With the BP oil spill still raging after a month of disinformation and stonewalling from both BP and the Obama Administration as well as the catastrophe of the Massey coal mine explosion just two weeks prior to the BP Gulf disaster, the left and right are playing their trite and expected “blame game” without acknowledging the actual systemic realities of a Government that enables BP and Massey to rape and plunder the earth for the sake of profit at the expense of the environment and human life.
Rather than exacerbating the reactionary mindset of the “left” and the “right,” I prefer to look at the history of political economy as a whole, and show that the recent environmental and economic disasters of BP and Massey are the result of a system that promotes unsustainable energy simply for the sake of propagating energy profiteers that have had their teeth in our political system for well over 150 years. The environmental and human collateral has been tremendous and is not about the incompetence or passivity of either the Democrats or the Republicans as they both propagate this system.
The notion that investment in more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy will free us from our dependence on foreign oil and pollution-inducing coal is a necessary one, though quaint considering how substantial the role that coal and oil play in global political and economic dynamics is. Despite the rhetoric of Obama, he has proven thus far that he has no intentions of deviating from the path of W. Bush and all other administrations before him when it comes to limiting the role that oil and coal play in our economy as well as their role in dictating energy policy.
The most devastating blow to those who still harbor the illusion that Obama is not in collusion with BP and other Oil giants is the fact that BP’s Gulf of Mexico drilling operation specifically was not included in a far reaching environmental impact analysis last year. Obviously BP has ties to Dick Cheney’s old employer Haliburton who constructed the offshore rigs — and in true Haliburton fashion, constructed them in the cheapest and quickest way possible, likely subsidized by us taxpayers as we usually flip the bill for Haliburton’s monopoly on no-bid military contracts.
Why is it that Obama exempted BP from Environmental Impact studies? The administration, when faced with that question, has done the famous W. two-step: evade, change the subject and deny, deny, deny. Why is it that over a month after the BP gulf disaster, which still continues to devastate the ocean every day, Obama still refuses to allow actual scientific analysis of the data that is available to determine just how much oil is actually leaking into the ocean, potentially devastating Louisiana and other states? I believe Obama ran on a platform that included “cleaning up” the blatant corruption and collusion of the previous Bush administration, but from the reality of the actions of Obama, he very well might be the long lost twin of Dubya.
Quite obviously Bush and Cheney were blatant in their support of “Big Energy,” yet the roles of Clinton and now Obama seem to be ignored by those on the “left” who are under the misguided impression that propagation of corporate greed sanctioned by government is solely a trait of Republicans. The reality is that the coal and oil industries are entrenched in the dynamics of US political economy. Our role in Middle East affairs is the result of a 60 year Imperialist Expansion into the region under the guise of: stopping the communists, stopping the terrorists, stopping the despots we put in power or whatever simplistic rationale fits the situation.
In 1954, Dwight Eisenhower through his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles ordered the CIA assassination and coup d’état of Iran’s first democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh., which was aided by Great Britain’s MI6 (their CIA equivalent). Mosaddegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which didn’t sit well with U.S. and British corporate interests as they were afraid other countries might start thinking they, and not colonial and imperial interests, had a right to their own natural resources. After the coup. democracy was dismantled in Iran, and the Shah was placed in power. I won’t go on as I’m sure any intelligent person can probably guess the result this has had on our current relations with Iran and the rest of the region.
This theme of U.S. sponsored assassinations and coups for the perpetuation of Western Oil interests has continued up until today, regardless of the arbitrary political party affiliation of the administrations carrying out these war crimes. In fact, as many already know, we can thank Carter, Reagan and Clinton for creating Al-Queda. Quite simply, British Petroleum has a massive interest and stake in our current involvement in the Middle East as they control and/or stand to benefit from our perpetual military involvement and subsequent destabilization of the region.
With this in mind, it is no small wonder that Obama continues to be merely a puppet for the large energy conglomerates considering that they have dictated much of our Middle East foreign policy for many years and will continue to do so until we wise up to the game they are playing. Such is the case with Coal as well. While this industry is not nearly as powerful and global in their hegemony, they nonetheless are responsible for over 40% of the world’s electricity and are determined to keep it that way. Obama so far has given only lip service for a need for greater mining safety standards, but has failed to mention the environmental impact that coal has on our planet and most assuredly will do little other than to continue giving lip service while the industry pads his coffers and continues their environmental devastation.
Let me ask this: considering the history of the United States’ cozy relationship with “Big Energy,” regardless of inconsequential Dem. or GOP party affiliation, why would we expect the current Obama administration to do anything other than what it has done; nothing? Perhaps I will be proven wrong and Obama will take a stand against these empires that create wars, destroy life and the environment and exist through our tax-provided subsidies. If history tells us anything and we continue taking the reactionary and ignorant stance of playing the “blame game,” there is little hope of real change occurring as Corporations such as BP and Massey continue to exploit the riches of the earth with our military and our money while we deny ourselves of the reality of the situation.
Todd Curl is an ardent supporter of true democracy and peace through the study of historical reality rather than blindly supporting the lies of our “side.” You can read his musings on The Todd Blog.