The Battle for Oil is about the battle between China and the US over the world’s dwindling oil reserves. Globally China is the second biggest oil consumer – after the US. Owing to its dwindling reserves, they import two-thirds of their oil. High domestic demand for oil leads to periodic power blackouts and long queues at services stations.
China has three state-owned oil companies employing tens of thousands of workers, mainly in London, Singapore, New York. The country’s high demand for oil has led to major investment in African and South American oil producers. Rather than buying barrels of oil, China seeks investment in oil production capacity. Chad, Sudan and other African countries have granted them major oil concessions in return for major infrastructure investment in ports, railroads, telecommunication networks, schools, and clinics.
China’s ability (thanks to immense cash reserves) to invest in massive infrastructure projects gives them significant competitive advantage over western oil companies. As does China’s commitment to absolute non-interference in the host country’s political affairs. This contrasts sharply with western loans. The latter are always accompanied by demands for “democratic” and “human rights” reforms, which turn out to be camouflage for further penetration by Wall Street interests.
In 2005, China freaked out US lawmakers by attempting to take over the American oil company Unocal. Owing to their desire to preserve friendly trade relations, China dropped their Unocal takeover bid and shifted their focus to forging alliances with oil producers hostile to the US, such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Much of the current US animosity towards Venezuela stems from growing Chinese investment in their oil industry – a fact rarely mentioned in the mainstream media.
Narrated by author Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash explores how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton granted special concessions to wealthy investors and foreign leaders in return for donations to the Clinton foundation and humongous speaking fees (for her husband Bill).
State Department approval for Joe Wilson’s mining company to cut a mineral deal with Sudanese warlords in return for large donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Waiver of US sanctions against Democratic Republic of Congo – enabling Swedish oligarch Lucas Lundin to access their mineral reserves – in return for a $100 million donation to the Clinton Foundation.
State Department reversal of sanctions President Bill Clinton initiated against India for violating the nuclear anti-proliferation treaty – in return for big donations to the Clinton Foundation, millions in speaking fees and illegal donations to Hillary’s senate campaign.
Approval of the sale of 50% of America’s uranium deposits to Uranium One, putting 20% of US uranium production under Russian control – in return for millions of Clinton Foundation donations from Uranium One shareholders and a half a million dollars in speaking fees.
A favorable State Department environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline – after TD Bank, one of Keystone’s major investors, paid Bill for ten speaking engagements.
The film also details the massive corruption associated with the Haiti Reconstruction Commission, which the Clintons headed after the 2008 Haiti earthquake. Instead of being used to rebuild homes and roads, most of the international aid ended up in the pockets of Clinton corporate benefactors. This includes hundreds of millions for luxury hotels and for a company with no gold mining experience to build the first Haitian gold mine in sixty years. The Clintons also authorized Caracol, a new textile factory in northern Haiti (the earthquake occurred in southern Haiti), which pays sweatshop wages to produce clothing for the Gap, Target and Walmart.
Part 9 of Oliver Stones Untold History of the United States covers the Bush senior and Clinton presidency
Bush Senior Presidency
Stone begins by exploring the role of Bush’s father Prescott Bush and other Wall street figures in supporting the rise of Hitler and the Nazi war machine. The list of Wall Street corporations that supplied money, weapons, chemicals, tanks, aircraft and other material support to the Third Reich is a long one: Ford, IBM, GM, Hearst, Standard Oil, Dupont, Kodak, United Fruit, Westinghouse, Douglas Aircraft, ITT, GE, Singer, International Harvester, Union Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, JP Morgan and the Bank of International Settlements.
Many of these companies demanded (and received) reparations when the Allies bombed their German factories.
Stone devotes much of this episode to the fall of totalitarian rule in Eastern Europe (1989-91), which he describes as the largest peaceful revolution in history. He also discusses the military coup by Boris Yeltsin that shut down parliamentary rule in the Russian Federation and the role of Wall Street, the World Bank, IMF and a handful of Russian oligarchs in systematically stripping the Russian people of their industrial wealth. During this period, many Russians died of malnutrition and medically preventable illness. The life expectancy would drop from 67 to 57 for men and from 76 to 70 for women.
Bush senior, surrounded by anti-Soviet hawks (eg Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who would go on to found Project for a New American Century) rebuffed all Gorbachev’s overtures for world peace. Stone maintains Gorbachev would never have been forced out of office if Bush had supported him.
