Tag Archives: OPEC

Iran,Iraq,Syria,Russia :Mission NOT accomplished for Big Oil

23 August 2012

 

Published (with an intro by Tom Engelhardt) on TomDispatch

In 2011, after nearly nine years of war and occupation, U.S. troops finally left Iraq. In their place, Big Oil is now present in force and the country’s oil output, crippled for decades, is growing again. Iraq recently reclaimed the number two position in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), overtaking oil-sanctioned Iran. Now, there’s talk of a new world petroleum glut. So is this finally mission accomplished?

Well, not exactly. In fact, any oil company victory in Iraq is likely to prove as temporary as George W. Bush’s triumph in 2003. The main reason is yet another of those stories the mainstream media didn’t quite find room for: the role of Iraqi civil society. But before telling that story, let’s look at what’s happening to Iraqi oil today, and how we got from the “no blood for oil” global protests of 2003 to the present moment.

Here, as a start, is a little scorecard of what’s gone on in Iraq since Big Oil arrived two and a half years ago: corruption’s skyrocketed; two Western oil companies are being investigated for either giving or receiving bribes; the Iraqi government is paying oil companies a per-barrel fee according to wildly unrealistic production targets they’ve set, whether or not they deliver that number of barrels; contractors are heavily over-charging for drilling wells, which the companies don’t mind since the Iraqi government picks up the tab.

Meanwhile, to protect the oil giants from dissent and protest, trade union offices have been raided, computers seized and equipment smashed, leaders arrested and prosecuted. And that’s just in the oil-rich southern part of the country.

In Kurdistan in the north, the regional government awards contracts on land outside its jurisdiction, contracts which permit the government to transfer its stake in the oil projects — up to 25% — to private companies of its choice. Fuel is smuggled across the border to the tune of hundreds of tankers a day.

In Kurdistan, at least the approach is deliberate: the two ruling families of the region, the Barzanis and Talabanis, know that they can do whatever they like, since their Peshmerga militia control the territory. In contrast, the Iraqi federal government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has little control over anything. As a result, in the rest of the country the oil industry operates, gold-rush-style, in an almost complete absence of oversight or regulation.

Oil companies differ as to which of these two Iraqs they prefer to operate in. BP and Shell have opted to rush for black gold in the super-giant oilfields of southern Iraq. Exxon has hedged its bets by investing in both options. This summer, Chevron and the French oil company Total voted for the Kurdish approach, trading smaller oil fields for better terms and a bit more stability.

Keep in mind that the incapacity of the Iraqi government is hardly limited to the oil business: stagnation hangs over its every institution. Iraqis still have an average of just five hours of electricity a day, which in 130-degree heat causes tempers to boil over regularly. The country’s two great rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, which watered the cradle of civilization 5,000 years ago, are drying up.  This is largely due to the inability of the government to engage in effective regional diplomacy that would control upstream dam-building by Turkey.

After elections in 2010, the country’s leading politicians couldn’t even agree on how to form a government until the Iraqi Supreme Court forced them to. This record of haplessness, along with rampant corruption, significant repression, and a revival of sectarianism can all be traced back to American decisions in the occupation years. Tragically, these persistent ills have manifested themselves in a recent spate of car-bombings and other bloody attacks.

Washington’s Yen for Oil

In the period before and around the invasion, the Bush administration barely mentioned Iraqi oil, describing it reverently only as that country’s “patrimony.” As for the reasons for war, the administration insisted that it had barely noticed Iraq had one-tenth of the world’s oil reserves. But my new book reveals documents I received, marked SECRET/NOFORN, that laid out for the first time pre-war oil plans hatched in the Pentagon by arch-neoconservative Douglas Feith’s Energy Infrastructure Planning Group (EIPG).

In November 2002, four months before the invasion, that planning group came up with a novel idea: it proposed that any American occupation authority not repair war damage to the country’s oil infrastructure, as doing so “could discourage private sector involvement.” In other words, it suggested that the landscape should be cleared of Iraq’s homegrown oil industry to make room for Big Oil.

When the administration worried that this might disrupt oil markets, EIPG came up with a new strategy under which initial repairs would be carried out by KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Long-term contracts with multinational companies, awarded by the U.S. occupation authority, would follow. International law notwithstanding, the EIPG documents noted cheerily that such an approach would put “long-term downward pressure on [the oil] price” and force “questions about Iraq’s future relations with OPEC.”

At the same time, the Pentagon planning group recommended that Washington state that its policy was “not to prejudice Iraq’s future decisions regarding its oil development policies.” Here, in writing, was the approach adopted in the years to come by the Bush administration and the occupation authorities: lie to the public while secretly planning to hand Iraq over to Big Oil.

