Falklands, Malvinas, Oil

That ol’ timey empire dies hard, then oil arrives to reinvigorate the corpse, it’s Carbon Zombie Imperialism!

It does not look like much: a jumble of pipes, containers and drilling equipment sitting on a windswept jetty at Port Stanley. The hardware, however, signals an imminent search for oil and gas that could turn the Falkland Islanders into south Atlantic oil barons, a prospect that has already triggered a dispute between Britain and Argentina.

A rig, the Ocean Guardian, is due to arrive by mid-February and will almost immediately begin drilling for hydrocarbon deposits 100 miles north of the archipelago. Geological surveys suggest there could be up to 60bn barrels beneath the seabed around the British territory, a bonanza that would transform islands famed for sheep, fish and remoteness.

“The rig won’t come into sight of Port Stanley unfortunately, it’ll be out too far,” said Phyll Rendell, the islands’ director of mineral resources. “But everyone knows it’s coming.” A British company, Desire Petroleum, has hired the rig to drill prospects in the North Falkland basin and will later lease it to three other British companies – Rockhopper, BHP Billiton and Falklands Oil and Gas – which also have exploration contracts. They will use the rig in rotation throughout 2010. It will be the first drilling in Falkland waters since Shell suspended exploration in 1998 after oil prices slumped to $12 a barrel.

“With the rise in oil prices and the worldwide search for new oil and gas services, it has now become more than commercially viable for this work to begin,” said Ben Romney, a Desire Petroleum spokesman. “We should know by the end of the year whether or not a major extraction programme will go ahead.”

Argentina is not waiting that long to voice its anger. It lost the 1982 war with Britain over the islands, which it calls the Islas Malvinas, but still claims sovereignty and terms British control an occupation.

“What they are doing is illegitimate,” said Jorge Taiana, the foreign minister. “It’s a violation of our sovereignty. We will do everything possible to defend and preserve our rights.”

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11th And all That

Spinwatch on Robert Newman’s History of Oil– Firstly, he traces the history of nearly a century of Iraq policy. He tells the astonishing statistic that in the 95 years since oil was discovered in Iraq and a telegram was sent to the Glasgow office of Burma Oil saying “see psalm 104 verse 15 line 3” (“that He may bring forth out of the earth, oil, to make a cheerful countenance”) the United Kingdom has been at war with or occupying that particular country for 45 of them.

His contention that World War 1 should be taught in our schools as an invasion of Iraq seems outlandish at first but he is extremely convincing.

“I am sure many of you, like me, have never been entirely satisfied with the standard explanation we were given at secondary school for the causes and origins of WW1… the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand…I mean, NO ONE is that popular…The war breaks out, and remember it’s a war to defend plucky Belgian neutrality while the Belgians are pluckily defending Congolese rubber and ivory. The FIRST British regiment to be deployed in the First World War, the Dorset regiment, goes to….Basra, 1914, where it is joined by 51 other British divisions.

“Therefore I think we can conclude that had Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon fought by the Tigris or the Euphrates instead of the Somme we would never have heard of them.

‘They could have sent truckloads to the front, full of nothing but poets, if they had fought in Iraq during the first world war we would not know of a single man jack of them. There could even have been a First special poets battalion but had it fought in Iraq we would never have known of its existence, although…one can’t help feeling that the first special poets battalion would have been wiped out quite early on in the hostilities.”

One of the possible reasons for this was that just before WW1 the Germans were constructing the Berlin-Baghdad railway (part of which is now known as the Orient Express). This was at a time that the British and German Navies were switching from coal to oil. The British Navy at that time was probably the most powerful military force in the world so access (and denying access) to the newly discovered oil fields was vital. Also, the British government knew that people would simply not accept the Sarajevo to Basra replacement bus service.

It’s all over the web to watch if you haven’t seen it but in many versions the a/v sync is out, this one seems ok (Real Player link).

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Like Washington Needed Another Reason To Plot Against Cuba

The state-owned Cuban oil company says the country may have more than 20bn barrels of oil in its offshore fields – more than double the previous estimate. Cubapetroleo’s exploration manager said drilling in the offshore wells would begin as early as the middle of 2009. Such reserves would place Cuba among the top 20 oil producing nations.

