Black Gold, Libya’s Wealth! Who Gets It?

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Even before the fate of Tripoli is sealed, the great oil grab is already beginning. BP has a contentious oil and gas exploration contract in Libya, which the UK government will be anxious for it to resume. Italian oil giant ENI is the first to send staff back to Libya, and its shares rose on the news. France’s Total and Austria’s OMV also did well as investors hoped they would soon be able to resume production in Libya. But at what price to the Libyan people?

­The Italian Foreign Minister fired the starting gun, saying Italy’s ENI oil company will play the number-one role in the region.

British PM David Cameron already delivered a promise, seen by many as more of a threat, that the NATO mission in Libya, which is “to protect civilians,” will continue for “as long as it is needed” to make sure a safe transition to democracy.

As allied forces lend air support to the rebels to take Tripoli, the Stop the War Coalition warns Libyans not to expect that they are getting something for nothing.

Western powers do not do this without asking for payback. Why is it that the head TNC [Transitional National Council] is going to Paris to meet with French President Sarkozy? Of course, that is one very important issue that was why the Western powers and Tony Blair and others struck a deal with Gaddafi in the first place. It will be exactly what they’re seeking to continue with the TNC to further exploit those oil riches.”

The British government makes no secret of the fact that its motives in supporting the rebels are not entirely altruistic. Last year alone the UK exported around US$40 billion worth of goods and services to North Africa and the Middle East.

But “black gold” is the key – Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. “When Western powers look at the region, they talk about humanity and democracy, but they’re thinking about oil.

Months of chaos await Libya if the NATO-led operation in the country topples Muammar Gaddafi.  But regime change would suit Western oil interests.  “What emerges from that, suits some of the Western oil interests, especially the British and the French, who were fighting like piranhas over grabbing the most juicy oil sites.

The markets reacted nervously to Libyan opposition forces’ offensive on Tripoli. Hopes are high that oil production in Libya will soon resume. But the rebels now say that some old business partners might no longer be welcome.

But other major oil producers are cautious about joining the race back to Libya. BP said on Monday that it would return to Libya to continue its exploration program “when conditions allow.”

Still, analysts believe that oil giants could be the actual beneficiaries in postwar Libya, especially the countries that have shown the most support for the opposition. The Libyan opposition has hinted that some business contracts will be preferred if they win.

“We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies.” Said, Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at the Libyan rebel oil firm Agoco. “But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.”

This could mean that countries that have been calling for the Libyan conflict to be resolved through negotiations might see the loss of billions of dollars in oil contracts. US and European oil giants, meanwhile, might have the market left to themselves and perhaps new players like Qatar.

But the reality is “no matter who ends up running Libya,”  the West will get the country’s oil.

Riots in America, Could Happen!

When there is a President such as Obama, anything can happen to the USA. He is hell-bent on its’ destruction, and ultimate bankruptcy. His famous words “YES WE CAN” was never defined as a good thing, and this has become a flagrant rant of smoke. And where there is smoke usually you can find a fire!

With civil unrest spreading into the western world, the USis readying what to do should mass riots break out state-side.

Is this going to America?

What exactly is the official plan of action should the government need to step in and squash demonstrators? Send the military after minorities.

“If what happened in London ever happened in the US, the military has plans – CONPLAN 3501 and 3502 – to suppress the insurrection,” writes Ambinder. The instructions contained with the CONPLAN guidelines are believed to be initiatives that the US can enact during times of domestic disturbances.

According to GlobalSecurity.org, CONPLAN 3502 is what the military can put into play if state and local authorities are subjected to mass rioting. They say that the instructions in CONPLAN 3502 outline that “Tasks performed by military forces may include joint patrolling with law enforcement officers; securing key buildings, memorials, intersections and bridges; and acting as a quick reaction force.”

Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution allows Congress to employ the military if necessary to keep order in America. Explicitly, the legislation states that “Congress shall have power… to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasion.” Though the lingo contained within the US Constitution is by 200-some-odd years, in today’s terms “militia” would apply to the US Armed Forces.

The Atlantic Wire reports that many believe that the CONPLAN initiatives were used with constitutional support in recent years, dating back to the 1992 LA Riots and perhaps as recently as the panic that followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Nate Jones of the National Security Archive says that the instructions aligned to the CONPLAN initiatives shockingly instruct military personnel that minorities should be monitored to gauge an outbreak of violence. In the documents, “indicators” or rioting includes high unemployment rates among minorities, increased crime rates among minorities, protests arising from income disparities between minorities and majorities and declining rapport between authorities and minorities, among others.

In other words — as long as inequality exists in America, rioting is always on the horizon

Has Obama been Crowned “King OBAMA?”

Now, the American President is being called “King Obama,” have I missed something? Has the USA become a Monarchy in the last month or two? Has he raised himself to the position of KING, without the approval of the Nation or  Congress. Yet, everything is conceivable in the USA, when Americans place themselves at the pinnacle of Human Power.

