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, http://tinyurl.com/yu6nzm
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. http://globalpublicmedia.com/interviews/732
We all know what is being stolen from us it is time we started acting
"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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