Professor Smartass

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Letter to Bill Moyer's on Iraq, Oil, & Democrats

Bill Moyers did a commentary on the oil motive for the Iraq War that hit most of the bases that the mainstream media and certainly the right wing avoid like a spider: the link between the Cheney Energy Task Force as soon as Bush came into office and the Iraq War, and the various statements of administration insiders that point to the oil motive.

He left a couple out, which I have included in the letter to him below. The one that I do not have an answer for myself is why Democrats are largely silent or complicit on this issue. I understand why the Republicans obey the oil companies; they are bought and paid for. The Democrats aren't as can be seen in various hearing when they nip at the heels of big oil for price fixing or wanting to drill in ANWR or off-shore.

But the Democrats criticisms of big oil are like kicking a pit bull instead of going for the jugular, their role in lobbying for the Iraq War and demanding an oil law that can only inflame Iraqi attacks on our troops. The dog gets mad, and the kicker gets bitten. or worse.

My letter to Moyers:

Dear Mr. Moyers,

Why are the Democrats silent on the oil motive for the Iraq War? In most cases, they talk in the same propaganda framework laid down by the Republicans, and either say they could do it better or that we should get out because we failed at those false goals. When someone does go after the oil motive like Dennis Kucinich and handful of others, they are either ignored or marginalized by the congressional leadership.

When Democratic leaders are asked in person about how the terms of Iraq's Bush-backed Hydrocarbon Law gives most of the country's oil wealth to big oil, they either feign ignorance or run away. It's on video:

Feinstein

Biden & Kennedy on video, text of Reid


The Iraqis who know what's in the law oppose it, and those who don't oppose the concept of privatizing their oil.

Scholars, oil workers, and oil bureaucrats

Poll of Iraqis on oil

Greg Palast, Antonia Juhasz, and Naomi Klein have all done good work on this, but no one has dug into why the Democrats have been silent or complicit.

I agree with your statement that the actions our government has taken on behalf of oil companies amount to crimes against humanity. The only way to stop more from happening is to have at least one party that opposes it, and openly calls it by it's right name.

If they did this correctly, they would not be standing alone, but could call all other businesses, large and small, to stand with them and against a corporate thug that demands a bigger and bigger taste of their business.

Given your high public profile, you would be the most likely to get access to those with power in the Democratic Party, and if you couldn't, if you publicly questioned their complicity, they would be more likely to respond.

Sincerely,




OIL THEFT MOTIVE FOR IRAQ WAR resources



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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 11:41 AM | link | (0) comments |

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SEN. Kerry & Schumer want Iraq oil contracts stopped until Oil Theft Law is in place

Either these guys are retarded or they are corrupt with solid brass balls.

The Iraqis are holding up the Hydrocarbon Law not because of the division of income between Iraqi ethnic groups but because of the paltry share of their own oil revenue the US drafted law gives all Iraqis compared (12%) compared to the big oil companies. Other countries with easily accessible oil wouldn't accept terms like that unless they had a gun to their head. Iraq does, and their parliament still won't sign, knowing they could never walk among their own people and live if they did.

Iraqi oil workers, scholars, former bureaucrats, and even average Iraqis
oppose the corporate domination model imposed by the law.

By contrast, the short term contracts recently awarded were service contracts which means they are doing a job for the Iraqis, not sharing in the profits. That is the way it should be. That is the way it should be HERE.

The oil companies are parasites, sucking the wealth from under our land as well, giving us next to nothing for it, and then demanding tax breaks and wars to seize more oil fields.

I agree with that climate scientist who said the oil company execs should be tried for crimes against humanity. What they have done to us and the Iraqis and are still trying to do to the Iraqis should be added to the indictment.

John Kerry and Chuck Schumer should either do their homework and stand up for the Iraqis against big oil, which might reduce resentment toward our troops and save some lives, or they should sit down down and shut the fuck up. They could even retire early and go collect their seven figure salaries sitting on boards of directors of oil companies like Sann Nunn, and others who leave ''public service'' which should more appropriately be called ''public servicing the rich.''

The Democrats are better than the Republicans, but only when graded on a curve, and not when they shamelessly pistol-whip Iraq like a robber mad at his victim for not getting the money out of his pockets fast enough.

KEY EXCERPTS:

Senators seek to block Iraq oil contracts
Sens. Schumer and Kerry appeal to Bush administration to stop no-bid deals with big companies until equal royalty distribution is guaranteed.



NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Two U.S. senators asked the Bush administration Tuesday to stop the Iraqi government from signing imminent no-bid contracts with several U.S. and European oil companies, expressing concern about the distribution of royalties from the deal.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressing concerns about a contract that the Iraqi government is preparing to sign with Exxon Mobil Corp., (XOM, Fortune 500) Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), Total SA (TOT), Chevron Corp (CVX, Fortune 500)., BP (BP) and other companies. The contract would let those companies develop Iraq's largest oil fields.

