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Posts Tagged ‘catastrophe

Video: Sorry Aint Enough No More (BP oil spill song)

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BP and Halliburton’s Role in the Gulf Oil Disaster– Well Casing Horror Story

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For the crime of ecocide and mass murder, China Rose pronounces BP GUILTY. This is my verdict…

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Every BP exec, manager and supervisor & every BP employee that kept their mouth shut, lied, sneered, joked, minimized, evaded, took part in the cover up or proceeded with the initial Deepwater Horizon Project in spite of known risks, and every politician and judge who took bribes, allowing them to proceed with this lethal, catastophic project or allowed them to take over the recovery process, and kept the public out of the loop are to be suspended in the Gulf of Mexico, in a soup of toxic oil, dispersant, methane, and salt water for a term of their natural life. They will watch seabirds covered with oil struggling to fly but being sucked down into the waves. They will watch all the once-glorious panoply of rich sea life falter before their eyes. Sharks, rays, dolphins, jellyfish, whales and hundreds of thousands of diverse types of sea life will slowly suffocate and in agony thrash about and float to the top, to swirl around in vast eddies of death. They may glimpse beautiful and rare birds, pelicans, egrets, cormorants,herons, gulls, plovers, and 1000s of other native birds, fish and crustaceans, gasping, thrashing and slowing dying in pain and confusion. Meanwhile, migratory birds – vast flocks as far as the eye can see, will falter and succumb to starvation. Millions of creatures will die.

Those who depend upon the sea for their livelihood throughout the Gulf Coast, Mexico, the Carribean and along the coast of the US — and possibly beyond will have their lives irreparably ruined if not utterly destroyed.

Let us only hope that the sufferings of those responsible for this unfathomable and unredeemable catastrophe will be millions and millions of times worse than all the people and living creatures they have murdered. This is murder that goes beyond any previous description of murder. It’s murder of God’s creation and murder of the hope for the future.

May they all rot in the Gulf swill until they are dead, then rot in Hell forever….

Amen.

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Written by chinarose

June 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

A Grim Technical View of the Gulf of Mexico BP Disaster

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A grim technical view on the BP Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico « COTO Report.

A grim technical view on the BP Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

By Doug R.
The Oil Drum

What follows is a comment from a The Oil Drum reader. To read what The Oil Drum staff members are saying about the Deepwater Horizon Spill, please visitthe front page. (Were the US government and BP more forthcoming with information and details, the situation would not be giving rise to so much speculation about what is actually going on in the Gulf. This should be run more like Mission Control at NASA than an exclusive country club function–it is a public matter–transparency, now!)

– Oil Drum Editor

OK let’s get real about the GOM oil flow. There doesn’t really seem to be much info on TOD that furthers more complete understanding of what’s really happening in the GOM.

As you have probably seen and maybe feel yourselves, there are several things that do not appear to make sense regarding the actions of attack against the well. Don’t feel bad, there is much that doesn’t make sense even to professionals unless you take into account some important variables that we are not being told about. There seems to me to be a reluctance to face what cannot be termed anything less than grim circumstances in my opinion. There certainly is a reluctance to inform us regular people and all we have really gotten is a few dots here and there…

First of all…set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc….forget that, it won’t be happening..it’s done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.

So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?…there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It’s really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do…you will see the “sense” behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:

The well bore structure is compromised “Down hole”.

That is something which is a “Worst nightmare” conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have “said” a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place…

TOP KILL – FAILS:

This was probably our best and only chance to kill this well from the top down. This “kill mud” is a tried and true method of killing wells and usually has a very good chance of success. The depth of this well presented some logistical challenges, but it really should not of presented any functional obstructions. The pumping capacity was there and it would have worked, should have worked, but it didn’t.

It didn’t work, but it did create evidence of what is really happening. First of all the method used in this particular top kill made no sense, did not follow the standard operating procedure used to kill many other wells and in fact for the most part was completely contrary to the procedure which would have given it any real chance of working.