The Clinton Presidency
Instead of delivering the promised “peace dividend” when the Cold War ended, Clinton initiated a new wave of defense spending and multiple military interventions overseas. Among them
He launched a war on Yugoslavia to gain access to Caspian Sea oil for US oil companies.
He authorized numerous bombing raids on Iraq, supposedly as enforcement of the no-fly zone in regions controlled by Kurds and Shiite rebels.
He began expanding NATO to former Eastern Bloc countries to enable US oil companies to build pipelines to transport Russian oil to Europe.
He ordered 75 cruise missiles (at $750,000 each) to be fired on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory and Zawhar Kili Camp in Afghanistan to distract public attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Bush and Clinton: Squandered Peace – New World Order
Forecast: The Consequences of Climate Change, from the Amazon to the Arctic, from Darfur to Napa Valley
by Stephan Faris
Henry Holt (2009)
Forecast is about historic and present day political, economic and health consequences of extreme climate disruption.
Farr begins by unpacking the Sudan civil war that began in Darfur in 2003. He makes a convincing case that decreased rainfall and desertification led to a bloody land war d between nomadic Arab camel herders and African farmers. He disputes that the conflict arose out of ethnic and religious differences, as the two groups shared the region harmoniously for hundreds of years until the climate changed.
He goes on to discuss studies comparing ice core findings to historical records. They conclude that all major European wars and Chinese dynastic changes followed major climate change.
Arctic Territorial Disputes
At the present time, the melting of Arctic sea ice has led to major border conflicts between countries eager to exploit the region’s vast mineral wealth. Tension is particularly high between Russian and Norway, Canada and Denmark and Canada and the US (over the border between the Yukon and Alaska). The opening of the Northwest Passage* to navigation for the first time in 2007 has led to an ongoing dispute whether these waters are Canadian territory or an international right of way, as claimed by the US.
International Alert predicts that forty-four countries are at risk of conflict (mainly over water rights) due to climate change. At the top of the list are India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Indonesia, Algeria, Nigeria, Somalia, Bolivia, Columbia, Peru and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Emergence of Epidemics
Faris’s section on the health consequences of climate change discusses the major epidemics that have emerged due to warmer, wetter weather patterns. This includes a big increase in malaria in Brazil and Mexico; in hantavirus, West Nile virus and Lyme disease in the US; ebola in Africa and in plague in Kazakhstan and India.
Ice core findings suggest the medieval Black Death (plague) in Europe was also triggered by climate change.
The Effect of Native American Genocide
The most interesting section of the book argues than human beings have been altering the climate, through deforestation, livestock husbandry and population explosions since the agricultural revolution. Climate scientists believe major deforestation in Europe started 7,500-8,000 years ago. Atmospheric carbon concentrations reached a peak during the Roman period and took a big dip (most likely due to depopulation) after Rome collapsed. They began to rise again in 1000 AD. Their sharp decline in 1500 coincided with a Little Ice Age characterized by brutally cold winters.
Faris agrees with William Ruddiman (Plows, Plagues and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate) who believes this steep drop stemmed from the decimation of Native American agricultural settlements (from genocide, smallpox, typhus, cholera and measles, diseases to which they had no immunity) in North and South America. Over two centuries, their population dropped from 50-60 million (one tenth of the global population) to five million. As they disappeared, forests and jungles, particularly in the Amazon, reclaimed the fields they had cleared for cultivation.
*The Northwest Passage is a sea through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It decreases the transit time from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean (compared to the Panama Canal) by four days.
60,000 African Refugees and 70,000 Bedouin Affected
Israel‘s obsession with Jewish ethnic purity has led to the enactment of open ethnic cleansing by the current Netanyahu government.
Aside from Israel’s genocidal policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, new legislation affects 60,000 African refugees and 70,000 Bedouin living within Israel proper. The latter are, by law, Israeli citizens and many have served in the Israeli Defense Force.
Officials in the Netanyahu government justify their racial purity laws as essential to prevent “demographic” problems.
Ensuring that Israel remains both a Jewish state and a democracy requires that non-Jewish populations must be strictly controlled. Allowing non-Jewish Israelites, either singly or jointly, to acquire a sizable voting block would pose a major threat to maintaining Judaism as the official state religion.
In 1948, this resulted in nearly a million Palestinians being driven from their homes and farms by force, to take up residence in refugee camps in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Following the 1967 war, Israel seized the areas of Gaza (in Egypt) and the West Bank (in Jordan) that housed the Palestinian refugee camps.