If correct, Cuba’s oil reserves would be almost the same as those of the US – 21bn barrels, according to the Oil & Gas Journal – and nearly twice the size of Mexico’s – 11.7bn barrels. It could generate unprecedented wealth for the Communist-run state. Mr Tenreyro said he expected the first production well to be drilled before the middle of next year by a consortium led by the Spanish oil company, Repsol, and that more wells could be started before 2010. Cuba currently produces 60,000 barrels of oil a day. It depends on Venezuela for an additional 93,000 barrels a day, which it receives at preferential rates in exchange for the services of thousands of Cuban doctors working in Venezuela.

Bin Laden spotted in Havana coming to a corporate news outlet near you soon.

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Shockingly Corporations Ignore Voluntary Ethical Practices

Also woods found to be full of bear shit-

(IPS) – The intersection of human rights, the environment and corporate responsibility was highlighted today at a Capitol Hill hearing featuring activists from Burma and Nigeria who underlined the failure to date of “voluntary” controls over major oil companies operating in their countries.

The Voluntary Principles (VPs) were developed in hopes of calming the waters in countries where multinational companies extract oil, gas and other minerals at great profit, but at a terrible cost to human rights and local environments.

Through the VPs, corporations are offered guidance about local communities where they will be working, and are expected to ensure that their rights are not violated as a result of the activities they undertake.

However, after the launch of the VPs in 2000, under the George W. Bush administration, the process “drifted without clear direction”, Freeman said.

No really, do try to be surprised, hmm now Bush is fond of appearing publicly to blame China for supporting the Burmese junta and act as a staunch supporter of the human rights of the Burmese yet has never done anything about Chevron, his Secretary of State’s former employer and beneficiary of an administration reluctant to prosecute…(although some slightly good news on Shell in Nigeria)

The U.S.-owned Chevron Corporation has a contract with Burma’s military junta to provide security for its operations along the vast Yadama pipeline area, which carries Burmese oil through neighboring Thailand for export to the US.

Ka Hsaw Wa, founder and director of Earth Rights International and recipient of several prestigious awards for his work, detailed gross violations of human rights documented when he and his team spoke to dozens of villagers along the pipeline.

Rape, even of young children, is not uncommon, the activist said. Local people are used as forced labour, and are prohibited from farming their own land without “permission” from the military, usually tied to a financial or material contribution, such as a chicken, Ka Hsaw Wa said.

“It is amazing to me that a U.S. company is allowed to contract with an army that commits these kinds of abuses with impunity,” he testified.

“In countries like Burma, they just don’t care,” about protecting rights or respecting “voluntary principles”, the young activist declared.

A booklet prepared by his organization, “The Human Cost of Energy”, points out that Chevron has yet to say a word about the beating and shooting of Buddhist monks demonstrating against the military regime this time last year, despite the serious violation of human rights involved.

“The principles have yet to take root in Nigeria,” agreed Nnimmo, who heads up the country’s Environmental Rights Action group, allied with Friends of the Earth International.

Since oil began to be extracted in the Niger Delta 50 years ago, the police and military, acting on behalf of the government and Shell Oil, have consistently ignored or violated the rights of local communities, he said.

The first documented massacre of 80 people took place in 1990. During the mid-1990s the military killed hundreds of Ogoni people and nine Ogoni leaders, including internationally known Ken Saro-Wiwa, who had been protesting environmental damage by oil companies and demanding compensation.

In 1998, the Ilaje people began to protest the destruction of their environment by Chevron’s oil exploration, which had killed the fish the remote community relied on for food. The incursion of salt water into rivers also destroyed vegetation and drinking water supplies. The custom of gas flaring creates health hazards and burns homes.

When a group of unarmed protestors occupied an oil platform to demand compensation, as well as jobs and medical assistance, Chevron called in the military, which came in shooting and arrested and tortured village leaders.

“After 50 years, these companies are still not willing to sit down and enter into dialogue with communities,” Nnimmo argued.