As the ICC puts out a warrant for one world leader — Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi — some US lawmakers are beginning to feel like President Barack Obama is becoming a bit of a monarch himself and less of the voice of the people that elected him. When a man becomes delusional with self appointment, he needs to pay a  visit to the psychiatric ward at Bellevue, Located on First Avenue in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, the facility’s name is well-known to people elsewhere from the many literary, film and television references, where “Bellevue” almost always refers to the hospital’s psychiatric facilities.

Bellevue

In front of Congress this week, James E. Risch (R-ID) recalled then-Senator Barack Obama discussing the lack of power the president has to go to war without Congressional approval. “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” he quoted Obama. To White House officials, Risch asked, “Can you give me a simple answer, is that still his position?” With the White House saying that the Libyan mission is not in fact a war, they argue that President Obama is not in violation with the War Powers Resolution that would prohibit him from mobilizing military forces near Gaddafi’s regime.

Vijay Prashad, director of International Studies at Trinity College, says this isn’t okay at all. The idea that the White House is calling this a “limited engagement is absurd,” he says, and not only is the president violating the War Powers Resolution, but he has disregarded terms established by the UN as well. “None of this is actually making sense,” says Prashad.

While he disagrees with the White House’s stance, Prashad says this isn’t “an Obama problem,” and notes that presidents have acted similarly for decades now. “If the US had properly gone to war in Afghanistan, than it may not have been so unclear about the legalities of killing Osama bin Laden,” he says. Prashad claims that the US has improperly gone to war several times over the last 20 years, with commanders in chief leading troops into battle without Congressional approval ever since the Korean conflict.

“This is where you say 20/20 hindsight is actually something we should have at our benefit,” says Prashad. He argues that we should learn something from the Bush administration. After all, he says, “ if  it didn’t work out so well in Iraq,” why would it work now? “Look at history and say this is a reason not to do it again,” he says.

 

 

Endosulfan pesticide Indias’ Cheap Alternative!

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Endosulfan became a highly controversial agrichemicals due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. Because of its threats to human health and the environment, a global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan was negotiated under the Stockholm Convention in April 2011. The ban will take effect in mid 2012, with certain uses exempted for 5 more years. More than 80 countries, including the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, several West African nations,  the United States,  Brazil, and Canada had already banned it or announced phase outs by the time the Stockholm Convention ban was agreed upon. It is still used extensively in India, China, and few other countries. It is produced by Makhteshim Agan and several manufacturers in India and China.

Cheap, effective and highly toxic Endosulfan pesticide is banned in most countries, but still widely embraced by farmers in India. While the government claims there is no affordable alternative to the chemical, families are paying a high price.

­Until recently, India was one of the few countries in the world that allowed the use of Endosulfan. The agriculture ministry says there is no other cheap alternative to the powerful pesticide. But finally, after mounting pressure at home and abroad, the Supreme Court voted on an eight-week ban on the pesticide which is set to expire in mid-July.

The use of the pesticide has resulted in serious consequences, with a whole generation of children suffering devastating health problems. Umaibath Sariya’s body is the size of a baby, but in reality, she is five years old. In her short life, she has endured an operation to reduce the size of her abnormally large head. And she is not the only one suffering like this. “The doctor said that we have to put a tube into our child’s head otherwise there would be complications,” says Hajira Kaithdu, Sariya’s mother. And Sariya’s mother thinks she knows what has caused it.

In the cashew plantations in India’s southern state of Kerala, the government sprayed the highly-controversial pesticide Endosulfan on the crops during the 90s, which locals say has led to a generation of deformed children. Victims groups believe there are around 9,000 children like Sariya, with swollen heads, and developing at only half the rate they should.

For some women that prospect is too much and they opt for abortion, sometimes disturbingly late. “My daughter was operated on in the eighth month of her pregnancy,” says M.K. Leela Kumari Amma, an advocate for Endosulfan victims.

While studies show that Endosulfan causes severe developmental and reproductive problems in humans and animals, proponents of the pesticide say their rivals are the ones pushing this ban. “This pressure is only from the EU because the EU has various newly invented products which are waiting to enter the market,” states Pradip Dave, a representative of the Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India.

But the families of the sick feel that they have been forgotten for long enough. “There is no value for a human life, it’s all about the money,” Amma says. “People don’t care about each other these days. People who have money are categorized as high caste and the poor people are counted as low caste and nobody cares whether we are dead or alive”. The families are drained, emotionally and financially – their life savings wiped out to care for their severely disabled children. “I feel very sad when I see my child like this. Though it’s disturbing, we have to tolerate it,” says E.K. Mohammed Lami, father of an Endosulfan victim.

There is little point waiting for government relief as repeated requests seem to fall on deaf ears in the capital. All these families can do is to make the most of the short lives their disfigured children will have. Most will die before their 20th birthday.

There is no mercy! When pesticides are used to save the Nut [Cashew] Plantation,  because it is a cheap solution to an expensive problem, and saving Nuts, is all about money, and what is cheap, versus the preservation of life!