When a well is “Killed” using this method heavy drill fluid “Mud” is pumped at high volume and pressure into a leaking well. The leaks are “behind” the point of access where the mud is fired in, in this case the “choke and Kill lines” which are at the very bottom of the BOP (Blow Out Preventer) The heavy fluid gathers in the “behind” portion of the leaking well assembly, while some will leak out, it very quickly overtakes the flow of oil and only the heavier mud will leak out. Once that “solid” flow of mud is established at the leak “behind” the well, the mud pumps increase pressure and begin to overtake the pressure of the oil deposit. The mud is established in a solid column that is driven downward by the now stronger pumps. The heavy mud will create a solid column that is so heavy that the oil deposit can no longer push it up, shut off the pumps…the well is killed…it can no longer flow.

Usually this will happen fairly quickly, in fact for it to work at all…it must happen quickly. There is no “trickle some mud in” because that is not how a top kill works. The flowing oil will just flush out the trickle and a solid column will never be established. Yet what we were told was “It will take days to know whether it worked”….”Top kill might take 48 hours to complete”…the only way it could take days is if BP intended to do some “test fires” to test integrity of the entire system. The actual “kill” can only take hours by nature because it must happen fairly rapidly. It also increases strain on the “behind” portion and in this instance we all know that what remained was fragile at best.

Early that afternoon we saw a massive flow burst out of the riser “plume” area. This was the first test fire of high pressure mud injection. Later on same day we saw a greatly increased flow out of the kink leaks, this was mostly mud at that time as the kill mud is tanish color due to the high amount of Barite which is added to it to weight it and Barite is a white powder.

We later learned the pumping was shut down at midnight, we weren’t told about that until almost 16 hours later, but by then…I’m sure BP had learned the worst. The mud they were pumping in was not only leaking out the “behind” leaks…it was leaking out of someplace forward…and since they were not even near being able to pump mud into the deposit itself, because the well would be dead long before…and the oil was still coming up, there could only be one conclusion…the wells casings were ruptured and it was leaking “down hole”

They tried the “Junk shot”…the “bridging materials” which also failed and likely made things worse in regards to the ruptured well casings.

Despite successfully pumping a total of over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud, in three attempts at rates of up to 80 barrels a minute, and deploying a wide range of different bridging materials, the operation did not overcome the flow from the well.”

80 Barrels per minute is over 200,000 gallons per hour, over 115,000 barrels per day…did we seen an increase over and above what was already leaking out of 115k bpd?….we did not…it would have been a massive increase in order of multiples and this did not happen.

“The whole purpose is to get the kill mud down,” said [BP Senior Executive Vice President Kent] Wells. “We’ll have 50,000 barrels of mud on hand to kill this well. It’s far more than necessary, but we always like to have backup.”

Try finding THAT quote around…it’s been scrubbed…here’s a cached copy of a quote.

The “top kill” effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, [U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad] Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting.”

“Allen said one ship that was pumping fluid into the well had run out of the fluid, or “mud,” and that a second ship was on the way. He said he was encouraged by the progress.”

Later we found out that Allen had no idea what was really going on and had been “Unavailable all day

So what we had was BP running out of 50,000 barrels of mud in a very short period of time. An amount far and above what they deemed necessary to kill the well. Shutting down pumping 16 hours before telling anyone, including the president. We were never really given a clear reason why “Top Kill” failed, just that it couldn’t overcome the well.

There is only one article anywhere that says anything else about it at this time of writing…and it’s a relatively obscure article from the Wall Street Journal “online” citing an unnamed source.

Wall Street Journal On-line

WASHINGTON—BP PLC has concluded that its “top-kill” attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of
Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.

The disk, part of the subsea safety infrastructure, may have ruptured during the surge of oil and gas up the well on April 20 that led to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP officials said. The rig sank two days later, triggering a leak that has since become the worst in U.S. history.

The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP’s findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.

As a result, BP wasn’t able to get sufficient pressure to keep the oil and gas at bay. If they had been able to build up sufficient pressure, the company had hoped to pump in cement and seal off the well. The effort was deemed a failure on Saturday.

BP started the top-kill effort Wednesday afternoon, shooting heavy drilling fluids into the broken valve known as a blowout preventer. The mud was driven by a 30,000 horsepower pump installed on a ship at the surface. But it was clear from the start that a lot of the “kill mud” was leaking out instead of going down into the well.”

There are some inconsistencies with this article.