A court case for damages against Chevron by Nigerian Larry Bowoto and other Ilaje victims is still ongoing in U.S. federal court and in California state courts, where the plaintiffs seek an injunction to prevent Chevron from further “complicity’ in abuse by the Nigerian military.

Discouraged by the picture painted during the hearing, Sen. Durbin declared that the government must take stronger measures to ensure that US companies are not engaging human rights abuses and promoting the “devastating” environmental impacts described by the witnesses.

He more than once noted the coincidence of human rights abuses and environmental impact, since in both Burma and Nigeria, U.S. corporations not only ignore, or are complicit in, standard forms of human rights abuse, but at the same time are responsible for environmental damage that causes people to lose their health and livelihoods.

Empire’s Creditor Gets Their Cut

Iraq will sign a $1.2 billion oil service contract with China to replace a production-sharing deal agreed under Saddam Hussein, an Iraqi newspaper quoted oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani as saying on Tuesday.

The oil minister is travelling to China at the end of this month to discuss the deal, which was orginally signed in 1997 between Iraq and the China National Petrolium Company (CNPC). (ht2 Blairwatch)

Although another contract signed under Saddam won’t be revived-

Shahristani also repudiated a Saddam Hussein-era deal with Russia’s largest private oil company LUKOIL , saying the contract was political and its terms “totally unfair”.

“Relating to the Russian contract, it was signed with the former regime for political reasons and scrapped by the former regime also for political reasons,” he said. “It is a totally unfair contract.”

Dumb Ruskies, don’t you know it pays to own debts.

The War on Penguins

(AFP) — Argentina’s military is to take on protecting the environment and interests in Antarctica under a shake-up being proposed by President Cristina Kirchner. The reform aims to assert Argentina’s sovereignty over its natural resources, but could also create friction as competition intensifies between countries looking to establish claims on the South Pole, where large oil deposits may lie.

Although Antarctica is protected under a 1959 treaty allowing only scientific research, moves are being made by Argentina, Australia, Britain, China, France, New Zealand and Norway to boost their presence there and lay claim to territorial waters that could yield oil. The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is considering requests by some of those countries to extend ownership around territories close to Antarctica based on continental shelf surveys.

Britain, for instance, is seeking to increase its claim on waters around the Falkland Islands off Argentina, over which the two countries went to war in 1982. Up to 60 billion barrels of oil are estimated to possibly lie under the seabed there. The rivalry in the region is especially keen right now, given that a UN convention defining territorial sea limits has a deadline of May 2009 for countries to argue for expansion.

Islas Malvinas! My favourite book about the Antarctic- At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft, full text here for free! Best film might well be Carpenter’s The Thing, so is that my tastes or does the continent inspire horror? Not in me, I love it! So I might have to enter the fray and lay territorial claim to some bit, not big, just enough for an ice base and a penguin playground. Maybe I’ll borrow ‘Falkland islanders rights’ from HM Govt. as a pretext, then once the base is built and they come round to borrow some sugar, fuck ’em, the inbred simpletons and their sheep friendly ways.

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Don’t Panic

Canadian study: Oil prices to double by 2012

Ok, panic.

Hilariously this story has been headlined for American consumption as Gas to Hit $7 a gallon!!!! Oh for the love of cats, it is £1.20 a litre here, a US liquid gallon is 3.785 litres so that’s-

£1.20 x 3.785 litres = £4.54 which in US dollars is…. $8.96 and that is now! Basically nine bucks. We’re all going to be in trouble but economies predicated on cheap gasoline…oh dear.

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Pigs at the Trough

Thirty-five international oil companies have qualified to bid for future oil and gas contracts to develop one of the world’s largest oil fields, an Iraqi oil ministry statement said Sunday.

“The total number of the companies and consortia that participated in the prequalification process was 120 from various nationalities,” said the ministry’s petroleum contracts and licensing office.

The office listed 35 companies that it said were qualified. They include, among others, BP PLC, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Lukoil Holdings, China National Petroleum Corp., Edison International SpA and Eni SpA.

