Strategic culture foundation online magazine latest publications from 22-28 August, 2010

28 August, 2010 — Strategic culture foundation

The Rising Star of Gen. Hamid Gul
“The former General holds that the longer the US forces stay in the region – in Iraq and Afghanistan (or in Pakistan, if they choose to move into the country) – the more they will antagonize the respective populations… Gul’s understanding of the causes of the September 11 tragedy deserve particular attention. He is convinced that it was a covert operation aimed at creating a pretext “for entering Afghanistan and using it as a launch pad to enter Pakistan and dominate the region”…”

Aleksandr SHUSTOV
Fourlateral Summit in Sochi
“On August 18-19, the presidents of Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan convened for the second time in Sochi. The summit was mainly necessitated by the recent tensions between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and by the coming pullout of the US forces from Afghanistan. No doubt, the withdrawal will tilt the geopolitical balance in Central Asia and, in particular, will expose Tajikistan – a republic sharing a long and poorly equipped border with Afghanistan – to serious risks…”

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Information Clearing House Newsletter 4 August, 2010: Church to Burn Copies of Koran to Mark 9/11

4 August, 2010 — Information Clearing House

Obama Warned Israel May Bomb Iran
By Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
We write to alert you to the likelihood that Israel will attack Iran as early as this month. This would likely lead to a wider war.

Israel-Lebanon Tensions Flare After Skirmish Leaves Four Dead
By Robert Fisk:
For the Lebanese army to take on the Israelis, with their 264 nuclear missiles, was a tall order. But for the Israeli army to take on the army of one of the smallest countries in the world was surely preposterous.

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The Source of Our Despair in the Gulf By Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld

18 July 2010 — t r u t h o u t | Photo Essay

For the first time in 87 days, little or no oil could be escaping into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Macondo well. The new capping stack was deployed on July 11 from onboard the Transocean Discoverer Inspiration.

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010
With a new containment cap atop the damaged well, many are hopeful.

But all is not well, after all.

National Incident Commander Thad Allen said Friday that the pressure within the cap is not increasing, as was expected.

Fending For Themselves By Dahr Jamail

4 July, 2010 — Dahr Jamail’s Dispatches

We drive south on Louisiana Highway 55 towards Pointe-au-Chien. The two-lane road hugs a bayou, like most of the roads leading south into the marsh areas. Incredibly green, lush forest gives way to increasing areas of water the further south we venture, until the very road feels as though it is floating.


Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

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Live from Planet Norte: Totalitarian democracy and the politics of plunder By Joe Bageant

27 June, 2010 — Joe Bageant, Winchester, Virginia

Starting with the Homeland Security probe at Washington’s Reagan Airport, arrival back in the United States resembles an alien abduction to a planet of bright lights, strange beings and incomprehensible behavior. The featureless mysophobic landscape of DC’s Virginia suburbs seems to indicate that homogenuity and sterility are the native religions. Especially after spending eight months in Mexico’s pungent atmosphere of funky, sensual open air markets, rotting vegetation, smoking street food grills, sweat, agave nectar and ghost orchids.

The uniformity on Planet Norte is striking. Each person is a unit, installed in life support boxes in the suburbs and cities; all are fed, clothed by the same closed-loop corporate industrial system. Everywhere you look, inhabitants are plugged in at the brainstem to screens downloading their state approved daily consciousness updates. iPods, Blackberries, notebook computers, monitors in cubicles, and the ubiquitous TV screens in lobbies, bars, waiting rooms, even in taxicabs, mentally knead the public brain and condition its reactions to non-Americaness. Which may be defined as anything that does not come from of Washington, DC, Microsoft or Wal-Mart.

For such a big country, the “American experience” is extremely narrow and provincial, leaving its people with approximately the same comprehension of the outside world as an oyster bed. Yet there is that relentless busyness of Nortenians. That sort of constant movement that indicates all parties are busy-busy-busy, but offers no clue as to just what they are busy at.

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Black Agenda Report 23 June, 2010: No Solution to U.S. Crises / Black Politics Ends / U.S. Social Forum Begins / Fascism Enters Through "Terror" Door

23 June, 2010 — Black Agenda Report

America Can’t Solve Crises Because It’s a Company-Owned Town

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Great Gusher in the Gulf is a political, not simply an economic and environmental, crisis. “No amount of public disgust at BP has moved Obama to behave as if he is beholden to the majority that elected him – for the simple reason that he is not.”

Freedom Rider: The Death of Black Politics

by BAR editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

New York Rep. Charles Rangel is among the many Black elected officials that make periodic political and physical pilgrimages to Israel, swearing undying loyalty. In a shamelessly groveling performance last week, Rangel took part in a Times Square press conference where he “claimed a bizarre connection between the freedom flotilla and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.”