There turned out, however, to be a small kink in the plan: the oil companies declined the American-awarded contracts, fearing that they would not stand up in international courts and so prove illegitimate. They wanted Iraq first to have an elected permanent government that would arrive at the same results. The question then became how to get the required results with the Iraqis nominally in charge. The answer: install a friendly government and destroy the Iraqi oil industry.

In July 2003, the U.S. occupation established the Iraqi Governing Council, a quasi-governmental body led by friendly Iraqi exiles who had been out of the country for the previous few decades. They would be housed in an area of Baghdad isolated from the Iraqi population by concrete blast walls and machine gun towers, and dubbed the Green Zone.  There, the politicians would feast, oblivious to and unconcerned with the suffering of the rest of the population.

The first post-invasion Oil Minister was Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, a man who held the country’s homegrown oil expertise in open contempt. He quickly set about sacking the technicians and managers who had built the industry following nationalization in the 1970s and had kept it running through wars and sanctions. He replaced them with friends and fellow party members. One typical replacement was a former pizza chef.

The resulting damage to the oil industry exceeded anything caused by missiles and tanks. As a result the country found itself — as Washington had hoped — dependent on the expertise of foreign companies. Meanwhile, not only did the Coalition Provisional authority (CPA) that oversaw the occupation lose $6.6 billion of Iraqi money, it effectively suggested corruption wasn’t something to worry about.  A December 2003 CPA policy document recommended that Iraq follow the lead of Azerbaijan, where the government had attracted oil multinationals despite an atmosphere of staggering corruption (“less attractive governance”) simply by offering highly profitable deals.

Now, so many years later, the corruption is all-pervasive and the multinationals continue to operate without oversight, since the country’s ministry is run by the equivalent of pizza chefs.

The first permanent government was formed under Prime Minister Maliki in May 2006. In the preceding months, the American and British governments made sure the candidates for prime minister knew what their first priority had to be: to pass a law legalizing the return of the foreign multinationals — tossed out of the country in the 1970s — to run the oil sector.

The law was drafted within weeks, dutifully shown to U.S. officials within days, and to oil multinationals not long after. Members of the Iraqi parliament, however, had to wait seven months to see the text.

How Temporary the Victory of Big Oil?

The trouble was: getting it through that parliament proved far more difficult than Washington or its officials in Iraq had anticipated. In January 2007, an impatient President Bush announced a “surge” of 30,000 U.S. troops into the country, by then wracked by a bloody civil war. Compliant journalists accepted the story of a gamble by General David Petraeus to bring peace to warring Iraqis.

In fact, those troops spearheaded a strategy with rather less altruistic objectives: first, broker a new political deal among U.S. allies, who were the most sectarian and corrupt of Iraq’s politicians (hence, with the irony characteristic of American foreign policy, regularly described as “moderates”); second, pressure them to deliver on political objectives set in Washington and known as “benchmarks” — of which passing the oil law was the only one ever really talked about: in President Bush’s biweekly video conferences with Maliki, in almost daily meetings of the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, and in frequent visits by senior administration officials.

On this issue, the Democrats, by then increasingly against the Iraq War but still pro-Big Oil, lent a helping hand to a Republican administration. Having failed to end the war, the newly Democrat-controlled Congress passed an appropriations bill that would cut off reconstruction funds to Iraq if the oil law weren’t passed. Generals warned that without an oil law Prime Minister Maliki would lose their support, which he knew well would mean losing his job. And to ramp up the pressure further, the U.S. set a deadline of September 2007 to pass the law or face the consequences.

It was then that things started going really wrong for Bush and company. In December 2006, I was at a meeting where leaders of Iraq’s trade unions decided to fight the oil law. One of them summed up the general sentiment this way: “We do not need thieves to take us back to the middle ages.” So they began organizing. They printed pamphlets, held public meetings and conferences, staged protests, and watched support for their movement grow.

Most Iraqis feel strongly that the country’s oil reserves belong in the public sector, to be developed to benefit them, not foreign energy companies. And so word spread fast — and with it, popular anger. Iraq’s oil professionals and various civil society groups denounced the law. Preachers railed against it in Friday sermons. Demonstrations were held in Baghdad and elsewhere, and as Washington ratcheted up the pressure, members of the Iraqi parliament started to see political opportunity in aligning themselves with this ever more popular cause. Even some U.S. allies in Parliament confided in diplomats at the American embassy that it would be political suicide to vote for the law.

By the September deadline, a majority of the parliament was against the law and — a remarkable victory for the trade unions — it was not passed. It’s still not passed today.

Given the political capital the Bush administration had invested in the passage of the oil law, its failure offered Iraqis a glimpse of the limits of U.S. power, and from that moment on, Washington’s influence began to wane.