There are no “Disks” or “Subsea safety structure” 1,000 feet below the sea floor, all that is there is well bore. There is nothing that can allow the mud or oil to “escape” into the rock formation outside the well bore except the well, because it is the only thing there.

All the actions and few tid bits of information all lead to one inescapable conclusion. The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. Now you have some real data of how BP’s actions are evidence of that, as well as some murky statement from “BP officials” confirming the same.

I took some time to go into a bit of detail concerning the failure of Top Kill because this was a significant event. To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, it was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.

What does this mean?

It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot…the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?…the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?…it doesn’t leak so bad, you close the nozzle?…it leaks real bad, same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off…or tried to anyway…but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks “down hole”. I’m sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed…because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.

Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed…..and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks.

A down hole leak is dangerous and damaging for several reasons.

There will be erosion throughout the entire beat up, beat on and beat down remainder of the “system” including that inaccessible leak. The same erosion I spoke about in the first post is still present and has never stopped, cannot be stopped, is impossible to stop and will always be present in and acting on anything that is left which has crude oil “Product” rushing through it. There are abrasives still present, swirling flow will create hot spots of wear and this erosion is relentless and will always be present until eventually it wears away enough material to break it’s way out. It will slowly eat the bop away especially at the now pinched off riser head and it will flow more and more. Perhaps BP can outrun or keep up with that out flow with various suckage methods for a period of time, but eventually the well will win that race, just how long that race will be?…no one really knows….However now?…there are other problems that a down hole leak will and must produce that will compound this already bad situation.

This down hole leak will undermine the foundation of the seabed in and around the well area. It also weakens the only thing holding up the massive Blow Out Preventer’s immense bulk of 450 tons. In fact?…we are beginning to the results of the well’s total integrity beginning to fail due to the undermining being caused by the leaking well bore.

The first layer of the sea floor in the gulf is mostly lose material of sand and silt. It doesn’t hold up anything and isn’t meant to, what holds the entire subsea system of the Bop in place is the well itself. The very large steel connectors of the initial well head “spud” stabbed in to the sea floor. The Bop literally sits on top of the pipe and never touches the sea bed, it wouldn’t do anything in way of support if it did. After several tens of feet the seabed does begin to support the well connection laterally (side to side) you couldn’t put a 450 ton piece of machinery on top of a 100′ tall pipe “in the air” and subject it to the side loads caused by the ocean currents and expect it not to bend over…unless that pipe was very much larger than the machine itself, which you all can see it is not. The well’s piping in comparison is actually very much smaller than the Blow Out Preventer and strong as it may be, it relies on some support from the seabed to function and not literally fall over…and it is now showing signs of doing just that….falling over.

If you have been watching the live feed cams you may have noticed that some of the ROVs are using an inclinometer…and inclinometer is an instrument that measures “Incline” or tilt. The BOP is not supposed to be tilting…and after the riser clip off operation it has begun to…

This is not the only problem that occurs due to erosion of the outer area of the well casings. The way a well casing assembly functions it that it is an assembly of different sized “tubes” that decrease in size as they go down. These tubes have a connection to each other that is not unlike a click or snap together locking action. After a certain length is assembled they are cemented around the ouside to the earth that the more rough drill hole is bored through in the well making process. A very well put together and simply explained process of “How to drill a deep water oil well” is available here.

The well bore casings rely on the support that is created by the cementing phase of well construction. Just like if you have many hands holding a pipe up you could put some weight on the top and the many hands could hold the pipe and the weight on top easily…but if there were no hands gripping and holding the pipe?…all the weight must be held up by the pipe alone. The series of connections between the sections of casings are not designed to hold up the immense weight of the BOP without all the “hands” that the cementing provides and they will eventually buckle and fail when stressed beyond their design limits.

These are clear and present dangers to the battered subsea safety structure (bop and lmrp) which is the only loose cork on this well we have left. The immediate (first 1,000 feet) of well structure that remains is now also undoubtedly compromised. However…..as bad as that is?…it is far from the only possible problems with this very problematic well. There were ongoing troubles with the entire process during the drilling of this well. There were also many comprises made by BP IMO which may have resulted in an overall weakened structure of the entire well system all the way to the bottom plug which is over 12,000 feet deep. Problems with the cementing procedure which was done by Haliburton and was deemed as “was against our best practices.” by a Haliburton employee on April 1st weeks before the well blew out. There is much more and I won’t go into detail right now concerning the lower end of the well and the troubles encountered during the whole creation of this well and earlier “Well control” situations that were revieled in various internal BP e-mails. I will add several links to those documents and quotes from them below and for now, address the issues concerning the upper portion of the well and the region of the sea floor.