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The Final End of the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm By Dr. Tom Termotto

19 June, 2010 – Dissident Voice

These are the realities on the ground (undersea floor), in the water (Gulf of Mexico & Seven Seas), and in the air (atmosphere) in the wake of the Oil & Gas Industry operations around the globe, as it has operated for well over 100 years. For illustration purposes let’s just focus on the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico, since that is where Mother Earth has directed our collective attention. We can do this quickly by consulting the following map of the oil and gas platforms that were in operation throughout the Gulf of Mexico in 2006 (per Wikipedia).

Please be aware that oil and gas exploration, drilling and extraction have been conducted for many decades in the Gulf. Therefore we know that there are an untold number of vast empty caverns which have been emptied of their oil and gas. We also know that, when a repository has been emptied very quickly, there is a shock of sorts to the system, or geological formations that exist around and contiguous to these prospects. One can easily imagine how the entire balance of the undersea ecosystem and sub-seafloor geology can be irrevocably affected by the relentless intrusions and profoundly invasive techniques conducted by this industry.

Let’s now contextualize this state of affairs by fast-forwarding to 2012. As Mother Earth rocks and rolls in preparation for her rejuvenation, we are all witnessing huge and unprecedented changes to her beautiful form. For instance we know there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of earthquakes and volcanoes, both on land and undersea around the world. We know that global climate change has been occurring for decades and has manifested in some places as global warming, others as global cooling, and still others as global deluges and global droughts, etc. Regardless of where you domicile, we can all agree that things are really changing. And very fast, due to the various accelerations and compression of time which occur during the final phase of the galactic creation cycle per Mayan calendrics and cosmogony.

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Global Research Gulf Oil Spill Selected Articles 6 May – 15 June, 2010

14 June, 2010 — Global Research

Gulf Oil Spill “Could Go on Years and Years” …
– by F. William Engdahl – 2010-06-11
The Obama Administration and BP are not working not to stop the world’s worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual ecological catastrophe.

The Gulf Spill Continues: Is Obama Powerless Against BP?
– by Shamus Cooke – 2010-06-09
After BP successfully placed a cap to divert some of the spewing oil into tankers, thousands of gallons continue to flow daily into the gulf.

BP: The Unfinished Tale of Imperialism
– by Frederic F. Clairmont – 2010-05-13
It is well to remember the sordid historical role of BP and its earlier incarnation as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

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Hurricane Season: The Oil is Headed Up the East Coast

31 May, 2010 — Gulf Tribunal


“Larry Crowder, a professor of marine biology at Duke University, said if the spill continues for a couple more months, then oil almost certainly would get into the Loop Current that flows clockwise around the Gulf. It then would be a week to 10 days before it got to the Florida Keys, and a couple of weeks more before the Gulf Stream carried it to North Carolina.”

“Any hurricane and its accompanying storm surge also could drive oil onto land, even into the rice and sugarcane fields that aren’t far from the coast in Louisiana, said James H. Cowan Jr., a biological oceanographer at Louisiana State University.”

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Ten Things You Need (But Don’t Want) To Know About the BP Oil Spill By Daniela Perdomo

29 May, 2010 — Global ResearchAlterNet – 2010-05-27

How the owner of the exploded oil rig has made $270 million off the disaster, and nine other shocking, depressing facts about the oil spill.

It’s been 37 days since BP’s offshore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, crude oil has been hemorrhaging into ocean waters and wreaking unknown havoc on our ecosystem — unknown because there is no accurate estimate of how many barrels of oil are contaminating the Gulf.

Though BP officially admits to only a few thousand barrels spilled each day, expert estimates peg the damage at 60,000 barrels or over 2.5 million gallons daily. (Perhaps we’d know more if BP hadn’t barred independent engineers from inspecting the breach.) Measures to quell the gusher have proved lackluster at best, and unlike the country’s last big oil spill — Exxon-Valdez in 1989 — the oil is coming from the ground, not a tanker, so we have no idea how much more oil could continue to pollute the Gulf’s waters.

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Corporations fight over oil leak as spill continues – RT Top Stories

22 May, 2010 — RT Top Stories

A month after a BP oil rig explosion led to crude oil being pumped directly into the Gulf of Mexico, the scandal over who is to blame for it is only gathering momentum.

An estimated 28 million liters of oil has gushed in the water, though some scientists say the real figure is much higher.

The powers that be are still trying to shut off the oil tap, which is seeping scandal, politics and corporate domination into Washington’s on-going investigation.

BP’s Deep Water Horizon explosion sparked a fire on April 20, two days later, the government agency that was suppose to be watching BP began its probe. President Obama came to the rescue.

