Posts Tagged ‘PRICE OF OIL’


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http://theantimedia.org/us-war-terror-5-trillion/

September 14, 2016   |   Darius Shahtahmasebi

(ANTIMEDIA) On September 11, 2001, one of the most tragic events in recent American history took place. Close to 3,000 civilians lost their lives in horrific terror attacks that took place on American soil. Fifteen years later, it is time to ask the question: have our counterterror efforts helped to reduce the amount of terrorism in the world? Or at the very least, have they tried to make the world safer?

According to a report released by Dr. Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Brown University, spending by the United States Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs since 9/11 is now close to $5 trillion USD. Before we have the chance to ask how a country that has racked up over $19.3 trillion USD in debt can spend $5 trillion USD on war, the focus of this article is to ask:

What has all of this spending achieved?

As Reader Supported News reported at the end of last year, terrorism has increased 6,500 percent since 2002 (they probably should rename it “the war of terror”).

In 2014, the outlet noted, it was reported that 74 percent of all terror-related casualties occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Syria. As stated by Paul Gottinger, a staff reporter for Reader Supported News, out of the aforementioned countries, “only Nigeria did not experience either U.S. air strikes or a military occupation in that year.”

Omitted from that assessment is the fact that the U.S. has been meddling in Nigeria for some time now. Why wouldn’t they? Until recently, Nigeria was Africa’s largest oil producer, as well as the continent’s largest economy until last month.

Hillary Clinton herself refused repeated requests from the CIA to place Boko Haram, the al-Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror group wreaking havoc across Nigeria (statistically they are far more deadly than ISIS), on the U.S. official list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Further, it was Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya that helped catapult Boko Haram into the menace it is today. In 2009, Boko Haram was a small-scale group with very limited weaponry. Following the invasion of Libya and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan armories were looted, and much of the weaponry was sent over to Syria. However, Boko Haram was able to capitalize on these looted weapons and the instability that rippled throughout Africa following the NATO-led war in Libya. As Peter Weber stated in The Week:

“[Boko Haram’s weaponry] shifted from relatively cheap AK-47s in the early days of its post-2009 embrace of violence to desert-ready combat vehicles and anti-aircraft/ anti-tank guns.”

Boko Haram is just one example of an unforeseen consequence, right?

At least we removed a dictator who was going to massacre his own people in Libya, right?
Despite one’s thoughts on Gaddafi’s moral compass, he was able to transform Libya into Africa’s most prosperous democracy with the highest standard of living on the continent. Since then, Libya has fallen massively in the U.N. Human Development Index ratings (in 2015 alone, Libya fell 27 places). According to UNICEF, there are two million Libyan children out of school in a country that is now plagued by militants, civil war, and extremism. What are the chances of those children out of school being swayed to join a militant group?

Last year, four former U.S. air force service members wrote a letter to Barack Obama warning him that the single most effective recruitment tool for groups like ISIS was the drone program being implemented across the Muslim world, courtesy of the president himself. In fact, three former U.S. air force drone operators have even backed a lawsuit against the state, brought by a Yemeni man who lost members of his family in a drone strike in 2012.

According to Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s “Untold History of the United States”:

“When the U.S. began its Yemeni drone campaign in 2009, Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula had fewer than 300 militants in Yemen.

By mid-2012, that number had jumped to over 1,000.”

Still believe there is no relationship between bombing a country to death and the resulting extremist groups that emerge from the rubble?

It seems as though recent history is just repeating itself over and over — not to mention the cruel and unnecessary havoc unleashed on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. As Ben Swann, an investigative journalist and outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, stated:

“Before the 2003 U.S. invasion, do you know how many suicide attacks there were in Iraq? None. In the country’s history there had never been one. But since the 2003 invasion, there have been 1,892.

“In Iraq, prior to the start of the Iraq war, there were reportedly just over 1.5 million Christians living in that country. And yet shortly after the war started, more than one million of them fled to Syria. That didn’t work out well. Today fewer than half a million Christians remain and yet are being exterminated by groups like ISIS.”

The list of ways in which the $5 trillion USD effort to stamp out terrorism has either caused more terrorism or done nothing remotely towards curbing terrorism is endless. Even College Humor, in their show “Adam Ruins Everything,” put together an informative piece on how the TSA is almost completely useless, having never prevented a single terrorist attack – ever.

Yet how much money has been flowing into these programs – and still is today?

It’s time for a realistic talk about our counterterrorism efforts. One can only assume the U.S. establishment is not genuine in their bid to fight terrorism across the globe given that they have continued policies that merely exacerbate terrorism and have created a world less safe for future generations.

The first step in preventing future terrorism would be to admit that our current strategy isn’t working.

Anyone who believes otherwise — or who decides to run for president on the promise they will further expand these failed policies — is not only wasting our time, but will be wasting countless lives in the process.

Yesterday over a hundred members and supporters of the UK-based art collective Liberate Tate carried out their latest art protest against the oil giant BP in the Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall in London.

http://priceofoil.org/2014/09/08/activists-attack-grossly-negligent-bp/

 

The protest comes just days after BP was labelled “grossly negligent” for its actions in the run up to the 2010 Deepwater disaster, which killed eleven and caused millions of gallons of oil to be spilled.

The protest was an unsolicited interpretation of Russian abstract painter Kazimir Malevich’s iconic Black Square which is currently on display as part of the Malevich exhibition at Tate Modern.

It also included ‘Hidden Figures’ in a reference to the Tate’s recent refusal to disclose information to the protestors about the Tate’s controversial sponsorship relationship with BP.

Yasmin De Silva of Liberate Tate said: “There’s an important debate taking place about whether we let oil companies get away with pretending to be good corporate citizens by sponsoring cultural institutions”. She added that BP needed to be “more transparent about its operations and to respond to public pressure over BP sponsorship.”

It’s not hard to see why BP spends millions greenwashing its image, by funding organisations such as the Tate. Indeed, the protest came three days after a US judge issued an historic judgement on Thursday against BP by labelling the oil giant “grossly negligent” in the lead-up to the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ruling, which is seen as body blow for BP, could cost quadruple the civil penalties the company must pay to $18 billion. It is not surprising that it sent the company’s shares plummeting by 6 per cent.

The New Orleans judge Carl Barbier, who has overseen a lengthy civil trial against the company, argued that BP was responsible for 67 per cent of the blame for the US’s worst offshore disaster.

He ruled that BP would be “subject to enhanced civil penalties” due to its “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct”. The finding of gross negligence means that BP pays $4,300 per barrel under the Clean Water Act, rather than $1,100 per barrel if it had found to be negligent.

One journalist from the Telegraph who has read the lengthy 153-page judgement, said the judge “painted a picture of an organisation so greedy it sacrificed basic safety in order to fatten profits.” Rather than focus on safety, BP made “profit-driven decisions”.

Given BP’s reckless corporate behaviour is it pretty despicable that it is receiving backing from the British Government, which is acting as a “friend of court” to the oil company.

The government is urging the US Supreme Court to review the appeals court rulings against the oil giant.  The British Government is trying to argue that these court rulings raise “grave international comity concerns”.

It warned that the courts’ treatment of BP undermined confidence in America and the “trust necessary for international commerce”, which the filing put at $200 billion a year.

So for the British Government, concerns about trade trump those of health, safety and the environment as well as corporate responsibility.