>

Santoro’s Holey Stockings

Santoro revealedAngry and embarrassed, Howard accepts Santoro’s resignation – in the light of previous resistance exemplified by a declaration that Santoro’s lapse of memory was a mistake, not a sackable offence, we are left in no doubt that the prime monster’s vaunted code of ministerial conduct has been garish window-dressing to cover up shameless debauched hypocrisy.

Howard has enjoined all his ministers to scrutinise *their* shareholdings – thus prospects for ongoing hilarious political entertainment have been improved considerably over and above the still-pending federal police investigation into three MPs over allegations of abuses of their printing allowances. The latest Morgan polls show Labor maintaining a stunning lead 61/39 – looking very grim for the Libs at this juncture.

Companies which Santoro absent-mindedly held and or traded through his and his wife’s family trust since late 2005 are (courtesy of William Burrough’s Baboon):

Continue reading “Santoro’s Holey Stockings”

Little Johnny’s List O’ Lies

This list is courtesy of beloved net identity, pusssycat, who in turn purrrloined it from a site now oddly defunct.

JOHN HOWARD LIE:

“I can promise you that we will follow policies which will, over a period of time, bring down the foreign debt . . . our first priority in Government economically will be to tackle the current account deficit.”
John Howard, Doorstop interview, Debt Truck Launch, 20 September 1995

The Truth:
Foreign debt was $361 billion at the end of September 2003, an increase of 90 per cent on the September 1995 level. The current account deficit was $11.9 billion at the end of September 2003, an increase of 112.5 per cent on the September 1995 level.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS@, Time Series Spreadsheets (Balance of Payments and Investment Position, Australia 5302.0, Reserve Bank of Australia (H) Bulletin, Current Account)

And now:

Current account deficit soars to over $15b. Australia’s current account deficit has widened by 20 per cent in the December quarter. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the current account deficit has climbed to just over $15 billion. Imports of plant, transport equipment and machinery contributed heavily to the rise.

There was also a big surge in imports of consumer goods.

The ABS says the deficit on goods and services will detract 1.3 percentage points from GDP in the fourth-quarter.

Australia’s net foreign debt now stands at $521 billion.

JOHN HOWARD LIE:

Labor MP question to the Prime Minister: “Prime Minister, was the government contacted by the major Australian producer of ethanol or by any representative
of his company or the Industry Association before its decision to impose fuel excise on ethanol?”

John Howard: “Speaking for myself, I did not personally have any discussions, from recollection, with any of them.”
John Howard, Question Time, 17 September 2002

The Truth:
John Howard had met on 1 August the head of Manildra Group [Dick Honan], which makes 87 per cent of our ethanol, and they discussed how to help the Australian ethanol industry.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Official Record of Meeting, 1 August 2002

Continue reading “Little Johnny’s List O’ Lies”

The Great Iraqi Oil Robbery

Iraq Oil Liberation

The Coalition of the Gobbling has now set the scene for massive exploitation by its vampirish associates of Iraq’s oil without so much as a murmur from the Iraqi puppet government.

The law is set to be approved in March.

On Monday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s cabinet in Baghdad approved the draft of the new Iraqi oil law. The government regards it as “a major national project”. The key point of the law is that Iraq’s immense oil wealth (115 billion barrels of proven reserves, third in the world after Saudi Arabia and Iran) will be under the iron rule of a fuzzy “Federal Oil and Gas Council” boasting “a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq”. That is, nothing less than predominantly US Big Oil executives.

The law represents no less than institutionalized raping and pillaging of Iraq’s oil wealth. It represents the death knell of nationalized (from 1972 to 1975) Iraqi resources, now replaced by production sharing agreements (PSAs) – which translate into savage privatization and monster profit rates of up to 75% for (basically US) Big Oil. Sixty-five of Iraq’s roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit. As if this were not enough, the law reduces in practice the role of Baghdad to a minimum. Oil wealth, in theory, will be distributed directly to Kurds in the north, Shi’ites in the south and Sunnis in the center. For all practical purposes, Iraq will be partitioned into three statelets. Most of the country’s reserves are in the Shi’ite-dominated south, while the Kurdish north holds the best prospects for future drilling.

Iraq Freedom

The approval of the draft law by the fractious 275-member Iraqi Parliament, in March, will be a mere formality. Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq’s oil minister, is beaming. So is dodgy Barnham Salih: a Kurd, committed cheerleader of the US invasion and occupation, then deputy prime minister, big PSA fan, and head of a committee that was debating the law.

But there was not much to be debated. The law was in essence drafted, behind locked doors, by a US consulting firm hired by the Bush administration and then carefully retouched by Big Oil, the International Monetary Fund, former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz’ World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development. It’s virtually a US law (its original language is English, not Arabic).

Scandalously, Iraqi public opinion had absolute no knowledge of it – not to mention the overwhelming majority of Parliament members. Were this to be a truly representative Iraqi government, any change to the legislation concerning the highly sensitive question of oil wealth would have to be approved by a popular referendum.

In real life, Iraq’s vital national interests are in the hands of a small bunch of highly impressionable (or downright corrupt) technocrats. Ministries are no more than political party feuds; the national interest is never considered, only private, ethnic and sectarian interests. Corruption and theft are endemic. Big Oil will profit handsomely – and long-term, 30 years minimum, with fabulous rates of return – from a former developing-world stalwart methodically devastated into failed-state status.

