Thursday, June 19, 2008

Greg Palast

I can’t make this up:

In a hotel room in Brussels, the chief executives of the world’s top oil companies unrolled a huge map of the Middle East, drew a fat, red line around Iraq and signed their names to it.

The map, the red line, the secret signatures. It explains this war. It explains this week’s rocketing of the price of oil to $134 a barrel.

It happened on July 31, 1928, but the bill came due now.

Barack Obama knows this. Or, just as important, those crafting his policies seem to know this. Same for Hillary Clinton’s team. There could be no more vital difference between the Republican and Democratic candidacies. And you won’t learn a thing about it on the news from the Fox-holes.

Let me explain.

In 1928, oil company chieftains (from Anglo-Persian Oil, now British Petroleum, from Standard Oil, now Exxon, and their Continental counterparts) were faced with a crisis: falling prices due to rising supplies of oil; the same crisis faced by their successors during the Clinton years, when oil traded at $22 a barrel.

The solution then, as now: stop the flow of oil, squeeze the market, raise the price. The method: put a red line around Iraq and declare that virtually all the oil under its sands would remain there, untapped. Their plan: choke supply, raise prices rise, boost profits. That was the program for 1928. For 2003. For 2008.

Again and again, year after year, the world price of oil has been boosted artificially by keeping a tight limit on Iraq’s oil output. Methods varied. The 1928 “Redline” agreement held, in various forms, for over three decades. It was replaced in 1959 by quotas imposed by President Eisenhower. Then Saudi Arabia and OPEC kept Iraq, capable of producing over 6 million barrels a day, capped at half that, given an export quota equal to Iran’s lower output.

In 1991, output was again limited, this time by a new red line: B-52 bombings by Bush Senior’s air force. Then came the Oil Embargo followed by the “Food for Oil” program. Not much food for them, not much oil for us.

In 2002, after Bush Junior took power, the top ten oil companies took in a nice $31 billion in profits. But then, a miracle fell from the sky. Or, more precisely, the 101st Airborne landed. Bush declared, “Bring’m on!” and, as the dogs of war chewed up the world’s second largest source of oil, crude doubled in two years to an astonishing $40 a barrel and those same oil companies saw their profits triple to $87 billion.

In response, Senators Obama and Clinton propose something wrongly called a “windfall” profits tax on oil. But oil industry profits didn’t blow in on a breeze. It is war, not wind, that fills their coffers. The beastly leap in prices is nothing but war profiteering, hiking prices to take cruel advantage of oil fields shut by bullets and blood.

I wish to hell the Democrats would call their plan what it is: A war profiteering tax. War is profitable business – if you’re an oil man. But somehow, the public pays the price, at the pump and at the funerals, and the oil companies reap the benefits.



Click on the pic above to read the details.

So far Yahoo and Google both pissed me off significantly this AM, Yahoo changed their e-mail format and like with every so-called improvement it is not.

Google ran off with the "edit" feature at the bottom of the page so I cannot edit without going into the posts program section.

Gas is still $4.59 a gallon here which is grinding the economy to a halt in the area.

Ripoff BIG OIL deserves a 99% windfall profits tax if you ask me.



micki said...


War profiteering?

Darth Cheney: The war was a fiscal huge succes .

micki said...

Where's that "s" go?

micki said...

On the same day reports tell us that Barack Obama went back on his word regarding public financing, there's this stuff, too:

STEPHEN ZUNES, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and a contributor to Foreign Policy in Focus, said today: "Earlier in his campaign, Obama's senior advisers included some of the more innovative and cutting-edge thinkers from the foreign policy establishment, such as Larry Korb, Joseph Cirincione, Samantha Power, Robert Malley and Richard Clarke, all of whom opposed the invasion of Iraq and took a more holistic view of national security. Now, however, it appears he has surrounded himself with backers of failed foreign policies based upon contempt for international legal norms and military solutions to complex political problems."

BILL MOYER, (not to be confused with BILL MOYERS, with an S), is
director of the Backbone Campaign, said today: "We've been working to highlight progressive leaders who have bold and visionary ideas for transforming this country and its foreign policy. Seeing this group of advisers [on his Senior Working Group for National Security] I think people who anticipate real change should feel betrayed. They're being sold this package of 'change' and 'innovation' ....We deserve better, and if Obama has any backbone at all, he'll go back to the drawing board in his selection of advisers and potential cabinet members."

º¿carol said...

Thanks for the Gore electric bill post, Micki. You made it sound as stupid as it is.

micki said...

Report says severe weather to increase as earth warms -- WaPo

Report Details Impacts of Extreme Weather on the U.S -- ABC News

WARMING = More harmful climate extremes -- NYT

Scientists: Weather extremes consistent with global warming -- USA TODAY

Well, it's a start......

micki said...

Carol -- You made it sound as stupid as it is.