What is likely to happen now?

Well…none of what is likely to happen is good, in fact…it’s about as bad as it gets. I am convinced the erosion and compromising of the entire system is accelerating and attacking more key structural areas of the well, the blow out preventer and surrounding strata holding it all up and together. This is evidenced by the tilt of the blow out preventer and the erosion which has exposed the well head connection. What eventually will happen is that the blow out preventer will literally tip over if they do not run supports to it as the currents push on it. I suspect they will run those supports as cables tied to anchors very soon, if they don’t, they are inviting disaster that much sooner.

Eventually even that will be futile as the well casings cannot support the weight of the massive system above with out the cement bond to the earth and that bond is being eroded away. When enough is eroded away the casings will buckle and the BOP will collapse the well. If and when you begin to see oil and gas coming up around the well area from under the BOP? or the area around the well head connection and casing sinking more and more rapidly? …it won’t be too long after that the entire system fails. BP must be aware of this, they are mapping the sea floor sonically and that is not a mere exercise. Our Gov’t must be well aware too, they just are not telling us.

All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit…after that, it goes into the realm of “the worst things you can think of.” The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out…as I said…all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn’t any “cap dome” or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now?….is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.

It’s a race now…a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it’s last gasp in a horrific crescendo.

We are not even 2 months into it, barely half way by even optimistic estimates. The damage done by the leaked oil now is virtually immeasurable already and it will not get better, it can only get worse. No matter how much they can collect, there will still be thousands and thousands of gallons leaking out every minute, every hour of every day. We have 2 months left before the relief wells are even near in position and set up to take a kill shot and that is being optimistic as I said.

Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. It is only a simple matter of who can “get there first”…us or the well.

We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.

The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.

Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it….I sincerely hope I am wrong.

We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down.

The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens…

We are seeing the puny forces of man vs the awesome forces of nature.
We are going to need some luck and a lot of effort to win…
and if nature decides we ought to lose, we will….

Reference materials

  1. On April 1, a job log written by a Halliburton employee, Marvin Volek, warns that BP’s use of cement “was against our best practices.”
  2. An April 18 internal Halliburton memorandum indicates that Halliburton again warned BP about its practices, this time saying that a “severe” gas flow problem would occur if the casings were not centered more carefully.
  3. Around that same time, a BP document shows, company officials chose a type of casing with a greater risk of collapsing.
  4. Mark Hafle, the BP drilling engineer who wrote plans for well casings and cement seals on the Deepwater Horizon’s well, testified that the well had lost thousands of barrels of mud at the bottom. But he said models run onshore showed alterations to the cement program would resolve the issues, and when asked if a cement failure allowed the well to “flow” gas and oil, he wouldn’t capitulate.Hafle said he made several changes to casing designs in the last few days before the well blew, including the addition of the two casing liners that weren’t part of the original well design because of problems where the earthen sides of the well were “ballooning.” He also worked with Halliburton engineers to design a plan for sealing the well casings with cement.
  5. Graphic of Fail
  6. Casing joint
  7. Casing
  8. Kill may take until Christmas
  9. BP Used Riskier Method to Seal Well Before Blast
  10. BP memo test results
  11. Investigation results

What could have happened

Confidential Treatment Requested            BP-HZN-CEC 018892

  1. Before or during the cement job, an influx of hydrocarbon enters the wellbore.
  2. Influx is circulated during cement job to wellhead and BOP.
  3. 9-7/8” casing hanger packoff set and positively tested to 6500 psi.
  4. After 16.5 hours waiting on cement, a negative test performed on wellbore below BOP. (~ 1400 psi differential pressure on 9-7/8” casing hanger packoff and ~ 2350 psi on double valve float collar)
  5. Packoff leaks allowing hydrocarbon to enter wellbore below BOP. 1400 psi shut in pressure observed on drill pipe (no flow or pressure observed on kill line)
  6. Hydrocarbon below BOP is unknowingly circulated to surface while finishing displacing the riser.
  7. As hydrocarbon rises to surface, gas break out of solution further reduces hydrostatic pressure in well. Well begin to flow, BOPs and Emergency Disconnect System (EDS) activated but failed.
  8. Packoff continues to leak allowing further influx from bottom.
    Confidential

