|Progressive Calendar 03.31.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2007 04:28:31 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.31.07 1. Mexico/film 3.31 10am 2. Mexico border 3.31 10am 3. NWN4P vigils 3.31 11am 4. Northtown vigil 3.31 2pm 5. Prez explore 3.31 4pm 6. NLG 3.31 6pm 7. Cuba/film 3.31 6:30pm 8. GLBT sexuality 3.31 7pm 9. Jewish feminism 3.31 7:30pm 10. Israel/CTV 3.31 9pm 11. GandhiGrandson 3.31 12. Stillwater vigil 4.01 1pm 13. Afghanistan/ed 4.01 1:30pm 14. YAWR plans 4.01 3:30pm 15. KFAI's Indian 4.01 4pm 16. Monkey piano band 4.01 7pm 17. Kevin Zeese - The loopholes in the supplemental 18. Alan Maass - Oil and the empire --------1 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Mexico/film 3.31 10am Saturday, 3/31, 10 to 11:30 am, filmmaker Pacho Lane shows film "Indigenous Democracy" about the struggle of the Totonac people for autonomy in Mexico, Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls. www.americas.org --------2 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Mexico border 3.31 10am Saturday, 3/31, 10 am to 1 pm, immigration lawyer Rose Grengs speaks on "Where Two Worlds Colide: U.S./Mexico Border" at the WAMM annual meeting, St Joan of Arch Church Hospitality Room, 4537 - 3rd Ave S, Mpls. www.worldwidewamm.org --------3 of 18-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P vigils 3.31 11am Believe it or not ... There are now two NWN4P weekly demonstrations as follows: 1. NWN4P-Plymouth demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, along Vinewood, just north of 42nd Ave. and one block east of 494 in Plymouth. Drive toward the Rainbow and Target Greatland on Vinewood, turn right by Bakers Square and right again into the parking lot near the sidewalk. Bring your own sign or use ours. 2. NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the entrance fountain. Bring your own signs or use ours. --------4 of 18-------- From: Lennie <major18 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Northtown vigil 3.31 2pm Mounds View peace vigil EVERY SATURDAY from 2-3pm at the at the southeast corner of the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE in Blaine, which is the northwest most corner of the Northtown Mall area. This is a MUCH better location. We'll have extra signs. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. For further information, email major18 [at] comcast.net or call Lennie at 763-717-9168 --------5 of 18-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Prez explore 3.31 4pm Our next PE [Presidential Exploratory, 3rd party progressive] meeting is scheduled for March 31st (Sat) from 4-6pm at the Wolves Den located at 1201 E. Franklin Ave. in the strip mall. It is a Native American run coffee shop and has a separate meeting room. We already have consensus that we will not be supporting any candidate within the corporate system, so let's examine what we have to select from. Announced: Elaine Brown http://www.elainebrown.org/ Kent Mesplay http://www.mesplay.org/ Kat Swift http://www.prezkat.info/ Not Announced: Harry Belafonte http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Belafonte Matt Gonzales http://www.mattgonzalez.com/ Cynthia McKinney http://www.cynthiaforcongress.com/ Bill Moyers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Moyers Ralph Nader http://www.nader.org/ Cindy Sheehan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cindy_Sheehan Kevin Zeese _http://www.kevinzeese.com/_ (http://www.kevinzeese.com/) --------6 of 18-------- From: Jess Sundin <jess [at] antiwarcommittee.org> Subject: NLG 3.31 6pm MN National Lawyers Guild's Annual Social Justice Dinner Saturday, 3/31 @ 6:00PM Social Hour, 6:30PM Dinner, 7:30PM Awards & Speaker @ William Mitchell College of Law, 875 Summit Ave, St. Paul This years Social Justice Dinner continues the tradition of being a very good time for progressive folks, a very stimulating and encouraging time, and (in short) an event not to be missed if you can at all help it! Annual Social Justice Award: United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local #1161, Worthington , MN, for its defense of immigrant workers swept up in the ICE Raids; Paul Marino Peoples Lawyer Award: Kenneth E. Tilsen for a lifetime of civil and human rights advocacy, in service to the people, in the best tradition of the National Lawyers Guild. Your attendance will help us build towards becoming a staffed chapter to take on the challenges of the coming years, including the Republican National Convention and the deepening crises for civil liberties and human rights posed by an increasingly corporatized/militarized society. Individual tickets: $50 per person. Student, low-income tickets: $15. Tables seating eight: $350. Reserve by March 15, 2007. Dinner questions & reservations: Bruce or Lorena at 612-436-3664. For more info, call us at 612.379.3899 Check out our website at http://www.antiwarcommittee.org --------7 of 18-------- From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at] usfamily.net> Subject: Cuba/film 3.31 6:30pm Saturday, March 31, 6:30 pm Mujeres de Guerillas St. Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis http://communityofstmartin.org/smt/index.html for directions (This is a change in location from the originally scheduled Mapps Coffe House.) An homage to the more than three hundred women who participated in both the underground movement and guerrilla army against the regime of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, though often times forgotten. Consuelo Elba Alvarez - who also served in the underground and in guerrilla column number one led by Fidel Castro - has brought together the testimonies of ten women combatants; why they joined the struggle, their experiences as combatants and their lives afterwards until today. Alvarez's documentary - the first of its kind - presents a side of the revolutionary struggle that even few Cubans are familiar with including members of the families of some of the women. Consuelo Elba Alvarez has been involved in the performance arts since her youth. Once a child and teenage actress, she is today an acclaimed television director in Cuba. Amongst other works, her most well-known telenovelas or soaps - which have been shown at international film festivals - include Sin perder la ternura, Entre mamparas, Alguien me habló de los naufragios, and Loma Arriba. She last visited the Twin Cities in 2000 to talk about her work. The movie is co-produced by Minnesotan August Nimtz who will be available for questions after the showing. Sponsored by Minnesota Cuba Committee For more information call 612 623-3452 or 651 983-3981 http://groups.msn.com/minnesotacubacommittee --------8 of 18-------- From: Kelly O'Brien <obrie136 [at] umn.edu> Subject: GLBT sexuality 3.31 7pm "Beyond Marriage: Building New Alliances Around the Politics of Sexuality" Lisa Duggan, professor of American studies at New York University and co-founder of BeyondMarriage.org Saturday, March 31, 7:00 p.m. Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave S., Minneapolis Free and open to the public FFI: U of M Institute for Advanced Study, 612-626-5054, www.ias.umn.edu <http://www.ias.umn.edu/> "Beyond Marriage: Building New Alliances Around the Politics of Sexuality," offers a new focus for GLBT politics aimed both at arresting anti-gay marriage amendments that have passed in a majority of states, and challenging political and economic reforms attacking a spectrum of non-traditional families. Beyond Marriage activists identify opposition to same-sex marriage as only one part of a broader pro-marriage, "family values" agenda that includes abstinence-only sex education, stringent divorce laws, coercive marriage promotion policies directed toward women on welfare, and attacks on reproductive freedom. Sponsored by the U of M Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project. --------9 of 18--------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Jewish feminism 3.31 7:30pm Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb : "Jewish Feminism and Jewish-Muslim Peace Work" Saturday March 31, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Powderhorn Park Community Center, 3400 15th Avenue South, Minneapolis. Join a Community Conversation and Havdalah Ceremony to benefit Interfaith Inventions, founded by Rabbi Lynn. Interfaith Inventions educates and enriches the lives of children and adults through programs that promote respect and understanding between people of diverse faiths. FFI: Call 612-408-3849. --------10 of 18-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Israel/CTV 3.31 9pm Minneapolis Television Network (MTN 17) viewers: "Our World In Depth" cablecasts weekly in Minneapolis on MTN! Households with basic cable can watch. MTN cablecasts are on Channel 17 Saturdays at 9 pm and the following Tuesday at 8 am. Below are the scheduled shows through April 14: Sat, 3/31, 9 pm "Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semitic: An Evening with Norman Finkelstein". Part 1 of a talk given 11/5 in Mpls. --------11 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Gandhi grandson 3.31 Saturday, 3/31, all day, the Mahatma's grandson Arun Gandhi speaks on "Non Violent Principles and Applications" at conference with Pace e Bene's Butigan at Normandale Community College, Bloomington. $45 registration to CTA-MN, PO Box 50419, Mpls 55419. Questions to Judy at 612-927-6825. --------12 of 18-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 4.01 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . --------13 of 18-------- From: Santwana Dasgupta <santwana [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Afghanistan/ed 4.01 1:30pm Sunday, April 1 2007 1:30pm - 3:30pm Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center for Community Building 179 Robie Street East, St. Paul, MN 55107-2360 Partnership for Education of Children in Afghanistan Presents Afghanistan - A Thirst for Education. Dr. Ahmed Javed and Ms. Husnia Alokozay will give a presentation on the past, current state, and future of education in Afghanistan. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on audience questions. Dr. Javed is a medical doctor studying Public Health at the University of Minnesota and Ms. Alokozay is a 16 year old high school exchange student both are from Afghanistan. Suggested donation $10. No one will be turned away. info [at] afghanimodelschool.org or 612-821-8759. www.afghanimodelschool.org Home: 612-821-8759 Cell: 612-961-1344 NOTE: 75% of schools destroyed in 3 decades of conflict Since 2002, 1,753 schools have been rehabilitated or constructed In 2002, percentage of girls enrolled in school was 3%, in 2003 it jumped to 30%. More than 1 million girls aged between 7 and 13 years are still not in school. --------14 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: YAWR plans 4.01 3:30pm Sunday, 4/1, 3:30 pm, meeting of Youth Against War and Racism to plan for May 11th Capitol Campout, Vera's Cafe, 2901 Lyndale, Mpls. brandon.madsen [at] gmail.com --------15 of 18-------- From: Chris Spotted Eagle <cspottedeagle [at] comcast.net> Subject: KFAI's Indian 4.01 4pm KFAI's Indian Uprising for April 1, 2007 #207 JOHN TRUDELL (Santee Sioux), spoken-word performance artist. Hear, Crazy Horse, from his CD "Bone Days" ASITIS Productions (2001), www.johntrudell.com. Note: Crazy Horse (Lakota: T'asunka Witko (ca. 1840 September 5, 1877) was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who fought against the U.S. federal government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. DECOLONIZATION OF AMERICAN INDIANS (part one) excerpt from a speech by Elizabeth by Cook-Lynn (Crow Creek Sioux), Indian Country Today, February 23, 2007. "One of the pragmatic realities of enforced colonialism, and one of the first strategies for making colonialism work, is the challenge of the power status of women and the dogged dispossession of women's rights. Though I've been called a feminist, I don't want this discussion to be understood as a feminist issue. It is not that. It is an issue of colonization and imperial power based in religion." http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096414555 DECOLONIZATION OF AMERICAN INDIANS (part two) by Elizabeth by Cook-Lynn, Indian Country Today, March 2, 2007. "We must decolonize entire communities held in the grip of damaging non-tribal ideologies, which are the basis for tribal/state and tribal/federal relationships that have not changed in 200 years. Among the ideologies responsible for our condition are Christianity, which has brought about a belief in male privilege so that even Native men and women harbor this belief; Manifest Destiny, which has brought about anti-Indian legislation, the superiority of white colonizers and land theft; and capitalism, an economic system based in the exploitation of resources. We must ask ourselves to what extent we have adopted, and adapted to, these ideologies and how these adaptations have been a detriment to us." http://www.Indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096414583 THE MEASURE OF A MAN: A spiritual autobiography by Sidney Poitier (black actor), HarperSanFrancisco (2000). "Wherever there's a configuration in which that are the powerful and the powerless, the powerful, by and large, aren't going to feel much of anything about this imbalance. After a while the powerful become accustomed to experiencing the power to their benefit in ways that are painless. It's the air they breathe, the water they swim in... If we examine our own history, we see quite clearly how long it took before there was any acknowledgment of the inequities in our society. Through most of the history of film, we were making movies, for Christ's sake, where the Indians were all bad guys." * * * * Indian Uprising a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program is for and by Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul. Producer and host is volunteer Chris Spotted Eagle. KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144. www.kfai.org KFAI's website's "Program Archives" section is temporarily shut down and back up no later then April 2nd. Programs can be heard via KFAI's "live streaming" using RealAudio or MP3. Go to www.kfai.org and click "KFAI Live Streams." --------16 of 18-------- From: Ed Voyce Subject: Monkey piano band 4.01 7pm The "Jerry Lee Lewis" Monkey Piano Band and Demolition Crew April 1, 7pm Miss Manners Biker Bar & Hair Salon 7300 1/3 University Av N, Fridley Bikers! Latest Sturgis styles - page-boy, come-hither pigtails, and to-die-for bangs! Done at your table while you slug down Miss Manners' litter of liters of Shirley Temples and listen to this GREAT BAND! Now, you ask, who is this "Jerry Lee Lewis" Monkey Piano Band and Demolition Crew, and why should I give a rat's sass? Years ago, back in the 60s or thereabouts, back when Jerry Lee Lewis was destroying pianos to save them, intimate biker