Shall I take that as a compliment? :-))

{ò,ó}arol said...

He's just another babbling politician, telling the same lies

I read this article in the Detroit Free Press yesterday. All I had to see was the paragraph below, and the one near the end to lose any hope I had. Oh, well. We're still doomed because there reall aren't any heroes.

Obama said he hopes to offer a $4,000 annual tax credit for low-income students or their parents in return for community service. He would pay for the tax credits by raising taxes for people who make more than $250,000.

He had the nerve to say these empty words to a girl, "You get tired sometimes, don't you," Obama said to Pace as he patted her back. "Well, we're proud of you, you're making good choices."

Car♥l said...

Oh, yeah, Micki. It certainly was a compliment. :)

David B. Benson said...

Well, could you kindly watch the sunset tonight then? (Instead of your telly.)

I'd like to know if you notice anything even slightly unusual about the sky.

David B. Benson said...

Chinese communists set your gasoline price!

China to raise petrol, diesel prices by 16 pct: Xinhua

which, as I read it, if they upped the price to be inline with the so-called free market, would be enough to bring your gasoline back down under $4 per gallon.

Got it? :-)

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Your "s" went for taxes...

DEN said...

Friggin Commies!

micki said...

I didn't watch the telly, I was reading The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, but last night our sky was very overcast with no visible sunset. Doesn't look promising here tonight either.

Gosh, it was humid today.

BTW, the book is delightful -- written by Alexander McCall Smith, a professor of medical law at Edinburgh University, set in Botswana.

But, Dr. B...does your appeal to look have anything to do with a "double sunset?"

Logged out again said...

Micki --- I don't want to suggest just what to look for around sunset time. Other than someting unusual, that is.

Maybe other left coaster aren't seeing what I have noticed two evenings running.

Well, with a low overcast, you might as well read The Nation or some other detective story...

micki said...

Oh, no.....I can't read The Nation before bedtime. I'd be sleepless in Bellingham. In recen months, I switched to lighter reading at day's end for better health.

Still logged out said...

The literature reviews make you sleepless? The movie and TV reviews and commentary?

Start at the back, read towards the front.

Oh well.

carey said...

Delightful touches of humor, guys. David, I'll look at the sunset.

Now I've forgotten what I came to tell you. Oh yes, check this out from Politico:

Obama Could Win Vote, Lose Election

Here’s the scenario: Obama racks up huge margins among the increasingly affluent, highly educated and liberal coastal states, while a significant increase in turnout among black voters allows him to compete — but not to win — in the South. Meanwhile, McCain wins solidly Republican states such as Texas and Georgia by significantly smaller margins than Bush’s in 2004 and ekes out narrow victories in places such as North Carolina, which Bush won by 12 points but Rasmussen presently shows as a tossup, and Indiana, which Bush won by 21 points but McCain presently leads by just 11.

One possible result: Even as the national mood moves left, the 2004 map largely holds. Obama’s 32 new electoral votes from Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia are offset by 21 new electoral votes for McCain in Michigan and New Hampshire — and despite a 2- or 3-point popular vote victory for Obama, America wakes up on Jan. 20 to a President McCain.

carey said...

Shoot, you know what will happen, David. I'll get caught up in packing books, I have so damn much to do.

I'll try.

Micki and Carol,

I refuse to take the mold and age-old dirt from this house to the new digs. Everything, I mean everything must be cleaned and scoured before it can go to the apartment. I've actually gotten ill from this activity due to all the toxins in this old, decrepit house.

I've had to go through all my parents' and sister's things from way back. Sickening physically, but a total trip emotionally.

Up and down roller coaster.

carey said...

I've had to go through Daniel's, Kevin's and Ken's stuff too--the three little Hickmans.

Oy vey, painful that was-- considering what the assholes did to us. Throwing it all away with flourish and gusto wiped that slate clean!

We're moving away from the scene of the crime. I like that. Diminishes the pain somewhat. New digs will complete the healing process.

And no, I haven't told Brandon much at all. He was kept away from it and we've left him unaware for the time being. He will be told eventually how dangerous his half-brother is. That he'll believe it is another story. Brandon, like his mother, is fiercely loyal.

I hate to say it, but Daniel's the kind who will haunt Brandon for dough when he becomes a famous writer, don't you know? Learned at his father's knee to take money from the Selfs (my family).

tytandanmar said...

Okay. Let me get this straight. My comment about Al Gore's electric usage is wrong. Al Gore, claimed that he was going to make "energy saving changes to his home" to reduce his energy use when he was outed last year. He never denied that his energy consumption was unduly or wrongly reported. So, if he made all these "energy saving changes, how did his actual usage increase 10%? Did he not make the changes or did he actually make changes that have been claimed to reduce energy consumption but actually do nothing? Such as his answer to "global warming?"