Additional References

  1. T/A daily log 4-20
  2. Cement plug 12,150 ft SCMT logging tool SCMT (Slim Cement Mapping Tool)
  3. Schlumberger Partial CBL done. Schlum CBL tools
  4. Major concerns, well control, bop test.
  5. Energy & commerce links to docs.
  6. Well Head on Sea Floor
  7. Well head on deck of ship
  8. BP’s youtube propaganda pagea lot of rarely seen vids here….FWIW

####

Doug R. (the author) – I used to cover the energy business (oil, gas and alternative) here in Texas, and the few experts in the oil field — including geologists, chemists, etc. — able or willing to even speak of this BP event told me early on that it is likely the entire reserve will bleed out. Unfortunately none of them could say with any certainty just how much oil is in the reserve in question because, for one thing, the oil industry and secrecy have always been synonymous. According to BP data from about five years ago, there are four separate reservoirs containing a total of 2.5 billion barrels (barrels not gallons). One of the reservoirs has 1.5 billion barrels. I saw an earlier post here quoting an Anadarko Petroleum report which set the total amount at 2.3 billion barrels. One New York Times article put it at 2 billion barrels.

If the BP data correctly or honestly identified four separate reservoirs then a bleed-out might gush less than 2 to 2.5 billion barrels unless the walls — as it were — fracture or partially collapse. I am hearing the same dark rumors which suggest fracturing and a complete bleed-out are already underway. Rumors also suggest a massive collapse of the Gulf floor itself is in the making. They are just rumors but it is time for geologists or related experts to end their deafening silence and speak to these possibilities.

All oilmen lie about everything. The stories one hears about the extent to which they will protect themselves are all understatements. BP employees are already taking The Fifth before grand juries, and attorneys are laying a path for company executives to make a run for it.

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Written by chinarose

June 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Massive Underwater Oil (and chemical) Cloud May Destroy All Life in the Gulf of Mexico & lead to Further Catastrophes

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By Mike Adams, Natural News

From DProgram.net

http://tinyurl.com/27mbp7e

(NaturalNews) – Over a week ago, I published an article here on NaturalNews questioning the media spin on the massive oil spill in the Gulf. That story, entitled Is Gulf oil rig disaster far worse than we’re being told? (http://www.naturalnews.com/028749_G…), stated the following:

“It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on in the Gulf right now, especially because there are so many conflicting reports and unanswered questions. But one thing’s for sure: if the situation is actually much worse than we’re being led to believe, there could be worldwide catastrophic consequences. If it’s true that millions upon millions of gallons of crude oil are flooding the Gulf with no end in sight, the massive oil slicks being created could make their way into the Gulf Stream currents, which would carry them not only up the East Coast but around the world where they could absolutely destroy the global fishing industries.”

Now, barely one week later, it turns out that the oil slick is FAR worse than what we were being told.

USA Today now reports:

Researchers warned Sunday that miles-long underwater plumes of oil from the spill could poison and suffocate sea life across the food chain, with damage that could endure for a decade or more. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation…)

That same article also explained:

“Researchers have found more underwater plumes of oil than they can count from the blown-out well, said Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia. She said careful measurements taken of one plume showed it stretching for 10 miles, with a 3-mile width.”

The Christian Science Monitor also reports now that as much as 3.4 million gallons of oil may be leaking into the Gulf every day!

“The oil that can be seen from the surface is apparently just a fraction of the oil that has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20, according to an assessment the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology. Significant amounts of oil are spreading at various levels throughout the water column… Scientists looking at video of the leak, suggest that as many as 3.4 million gallons of oil could be leaking into the Gulf every day – 16 times more than the current 210,000-gallon-a-day estimate, according to the Times.”(http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0…)

The New York Times also chimed in on the topic over the weekend with some absolutely shocking (and disturbing) revelations:

“Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.”(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/u…)

In other words, while the government has been telling us the leak is only 5,000 barrels a day, the true volume could be more like 80,000 barrels a day.