Things changed again in 2009 when the Maliki government, eager for oil revenues, began awarding contracts to them even without an oil law in place. As a result, however, the victory of Big Oil is likely to be a temporary one: the present contracts are illegal, and so they will last only as long as there’s a government in Baghdad that supports them.

This helps explain why the government’s repression of trade unions increased once the contracts were signed.  Now, Iraq is showing signs of a more general return to authoritarianism (as well as internecine violence and possibly renewed sectarian conflict).

But there is another possibility for Iraq. Years before the Arab Spring, I saw what Iraqi civil society can achieve by organizing: it stopped the world’s superpower from reaching its main objective and steered Iraq onto a more positive course.

Many times since 2003 Iraqis have moved their country in a more democratic direction: establishing trade unions in that year, building Shi’a-Sunni connections in 2004, promoting anti-sectarian politicians in 2007 and 2008, and voting for them in 2009.  Sadly, each of these times Washington has pushed it back toward sectarianism, the atmosphere in which its allies thrive.  While mainstream commentators now regularly blame the recent escalation of violence on the departure of U.S. troops, it would be more accurate to say that the real reason is they didn’t leave far sooner.

Now, without its troops and bases, much of Washington’s political heft has vanished. Whether Iraq heads in the direction of dictatorship, sectarianism, or democracy remains to be seen, but if Iraqis again start to build a more democratic future, the U.S. will no longer be there to obstruct it.  Meanwhile, if a new politics does emerge, Big Oil may discover that, in the end, it was mission unaccomplished. [source]

Putin backs Russian push for Iraqi oil

 

President Vladimir Putin lobbied Iraq’s prime minister on Wednesday to support Russian energy investment, as the oil arm of gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) pushes for a foothold in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM) is still interested in Kurdistan’s oil, company sources and the province’s spokesman said, rebutting reports it had frozen projects in the Iraqi province.

Putin, a vocal opponent of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, called for Russia to strengthen its presence in the OPEC oil producer state at talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at his residence near Moscow.

“Our companies are boosting their activities in Iraq – the whole list of our large energy companies,” Putin said. “I hope their work will develop step by step and we are very much hoping for your support, Mr Prime Minister.”

Russia’s second-largest crude producer LUKOIL (LKOH.MM) is developing the vast West Qurna-2 oil, while mid-sized Bashneft (BANE.MM) is teaming up with Britain’s Premier Oil PLC (PMO.L) after they won the right to tap oil in the Middle East country.

LUKOIL bought Norway’s Statoil (STL.OL) out of their partnership in West Qurna-2 in March, and CEO Vagit Alekperov said he would be open to taking on board a new partner.

“We bought it, 100 pct, if there is a good offer we can sell part of it, so far we feel comfortable with it,” Alekperov told Reuters. Asked if there was an offer in the works, he said “at the moment no, only outline ideas.”

Russia signed $4.2 billion worth of arms deals with Iraq on Tuesday.

DEAL NOT FROZEN

Late on Tuesday, the International Oil Daily cited Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi as saying Baghdad had received a letter from Gazprom, in which the company said it had frozen its contract with Kurdistan.

Baghdad has been angered by the plans of some international majors, including ExxonMobil (XOM.N), to tap oil and gas in the northern region. The central government says the deals are illegal.

A spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said Gazprom Neft had informed the KRG on Wednesday that it remains committed to its contract in the Kurdistan region.

Sources at Gazprom Neft also knocked down the report.

In August, Gazprom Neft acquired interests in two blocks in Kurdistan.

“Gazprom Neft is still working on these projects. The company keeps its interest in Kurdistan,” a Gazprom Neft source told Reuters.

Another source at the company said Gazprom Neft would be able to go ahead with the projects once the Iraqi central government and KRG resolve their differences.

He also said Gazprom Neft management will travel to Kurdistan before year-end to discuss oil development in the province. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.

Gazprom Neft already has a project in Iraq, near the Iranian border, where it expects to produce about 15,000 barrels per day from 2013. [source ]

 

And the other side “de la moneda” Judge for yourselves

 

October 11, 2012 

Iraq today stands on the brink of total control by Iran and the establishment of a new dictatorship. 

The dream for which so many American soldiers believed they were fighting is slipping away as Iraq moves in the opposite direction – toward Iran. 

Iran’s presence is already visible in Iraq, from the droves of pilgrims at Shi’ite holy sites to the brands of yogurt and jam on grocery shelves, and Iraqis see clear Iranian influence since the US troops left at the end of last year. 

It could be considered a natural step for the only two Shi’ite Muslim-led governments in the Sunnidominated Middle East to expand their relationship. However, many Iraqi Shi’ites are cautious of intrusion of their country’s sovereignty and afraid of being overrun by the Iranian theocracy. 