‘BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill,’ said president Obama, talking to press in Venice, US. ‘But as president of the United States, I’m going to spare no effort to respond on this crisis as long as it continues.’

The once vivacious advocates of ‘drill, baby, drill’ have disappeared, along with solutions to the problem. Obama sent SWAT teams as the oil reached the shores of Louisiana. The media has coined it ‘Obama’s Katrina’.

‘From hurricane Katrina and now with this gulf oil explosion of BP… [these are] things that show that profit’s over people,’ said Lennox Yearwood, director of The Hip-Hop Caucus movement.

The truth begins to unravel. The scandal begins to form.

‘The agency allowed rigs like deep water horizon to drill near certainty the blow-outs would occur without adequate back up devices,’ claimed US senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) concerning the situation.

The department of interior has announced a temporary halt to all offshore drilling projects until the May 28 investigation wraps up. As that announcement was made, the same department issued exemptions for 27 oil companies to continue offshore drilling projects.

In the hot seat, Congress summons the culprits – BP, Transocean and Halliburton – they all blame each other, and later admit they did not fully cap the rig, which led to the explosion.

The agency responsible for regulating the oil industry is exposed for its cozy industry connections. The government vows to break up the agency and install transparency – all this as Bloomberg business reports that same agency is the government second biggest money maker next to the IRS, raking in $13 billion dollars last year alone in royalties from the industry.

And yet the rig is still gushing 25-65,000 gallons of oil into the ocean per day.

So how do the American people feel about all of this?

‘This shows to people that our government does not protect us,’ said one US resident.

‘I think that’s unfortunate that the gulf, both, ecologically and socio-politically is suffering, while two huge corporations bail out who is to blame instead of trying to work together to resolve the problem,’ another said.

Meanwhile, the oil is still polluting the Gulf of Mexico, unraveling an ecological disaster of epic proportions, with what seems to be no end in sight.

Gulf Oil Spill may be 19 times larger than BP & Gov’t say

20 May, 2010 — The Real News Network

One month after explosion of Deepwater Horizon rig, journalists update situation

Jesse Freeston interviews journalists at McClatchy’s DC bureau to get the latest on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Journalists believe that BP and the Government may be hiding information on the severity of the leak. Those who fish for a living in the Gulf of Mexico are after BP for compensation. The central question yet to be answered to help resolve the question of how the explosion happened. And, the Cuban government is concerned but not vocal, given it’s own aspirations for deep sea drilling. Produced by Jesse Freeston.

more about “Gulf Oil Spill may be 19 times larger…“, posted with vodpod

Shelling out or just a Shell game? By William Bowles

18 May, 2010

19 May, 2010 — Update

Whoops! The ‘press release’ was a hoax (I thought it was too good to be true, shades of the Yes Men as it is in fact a production of the Yes Lab). However, it doesn’t alter any of my comments. Here is the mail I just received on the hoax:

Shell Flummoxed by Fakers

Company flummoxes back; activist group takes responsibility

The Hague – Hours before Shell’s annual general shareholder meeting on Tuesday, and not long after BP’s oil rig catastrophe, millions of people around the world received press releases announcing that Shell would implement a “comprehensive remediation plan” for the oil-soaked Niger Delta. The plan included an immediate halt to dangerous offshore drilling, the end of health-damaging gas flaring, and reparations for the human damage caused over the decades of Shell’s involvement.

The “good news” was fiction, created by an ad-hoc activist group called the Nigerian Justice League to generate pressure on Shell to withdraw from, and remediate, the Niger Delta. According to the activists, Shell’s operations in the Delta have helped transform that area into the world’s most polluted ecosystem, which has in turn resulted in a human rights catastrophe.

(The NJL developed the project as part of the Yes Lab (, a workshop run by a group called “the Yes Men” to share their experiences and facilitate the projects of others. The Yes Lab is in the midst of a fundraising drive.)

“Shell, Chevron, and the others are perpetrating a massive, life-threatening hoax by claiming that they can’t quickly stop their gas flaring, reduce their oil spills, and clean up their mess in the Niger Delta,” said Chris Francis of the Nigerian Justice League. “Our press release revealed the truth: that there is a decent way forward, instead of the continual deceit we get from them.”

Shell’s public relations staff quickly and energetically moved to contain the fallout from the fake release. On Tuesday, Shell attempted to eliminate the Justice League’s spoof Shell website by complaining that it was a “phishing scheme” to the upstream internet service provider. Shell then sent a threatening legal letter to the Danish internet provider hosting the site.

