The Siege Of Gaza: Gas?

Some news that supplies will be let through in a one off bid to stem the bad PR Israel is getting. In recent pronouncements they are not even bothering to hide their tactic of collective punishment. Hamas is the brand promoted as Israel’s ‘bête noire’ but the casualties are hugely skewed, so are they insanely bent on revenge? Is it seething racial hatred? Is it all that lovely gas? Gas?

Despite BG’s (British Gas) commitments to Egypt and the PA, the company has announced that it is willing to enter into a deal with Israel. Within Israel, political legitimacy for the reversal has come from increasing criticisms of high prices caused by Egypt’s effective monopoly of Israeli gas supply. Also, according to Haaretz, Israel is confident that it has enough “influence” to persuade Egypt to back out of the Gazan deal, with “senior government sources” asserting that: “The gas off Gaza will come to Israel in the end.” [6].

Until last week, Israel’s confidence did not make any sense. The security situation that provoked Sharon’s original veto of Gazan gas had not improved and it seems inconceivable that Israel would allow the PA, let alone Hamas, to reap the benefits of the Gazan gas fields. BG has made it clear that its Gazan gas will be developed soon, whether Israel likes it or not, but if Hamas is not to be the partner, then who is?

The arrival of “Summer Rains” gives us a sour answer. If the ongoing attacks on Gaza succeed in destroying the Palestinian Authority as a viable political entity, all commercial contracts with the Authority, such as that with British Gas, will become worthless and will have to be renegotiated with the Israeli government. Perhaps the most valuable “hostage” that Hamas has in the current crisis then is not the 19-year old Israeli soldier, but the Palestinian gas reserves that Israel claims as its own, and may go to extreme lengths to rescue.

 Parallel to the discussion on cutting energy supplies, there is another petition before the High Court that also concerns energy—but here the supply would go from Gaza to Israel. In this petition, two corporate groups are battling for an Israeli license to pump natural gas from the reservoir off Gaza’s coast, a reservoir that—if Gaza belonged to a Palestinian state—would be in its territorial waters. The pumped gas is slated to become a major energy source in Israel’s economy. Did the Justices happen to recall another case they are hearing, in which the State says it no longer occupies Gaza? If so, they haven’t indicated this. Needless to say, no Justice cried in astonishment, “By what right do you intend to exploit the gas reserves of the Gaza Strip? This is against the provisions of international law, which forbid an occupying power from exploiting the natural resources of an occupied territory for its own use!” (ht2 People’s Geography)

And now a tale of family and capitalism~ you can’t choose your family although in my case my parents sort of did. Because of problems they thought they would never have children so they adopted a boy and some time later a girl, then I arrived unexpectedly. So my older brother was chosen by them, so maybe it’s embarrassing he is…well let’s not say fascist…yes he loved to paint swastikas everywhere as a war movie model kit making kid (but odd he admired that side so much), yes he loved to order us about, yes he went into the military (and other ‘things’), yes he has ‘conservative’ opinions, yes he remains in the officer reserve and was in Iraq, yes he works for the corporate security and intelligence industry and yes, we don’t get on. Yes he gets well paid playing a part in -perhaps- causing some of the things I get no money for opposing (capital knows who its friends are). And yes he has been in Egypt, Israel and anywhere British Gas plies its trade. So I can tell you this, BG are very eager to make money off the gas there, they are not fussy where the money comes from but I think it’s fair to say Hamas is not top of their preferred client list.

{On a philosophical note, I wonder if I fail to engage and change my own brother is that a failure in me, a sign the world cannot be changed for the better or should I just accept some people are set in their ways and the world is not in one person and there are other battles that could offer better outcomes? I dunno, but it can’t be a good sign when at age 17 you start reading The Daily Telegraph by choice.}

Wheels Within Wheels

So economist and former IMF man (farmer’s mass suicides? that’s a market adjustment! Say hello to corporate cartels!) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gets Gordon’s support to be on the UN security council just as India launches a spy satellite for Israel tasked to surveil Iran. Meanwhile the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany are working on further sanctions on Iran, who in talks with the US in Baghdad state the obvious-

(Reuters) – Iraqi factions are heeding Iran’s advice to halt violence but the best solution to Iraq’s problems would be for the United States to withdraw its troops, an aide to the Iranian president said on Monday.

Which clearly makes then dangerous monsters who must be stopped! (It’s about the Empire stupid.) Although maybe they hate Iran because there even conservatives approve state funding for infrastructure, (a sin so grievous the Church of the Free Market has outsourced a whole new hell for it) which also means the bogeyman image of Ahmadinejad is shown to be false- he is overruled by parliament and the supreme leader, not something Bush and unitary executive neo-con totalitarians would ever countenance. Leader of the free world don’tcha know?(ht2 Naj).

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Torture Event Horizon

I’m trying to get back into the swing of being an info freako and getting back up to speed on all that stuff happening on this earth planet-y thing. Certainly the Siege of Gaza is looming large in my thoughts and I think that will dominate the rest of the week for me, but… Just quickly something very, very fucking sick is happening. Reality TV began it, where sadistic voyeurism was encouraged and rewarded in viewers, now the once good BBC science program ‘Horizon’ is indulging the death penalty and torture. I saw a piece in the Radio Times with former Tory proto-fascist Michael Portoillo talking about his edition which sought to see if there was humane way to execute people, bearing in mind this is a person in favour of the death penalty. Korova rightly called this out-

Besides, as I said above, the terms ‘humane’ and ‘execution’ do not even belong in the same breath. Quite frankly, I find it deeply offensive to find a programme on the BBC that suggests that execution is acceptable and we just need to seek out a ‘humane’ way of doing it.
The BBC – supporting the executioner.

Now Horizon is doing a show on sensory deprivation (with a celebrity comedian!), a well researched torture technique, they innocently claim it to be about- what does it do to a person? There is no shortage of literature on the subject (will they quote from the CIA’s torture manuals I wonder?) and even if they suppose this program demonstrates what an effective ‘interrogation’ technique it is for making people say what you want them to say and acts as a warning, to ask the question is to presuppose there is real debate about this method of torture. There is none, only war criminals are pretending it’s an open question (and the American Psychological Association, which I guess makes them liable too), this is realtime education in exactly how societies perpetrate great evils, hope the producers are proud. It is also no coincidence that the series is increasingly funded in conjunction with an American broadcaster, this has been going a while and it has lead to lighter weight less demanding programs paced to take advantage of commercial breaks. In short Horizon has been going downhill for a while and now it is playing the Alan Dershowitz game of saying how awful something is, but if you wanted to do it, here’s how. A nadir if you will of ratings grabbing stunts replacing serious scientific documentary making and now more sinisterly it is part of the false debate on torture, marked by its newspeak use of the term ‘interrogation’. In fact what it most reminds me of is intelligent design advocates claiming there is huge debate (or as they say ‘controversial’ to connote any issue where the facts are known but they conflict with powerful groups intentions), which is ironic for a science program, oh except, is that going to be their next show?

Play the fucking music-

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Complicity: Pakistan Edition

Imagine a military dictator who seized power in a coup and may well have had his main opposition publicly assassinated, well we certainly wouldn’t be welcoming him around Europe for high level talks with national leaders and the corporatocracy would we? I mean we’re like the good guys and everything, for freedom and democracy and all that good shit huh?

After his meetings in Belgium, Musharraf will go on to Paris to meet Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president. He is also scehduled to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland before talks in London with Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister.

Oh, um…

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