Iraqis are accusing Iran of meddling in Iraqi affairs to destabilize the new democracy and strengthen Iran’s influence over it and its neighbors. Top Iranian officials maintain they are only strengthening diplomatic and economic ties with Iraq, as they have sought to do since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein. On the other hand, head of Iranian al-Quds Brigades General Qasim Sulaimani announced recently that Iraq and South Lebanon are submissive to Tehran’s will, stating that his country could regulate any movement with the aim to form Islamic governments in both countries. 

Not to mention the close relationship between Iran and Syria. This is the goal of the Iranians: to form the Shi’ite crescent – Iran, Iraq, Syria and Southern Lebanon – controlled by Hezbollah. The aim is to encircle Israel. Israel should worry about Iraq acquiring F-16 aircraft from the United States, especially since their pilots will be selected from among the Shi’ites most loyal to the regime in Tehran. “Iran wants to make Iraq a weak state,” said Maj.- Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, a US military spokesman in Iraq, a few years ago. 

This issue has also worried many American officials who have long feared what they described as Iranian meddling in Iraq and its potential to sow unrest across the Middle East. Those worries were a chief driver of failed efforts to leave at least several thousand American troops in Iraq beyond the end of last year’s withdrawal deadline. 

“The more you think about it, the more examples there are of Iranian influence,” says Buchanan. “They’re circumstantial, but that’s how behind-thescenes influence works.” Since Iraq’s 2010 election, Iraqis have witnessed the subordination of the state to Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki’s Iranian-backed Da’awa party, the erosion of judicial independence and intimidation of opponents. All of this happened during the Arab Spring while other countries were ousting dictators in favor of democracy. Iraq has become a sectarian battleground in which identity politics have crippled democratic development. 

Maliki has laid siege to his political opponents’ homes and offices, surrounded them with his security forces, all with the blessing of politicized judiciary and law enforcement systems that have become virtual extensions of his personal office. 

This is a typical textbook definition of “lawfare.” His national security adviser has complete control over the Iraqi intelligence and national security agencies, which are supposed to be independent institutions but have become a virtual extension of Maliki’s Da’awa Party; and his Da’awa loyalists are in control of the security units that oversee the Green Zone. The Iraqi prime minister uses secret prisons under the supervision of his elite security apparatus, and the Red Cross has conclusive evidence about these prisons. 

It was stated in its recent report that there is evidence detainees being tortured to extract confessions and information. The report mentioned that some of the torture sessions were attended by Iraqi judges. The Red Cross reported that there are three secret prisons in the Green Zone alone that are linked to Maliki’s office. The political process in Iraq is going in a very wrong direction; it’s going toward a dictatorship, while Iran views Maliki as its man in Baghdad and has dictated the shape of the current government. 

This Shi’ite Islamist government bodes ill for the country’s future. Today in Iraq, we see Maliki silencing and eliminating his opponents, using the law as a silent weapon for a quiet war. MALIKI IS using the judicial system to attack his political opponents, and the security services in Iraq have become part of the problem as they have been proven to be managing secret detention centers where torture is practiced under the personal supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister. It was revealed recently that 36 out of 38 inspectors-general at Iraqi ministries are from Maliki’s Da’awa Party. 

What we also see in Iraq now is that Iraq supports Syria, weapons from Iran being transported to Syria through Iraq, violations of UN security council resolutions against Iran and money laundering through Iraqi banks in favor of Iran with the full knowledge and support of the Office of the Prime Minister. The Iranian government played an important role in the revitalization of money laundering in Iraq by private banks in coordination with the Office of the Prime Minister. Armed groups backed by Tehran receive millions of dollars monthly in salaries and benefits from Iraqi banks under the guise of bank transfers or investment projects or grants to civil society organizations. It has been confirmed that Tehran-backed armed groups present in southern, central and northern Iraq are dealing with specific banks in these areas and receive their funds facilitated by the Da’awa Party. By consistently thinking of Maliki as a Shi’ite rather than an Iraqi Arab, American officials overlooked opportunities that once existed in Iraq but are now gone. Thanks to their own flawed policies, the Iraq they left behind is more similar to the desperate and divided country of 2006 than to the optimistic Iraq of early 2009. When American forces withdrew from Iraq at the end of last year, it was thought that they would be leaving behind a country that was politically unstable, increasingly volatile, and at risk of descending into the sort of sectarian fighting that killed thousands in 2006 and 2007. Nothing like this actually happened or will happen; instead we see Iraq falling under the full control of Iran. It is controlled by Iran’s embassy in Baghdad and its many consulates in other Iraqi cities. From a strategic standpoint, one can say that Iraq, with all its territory and capabilities, has become Iran’s strategic depth, supplementing its regional expansion. 

Iran controls the political decision-making and economy of Iraq. For all of its potential, Iraq has become merely an advanced strategic base for Iran. Iran may want to strike Israel via Hezbollah, and Iraq, due to its geographical location and the nature of the ruling powers, will be a key player in this regard. 

