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Big Oil on Trial For 1995 Nigerian Executions

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children and flares in nigeria's river statesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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The multinational oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell faces civil charges of complicity in Nigerian government crimes against its citizens, most notably the execution of writer/activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995. Shell will no doubt present itself as a victim. "It is a false dichotomy to separate the corruption of Nigeria's governments - military or civilian - from the predatory presence of Big Oil. The two are locked in the deepest embrace." Both the paymasters and the thugs are equally guilty of the crime.

 

 

Big Oil on Trial For 1995 Nigerian Executions
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Shell can be compared to a businessman who hires a hit man to kill a union organizer.”
The Royal Dutch Shell oil corporation is on trial, in New York, charged in a civil suit with complicity in the death of Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight comrades in 1995. Saro-Wiwa’s execution drew world attention to the environmental catastrophe that oil production has brought to the delta region of the Niger River, home to the Ogoni people. Saro-Wiwa and his co-defendants were tried by a military government, but Shell oil is charged with collaboration in the hangings, and in the torture of many other Ogonis – all to facilitate multi-billion dollar profits. Multinational corporations everywhere are following the case, fearing they too may called to account for their symbiotic relationships with murderous regimes in the resource-rich regions of the world.
Nigeria’s environmental degradation is a by-product of the moral and political rot that flows from neocolonialism. It is the physical manifestation of the total surrender of national sovereignty to foreigners – like Shell oil – by those native classes that rule the land for the benefit of foreigners. To put one’s country’s resources at the disposal of foreigners is the ultimate corruption – which leads to every other conceivable crime.
It is a false dichotomy to separate the corruption of Nigeria’s governments – military or civilian – from the predatory presence of Big Oil. The two are locked in the deepest embrace. The foreign corporations pay the regime to maintain peace – and the regime reciprocates by imposing on the people a “peace of the dead.” There are other sources of corruption in the developing world, other contradictions between people and their governments, but the dominance of economic resources by foreigners exacerbates every other division in society. The competition to get into the foreigners’ money flow becomes the Great Game of national political life. The bigger the money flow, the greater the imperative to keep the people in check. The police and army serve as paid thugs for the foreigners’ protection. The national debasement is total. Nigeria’s most important city, Lagos, is also one of the most expensive in the world – yet 70 percent of Nigerians subsist on a dollar or less a day. There is no greater corruption imaginable.
To put one’s country’s resources at the disposal of foreigners is the ultimate corruption.”
In court, Shell oil will seek to present itself as an innocent party – even a victim of African brutality and corruption. Shell is more properly compared to a businessman who hires a hit man to kill a union organizer. The businessman and the hit man are both guilty of capital murder. The greater onus is on the businessman, whose money made the crime possible.
In the Niger Delta, Ogoni rebels have cut Nigeria’s oil production in half, putting the squeeze on U.S.-based Chevron Oil (where, incidentally, Condoleezza Rice used to work). According to Amnesty International, hundreds of civilians have been killed in the fighting. The Nigerian government has declared the entire delta a military zone. No doubt, great crimes are being committed, at the behest of Big Oil. Before he was put to death, Ken Saro-Wiwa predicted it would come to this.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
 

 

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Just A Thought

Thanks Mr. Ford for some truth time.  Just a thought isn’t what has and is happening in Nigeria the same thing that is going on in Iraq???  Isn’t BIG OIL the driving force behind the invasion/occupation of Iraq???  Aren’t Blackwater and other private security forces (government backed thugs) along with US military in Iraq doing the same thing for BIG OIL that the government backed thugs in Nigeria have been doing???  Dropping mayhem madness and murder on the populace so BIG OIL can rape pillage and plunder the natural resources of the country!!!  Isn’t that the same thing that is going on in Afghanistan/Pakistan???  US military  along with private security forces (government backed thugs) Blackwater again dropping mayhem madness and murder on the populace so BIG OIL can rape pillage and plunder the natural resources (Read Pipeline Access) of those and other countries!!!  I am not trying to draw any parallels but JUST A THOUGHT!!!!
 
 
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S Murph
 

The oil price is soaring high

The oil price is soaring high in the market these days. And not only that because a lot of automotive industries had filed its bailout due to the current state of our economy. It is really important now to save money from oil and transportation now that a lot of car businesses are filing their bankruptcy. It is sad for GM and Chrysler that because of the current state of our economy, thy have to undergo a bankruptcy. GM employees are in a pretty tight spot these days, as GM has announced plant closures, dealership closures, and even entire brand closures (such as Pontiac), and most of the employees dedicated to those jobs are going to likely experience a layoff. Even with good budgeting or funds from the government bailout, it still isn't enough to cover the ground lost by the loss of a profession. Short term loans aren't going to assuage the hurt, and GM is in trouble. They are all but filing for bankruptcy at this point, and hopefully if they do file it will be a short one. It looks like there will be cash advances in the near future for GM employees.



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