. Instead of demanding effective controls over oil drilling, the US government actually believed one could trust business to supervise itself. Instead of allowing drugs to be legal, the American government enforced laws that led to creation of huge drug cartels. The issue is: how can governments be effective in dealing with crime?

We need a government that is intelligent enough to sanction drugs, legalize them and collect needed revenue in the form of taxes. We need a government that will not allow business to operate under its own rules.

What Price Salvation For Gordon Brown?

Each passing day makes it even clearer that Prime Minister Gordon Brown placed money over the interests of justice. The release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was connected to defending the rights of British business interests rather than the rights of justice. Neither Prime Minister Gordon Brown nor foreign minister David Miliband wanted the Libyan bomber to die in a British prison since they regarded that event as having catastrophic effects on the relationship between Libya and the UK.

Of course, one must ask, what are the relationships between the UK, a major modern technology center and the rather economically backward nation of Libya. The answer is clear–Libya has oil and the UK wants oil. Brown sold out his nation for pounds, British, that is. Will the prime minister take a personal interest in the lives of those serving life sentences who do not come from nations lacking oil?

Violence In Iraq-So What’s New?

American troops have left the cities of Iraq, but violence continues as al-Qaeda pursues its program of war and destruction. General Robert Caslen, who is in charge of American forces in northern Iraq, said recent attacks in Mosul simply demonstrate that militants are still active and will not vanish just because Iraq soldiers are in the field. He noted there are still several issues which are causing violence in the area. Iraq and Kurdish leaders in northern areas of the country are still at odds over oil wealth near Mosul. Prime Minister Maliki has yet to extend the hand of friendship and cooperation to Sunnis.

The immediate issue is who is in charge in Mosul and Kurdistan. Kurds do not wish to once again be under control of Iraqis but Iraq hungers for the oil wealth in northern sectors of their nation. In the meantime, hovering in the shadows is al-Qaeda whose primary goal is fostering discontent and anger. At this point, the United States has lost power to foster peace.

So You Thought Al-Qaeda Was The Problem!

George Bush is quietly at work in Texas chopping wood, Dick Cheney is haunting grave yards in search of WMD and who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Don Rumsfeld. But, the mess they created in Iraq will not go away. As American troops begin the process of withdrawal a new war looms on the horizon between Kurdish and Iraqi forces. An Iraqi army brigade recently attempted to enter the city of Mosul which sits in the center of oil, but its path was blocked by Kurdish troops. Technically speaking, Kurdistan is part of Iraq, but for all realistic purposes it functions as a semi-independent nation. Kurdish and Iraqi forces now face one another along a 300 mile line in northern Iraq.

The Obama administration has a mess on its hands. If it attempts to mediate the dispute which is bound to explode in violence it only results in getting caught in the middle of a civil war. If it allows events to unroll the prospect is for a civil war and bloodshed that will tear apart the still fragile nation of Iraq.

Of course, it is possible in the coming years for al-Qaeda to end its conflict with the Iraq government and become an ally in its war with Kurdistan. As I recall, then president George Bush promised America his invasion of Iraq was for the purpose of spreading democracy and ending terrorism. Now, I know why George focuses on chopping wood.

US Seeks Access To Naval Passage Through Straits

The United States government is seeking approval from Turkey which would allow American naval ships to pass through the Straits of Dardanelles in order to bring supplies to Georgia. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said “Surface vessels give us capability to provide larger amounts of relief supplies and they also give you the platform to operate off aerial assets,” but he did not specify the type of vessels that America wants to send through the straits. Turkey has now been drawn into the fiasco arising from Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia because American officials are insisting on the right to send humanitarian aid to those who are suffering. As a member of NATO Turkey is in a double bind of wanting to cooperate but at the same time not wishing to antagonize its Russian neighbor.

John McCain is once again acting the tough guy from some western motion picture by urging strong action against Russia in order to protect oil supplies from the pipe line that runs through Georgia. As of this date, the Russians have not done anything to cut off oil, but McCain wants to come across as the man who knows how to handle Russia. One can assume his expertise is equal to that of George Bush who knew how to handle the tough guy named Saddam Hussein.

Iran Threatens Retaliation If Attacked

The war of words and threats continues between Iran, the United States, and Israel. The Israeli air force practices bombing raids on some unspecified target, US warships patrol off the coast of Iran, and the Iranian government issues challenges and refuses to acknowledge genuine concern in the world over her nuclear program. Iranian oil minister, Gholam Nozari, said his nation would continue to sell oil even if attack, but would not take such an assault lying down and it would “react fiercely, and nobody can imagine what would be the reaction of Iran.” A senior commander of the Revolutionary Guards offered a somewhat different scenario in which his nation would take control of the Straits of Hormuz. American Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff said “we will not allow Iran to close it.”

Perhaps, the bombastic charges and threats and counter-threats are merely words being expressed to frighten enemies, but words can sometimes lead nations into actions they later regret. Any attack on Iran, justified or not, will undoubtedly result in complete destabilization of the Middle East. There are no winners in such a scenario, only losers.

Why Are We In Afghanistan Asks British Journalist?

Patrick Cockburn, writing in The Independent notes tomorrow marks the six anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan in order to end Taliban rule. There has now been six years of continual warfare with no apparent certainty of its conclusion. As Cockburn points out, when he visited southern Afghanistan in 2002 it was safer and under greater government control than at present. He emphasizes, “,,, during the years that have elapsed is there any evidence from the speeches of successive British ministers that they have much idea what we are doing there and what we hope to achieve? It is a fair question. During the initial months of the invasion, Pakistan cooperated and the Taliban essentially collapsed. Today, Pakistan does not cooperate and the Taliban has gained renewed power.

People often compare the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. Iraq has oil potential which would lead to an economic boom, but all Afghanistan has at this point in time are poppy fields. American policy is to destroy poppy fields, but what then is the basis for wealth in Afghanistan. It is extremely difficult wiping out the Taliban since they readily retreat in Pakistan sanctuaries where they can not be touched. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Iran And Russia — The Unknown Equation

As the world attempts to deal with possibilities of Iranian possession of nuclear weapons, an unknown factor is the attitude of Russia toward this outcome. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavnov, recently stated that his nation found “unacceptable the prospect of Iran equipping itself with nuclear the nuclear weapon.” However, President Putin has concerns at the prospect of American involvement in oil development in the Caucus region and may decide to reach out to Tehran for its oil resources. A French diplomat commented: “Recently we often have the impression that Moscow is taking us for a ride” on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The aggressive policies of President Bush create anxiety within many nations. Russia has extensive economic relations with Iran and even urged that nation to enrich its uranium within Russia. The United States turned down Putin’s offer to share in developing a missile defense which only served to antagonize the Russian leader. Perhaps, if Bush viewed long term developments within the world as important in policy formation, the United States might be more prone to be more sensitive in relations with other nations.