Poke fun of me all you want. The only hypocrites here are Al Gore and those who defend his hypocrisy. Never have and never will condemn enybody for the energy they use. Unless they are insisting others do with less and do nothing themselves.

Does anyone remember Babs recommending that people dry their clothes on a clothes line when California was going through their rolling blackouts several years ago?

Do you actually think she did the same? Al Gore and Babs. Two peas in a pod of the global warming hoax. And the pod is growing larger and larger every day.

carey said...

As I sat sidetracked typing those posts, mosquitos had their way with me.

Ahem, the mosquito season started with a bang. Dandy. It already is so incredibly stimulating, cleaning and packing every little thing. If you'll notice, I'm postponing the shitwork at this very moment.

carey said...


Ty did remind me of that excellent piece Olbermann did last night on the connections between the Enron scandal and McCain. What an wonderfully dandy little piece of journalism that was.

Guess who fed him the idea for the story and the info? Rachel Maddow, she's the one with the goods on McCain and everything else. The story had her goodies all over it. For those of you who tune into MSNBC, Rachel's on the move in the writing and supplying story ideas department there. And everything else.

That is one heck of an addition. I could marry Rachel Maddow.

DEN said...

Rachel will have her own 1/2 hour soon i suspect.

Sharp lady

Tweety for MTP?

DEN said...

Tweety=Chris Matthews

tytandanmar said...


They all do it! The preachers of global warming are only interested in one thing. Making money off the backs of thse they will end up imposing their idiotic laws and regulations on while doing nothing themselves.

I was in a person's house today on a claim for a recent storm. I went to turn on her light and she said, I'll do that. She had a compact florescent bulb that she had screwed into a ceiling fan. I asked her if she knew not to touch the bulb or attempt to clean it up if the bulb broke and she said no, why? I told that her it has mercury in it and she should avoid coming into contact with it or breathing the vapors should that happen. She did not know this and yet this is something that Congress in mandating come some year certain.

DEN said...

Cary i am so glad you can move beyond the crap, lot's of people cannot and deal with it like you did.

You are a survivor and a damn tough one.

DEN said...

Three beer grammar.

tytandanmar said...

Nothing wrong with three beer grammar or even six, nine or twelve. Remember, you know what you are saying. It depends on how many beers the reader has had whether they can understand it.

Carey said...

Dear, dear, dear.

Oh, by the way, Chris Matthews does alot of stupid things, but I listen to him. He comes up with good analyses time and time again. I swear to God.

You have to sort through him and ignore parts. I'm sure his wife does.

micki said...

She did not know this and yet this is something that Congress in mandating come some year certain.

Well, I haven't had ANY beers and I have no idea what you mean by that statement.

Carey said...

Forgot to mention to David that the sky didn't seem different at sunset. I braved the swarm of squeeters to check three separate times.

Nothing unusual.

DEN said...

(them twelve beers i suspect)

DEN said...

Beer Swillers Anynomouse

tytandanmar said...

Let me sell it out for you Micki. Mercury is highly toxic and can be deadly. Yet, Congress is mandating their usage, solely, within a certain amount of years. Yet, they are currently on the market and people are told of their potential cost savings yet none are being warned about their danger. Maybe you need to drink a few, not that would help. Or better yet, go grab a compact florescent bulb, break it and inhale the vapors, and yes do, hold it in your fingers so it comes into contact with your skin. They medical folks will explain to you what happened to you, if, you wake up in the hospital

micki said...

Well, Kathleen Matthews undoubtedly ignores Chris -- and vice versa -- especially since she donated the maximum allowable to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Now that she works for J.W. Marriott and not as a news person, it's okay for her to do that....even if Chris is annoyed.

micki said...

Ty, you're so easy. I could assume what you meant, but did you re-read what you originally wrote?

DEN said...

Someone's not taking their medicine.

tytandanmar said...

Try 24 beers. Typos I could care less about. Will Al Gore save you from global warming Micki? Even as sure as you are on this Earth, he can't even save himself nor do squat for himself? He tried for a year and his energy usage increased. Of course, that should be dutifully noted that is a result of Al Gore's self emanating hot air. His carbon footprint would be zero were he not alive. Actually, the carbon footprint would be zero for the world were there to be no humans. But, whou would be left to measure it? And who would be around to say you were all idiots to believe in this global warming BS.

DEN said...

I simply will not stand for anymore of this silliness, bedtime!

tytandanmar said...

Herodous said "circumstances rule men, men do not rule circumstances."

Last I heard and have always been taught is that the Earth, besides a host of other things, has a endured a natural occurrence referred to as weather. Always has and always will. I have even been told there was this so called thing called weather long before humans arrived on this planet Earth. So if it was here before we humans, how could we possibly provide cause and affect of something that occurred before our arrival? And how pompous of these so called humans to believe they can alter something that was here before their existence? Good luck in your "all talk and no do" effort to rid the world of something you have absolutely no control over.

Den said...

OH brother!