bars across the Old South attempted to book the one and only JLL. But would he come? No, he would not. He told them to be fruitful and multiply - only not in those words. So Mr JD Stephens, of Numb Knob Alabama, conceived the glorious idea of training a band of monkeys to play JLL tunes on a dozen children's tiny toy pianos. The first performance, at Knick-Knack Rebel Bar, April 1 1965, was a huge success, one that will live forever in monkey-rock history. People came from as far away as Zargle's Glen, Ramgoober, Lagniappe Crick, Crockatoola, Pointy Peak, and Ewe's End. Hard to believe, but true. What the monkeys lacked in musicianship or health habits they more than made up for in wild enthusiasm. Some said, So how good do you have to be to be better than JLL? After each number the audience gave each monkey a mini Shirley Temple or two, and things just got better and better. (The audience had more also, which was an even greater aid to music appreciation.) Then Mr Bob-Bob Boberg got the earth-shaking idea of bringing in a rock for each monkey. "This is a monkey rock band, right?" he famously said. Well, those pianos didn't last more than two or three more numbers, and they were history. The audience was ecstatic. The Knick Knack Rebel Bar did a land office business. Well, the band (the JLLMPBDC) was an overnight sensation. In the next several weeks it played at Varkville, Crazy Dog, Nelson's Nook, Salt Lick, and Turkeytown, to standing ovations and libations. Toy pianos had to be shipped in from as far away as Altanta, New Orleans, and Pigsnot (toy piano capitol of the world). Each place had to out-do the last place in sheer feral mayhem. Finally, in Precious, Tennessee, at Zeke's Libation Lounge, after the third number, all the monkeys were given lit blowtorches. Well, you can imagine what quick work they made of _those_ (mostly plastic) toy pianos - they never had a chance! And, the crowd loved it! Now the story at Zeke's gets a bit darker. Some of the monkeys had long-term grudges aginst other monkeys. Each monkey wanted to be all that he could be; lit blowtorches; need we say more. The crowd loved it even more, as you can well imagine. And some of the monkeys hated master JD Stephens' guts, and ganged up on him; fortunately he could run faster than most of the monkeys, so he still appears to look fairly normal from most angles. Nevertheless, the band got even MORE gigs. Even though a good number of biker bars across the Old South were partially or totally burned to the ground. (Several are marked with historic placards, and every summer bikers make the grand tour of famous hulks.) Within a year, however, the larger bar owners pressured state legislators to ban monkey toy piano bands. It was the end of an era. Until now. JD Stephen's son, DJ Stephens, has revived the idea, this time for the North (no laws against it here), with specially bred idiot savant monkeys, who do what they're told, most of the time. 24 (twenty-four) count 'em 24 toy pianos, and hopped up JLL monkeys to play 'em! And (we knew you were dying to ask) they will all have LIT BLOWTORCHES! This could be (literally) the best (or at least last) concert of your lifetime!!! The "Jerry Lee Lewis" Monkey Piano Band and Demolition Crew April 1, 7pm Miss Manners Biker Bar & Hair Salon 7300 1/3 University Av N, Fridley MN --------17 of 18-------- Is Bush Lame or is Congress? The Loopholes in the Supplemental By KEVIN ZEESE CounterPunch March 30, 2007 While the headlines will read that the Senate voted to withdraw U.S. troops in Iraq, the peace movement recognizes that the Senate bill will extend the war not end it. The exit date in the bill is merely a goal for the removal of combat troops, and there are large loopholes that would allow a commander in chief to keep as many troops as s/he wants in Iraq. The bill provides $123 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan nearly $20 billion more requested by Bush. The real issue now is whether the Democrats will cave into President Bush's threatened veto by providing a funding bill with no exit requirements or whether they will challenge the president further. If they cave they will have given Bush new life - he will no longer be a lame duck, but rather will remain "the decider." The Congress will be seen as a "lame Congress." How they respond will be determined after their April recess. Many peace advocates held a demonstration shortly after the vote to protest the extension, rather than end of the war. The demonstration emphasized that the Democrats have the power to end the war and highlighted the deaths of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis with a series of gravestones and photos. The Hill described the protest as an "occupation" of the Hart Senate office building. See citation below for full article. The vote was mostly a party-line 51-47 vote. Forty-eight Democrats and independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont were joined by two Republicans, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon, in voting for the measure. Opposed were 46 Republicans and Connecticut independent-Democrat Joseph Lieberman. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), did not vote. Regarding getting out of Iraq the bill requires beginning redeployment 120 days after the bill's passage and sets a goal - not a firm exit date - of withdrawal of combat troops by March 31, 2008. Combat troops make up roughly half the troops in Iraq which are projected to peak at 171,000 when the president's troop "surge" is completed. Thus, this could leave 80,000 non-combat troops in Iraq. However, the bill allows combat troops to remain to protect Iraq's borders, fight terrorists, and protect the Embassy among other purposes. So, it is not clear how many troops will actually be withdrawn if the bill's "goal" is met. The bill now goes to a conference committee with the House version and then to the White Hose for a promised veto. The Congress will not respond to the veto until it returns from its April recess. For More Information: Chris Good, Protesters stage 'occupation' of Hart office building, March 29, 2007. Kevin Zeese is director of DemocracyRising.US and co-founder of VotersForPeace.US. --------18 of 18-------- The Global Scramble for Black Gold Oil and the Empire By ALAN MAASS counterPunch March 30, 2007 The oil men of the Bush administration are trying to set up one of the biggest swindles in history - the great Iraq oil robbery. The cabinet of the new Iraqi government - under pressure from the U.S. occupiers who put them in power - approved a law that would undo Iraq's nationalized system and give Western oil giants unparalleled access to the country's vast reserves. The oil companies would be guaranteed super-profits - on a scale unknown anywhere else in the Middle East - for a period of 20 to 35 years from oil pumped out of two-thirds or more of Iraq's oilfields. Meanwhile, Iraqis would continue to endure poverty and the devastation of war while sitting atop what is estimated to be the third-largest supply of the world's most sought-after resource. The great Iraq oil robbery isn't a done deal. Even if the law is finalized by May as expected, the major oil companies say they won't have anything to do with production in Iraq until "security" is established - and that would mean a success for the occupiers and their Iraqi puppets that the U.S. hasn't been able to achieve over the past four years since the invasion. Still, the law underlines the importance of the scramble for oil to the U.S. empire - no matter how much George Bush and his administration deny it with claims about spreading "democracy" and making the world safe from terrorism. The U.S. government's thirst for oil isn't only about profits - and still less about securing supplies of a commodity that ordinary Americans depend on - but is also about power. In a world in which the economic and military might of nations depends significantly on access to oil, more control for the U.S. means less control for its rivals. These dual calculations - securing access for its own needs and controlling the access of others - have been central to the history of oil and the U.S.empire, from the end of the 19th century, to the start of the 21st. - During the opening months of the Bush administration in 2001, Dick Cheney chaired a task force to set a new course for U.S. energy policy. Cheney and the White House invited a showdown with Congress by refusing to respond to even routine requests for information about the task force - like who served on it, and what their recommendations were. Most people assumed this meant the task force was made up of energy industry executives, and their "deliberations" were organized around plotting new ways to line their pockets. This turned out to be completely accurate - and certainly not unexpected, given the makeup of the new administration. "It isn't so much under the sway of Big Oil as it is, well, infested top to bottom with oil operatives, starting with the president and vice president," left-wing journalist Jeffrey St. Clair wrote on the CounterPunch Web Site. "Eight cabinet members and the National Security Advisor came directly from executive jobs in the oil industry, as did 32 other Bush-appointed officials in the Office of Management and Budget, Pentagon, State Department and the departments of Energy, Agriculture and - most crucially in terms of opening up what remains of the American wilderness to the drillers - Interior." But Cheney and the task force had more on their minds than further deregulation or drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge. They were also laying out the strategic aims of the "war on terror" to come. It wasn't called the "war on terror" yet. The September 11 attacks would take place half a year later, but ultimately, they were only the pretext for carrying out long-held plans for a more aggressive U.S. imperialism. Oil was at the heart of that agenda. Cheney's energy task force concluded that declining resources and the rise of potential rivals such as China meant the U.S. needed to tighten its grip - most of all, in the Persian Gulf region, which sits on more proven reserves of oil than the rest of the world combined. The task force recommended that the U.S. press allies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to "open up areas of their energy sectors to foreign investment." But another focus was Iraq - where oil production remained in a shambles after the first Gulf War, and exports were restricted by U.S.