In a related story, the Financial Times (a blog of which, incidentally, was duped by the fake release) refused to run a hard-hitting advertisement, created and paid for by Amnesty International, that called for action against Shell for its Niger Delta legacy. Like the fake release, the ad was timed to coincide with Shell’s May 18 AGM.

“For now, Shell’s legal threats are bearing ripe fruit,” said Esmée de la Parra of the Nigerian Justice League. “But they can’t keep blustering their way to destruction forever. Eventually, people will have had enough. For the sake of the planet, let’s hope ‘eventually’ is very soon.”

My piece follows unedited.

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US Senate Begins Oil Spill Cover-Up By Tom Eley

13 May, 2010 — Global ResearchWorld Socialist Web Site – 12 May, 2010

On Tuesday, the US senate began hearings into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which took the lives of 11 workers in an April 20 explosion and has since poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region with an environmental and economic catastrophe.

Appearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the morning and the Environmental and Public Health Committee in the afternoon were executives from the three corporations implicated in the disaster: Lamar McKay, president of the US operations of BP, which owned the oil and the drill site; Steven Newman, president of Transocean, the contractor that owned the rig and employed most of its workers; and Tim Probert, an executive with Halliburton, which contracted for the work of cementing the rig’s wellhead one mile beneath ocean’s surface.

The hearing resembled a falling out among thieves, with multi-millionaire executives—who, until April 20, had collaborated in thwarting basic safety and environmental considerations—each blaming the other for the explosion.

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Earth still needs a chance By Erik Wallenberg

10 May, 2010 —

Erik Wallenberg explains how the 1960s environmental movement took shape–and the lessons it offers for today’s struggles.


A picture of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill approaching the coast of Louisiana, taken from the NASA Space Observatory (Jesse Allen)

APRIL 22, 1970, was one of the largest days of protest in U.S. history, including a march in Washington D.C., with the slogan, ‘Give Earth a Chance,’ taken directly from the antiwar slogan of the time, ‘Give Peace a Chance.’

With the passing of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, it’s no small irony that this day might now mark a new anniversary of environmental destruction. What’s looking to become one of the largest single ecological disasters in modern U.S. history–the explosion of BP’s deep-water oil rig and the spewing of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico–only highlights how far we still have to go in creating a world where ecological integrity is a priority.

Some 20 million people are estimated to have participated in some action on the original Earth Day. More than 1,500 colleges held teach-ins across the country. One action, which would seem appropriate for today, included a group pouring oil into a reflecting pool outside Standard Oil’s headquarters in San Francisco.

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BP: The Worst Safety and Environmental Record of All Oil Companies Operating in the United States By Tyson Slocum

5 May, 2010 — MRZine-Monthly ReviewCitizen Energy

BP is a London-based oil company with the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in America.  In just the last few years, BP has pled guilty to two crimes and paid over $730 million in fines and settlements to the US government, state governments, and civil lawsuit judgments for environmental crimes, willful neglect of worker safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets.

Worker Safety: $215 Million in Penalties/Settlements

BP paid the two largest fines in OSHA history — $87.43 million and $21.36 million — for willful negligence that led to the deaths of 15 workers and injured 170 others in a March 2005 refinery explosion in Texas.  In September 2005, OSHA cited BP for 296 “Egregious Willful Violations” and other violations associated with the explosion, fining BP $21.36 million and entering into a settlement agreement under which BP agreed to corrective actions to eliminate hazards similar to those that caused the explosion.  In October 2009, OSHA determined that BP was in non-compliance with the settlement agreement, finding 270 “notifications of failure to abate” and 439 new willful violations, resulting in the $87.43 million fine.

The U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board concluded in 2007 that “The Texas City disaster was caused by organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation.  Warning signs of a possible disaster were present for several years, but company officials did not intervene effectively to prevent it.”  This followed an August 2004 OSHA fine against BP for $63,000 for violations at the same facility.  In December 2009, a Texas jury returned a $100 million award against BP on behalf of workers injured in 2007 at the Texas city refinery while making repairs after the 2005 blast.

Just last month, BP paid $3 million fine to OSHA for 42 willful safety violations at one of its refineries in Ohio.  This follows a $2.4 million fine BP paid for safety & health violations at this refinery in April 2006.

In September 2001, OSHA fined BP $141,000 after an explosion killed 3 workers at BPs Clanton Road facility.

In October 2007, the Minerals Management Service fined BP $41,000 for various safety violations.

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Spill Here, Spill Now by Firedoglake

9 May, 2010 — MRZine-Monthly

“So today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration. . . . We’ll protect areas that are vital to tourism, the environment, and our national security.”Barack Obama, 31 March 2010

“It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore.”Barack Obama, 2 April 2010

“So, let me be clear. I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I’ve always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment.”Barack Obama, 30 April 2010