Since then, they have made no secret of their intention to drive the Palestinians from these areas, as well, and repopulate them with Jewish settlers.
Africans Called Cancer on Jewish State
Receiving less attention are Netanyahu’s brutal policies towards 60,000 African refugees, who fled ethnic cleansing in Eritrea and Sudan to resettle in Israel. As journalist David Sheen describes in Journalists Blistering Indictment, leaders in Netanyahu’s government describe them as a “cancer” on the Jewish state.
It has become official government policy to deny them work permits and health care, and a state sponsored rabbi group has called on landlords not to rent to Africans. In 2012, the Netanyahu government amended the 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law. The original law was intended to bar Palestinians from returning to family property Israel confiscated in 1948. The new amendment allowed the Israeli government to criminalize and detain African refugees for up to three years prior to deporting them.
Knesset Circumvents Israeli Supreme Court
Last year, Israel’s supreme court unanimously struck down the amendment. Under international law, it’s illegal for any country’ to deport asylum seekers back to countries where they will experience persecution. The Knesset responded by passing a new law ordering the indefinite imprisonment and the detainment of any foreign person caught trying to cross into Israel.
Under the new legislation, hundreds of African refugees are required to live in the “open” Holot detention center in the Negev Desert. Refugees are permitted to leave the detention center briefly during daytime hours. However they must return three times a day for roll call and must sleep there at night. Human rights groups have also appealed the new law to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, as shown in the video below, the government is organizing state sponsored protests in which Israel’s Jewish citizens are encouraged to trash African refugees’ homes and assault them. If Israel can’t legally deport them, they hope they will leave voluntarily if the government makes their lives as miserable as possible.
Ethnically Cleansing 70,000 Bedouin
Israel’s ethnic purity policies aren’t limited to Palestinians and Africans. Israel is also determined to displace 70,000 Bedouins through the Begin-Prawer law enacted in 2013.
If fully implemented, the Prawer-Begin Plan will result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized” Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab.
Palestine Applies to join International Criminal Court
Genocide and ethnic cleansing are crimes against humanity under international law. Serbian and African leaders suspected of ethnic cleansing have faced prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
At the beginning of April, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN announced that the Palestinian Authority had sought membership in the ICC and 12 other UN conventions, due to continuing Israeli obstruction in current peace talks. When the UN General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in October 2012, Palestinians gained the right to seek membership in UN institutions and treaty bodies and possibly take their complaints over Israeli settlement-building on occupied land (also illegal under international law) to the ICC.
On April 12, the UN announced that the state of Palestine had been admitted to the 13 conventions as of July 2, including membership in the ICC and the convention against genocide.
The psychedelic drug ibogaine is used to treat drug addiction and alcoholism in more than 190 countries, including Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Russia, China and Ukraine. Sixty years of research has demonstrated ibogaine’s effectiveness in opiate, cocaine, amphetamine, nicotine and alcohol dependency, as well as treatment resistant post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet owing to the ludicrous and ineffectual “War on Drugs,” ibogaine remains illegal in the US.
It’s an issue of special relevance to veterans, who suffer a high rate of combat-related post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction disorders. Twenty percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans develop PTSD or depression, with 22 a day, on average, committing suicide. Veterans wounded in Middle East conflicts have a 25-35% chance of becoming addicted to prescription opiates.
Conventional treatment for these disorders is associated with a high failure rate, translating into long term disability and suffering for many vets. International peer reviewed research shows that addicts treated with ibogaine have lower relapse rates than those receiving conventional treatment. Yet thanks to the federal government’s absolute ban on so-called “hallucinogenic” drugs, veterans wanting help for treatment resistant addiction disorders and PTSD must seek out private igobaine clinics in Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica.
Extracted for the West African iboga plant, ibogaine’s benefit in opiate addiction was first discovered in 1962 by a heroin addict named Howard Lotsof. Lotsoft was amazed that it totally blocked any symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Like other addicts who have taken it, he experienced no hallucinations. He has described the effect, which lasted approximately 36 hours, as a “waking dream.”
As Brown elaborates in his paper, it’s common for addicts who take ibogaine to experience a mind expanding panoramic review of their life. They describe being flooded with past memories of traumatic or highly emotional experiences, important personal relationships and bad decisions and choices. In Lotsoff’s case, he gained the understanding that his addiction was fear and anxiety-driven and that he could free himself of these feelings.