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Easter Feast- The Business Of War

Saddam Hussein banned unions for public workers in 1987 because he feared a progressive movement would topple his dictatorship. When the U.S occupation of Iraq began, the U.S authorities refused to repeal that law. Instead in September of 2003, Paul Bremer, the top U.S. official overseeing the Iraqi occupation, issued an order to privatize the country’s state owned industries, which include its oil industry.

The GUOWT issued a statement on the 2 August and again on the 7 August deploring the approach taken by the Oil Minister and called on him to withdraw the memo sent and signed by his legal adviser Mr Laith abd al Hussein, on 18 July 2007 under his personal instruction to the Iraqi oil companies in Baghdad, Bejy, Kirkuk and Basra ordering them not to deal with oil unions members, and instructed them not to allow oil unions members to be part of any committee formed at the work place. The Oil Minister refused to meet the leadership of the GUOWT and sent the General Director of Information Bureau of the Oil Ministry to inform the oil workers delegation that the Oil Minister will not meet with people that represent unions in the oil sector for he said that there are no workers here but state employees. In this he is wittingly or unwittingly relying on Saddam’s decree of 150 that banned workers from organizing in the public sector. 

Hassan Juma’a Awad Southern Oil Company Union– The next government should not only ensure the security of the Iraqi people, but also oppose the privatization of industry. We oppose privatization very strongly, especially in the oil industry. It is our industry. We don’t want a new colonization under the guise of privatization, with international companies taking control of the oil. The day will come when the occupation forces leave. The US timetable foresees the formation of an Iraqi government after the elections. The US should then leave, but I don’t have faith that they will leave so easily. We should all come together to resist the occupation.

FALEH ABOOD UMARA: [translated] According to Article 111 of the Iraqi Constitution, which states that the oil and gas of Iraq are owned by the Iraqi people and they have the right to control it. But when you look into the details of the law, many of the articles of the law actually conflict with this preamble of the law, the most important point of which is the issue of the production-sharing agreements, which allows the international oil companies, especially the American ones, to exploit the oil fields without our knowledge of what they are actually doing with it. And they take about 50% of the production as their share, which we think it’s an obvious robbery of the Iraqi oil. 

This week-

The Iraqi government is expected to pay up to $2.5 billion to five top oil companies to increase the country’s oil output by nearly a quarter, a government adviser has admitted. In what would be the biggest foreign involvement for decades, Baghdad is close to signing technical support contracts with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total.

Shell is negotiating for the northern Kirkuk oilfield and is also in talks, along with BHP Billiton, for the development of the Maysan fields. BP also has its eyes on Iraq’s southern Rumaila field, while Exxon wants the contract for the Zubair oilfield in Basra. Finally, Chevron and Total are looking to work together to develop the West Qurna oilfield.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry said Sunday that it has invited local and international oil companies to bid for contracts including one to develop a natural gas field in a Sunni area in the west of the country…Early this year, the ministry said it was negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to conduct output tests for the field which has five wells that are ready to be interconnected…In a separate tender, the ministry has also invited companies to submit detailed engineering study and procurement of equipment and materials of two oil pipelines linking the Basra oil fields in southern Iraq with Iran’s Abadan refinery. 

Today at least 54 Iraqis were killed and the green zone is under attack, but we are not invited by the corporate coverage to include the context of the oil & gas resources being sold off, the anti union policies of Saddam being reinforced by the occupiers or the wholesale privatisation of Iraq. Nor in the simpleton greenwash media landscape is Iraq perceived for the environmental disaster, no, buy a cotton shopping bag & an eco bulb (of course all the solutions they offer always depend on you buying something), nevermind about the war-

Projected total US spending on the Iraq war could cover all of the global investments in renewable power generation that are needed between now and 2030 in order to halt current warming trends.

The war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective, CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.

In 2006, the US spent more on the war in Iraq than the whole world spent on investment in renewable energy.

…if the war was ranked as a country in terms of annual emissions, it would emit more CO2 each year than 139 of the world’s nations do. Falling between New Zealand and Cuba, the war each year emits more than 60% of all countries on the planet. 