Wiping out the Gulf

It hardly needs to be stated that 80,000 barrels of oil a day leaking into the Gulf of Mexico could destroy virtually all marine life in the region.

Oxygen levels have already fallen by 30 percent in waters near the oil. When water loses its oxygen content, it quickly becomes a so-called “dead zone” because marine species simply can’t live there anymore. (Fish and other aquatic creatures need oxygen to live, obviously.)

With this volcano of oil still erupting through the ocean floor, we could be witnessing the mass-murder of virtually all marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

And yet we’re faced with a virtual blackout of truly accurate news on the event. Both the oil industry and the Obama administration are desperately trying to limit the videos, photos and stories about the spill, spinning everything to make it seem like it’s not really much of a problem at all.

It’s much like the media coverage of the War in Iraq, where all video footage had to be vetted by the Pentagon before being released to the public. Remember the uproar over the leaked photos of coffins draped in American flags? That’s what the Obama administration no doubt hopes to avoid by suppressing photos of dead dolphins and sea birds in the Gulf of Mexico.

The truth, as usual, is being suppressed. It’s just too ugly for the public to see.

Of course, the truth has always been suppressed in the oil industry. Even the inspections on this particular oil rig were, well, rigged. It turns out the rig wasn’t even inspected on schedule (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100516…).

It also turns out that the Obama administration actually gave the Deepwater Horizon an award for its history of safety! That was before the whole thing literally blew up in their faces.

Corruption in Washington leads to catastrophe

The oil industry, you see, is just like every other industry that’s regulated by the federal government: It has a cozy relationship with regulators.

It’s the same story with Big Pharma and the FDA, or the meat industry and the USDA. Wall Street and the SEC. Every industry that’s regulated eventually turns the tables on its regulators and ends up rewriting the rules for its own benefit.

The oil industry has been able to get away with so many exemptions and loopholes that the regulatory environment is now lenient at best. The Deepwater Horizon, for example, was given all sorts of exemptions to engage in risky drilling operations without following proper safety procedures. And who granted it these exemptions? The U.S. federal government, of course!

So now the U.S. government is just as guilty as the oil industry in this mass-murder of life in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the government that allowed the series of events that led to catastrophe in the first place. And now, this catastrophe could lead to a near-total wipeout of marine life throughout the Gulf (and possibly beyond).

In a worst-case scenario, this could destroy some percentage of life in oceans all around the world. It could be the one final wound to Mother Earth who bleeds her black blood into the oceans for ten thousand years, destroying life as we know it on this planet.

All for profit, of course. Let nothing stand in the way of another billion dollars in oil company profits! (Regulators? Bah!)

Collusion between government and industry always leads to disaster

I hope BP can find a way to suction some of that oil out of the ocean. If they can manage such a solution, they should then turn around and dump the entire slick across the landscape of Washington D.C. to coat all the bureaucrats in the black slimy shame they no doubt deserve. This isn’t about some random accident, you see: It’s about a failure of federal regulators to enforce safe drilling practices.

The fishing industries in and around the Gulf of Mexico could be devastated for decades. The diversity of life in the marine ecosystems there may soon find itself on the verge of collapse. And still there is no real solution for stopping the volcano of oil that continues to gush out of this gaping wound in the Earth herself.

I can only wonder what kind of hare-brained ideas these oil men are coming up with now to stop the flow. A nuke bomb expert has reportedly been sent to the area by the Obama administration as part of some sort of “dream team” of super smart people to find a solution.

But it begs the question: If we were so smart, why are we still running the world on fossil fuels in the first place? There’s enough sunlight energy striking the deserts of Arizona to power the entire nation indefinitely! Free energy technology continues to be suppressed in large part by oil company interests (and the arrogant scientific community), and renewable energy technology has received virtually no government support whatsoever.

If we were really smart, we wouldn’t be drilling holes in the ocean floor and hoping we can cope with whatever comes gushing out. We’d be installing Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) installations across the deserts of America or building more wind power generators. We’ve be investing in electric cars and alternative fuels rather than burning up our future with fossil fuels.