This is especially true when we observe in Iraq today that there is education, promoted by the Shi’ite parties linked to Iran, saying that the expulsion of Jews from the land of Palestine will be only at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It should also be noted that Iran is not crazy enough to attack the Gulf States and risk losing its legitimacy, as happened with Iraq when it invaded Kuwait. Iran must not be seen attacking Muslim states, which will antagonize the Muslim world. Iran will certainly target Israel first; this is the issue, aided by warmongering media campaigns, that would garner sympathy for Iran among the ignorant people of the Islamic world.[source]


Rex 84: Government Silently Positions for Martial Law as Financial Collapse Arrives in America

The US government has been scheming on how to provide for continuity of government for many decades now. According to Peter Santilli, an informant who is an ex-marine and worked on portions of the contingency plans known as Rex 84, civil unrest will come after a financial collapse.

The Readiness Exercise 1984, a.k.a. Rex 84, outlines continuity of government wherein the US Constitution is suspended, martial law is declared and the US military command take over state and local governments in order to ensure stabilization of our nation at any cost. Any American who is deemed a “national security threat” would be detained in an internment or FEMA camp.

The author of Rex 84 was Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, National Security Council (NSC) White House aids and NSC liaison to FEMA.

Rex 84 is the plan; the triggers are a series of executive orders . It is the continuity of government under specific contingency strategies that are laid out in various operations guide manuals. Operation Garden Plot is a subprogram of Rex 84.

Twice before, Rex 84 was implemented – during the LA riots and on 9/11. In these scenarios, only small portions of the entire set of documents were used. Within the series of contingency plans, implementation of them depends on the severity of the situation.

Some of the plans include internment camps where all or portions of the active or inactive military bases would be transformed into work camps where all considered to be dissonant would be held. The NORTHCOM army manuals clearly state that NATO forces will be used in every phase of the operation.

According to Santilli, procedures to move conventional, chemical and nuclear bombs across the nation without detection have been facilitated without notice by the US military.

Back in 1986, during his military service where he was involved with weapons transportation, Santilli describes how an unmarked refrigerated trailer driven by a civilian driver was used to transport chemical or conventional weapons to various strategic bases both above and underground.

Santilli was a specialist in aviation deployed weapons, which made him the perfect candidate to the assignment of weapons transportation.

The refrigerated truck, allocated by the administration department on base, was directed to the commissary, where the unsuspecting driver believed that he was transporting food. The weapon was placed at the head of the trailer, and covered up with either food stores (like cans of soup) or body bags. In the event that the truck is stopped en route, the weapon would be well hidden and go undetected by inspectors on the public highways.

A US Marine Corp bill of lading was the paperwork necessary to move the commercial refrigerated truck through weigh stations on public highways without any question. Santilli remembers that there was not one incident where he had to enact any security measures to ensure the delivery was made.

Santilli, who was assigned to ride in the cab of the truck with the driver, says that his orders were to make sure the truck arrived at its destination. He was informed by his superiors that if there were problems concerning potential civil unrest, he was to radio into his superiors for aid by either air or ground support.

Should the situation warrant serious attention; crowd control methods would be implemented.

One possible scenario was the use of cluster bomb units (CBUs) that will emit upon detonation, a “sleep and kill” chemical weapon that will not disturb infrastructure, but is lethal to all living things within the effected zone. Santilli describes these particular 3 unit CBUs as shaped like water-heaters with a coned top and plunger-like device. Once deployed in the air, a parachute assists these CBUs to the targeted area. And when detonated, a deadly chemical gas will kill every human and animal in the specified cordoned area.

This is just one example, says Santilli, as to the lengths the US armed forces are trained to make sure continuity of government is preserved.

Santilli explained that the use of foreign troops on US soil, as described in Rex 84 and other subsequent manuals, would have a two-fold purpose.
Firstly, to provide extra security in designated areas, cities or highways; and secondly, as scapegoats were violent action used against American citizens should the US military be directed to attack civilians.

The refrigerated truck, carrying the chemical or conventional weapon with Santilli riding shotgun travelled to underground bases like the one at Yuma Proving Ground which is a ammunitions testing range for pilots. Nestled underneath the ground is a secret military base.

Santilli explains that his knowledge of Rex 84 provides that within the document, one of the scenarios that would cause a complete suspension of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and implement martial law would be a financial collapse. He says once the collapse occurs, the US government and defense agencies estimate they have a 72 hour window to activate all procedures to ensure continuity of government as well as a lockdown of the general population as civilian unrest, riots and outbreaks of violence are anticipated.