Military emissions abroad are not captured in the national greenhouse gas inventories that all industrialized nations, including the United States, report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It’s a loophole big enough to drive a tank through.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest oil consuming government body in the US and in the world… in Fiscal Year 2004, the US military fuel consumption increased to 144 million barrels. This is about 40 million barrels more than the average peacetime military usage. By the way, 144 million barrels makes 395 000 barrels per day, almost as much as daily energy consumption of Greece.
The US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world.

May ’05 “The Third Army (of General Patton) had about 400,000 men and used about 400,000 gallons of gasoline a day. Today the Pentagon has about a third that number of troops in Iraq yet they use more than four times as much fuel.”

Some figures show that the U.S. military uses enough oil in one year to run all of the U.S. transit systems for the next 14-22 years. In less than one hour a U.S. F-16 fighter jet uses twice as much fuel as the average U.S. auto driver. One-quarter of the world’s jet fuel is consumed by the world’s military. And worldwide the military consumption of copper, nickel, aluminum and platinum exceeds that of the Free World. 

– 90 percent more than Ireland’s annual consumption
– 38 percent more than Israel’s annual consumption
– 20 times Iceland’s annual consumption
– 1.7 percent of U.S. annual consumption

My Sweet Lord.

Rich Thieving Scum Whine

London is losing its status as the world’s leading financial centre and being overtaken by New York, according to a global survey of finance professionals.The collapse of Northern Rock and the proposed tax crackdown on non-domiciled residents are making the UK less attractive to overseas businesses, according to the City of London Corporation, which commissioned the survey.

A separate survey, also commissioned by the City, said the UK tax system had lost its competitive edge over other financial centres. The UK had become increasingly unpredictable and uncertain, complex and unnecessarily aggressive in its approach to taxpayers, it found.

So basically a shot across the bows by kleptocrats unlimited. Also via Mask of Anarchy (and see Exxon using UK courts to attack Venezuela) we see Tesco is weighing up suing the Guardian over blowing its Enron scams-

“Tesco is, apparently, considering suing The Guardian newspaper over a story alleging widespread offshore tax avoidance by the Grocer That Ate Middle England. This could give rise to a little friction between the rest of the Tesco board and one of its non-executives. In her day job, Carolyn McCall is chief executive of Guardian Media Group.”

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Exxon Attacking Venezuelan Oil Nationalisation

“If you end up freezing (Venezuelan assets) and it harms us, we’re going to harm you,” Chavez said. “Do you know how? We aren’t going to send oil to the United States. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger.”

Exxon Mobil has gone after the assets of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA in U.S., British and Dutch courts as it challenges the nationalization of a multibillion dollar oil project by Chavez’s government.

A British court has issued an injunction “freezing” as much as $12 billion in assets.

“I speak to the U.S. empire, because that’s the master: continue and you will see that we won’t sent one drop of oil to the empire of the United States,” Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program, “Hello, President.”

“The outlaws of Exxon Mobil will never again rob us,” Chavez said, accusing the Irving, Texas-based oil company of acting in concert with Washington.

Chavez has repeatedly threatened to cut off oil shipments to the United States, which is Venezuela’s No. 1 client, if Washington tries to oust him. Chavez’s warnings on Sunday appeared to extend that threat to attempts by oil companies to challenge his government’s nationalization drive in courts internationally.

“If the economic war continues against Venezuela, the price of oil is going to reach $200 (a barrel) and Venezuela will join the economic war,” Chavez said. “And more than one country is willing to accompany us in the economic war.”

This neatly reveals the political totalitarianism of the corporatocracy, people who work for corporations will often not think that what they do is any more than their job/career. When they vote, that’s politics, but not what they do for many hours every weekday. Thus reinforcing the false assumption that the current global capitalism is some kind of common-sensical natural order and democracy is really just choosing different management styles. As if something you do once every few years for a few minutes is somehow more powerful than that which you do for thousands of days between each election. Thus the scam of pretending capitalism=democracy thrives.
But here a political and economic war is taking place where a global corporation closely allied to national governments and military power is attacking a sovereign nation. Support Hamas and you will be called a terrorist, but work for Exxon? Well that’s just a job, innit?