The senators, who released the letter, said they are worried that unfair distribution of oil revenue could inflame the violence between the warring religious and political groups of Iraq.

"We urge you to persuade the to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq," read the letter from Schumer and Kerry.

FULL TEXT

BACKGROUND ON THE OIL THEFT LAW

Iraq War to keep oil prices HIGH


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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 4:47 PM | link | (0) comments |

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Congress finds Big Oil holding back fields that could DOUBLE US output

Rush Limbaugh and other right wing commentators have blamed high oil prices on limits on off-shore drilling near the US and in ANWR, but what makes people think big oil will pump more if we give them more oil fields?

Right now, they hold leases to federal land that they AREN'T DRILLING ON that could DOUBLE US oil output according to the House Committee on Natural Resources. They have introduced a bill to make them use those fields or lose them:
KEY EXCERPTS:


Washington, D.C. - In an effort to compel oil and gas companies to produce on the 68 million acres of federal lands, both onshore and offshore, that are leased but sitting idle, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV) today introduced legislation that gives Big Oil one option - either "use it or lose it."

The 68 million acres of leased but inactive federal land have the potential to produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. This would nearly double total U.S. oil production, and increase natural gas production by 75 percent. It would also cut U.S. oil imports by more than one-third, reducing America's dependency on foreign oil.

The Rahall bill would force oil and gas companies to either produce or give up federal onshore and offshore leases they are stockpiling by barring the companies from obtaining any more leases unless they can demonstrate that they are producing oil and gas, or are diligently developing the leases they already hold, during the initial term of the leases.

Coal companies... are required... to show that they are diligently developing their leases during the initial lease term. The law was enacted in an effort to end rampant speculation on federal coal as a result of the energy crises of the 1970's.

Oil and gas companies, however, are not required to demonstrate diligent development. Because of this, oil and gas companies have been allowed to stockpile leases in a non-producing status, while leaving millions of acres of leased land untouched. The Rahall legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to define what constitutes diligent development for oil and gas leases.

FULL TEXT

They are holding those fields back to control the price and keep it high, just as they aren't shedding too many tears over the violence in Iraq or war talk about Iran since that drives up the price of oil too.

In fact, before the Iraq War, OIL & GAS JOURNAL fretted that when the sanctions came off, Saddam would pump too much oil and drive down prices--unless there was a war. We gave them the war, and they rewarded our sacrifice of tax dollars and soldiers lives by gouging us at the pump.

If they didn't charge us less for giving them Iraq, why would they for ANWR?

Tell your congressman and senators to support the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act of 2008 (H.R. 6251).



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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 1:44 PM | link | (2) comments |

Thursday, June 12, 2008

TELL PELOSI: Bush impeachment polls as high as Nixon when he resigned



House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers challenged impeachment activists to rebut his arguments against impeaching Bush.

One of his arguments against impeaching Bush is lack of public support.

However, with a near complete media blackout of the issue, the very first poll showed more support for impeaching Bush than there was for impeaching Clinton after eight years of 24/7 scandal-mongering, and only slightly less than there was for impeaching Nixon, THE DAY BEFORE HE RESIGNED.

So lack of public support is not an argument. Once proceedings start, it would likely dwarf support for impeaching Nixon as well.

Supporting docs

More on impeachment polls at AfterDowningStreet.org.


Send this to Conyers, Pelosi, & your Congress coward

Conyers:

johnconyersjr@gmail.com , john.conyers@mail.house.gov
Conyers phone: 202-225-5126 / Conyers fax: 202-225-0072

Pelosi:

DC Phone: 202-225-4965 DC Fax: 202-225-4188
sf.nancy@mail.house.gov

Speaker contact form: http://speaker.house.gov/contact

Find your congress coward:

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/index.html



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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:25 PM | link | (3) comments |

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why Bush impeachment doesn't make front page of LA Times, NY Times, or Washington Post

Yesterday, Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in the House of Representatives.

Click each image to see full front page:

He provided substantial evidence of criminal activity, evidence that included the president's own public statements that were prima facie confessions of criminal guilt, from admitting he ordered wiretaps and torture, admitting privately to ordering the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, to lying about the threat from Iraq and Iran in spite of overwhelming intelligence to the contrary, lying about available intelligence warning of the 9/11 attacks, to his forcing bureaucrats to lie about the cost of his Medicare drug bill and global warming, to the endemic cronyism from Iraq to Enron to Hurricane Katrina.

This did not merit front page coverage of the nation's top newspapers, the Washington Post, New York Times, or Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post had a small blurb on it their Washington news round up.


This all in spite of this being only the third time in American history a president was impeached, and the very first poll on impeaching Bush a few years back showed the same public support for it as there was for impeaching Nixon the day before he resigned and nearly double the peak support for impeaching Bill Clinton.

All of these papers equaly ignored Kucinich's articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.