The smartest thing we could do right now — after capping the volcano of oil, of course — would be to make a commitment to end our world’s dependence on fossils fuels forever. But that goes against the financial interests of the oil companies who all want to keep us trapped in their system of fossil fuel dependence no matter what the cost to the environment.

And so we plug along, handcuffed to an outdated fuel source and still running our ridiculously historical internal combustion engines which should have been phased out decades ago and replaced with electric motors.

Humans are slow learners, it turns out. Our modern civilization isn’t really that “modern,” and it only seems to learn from catastrophe rather than intelligent planning.

The question remains: How much more damage can our planet handle from Man’s arrogant pollution? At what point does all the chemical contamination, fertilizer runoff, carbon emissions and runaway oil pollution of the ocean add up to a global extinction event?

We’re playing a global game of Russian Roulette right now with the future of human civilization… and the oil companies just can’t stop pulling the trigger. There’s little question where we’re all going to end up if we don’t change our ways and find a cleaner way to power our infantile civilization.

Source: Natural News


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Together at Last! Palin & Obama: Drill Baby Drill

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MUST READ:  Obama sheltered BPs Deepwater Horizon rig from regulatory requirement.
BP Spill Threatens Vulnerable Ecosystems with Destruction
SEE ALSO:      Obama Seeks to Contain Anger Over BP Oil Spill
The BP Oil Spill and American Capitalism
Four excellent MUST-READ articles on the World Socialist website http://www.wsws.org reveal:

  1. Obama was the largest single recipient of BP lobbyist $$$
  2. Obama exempted the BP Deepwater Horizon rig from regulation (see #1)

  3. Obama re-authorized offshore drilling in the so-called “climate change” bill (see #1) Endorsed by Sarah Palin…

  4. The oil spill catastrophe will have long term effects on the viability and survival of 1000s of species of birds, animals, plants and ecosystems and may lead to extinctions & billions of dollars of ruined coastlines, and ruined livelihoods

  5. The administration showed no remorse, nor plans to re-think its policy (aka sociopathy, anti-social and inappropriate behavior)

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Steve Lendman on Disaster Capitalism in Haiti

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Disaster Capitalism Headed to Haiti – by Stephen Lendman

In her book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” Naomi Klein explores the myth of free market democracy, explaining how neoliberalism dominates the world with America its main exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere.

As a result, wars are waged, social services cut, public ones privatized, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or in duress to object. Disaster capitalism is triumphant everywhere from post-Soviet Russia to post-apartheid South Africa, occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, Honduras before and after the US-instigated coup, post-tsunami Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia, New Orleans post-Katrina, and now heading to Haiti full-throttle after its greatest ever catastrophe. The same scheme always repeats, exploiting people for profits, the prevailing neoliberal idea that “there is no alternative” so grab all you can.

On Her web site, Klein headlines a “Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again,” then quotes the extremist Heritage Foundation saying:

“In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the US response to the tragic Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region.”

Heritage notes “Things to Remember While Helping Haiti,” itemized briefly below:

— be bold and decisive;

— mobilize US civilian and military capabilities “for short-term rescue and relief and long-term recovery and reform;”

— US military forces should play an active role interdicting “cocaine to Haiti and Dominican Republic from the Venezuelan coast and counter ongoing efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to destabilize the island of Hispaniola;”

— US Coast Guard vessels should stop Haitians from trying “to enter the US illegally;”

— Congress should authorize “assistance, trade and reconstruction efforts;” and

— US diplomacy should “counter the negative propaganda certain to emanate from the Castro-Chavez camp (to) demonstrate that the US’s involvement in the Caribbean remains a powerful force for good in the Americas and around the globe.”

Heritage is an imperial tool advocating predation, exploitation, and Haitian redevelopment for profit, not for desperate people to repair their lives. It disdains democratic freedoms, social justice, and envisions a global economy “where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish” solely for the privileged, the chosen few, not the disadvantaged or greater majority.

It’s for free market plunder, regulatory freedom, tax cuts for the rich, exploiting the majority, corporate handouts, and militarized control for enforcement. It supports the Bilderberg idea of a global classless society – a New World Order with rulers and serfs, no middle class, no unions, no democracy, no equity or justice, just empowered oligarchs, freed to do as they please under a universal legal system benefitting them.