Iran Drops Petrodollar

Which in part explains why the empire and its familiars are still pursuing more sanctions, some of this is about shoring up their currencies value which resides an awful lot in it being the medium of exchange for de black gold. But Iran don’t care-

Iran has completely stopped selling any of its oil for U.S. dollars, an Iranian news agency reported on Saturday, citing the oil minister of the world’s fourth-largest crude producer… Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari told ISNA: “In regards to the decrease in the dollar’s value and the loss exporters of crude oil have endured from this trend, the dollar is no longer a reliable currency.”

“This is why, at the meeting of the heads of states, Iran proposed to OPEC members that a currency (for oil exports) would be determined that would be reliable and would not cause any loss to exporter countries,” he said. At a November summit of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries heads of state, Iran suggested oil should be sold in a basket of currencies rather than dollars, but failed to win over other members except Venezuela.

Iran, Venezuela? Anyone spot a connection? Meanwhile the warfare state that America has become has zero political opposition (and a betrayed electorate) and government action to avert a catastrophic crash & fund disaster relief is only proposed contingent on continuing wars, oh dearie me-

House Democratic leaders could complete work as soon as Monday on a half-trillion-dollar spending package that will include billions of dollars for the war effort in Iraq without the timelines for the withdrawal of combat forces that President Bush has refused to accept…In a complicated deal over the war funds, Democrats will include about $11 billion more in domestic spending than Bush has requested, emergency drought relief for the Southeast and legislation to address the subprime mortgage crisis,

If the bargain were to become law, it would be the third time since Democrats took control of Congress that they would have failed to force Bush to change course in Iraq and continued to fund a war that they have repeatedly vowed to end. But it would also be the clearest instance yet of the president bowing to a Democratic demand for more money for domestic priorities, an increase that he had promised to reject.   

Rice Aid

So that war the US is running in Ethiopia & Somalia (and probably soon Eritrea) so those pesky Islamists and the oil hungry Chinese won’t steal all that American oil (how does it keep getting under all these other countries soil?) is going ever so well. First the bad cop then the good cop-

The Ogaden region, which borders Somalia, has been the scene of a violent insurgency by rebels calling for greater autonomy. Ethiopia’s government has responded with a brutal counter-insurgency operation which has paralysed trade and forced thousands to flee their homes.

Refugees who have fled the Ogaden to Somalia told The Independent in October that Ethiopian soldiers are burning villages, raping women and killing civilians as part of a systematic campaign to drive them from their homes.

But once clear of the undesirables, ‘aid’ says Voice of America…

The United States says it is providing nearly $19 million in emergency aid for Ethiopia’s volatile Ogaden region. The State Department said Friday Washington is working with the Ethiopian government, international partners and non-governmental organizations in responding to concerns over humanitarian conditions in the eastern region.

Ethiopia’s Ogaden, also known as the Somali region, is an oil-rich, but poor area that is ethnically Somali.

While the Ethiopian installed Somalian government stop food aid as part of their campaign-

Two ships carrying aid, which the French navy escorted in to scare off pirates, cannot unload their cargo. It said it was deeply concerned that the delivery of food aid was being restricted. Ports and airports have been closed and a road convoy halted.

The UN says one million Somalis are homeless because of the fighting. The head of the national security service said President Abdullahi Yusuf had ordered restrictions to be imposed on the region immediately. (ht2 Lenin)

In between refusing to acknowledge the NIE on Iran has blown their game Rice is in Ethiopia’s capital to erm, solve conflicts.

Her first talks were on the latest fighting in DR Congo, with the presidents of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, as well as Congolese ministers.

She will also hold bilateral talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. They are expected to discuss renewed tensions with neighbouring Eritrea.

There we go, come on down Eritrea and of course the magic codeword

“The Somali leadership is going to have to really reach out to all the elements that are not (linked) with terrorism,” Rice told journalists. 

Oh yes, terrorism.

Peak Oil Was So Last Year


according to a study by the Energy Watch Group (EWG) in Berlin, Germany. It reported this week that world oil production peaked in 2006 – far earlier than expected.