A source in the Deutsche Bank claims that in 2008 our financial and monetary system completely collapsed and since that time the banking cartels have been “propping up the system” to make it appear as if everything was fine. In reality our stock market and monetary systems are fake; meaning that there is nothing holding them in place except the illusion that they have stabilized since the Stock Market Crash nearly 5 years ago.

Since this time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with FEMA and other federal agencies have been quickly working to set in place their directives of control under a silent martial law.

The Deutsche Bank informant says that the cause for the bailout of the banks was a large sum of cash needed quickly to repay China who had purchased large quantities of mortgage-backed securities that went belly-up when the global scam was realized. When China realized that they had been duped into buying worthless securitized loans which would never be repaid, they demanded the actual property instead. The Chinese were prepared to send their “people” to American shores to seize property as allocated to them through the securitized loan contracts.

To stave this off, the American taxpayers were coerced by former President Bush and former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. During that incident, the US Senate was told emphatically that they had to approve a $700 million bailout or else martial law would be implemented immediately. That money was funneled through the Federal Reserve Bank and wired to China, as well as other countries that were demanding repayment for the fraudulent securitizations.

To further avert financial catastrophe, as well as more debt or property seizure threats by the Chinese, the Euro was imploded there by plunging most of the European countries into an insurmountable free-fall for which they were never intended to recover.

All the money that those banks claimed they needed to avert collapse was also sent to the Chinese to add to the trillions of dollars lost during the burst of the housing bubble on the global market.

The only saving grace has been the US dollar being the global reserve currency. However, now this prop is showing signs of wear as foreign nations like China, Russia, India and Iran are dealing in gold as currency and purchasing gold on the market at an exponential rate.

In 1970, Henry Kissinger made a deal with the Saudi Arabian government that American debt would be purchased in exchange for cheap oil. Since then Iran has taken control over the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by their use of gold as currency which has threatened the direct value of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

This scenario with Iran coupled with the massive leaps forward in US military presence on American streets and the emergence of FEMA camps across the nation pose an obvious turn of events and explains exactly why we are witnessing the silent implementation of martial law.

The war with Iran has to do with gold, its use as currency and its exposure of the central banking cartel’s lack of gold which defines a fiat currency’s worth. And right now, the US dollar is absolutely worthless.

The Deutsche Bank informant says that the financial collapse that happened in 2008 will be realized here in America very soon. Once that happens, there must be full implementation of marital law to control the potential riots and control over citizens that will be desperate to feed their families.

The attacks of recent on the 2nd Amendment play a significant role in attempting “amicably” to remove the possibility of civilian retaliation against the US military’s presence throughout the nation. However, if they cannot remove the guns from our hands in time, they will continue on with the guidelines set out in Rex 84 with directives to kill any dissenters that refuse to obey.Source

 

To Be Continued…


Greece's Papandreou,Gadhafi,BP and all the OIL,old friends do it better!

The mysterious drowning of Muammar Gaddafi’s former oil boss in Vienna has shaken friends and colleagues, who suspect he was murdered by enemies – who knew he couldn’t swim and had reason to want him silenced.

In a case that reeks of international intrigue, the body of Shokri Ghanem, who served for a time as Gaddafi’s prime minister and ran the Libyan oil industry for years, was found floating in the Danube River on Sunday morning a few hundred meters from his home, fully clothed.

According to police, he died by drowning, possibly having fallen into the river after a heart attack after going for a walk. Preliminary autopsy reports show no sign of foul play.

Friends say he did not know how to swim, and they had warned him to be careful of enemies in his Austrian exile.

Ghanem, 69, was one of the most powerful men in Gaddafi’s Libya – effectively controlling the purse strings of the government and the Gaddafi family – until he defected to the opposition in May last year as rebels bore down on Tripoli.

His decision to switch sides was a turning point in the uprising that eventually drove Gaddafi from power. The former Libyan leader was eventually caught by rebels near his hometown of Sirte and lynched.

Ghanem moved to a comfortable exile in Vienna, headquarters of OPEC, where two daughters live with their families. He was still closely associated with Gaddafi’s rule by Libya’s new leaders and had ruled out returning home.

He would have had enemies among Gaddafi’s opponents because of his years at the centre of power, as well as among the late leader’s friends and kin because of his decision to defect. And he would have had unrivalled knowledge of years of oil deals worth tens of billions of dollars.

Several friends and associates expressed disbelief at the official account of the death.

“I thought that was ridiculous. You don’t go down to the Danube, have a heart attack and fall into the river,” said a former oil minister of another OPEC country who had remained a close friend of Ghanem.

Those who knew Ghanem universally describe him as a cheerful character, quick with a joke. Friends said that exterior hid a wary mind, forever worried about threats to his safety but determined to try to lead a normal life in his Austrian exile.

“Given where he was, yes I think I would be worried. Without any doubt, I would have been very worried. In fact I think he said at times he felt he was being followed. But that might have been his imagination, who knows,” said the former OPEC minister, who asked not to be identified.