Lotsof’s Campaign to Legalize Ibogaine
Ibogaine and other psychedelic drugs were still legal in the US in 1962. In the late sixties, it became illegal, along with LSD, mescaline, psilocybin and other hallucinogens. Determined to share his discovery with other addicts, Lotsoff spent years lobbying researchers, public officials, and pharmaceutical companies to study ibogaine’s potential as an addiction interrupter. He got nowhere. Big Pharma has more or less total control over new drug research, and a “natural” substance administered as a single dose has limited profit potential.
In 1986, Lotsof himself patented ibogaine himself for heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, alcohol, nicotine, and polysubstance abuse. After forming the private company NDA International, he began working with scientists overseas in setting up both animal and human studies. In the early nineties the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) developed Phase I and II clinical trial protocols for ibogaine. They cancelled the project in 1995 because the Clinton administration felt it was too controversial.
How Ibogaine Works
Studies in rodents reveal that repeated drug and alcohol administration causes changes in gene expression in the ventral tegmental area of the brain. Ibogaine reverses this by increasing Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) activity.
As Brown and other researchers point out, the drug isn’t a “cure” for addiction. However by eliminating or substantially decreasing withdrawal symptoms, it creates a clear “window of opportunity,” allowing the addict to cognitively choose to take back control of their life.
Ibogaine doesn’t address the behavioral component of addiction. As in mainstream recovery programs, an addict is less likely to relapse if they’re prepared to substitute new positive behaviors for the addictive behaviors. Most need support from aftercare programs, family and friends to achieve this.
Medical Supervision Required
Thomas’s review stresses that ibogaine should only be used under close medical supervision, owing to potentially serious (in some cases lethal) side effects. He also reminds us that these health risks must be weighed against the very real health consequences of chronic addiction (e.g. liver disease, cardiovascular disease, traumatic injury, overdose, malnutrition). The death rate associated with methadone and buprenorphine, the current treatments of choice for heroin addiction, is even higher. In 2005/2006, the annual death rate from methadone poisoning was double that from heroin-related poisoning. In New Zealand, the growing fatality rate from methadone poisoning was part of the rationale for legalizing ibogaine in 2009.
Avoiding Medical Complications with Ibogaine
After decades of international use, the potential medical complications of taking ibogaine are well known, as are the contraindications against taking it. The most common exclusion criteria are pre-existing heart disease, pre-existing bleeding problems or chronic blood clots. No patient should take ibogaine without an electrocardiogram (EKG) to rule out heart problems. Moreover a doctor or nurse (preferably specialized in emergency medicine or cardiology) needs to be present to monitor the patient during the session.
All patients entering an ibogaine treatment center need to undergo a complete medical and psychological screening. If they’re taking drugs that interact adversely with ibogaine, staff at the treatment center need to assist them in safely tapering and discontinuing. Likewise alcoholics need to undergo medical detox prior to taking igobaine.
Our Public Obligation to Veterans
Despite the abundance of excellent US referral sites (www.iceers.org and http://www.myeboga.org/providers.html are the best), it seems terribly wrong to expect veterans with combat related PTSD and addiction disorders to go to Canada or Mexico for help. Even with the 25% discount Ibogalife in Costa Rica offers vets with PTSD, all these conditions have dire financial consequences. Private treatment simple isn’t an option for the vast majority of vets and non-vets struggling with them.
Surely the American public has both a moral and legal obligation to offer effective treatment to veterans with combat related conditions. Yet according to the Department of Veterans Affairs website, not a single VA program or hospital is undertaking ibogaine research. The only free ibogaine studies I could find were in New Zealand (for addiction disorders) and the Bahamas (for US vets with diagnosed PTSD).
Besides being immoral and illegal, it also makes no sense to make taxpayers fund ineffective methadone and buprenorphine maintenance programs – involving years of daily administration of an equally addictive drug – when other countries are having proven success with a safer, less expensive and more effective treatment option. At the very minimum, the VA should be funding ibogaine research through VA hospitals.
This is an absolute disgrace. Obama and Congress need to hear from vets and their families and veterans advocacy groups, as well as taxpayers. In other words, all of us.
The following 2006 video describes the experience of a lieutenant general and Green Beret who underwent treatment with ibogaine. He had become addicted to prescription opiates following a combat-related injury.