Once the insurgents, guerillas and Iraqi public become aware of the impending oil rape by the Coalition of the Gobbling, it is quite possible that there will be a strategic unification and uprising against the common colonialist enemy which no Doodoo surge will be able to suppress.

Coalition of the Gobbling vs Iraq 11

Dick and John deals

The Iraqi prize – its oil – is about to come under Coalition of the Gobbling companies’ control.

… Now comes new evidence of the big prize in Iraq that rarely gets mentioned at White House briefings.

A proposed new Iraqi oil and gas law began circulating last week among that country’s top government leaders and was quickly leaked to various Internet sites – before it has even been presented to the Iraqi parliament.

Under the proposed law, Iraq’s immense oil reserves would not simply be opened to foreign oil exploration, as many had expected. Amazingly, executives from those companies would actually be given seats on a new Federal Oil and Gas Council that would control all of Iraq’s reserves.

In other words, Chevron, ExxonMobil, British Petroleum and the other Western oil giants could end up on the board of directors of the Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas Council, while Iraq’s own national oil company would become just another competitor.

The new law would grant the council virtually all power to develop policies and plans for undeveloped oil fields and to review and change all exploration and production contracts.

Since most of Iraq’s 73 proven petroleum fields have yet to be developed, the new council would instantly become a world energy powerhouse.

“We’re talking about trillions of dollars of oil that are at stake,” said Raed Jarrar, an independent Iraqi journalist and blogger who obtained an Arabic copy of the draft law and posted an English-language translation on his Web site over the weekend.

More recently from Raed’s blog:

My contacts in the Iraqi government, in addition to some fellow Iraqi bloggers, confirmed that the oil law draft was submitted to the Council of Ministers last week, and is expected to reach to the Council of Representatives (the Parliament) very soon after it gets approved in the Council of Ministers. The law will be considered active in case it gets approved by the parliament.

For a clear analysis of the Coalition of the Gobbling’s proposed endgame for the current episode of the Great Game and its plans for global oil dominance, read William Clark’s stunning article of December 06.

Shilling for a War

War - both sides of the storyCon Coughlin does it again in this waffly piece of shillery, overflowing with unnamed senior sources, claiming Israel is seeking authorisation from the Pentagon to whack Iran. Interestingly and simultaneously, the uber conservative Daily Telegraph broadcasts this story wherein Cheney warns that military action against Iran remains a possibility.

AP debunks the Coughlin shillery swiftly.

The subject has a revealing history of similar deceptive preemptive pro-war journalism. Is MI6 involved as well?

A report, put together by Campaign Iran and published at the end of 2006, revealed that Daily Telegraph’s political editor Con Coughlin, the man who ‘broke the story’ of Iraq’s 45 minute WMD capacity, was behind 16 articles containing unsubstantiated allegations against Iran over the past 12 months. The Press Complaints Commission has launched its third investigation into Coughlin in as many months after a number of high level complaints about his latest article on Iran. The investigation is looking at an article by Coughlin on 24 January relying on an unnamed “European defence official” alleging that North Korea is helping Iran prepare a nuclear weapons test.

Back in 2000, the British Journalism Review remarked that “officers of MI6… had been supplying Coughlin with material for years.” It is known that the MI6 has a shadowy programme called “I/Ops” (Information Operations), whose activities within Fleet Street have never before been so clearly exposed.

Supposing the Tele story is an MI6 plant, what should we make of this Times Online story that several US generals are prepared to resign if Doodoo gives the order to attack Iran?

“There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” a source with close ties to British intelligence said. “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

A British defence source confirmed that there were deep misgivings inside the Pentagon about a military strike. “All the generals are perfectly clear that they don’t have the military capacity to take Iran on in any meaningful fashion. Nobody wants to do it and it would be a matter of conscience for them.

“There are enough people who feel this would be an error of judgment too far for there to be resignations.”

A generals’ revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented. “American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defence secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders.

The threat of a wave of resignations coincided with a warning by Vice-President Dick Cheney that all options, including military action, remained on the table. He was responding to a comment by Tony Blair that it would not “be right to take military action against Iran”.

Perhaps there are secret wars within the intel agencies themselves. Who is feeding the pro-war line in the Brit press and the Pentagon? Could it be none other than the recently departed torturer and his evul cohorts? Seymour Hersh spills the beans on the United Stupids tilt toward Iran:

The key players behind the redirection are Vice-President Dick Cheney, the deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, the departing Ambassador to Iraq (and nominee for United Nations Ambassador), Zalmay Khalilzad, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national-security adviser. While Rice has been deeply involved in shaping the public policy, former and current officials said that the clandestine side has been guided by Cheney. (Cheney’s office and the White House declined to comment for this story; the Pentagon did not respond to specific queries but said, “The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran.”)

OBL wants war in Iran
Ironically, the tilt against the Shite Iranians will benefit the most radical, fundamentalist Sunnis, from whom the likes of Bin Laden came. Whose side are the torturer’s mob really on?

“The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.” The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

What is the payoff for the torturer? More war, re-election of the neocons, more oil, more profits for Helliburton etc. – his mates.