“He used to go around Vienna on the streetcar, on the bus. He wasn’t hidden and had a chauffeur day and night, nothing of the sort. In that sense he tried to maintain a normal lifestyle.”

Another former OPEC oil minister, Issam Chalabi, who ran Iraq’s oil industry in the 1980s and set up an oil consultancy in Vienna with Ghanem, said he was unconvinced by the official account.

“For him to be found in the River Danube, in the morning, fully clothed – you know that he doesn’t swim, he can’t have fallen just like that. I think we have not heard the end of the story,” Chalabi told Reuters.

“The one who pushed him knows that he cannot swim,” he added.

Friends had advised Ghanem to be cautious, Chalabi said: “We used to tell him, ‘be careful, keep a low profile’.”

“The problem is that he angered the previous regime because he had defected and the new Libyan leadership did not approve of him because he was involved with opaque contracts.”

HEALTH TESTS

There were suggestions that Ghanem had health problems. Nihal Goonewardene, a Washington-based friend of Ghanem’s since graduate school in Boston, said Ghanem had told a houseguest on Saturday evening that he was not feeling well and left early on Sunday for a walk from which he did not return.

A few days before, he had told a friend that he had recently had a series of medical tests and was concerned about getting bad results, Goonewardene told Reuters.

For now, the family has said little in public. Ghanem’s nephew, Loayi Ghanem, told Reuters an autopsy would be carried out on Wednesday and the family hoped to bring the body back to Libya on Thursday. A man who answered the telephone at Ghanem’s home said the family did not wish to speak about the incident.

Austria’s Krone tabloid quoted what it called Ghanem’s 26-year-old daughter as saying “for us it is 90 percent (probable) that the cause was a heart attack”.

Ghanem, who was also close to Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam, was privy to potentially damaging information including on oil deals with Western governments and oil companies. Such deals are now under investigation by Libya’s new leaders.

As chairman of Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) since 2006, Ghanem helped steer Libya’s oil policy and held the high-profile job of representing Libya at OPEC meetings in Vienna.

“I think he knows more about what really went on in NOC than anyone else alive – not alive now, he’s dead. Obviously there are matters there that would not pass muster in a normal society. Where was all the money going?” said the former OPEC minister who asked not to be named.

In 2009 he quit briefly, but returned to work for the Gaddafis until last year.

“As head of NOC, he was seeing all the income Libya had. And this family of Gadaffis, as time went on they wanted more and more money. One of them came and asked for a billion dollars, that’s when he resigned,” said the former minister.

“I think at that moment he was terribly worried. What I have never known is why he went back.“Source

Papandreou family Ties with Gadhafi

The regime of Muammar Gaddafi is fighting to crush a popular uprising that has taken control over much of Libya; it appears the Gaddafi government rules only in the capital of Tripoli.

As of this writing it is alleged that some 1,000 Libyans have been killed by Gaddafi’s soldiers who have used tanks, aircraft, and mercenary troops in their attempt to quash the rebellion.

But this article is not about the violence now sweeping the North African country, nor is it about the reign of Gaddafi, rather, it is about those who have helped sustain him. As world leaders and the international press rush to condemn Gaddafi, few mention the support his government has received from Western oil companies since 2004, when the U.S. and the United Kingdom lifted commercial sanctions against Libya. One oil giant that invested heavily in Gaddafi’s Libya was BP (British Petroleum).

In May of 2007, BP signed an agreement with Libya worth $900 million. The deal was signed in Sirt, Libya, by BP’s then chief executive Tony Hayward and the chairman of the National Oil Company of Libya, Shokri Ghanem. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time, Tony Blair, attended the signing. The official BP web site published a report detailing the agreement, even publishing a special online edition with the unintended prescient title of “Libya Rising.” A jubilant Tony Haywood would utter the following at the signing, words that should haunt BP until the end of time:

“We are delighted to be working with the National Oil Company of Libya to develop their natural resources for domestic and international markets. Our agreement is the start of an enduring, long-term and mutually beneficial partnership with Libya. With its potentially large resources of gas, favourable geographic location and improving investment climate, Libya has an enormous opportunity to be a source of cleaner energy for the world. This is a welcome return to the country for BP after more than 30 years and represents a significant opportunity for both BP and Libya to deliver our long term growth aspirations. It is BP’s single biggest exploration commitment. The agreement reached today is a great success for Libya, the NOC and also for BP.”

The 2007 deal allows BP to explore for oil and natural gas, offshore as well as onshore, giving the company access to three of Libya’s most promising but unexplored tracts – one area alone is the size of Kuwait. According to the agreement, BP will invest a minimum of $2 billion in Libya in the coming years, with expectations of boosting the nation’s oil production from the current 1.8 million barrels a day, to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2020.