Energy Watch Group is a Germany-based group of independent scientists and energy experts who this month released a report that includes nearly 100 pages of exhaustive technical analysis of every oil producing field in the world and every known and proven reserve.

the EWG study relies more on actual oil production data which, it says, are more reliable than estimates of reserves still in the ground. The group says official industry estimates put global reserves at about 1.255 gigabarrels – equivalent to 42 years’ supply at current consumption rates. But it thinks the figure is only about two thirds of that.

British energy economist David Fleming: “Anticipated supply shortages could lead easily to disturbing scenes of mass unrest as witnessed in Burma this month. For government, industry and the wider public, just muddling through is not an option any more as this situation could spin out of control and turn into a complete meltdown of society.”

Mr Schindler comes to a similar conclusion. “The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life.”

Jeremy Leggett, one of Britain’s leading environmentalists and the author of Half Gone, a book about “peak oil” – defined as the moment when maximum production is reached, said that both the UK government and the energy industry were in “institutionalised denial” and that action should have been taken sooner.

“When I was an adviser to government, I proposed that we set up a taskforce to look at how fast the UK could mobilise alternative energy technologies in extremis, come the peak,” he said. “Other industry advisers supported that. But the government prefers to sleep on without even doing a contingency study. For those of us who know that premature peak oil is a clear and present danger, it is impossible to understand such complacency.”

The smart money is moving into Thunderdome fight training schools, presided over by robot Dick Cheney in a chain-mail cocktail dress, mmmm.

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India Visits Mr. Fib In Burma, Hunger (& Panty News)

But not Aung San Suu Kyi…

Contrary to the news that the Indian Ambassador in Rangoon and the Foreign Secretary met detained Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, party activists and foreign diplomats in the former capital said they were unaware of any such meeting. Amidst increasing pressure on the Burmese military junta to implement political changes, news spread from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs that India is vibrantly working for changes in Burma with its ambassador to the country and foreign secretary meeting pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi towards the end of September.

Along with several Indian newspapers, Mizzima on October 11 published a report titled “Indian envoy meets detained Burmese democracy icon”, mentioning that the Indian Ambassador met detained Aung San Suu Kyi based on the information reportedly from the MEA. However, MEA officials, upon reconfirming, declined to comment.

According to a western diplomat in Rangoon, such meetings have never taken place and that diplomats as much like others are not allowed to meet Suu Kyi. U Lwin, spokesperson of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party – the National League for Democracy – told Mizzima, “I am not aware of such a meeting. And if it took place I am sure it will be known to at least the diplomatic circle here [Rangoon].”

The information could have been spread purposely to project that India is secretly working for changes in Burma, he added. India, which has officially stated that it hopes to see Burma’s political problems resolved peacefully through an inclusive and broad based dialogue, said it preferred a ‘non-condemnatory’ approach to Burma instead of international sanctions.

And apparently women are sending their panties to Burmese embassies in a ‘culturally insulting gesture of protest‘ erm this might not have the desired effect, that’s all I’m saying. Bush (seamless!) announces new sanctions, no one mentions Chevron, funny that.

The U.S. government has had sanctions in place against Burma since 1997. A loophole exists, though, for companies grandfathered in. Unocal’s exemption from the Burma sanctions has been passed on to its new owner, Chevron. Rice served on the Chevron board of directors for a decade. She even had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. While she served on the board, Chevron was sued for involvement in the killing of nonviolent protesters in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Like the Burmese, Nigerians suffer political repression and pollution where oil and gas are extracted and they live in dire poverty. The protests in Burma were actually triggered by a government-imposed increase in fuel prices.

Or at least they could put their profits into feeding the Burmese who are starving due to a corrupt money grabbing government (Go capitalism!)-

A senior United Nations World Food Programme official has said that at least five million people in Burma are short of food, and urged the Burmese government to take immediate steps to tackle poverty and hunger in the country. “Humanitarian organizations can help, but we are faced with insufficient funding,…”

The lockdown continues, much like in America hanging a sign up will get you arrested and the oil filled Arakan state is using a census to track monks and protesters.