-backed United Nations sanctions. The task force reportedly examined maps of Iraqi oilfields - and the Pentagon produced a memo on "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts" that analyzed contractors from dozens of countries and their intentions toward exploiting Iraqi's oil if Saddam Hussein's government was overthrown. The interest in Iraq's oil wasn't new. A Pentagon document made the case that an "oil war" was a "legitimate" military option back in 1999 - while Bill Clinton was still president. At that time, Dick Cheney was still lurking in the private sector, as the CEO of Halliburton, but he clearly agreed with the Democratic administration about the importance of oil. "The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies," he said in a 1999 speech. Of course, Cheney's industry colleagues lusted after Iraqi oil as a source of profits. "Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas...[that] I'd love Chevron to have access to," Chevron CEO Kenneth Derr said in 1998. But Cheney and like-minded "hawks" from previous Republican administrations had their minds on a bigger picture. By the end of the 1990s, the newly formed Project for a New American Century provided a soapbox for the "neoconservatives" who would populate the Bush administration - such as Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton and future Cheney aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby. "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of Saddam Hussein," the PNAC hawks declared in a report issued not long before the 2000 election. War with Iraq would be part of a plan of "maintaining global U.S. pre-eminence...and shaping the international security order in line with U.S. principles and interests." The PNAC dogma became the outline of the Bush Doctrine promoted by the administration after the "war on terror" was launched - aggressive use of U.S. power to prevent the development of any rivals to the U.S., now and into the future. Pre-emptive war and an expanded U.S. military presence worldwide would be necessary to "dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the U.S," according to the White House's National Security Strategy document issued in 2002. In this context, oil is a dominant factor - because as important as it is to the economic fortunes of any country, it is even more so to their military might. - No one would doubt the critical importance of oil to the global economy. It accounts for 39 percent of global energy consumption, including 95 percent of energy used in ground, sea and air transportation. Petroleum is also a basic component in a range of products, like plastics and paints, that we take for granted today. "But just as important," as Saman Sepheri wrote in the International Socialist Review, "every tank, every airplane - from the B-52 to the stealth bomber - every Cruise missile and most warships in the U.S. or any other nation's military arsenal rely on oil to wage their terror." The decisive relationship of war and oil first emerged in the First World War. Britain, with its colonial control over Iranian oil, had a decisive advantage over the German-led Axis powers, allowing the Allies to "[float] to victory on a wave of oil," in the words of Britain's Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon. By the Second World War, the scramble for oil was a strategic priority on all sides. "The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to protect their flank as they grabbed for the petroleum resources of the East Indies," author Daniel Yergin wrote in his history of oil titled The Prize. "Among Hitler's most important strategic objectives in the invasion of the Soviet Union was the capture of the oil fields in the Caucasus. But America's predominance in oil proved decisive, and by the end of the war, German and Japanese fuel tanks were empty." The U.S. emerged from the war as the dominant world superpower, and a central part of its postwar strategy depended on maintaining control over oil resources, particularly the vast reserves discovered in the Middle East - "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest prizes in world history," the State Department said in a document. U.S. companies had been decisive in establishing Saudi Arabia - the first "fundamentalist" Islamic state built around the Saud clan. Texaco and Standard Oil of California formed the Arab American Oil