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What Is Being Stolen From Us All

By Jeff Berg

12 September, 2007

Once again, this time in Iraq, we see the natural resource wealth of an entire nation enriching none but a criminal class and megacorporations. I will assume a distinction. Once again this is only able to take place as a result of the planned aggression and full cooperation of a government & military that acts as if it is a wholly owned subsidiary of a monied elite.

Much the same thing is being done here in Canada but "thanks" to the connivance of significant elements of our corporate and government elite it is being achieved without the need for military force.

It should be noted however that to some in the corporate class the missing military element is a major mistake even in Canada as it seriously erodes the huge profit margins possible in war zones and markedly reduces the amount of money that can be transferred from citizens to shareholders in times of military conflict. (The quintessential double dip) Admittedly this is a minority opinion but as Iraq will not be the last to prove not an uninfluential one. Evidence of this influence here in Canada can be seen by the massive increase in expenditures for our military and security industrial complexes over the last few years.

NB. Before the Harper government's commitment to a $13 billion increase in military spending Canada’s military spending was the 7th highest in absolute terms in the OECD and 12th overall in the world.

If you are skeptical of the claim that Canadians are being all but completely shut out of the benefits of their resource wealth go to the Parkland Institute site and discover for yourself the pitiful fraction the Albertan people receive of their resource wealth compared to the people of Norway.

For we the Canadian people the situation is an even crueler joke as we receive even less benefit while at the same time bearing more of the brunt of the economic problems associated with being a resource dollar. Aka. Dutch Disease

And it is all Canadians and especially Albertans and even the rest of the world that are at the same time forced to pick up the massive environmental tab even as the profits flee the province and the country. The economic costs associated with addressing that environmental tab will of course be ours to bear as well.

As to what is happening to the people of Iraq there are few sources in America who have more first hand knowledge of Iraq, 7 years in the country as a chief weapons inspector for UNSCON, are more informed about Iraqi culture and politics, or are more steadfastly honest about the costs of the occupation to everyone than Scott Ritter.

Scott Ritter, September 8, 2007

" Working with local Kurdish officials, small oil exploration and drilling camps are sprouting up all over northern Iraq, where they siphon off the wealth of the Iraqi people. Shipped out of Iraq via Turkey and (surprisingly) Iran, using long-established smuggling routes, these illegal ventures are generating billions of dollars in income for oil companies, and because these ventures aren't supposed to exist, this income goes unreported. You can't miss these sites. Any review of Google-Earth imagery would show these facilities springing up like mushrooms over the last few years. The U.S. military knows about them, and yet does nothing. Note to Richard Kaplan (Katie Couric's producer): If you want to investigate this story, I'll provide you with the geographic coordinates. Drive up and try to talk your way into the security perimeter. Position Katie well for the camera shot and demand answers. Just look out for the Canadian, South African or American mercenaries who are charged by "Big Oil" to keep this dirty little secret "secret."

We are living in criminal and negligent times and none of us is doing enough to change this fact. Obviously the full documentation of the immorality and illegality of the Iraq invasion and occupation have not been sufficient to ending it. Just as obviously the full documentation of the danger to rising GHG levels has not ended them either.

Perhaps then what we really need to consider pushing much harder is the self-preservation angles of resource finitude. I.e. The many angles that show conclusively that a successful transition to real long-term sustainability is going to require every bit of fossil fuel energy, financial and human capital we have. Not to mention the many upon many scientific angles that show that the timeline that we have left ourselves demands that this full-out effort be started now as every delay only multiplies our difficulties exponentially.

All of which means conclusively and absolutely that we simply cannot afford to spend our scarce tax monies, precious fossil fuel and CO2 allotments on military adventurism when so many other projects absolutely essential to our health and wealth not to mention survival are going begging for the necessary allocation of resources, time, effort, capital and concentrated media and cultural focus.

To pick just three for examples: The transition to sustainable marine life harvesting, the transition to a sustainable energy system and the investment in whatever amount of micro loans are necessary to reverse the planet's desertification and deforestation.

Richard Heinberg's next book is titled Peak Everything which I think quite effectively sums up the quandary we have engineered for ourselves. It is, to put it simply, time to leave behind the monstrously childish selfishness and wildly destructive practices of theft and militarism and act like the 100,000 year old species that we are. By the by according to biologist extraordinaire Ernst Mayr 100,000 years also just happens to be the average life span for a species. If we intend to be above average we are going to have to do it the old fashioned way we are going to have to “Earn it!”.

Heinberg also says that as good and easy a place for all of us to start getting as busy as we are going to need to be is if we are going to wright our course is by clicking the following link and signing the Oil Depletion Protocol.

This link will take you to Heinberg's 15 minute explanation of the protocol and its utility.

We all know what is being stolen from us it is time we started acting like it.

"Politics is the shadow cast by big business over society." - John Dewey

"Moral threats may change the rhetoric of your ruling class but economic ones will change their behaviour." - Senor Juan G. Carbonel

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