The newspapers do have one good excuse for not covering this: the Democratic leadership in Congress has said impeachment is "off the table," so Kucinich's resolution will likely go nowhere.

But that in itself is worthy of story. Nine years ago, we impeached a president for lying in a sexual harassment civil suit deposition. That could have prevented the plaintiff from getting a fair trial though the point is moot given that the judge threw out the case and Clinton had an ironclad alibi for his whereabouts at the time Paula Jones claimed the incident occurred.

By contrast, Bush's lies, imcompetence and corruption has cost the lives of thousands of our troops in an unnecessary war in Iraq, arguably thousands in a preventable terrorist attack, the lives of a million Iraqis and loss of much of the thin goodwill we enjoyed in the Middle East. It has also cost us our reputation as a model of respecting human rights and international law. And of course it has and will cost us trillions for his war, most of it going into the pockets of cronies who have a habit of doing poorly or not doing at all the no bid contracts we are given.

Apparently, Kucinich doesn't understand the difference between the seriousness of the offenses of Clinton and Bush.

Clinton's real offense was being competent and not completely subservient to the wishes of the wealthy and powerful (though he came close with NAFTA) compared to his Republican predecessor. Bush's offenses were merely against American taxpayers and voters, who matter only to the extent that they need to be snookered into ignoring government of, by, and for the wealthy, and against the powerless people of Iraq, who do not matter at all.



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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 9:05 AM | link | (1) comments |

Sunday, June 01, 2008

McClellan tells one last lie for Bush: Iraq War for Democracy


Although Scott McClellan's book is unflattering toward the Bush administration in general and Bush in particular, he does Bush a gigantic favor by still telling a crucial lie: that the Iraq War was at least in part to spread democracy in the Middle East.

This would make Bush at worst an impractical idealist.

In reality, his actions and those of his administration show he had no intentions of spreading democracy to the Middle East--or even to Iraq.

As little as 1% of Iraqis feel safer because we are there and overwhelming majorities want us to leave.

But Bush stays.

He did eventually have elections in Iraq, but not until after his appointed colonial ruler, Paul Bremer privatized their economy and made other sweeping changes that the Iraqis are not allowed to tamper with.

When the Iraqi parliament chose a prime minister Bush didn't like, he told them to pick again.

When Iraqis wouldn't pass an oil law that gives up to 88% of their oil wealth to American big oil companies, Bush threatened to fire their prime minister if it didn't pass. Since that didn't do the trick, the oil companies offered each legislator up to $5 million to pass the law, they refused, choosing to represent the will of their people, but I don't remember reading about Bush protesting that attempt at corrupting their fledgling democracy.

Bush also continues to blame Iran and Syria for the violence in Iraq, ignoring statements from Iraq's prime minister to the contrary.

Bush has made even less effort to act on his democratic statements elsewhere in the Middle East.

He supported democracy in Lebanon and the occupied territories of Palestine, but only until he didn't like the outcome--it isn't democracy if the government doesn't obey Bush.

Before the Iraq War, when bribes wouldn't work on our democratic ally Turkey, neocon gargoyle Paul Wolfowitz said the military should have played a "strong leadership role" to make them join us. This not only offended the Turkish legislature, it offended the Turkish military, who had more respect for democracy than the Bushie Wolfowitz. In fairness, Wolfowitz showed a similar disregard for American democracy when he admitted on two separate occasion that the Iraq War was about oil and the talk of WMD was for "bureaucratic reasons." The only reason to lie was to keep the public from making a knowledgeable decision, which castrates democracy.

It's an understandable mistake on the Bushies part given how cozy they are with Pakistan's military dictator, Pervez Musharaf, who overthrew his country's democratically-elected civilian government. The Bushies didn't mind his cozy relationship with the Taliban and al Qaeda either. He helped both escape from Tora Bora, and Pakistani intelligence helped Daniel Pearl make his appointment with the terrorists who eventually beheaded him. One of the kidnappers' demands was for the delivery of several F-16 fighter jets bought by Pakistan from the US. That sounds like someone trying to do Musharaf a favor, rather than undermine him.

Bush's closest ally in the region Saudi Arabia, doesn't even make a pretense of democracy. It is a kingdom with no freedom of speech, assembly, or elected government. It also supported the 9/11 hijackers and sends more foreign fighters into Iraq than any other country. None of which seems to bother Bush.

In all, Bush's lies about spreading democracy should be considered as discredited as thoroughly as the ones about Saddam having WMD and planning to give them to bin Laden.

The press and Democrats in Congress fail to knock down this last lie because it might make citizens finally demand a discussion of the real reason for the war, control of tens of trillions of dollars worth of Iraq's oil, not for the good of the average American, but to pad the bottom lines of a handful of corporations, by letting them control the flow to set the price HIGH.

OIL THEFT MOTIVE FOR IRAQ WAR RESOURCES


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