Company (ARAMCO) to share its concessions for exploration and marketing of Saudi oil. ARAMCO and the U.S. government ended up creating much of the Saudi state machine from scratch to serve their needs. During the early 1950s, in Iran, the other crucial pillar of Middle East oil production, Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq nationalized the British-controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. The CIA organized a coup to overthrow Mossadeq, restoring the brutal regime of the Shah to serve as a regional strongman guaranteeing Western oil interests. The other important surrogate for the U.S. was Israel. Without oil resources itself, Israel was a colonial settler state funded with tens of billions of dollars in U.S. aid to serve as a military watchdog against any threat to Western interests by Arab nationalist regimes. U.S. power over the region suffered a blow with the 1978-79 revolution that toppled the Shah. President Jimmy Carter ordered the creation of a Rapid Deployment Force to stop "any attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region [which] will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States." Meanwhile, the U.S. encouraged neighboring Iraq, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party, to invade Iran - and quietly backed the decade-long war that followed, at a cost of more than 1 million lives. When Hussein threatened to slip the leash, invading Kuwait in 1990, George Bush Sr. organized a coalition of "the bullied and the bribed" for a war that killed hundreds of thousands. The same priority - on protecting and extending U.S. control over the flow of Middle East oil - has continued through the rush to exploit newly available oil reserves in the Caspian Sea region, the scheming for a pipeline through Afghanistan and beyond. - The question of who controls the oil is made even more intense by the threat that it is drying up. Depending on how pessimistic or optimistic the estimate, world production of oil will peak in either the next few years or next few decades - at which point, the cost of extracting the remaining oil is expected to rise rapidly. This end-of-oil scenario is emerging as worldwide demand for oil is growing at a faster pace than ever. The U.S. continues to claim the lion's share, accounting for 25 percent of oil consumption with just 5 percent of the world's population. But the big increases in demand are coming from the developing world's economic powerhouses China and India - precisely the nations that sections of the U.S. establishment fear could develop into rivals over the coming century. The stage is thus set for oil to play the same central role in the imperialist competition - economic, political and military - between nations in the 21st century as it did in the 20th. In this light, the Bush administration's motivations in pushing for the new Iraq oil law are clearer. For one thing, Iraqi oil production has been hampered by two decades of war and sanctions - its reserves will be an important unexploited source as oil becomes more scarce. U.S. companies would love to take advantage of the super-profits guaranteed by the production-sharing agreements (PSAs) that the Iraqi government would sign under the law. PSAs are usually used in situations where the oil is difficult to extract, so the company's investment in production is substantial. But the opposite is the case in Iraq - the cost of extraction is about $1 per barrel, and the selling price on the world market is around $60 a barrel. And under the PSA, foreign oil companies would be guaranteed 70 percent of the profits - seven times the typical share under other contracts in the Middle East. But that's assuming they get away with it. The Iraqi government is expected to approve the oil law, but getting Western oil companies to come in under circumstances of a civil war and widespread opposition to the U.S. military presence is another matter. The other aim of the oil law, as left-wing Iraq expert Michael Schwartz put it in a recent interview with Socialist Worker, is to give U.S. companies "control over the spigots" - so that the U.S. will "get to decide how much is going to get pumped at any particular moment, and who it will be sold to." But the crisis of the occupation has frustrated this aim as well. Meanwhile, rather than being intimidated by U.S. power, Iran has benefited from Washington's crisis in Iraq, and is more willing than ever to strike out on its own. One consequence has been Iran's deeper ties with China - the very country the U.S. hoped to force into line with its tightened grip on Persian Gulf oil. Washington's rulers aren't about to give up, however. For the last century, the world's governments have been ready to go to war over oil - and they will again, until a new society that places priorities on democracy, freedom and justice is established. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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