As part of its pact with the Gaddafi regime, BP is preparing to sink an oil well in the Gulf of Sidra, around 125 miles from the coastal city of Benghazi. Despite BP’s liability for the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster – the biggest environmental accident in world history – BP is slated to begin drilling in the Gulf of Sidra by June 2011. The undersea well will be drilled into the seabed at a depth of 1700 meters, making the Sidra well 200 meters deeper than the blown-out Gulf of Mexico well. It was the depth of the Deepwater Horizon well that made it next to impossible to repair or close, leading to hundreds of millions of gallons of crude gushing into the ocean. One can only imagine the environmental repercussions to the Mediterranean Sea if a comparable accident where to take place at BP’s Gulf of Sidra well.

BP plans to build at least five deep water drilling platforms in the Gulf of Sidra. In August of 2010, Italy’s environment minister, Stefania Prestigiacomo, expressed opposition to BP’s drilling in the Mediterranean, saying “A moratorium could be a right approach for potentially dangerous drilling.” The chairman of the Italian Senate’s environment commission, Antonio D’Alli, said he was “very worried” about BP’s plans. Mr. D’Alì said, “The problem is not BP or Libya. The sea has no boundaries and when accidents happen, in national or international waters, effects are felt in the whole Mediterranean. Considering it is already one of the most oil-polluted seas in the world, the impact of a major spill could be irreversible.”

Archaeologists and historians are fearful of what might happen to Libya’s archaeological treasures if a major accident takes place at the Sidra well. Innumerable ships have sunk in the Gulf of Sidra over millennia, and the shipwrecks would suffer incalculable damage in the event of a spill. The ancient city sites that dot the coastline of the Gulf would also be devastated by such a spill; the city of Apollonia being a prime example. Founded in the 7th century by Greeks, Apollonia became a major Roman city, and its ruins are some of the most well-preserved examples of Roman architecture to be found anywhere in the world. Most of the city has not been excavated, and the site extends right into the ocean, with the larger part of it laying beneath the sea as a result of an earthquake in 365 AD. In the event of a spill, crude oil would accumulate on the seafloor, covering ancient artifacts and underwater city ruins. Oily waves washing-up onshore would seep into the porous stone and be impossible to clean off.

BP is not the only foreign oil company in Libya; U.S. corporations like Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum, Conoco Phillips, Marathon Oil, Hess Corp., and Halliburton all run profitable operations there. European nations are also well represented by Eni SpA (Italy: the largest foreign producer), Total S.A. (France: one of the six largest oil companies in the world), OMV AG (Austria), Repsol YPF SA (Spain’s largest oil company), Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands), Statoil (Netherlands), BG Group (U.K.), Wintershall (Germany). China’s largest oil producer, CNPC, also drill for oil in Libya. Most if not all foreign companies are shutting down their Libyan operations for the moment. The chief executive for Eni said that his company will cut production “because of difficulty loading the tankers to export the oil,” inconvenient


The plans BP had to exploit Libyan oil have of course been interrupted by the Libyan people’s revolution, part of the wave of pro-democracy movements sweeping across the Arab world.

BP made the decision to “suspend” oil exploration in Libya on Feb. 21., and company spokesman David Nicholas said that all non-essential staff would be evacuated from the Libyan desert. The company has around 140 staff in Libya, most of which are Libyans. BP’s 40 expatriate personnel have been evacuated.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley would only say that “We have some people there. Dependents have left the country but we remain committed to doing business there.” There were no statements concerning the deplorable violence engulfing the nation, nor comments regarding the safety and welfare of the Libyan people, just an affirmation of wanting to conduct “business”.

I have been writing about the relationship the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) maintains with BP since March 14, 2007, when it was first announced the museum accepted $25 million dollars from the multinational oil company. It would only be two months later that BP would arrange its May 2007 deal with Muammar Gaddafi. LACMA used BP’s millions to renovate and expand its campus, and the museum constructed a new entry gate and pavilion it christened, the “BP Grand Entrance.”

At the time LACMA’s Director Michael Goven billed BP as a “green” company, saying: “What was convincing to me was their commitment to sustainable energy.” One does not need to imagine what the Gaddafi regime did with the initial $900 million BP bestowed upon it, or if by chance it survives, what it would do with the billions BP has agreed to invest in Libya. As far as having a “commitment to sustainable energy,” just think of BP’s projected goal of raising Libyan crude output to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2020.

Tony Hayward, the bungling multi-millionaire former CEO of BP, has so far been remembered for complaining about the disruption the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster had on his personal life, saying at the time, “I would like my life back.” With Colonel Gaddafi presently drowning Libya in blood, Haywood and BP should instead be remembered for cutting a major oil and gas deal with Gaddafi – and gloating about it.Source


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