For the moment, their focus is Haiti, ripe for plunder, like the second tsunami that hit coastal Sri Lankans. The December 2004 one took 250,000 lives and left 2.5 million homeless throughout the region. Klein explained the aftermath at Arugam Bay, “a fishing and faded resort village” on Sri Lanka’s east coast that was showcased to “build back better.” Not for villagers, for developers, hoteliers, and other business interests to exploit. After the disaster, they had a blank slate for what the tourist industry long wanted – “a pristine beach (on prime real estate), scrubbed clean of all the messy signs of people working, a vacation Eden. It was the same up and down the coast once rubble was cleared….paradise” given the profit potential.

New rules forbade coastal homes, so a buffer zone was imposed to insure it. Beaches were off-limits. Displaced Sri Lankans were shoved into grim barracks, and “menacing, machine-gun-wielding soldiers” patrolled to keep them there.

Tourist operators, however, were welcomed and encouraged to build on oceanfront land – to transform the former fishing village into a “high-end boutique tourism destination (with) five-star resorts, luxury chalets, (and even a) floatplane pier and helipad.”

It was to be a model for transforming around 30 similar zones into a South Asian Riviera to let Sri Lanka reenter the world economy as one of the last remaining uncolonized places globalization hadn’t touched. High-end tourism was the ticket – to provide a luxury destination for the rich once a few changes were made. Government land was opened to private buyers. Labor laws were relaxed or eliminated. Modern infrastructure would be built, and public opposition suppressed to let plans proceed unimpeded.

The same scheme followed Hurricane Mitch in October 1998 when Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua were hardest hit. In Sri Lanka, Washington took the Mitch model to the next level – beyond individuals to corporate control over reconstruction. Business ran everything. Affected people were shut out. Klein called it a new type corporate coup mother nature made possible. Now again in Haiti with an idea of what’s coming.

Powerful business interests constructed a blueprint from housing to hotels to highways and other needed infrastructure. Disaster relief went for development. Victims got nothing and were consigned to permanent shantytowns like the kinds in most Global South cities and Global North inner ones. Aceh and other affected areas adopted the same model.

A year after the tsunami, the NGO Action Aid surveyed the results in five Asian countries and found the same pattern – residents barred from rebuilding and living in militarized camps, while developers were given generous incentives. Lost was their way of life forever.

The same scheme played out in New Orleans with unfettered capitalism given free reign. With considerable Bush administration help, mother nature gave corporate predators a golden opportunity for plunder. Prevailing wage rates for federally funded or assisted construction projects were suspended. So were environmental regulations in an already polluted area, enough to be designated a superfund site or toxic waste dump. Instead, redevelopment was planned.

As a previous article explained, New Orleans had ample warning but was unprepared. The city is shaped like a bowl, lies below sea level, and its Gulf coast is vulnerable. As a result, the inevitable happened, affecting the city’s least advantaged – the majority black population targeted for removal and needing only an excuse to do it. The storm wiped out public housing and erased communities, letting developers build upscale condos and other high-profit projects on choice city land.

It was right out of the Chicago School’s play book, what economist Milton Friedman articulated in his 1962 book, “Capitalism and Freedom.” His thesis:

“only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When a crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around…our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing policies (and be ready to roll them out when the) impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

Friedman believed that government’s sole function is “to protect our freedom from (outside) enemies (and) our fellow-citizens. (It’s to) preserve law and order (as well as) enforce private contracts, (safeguard private property and) foster competitive markets.”

Everything else in public hands is socialism, an ideology he called blasphemous. He said markets work best unfettered of rules, regulations, onerous taxes, trade barriers, “entrenched interests” and human interference, and the best government is practically none – the wild west because, in his view, anything government does business does better so let it. Ideas about democracy, social justice, and a caring society were verboten because they interfere with free-wheeling capitalism.

He said public wealth should be in private hands, profit accumulation unrestrained, corporate taxes abolished, and social services curtailed or ended. He believed “economic freedom is an end to itself (and) an indispensable means toward (achieving) political freedom.” He opposed the minimum wage, unions, market interference, an egalitarian society, and called Social Security “the biggest Ponzi scheme on earth.” He supported a flat tax favoring the rich, and believed everyone should have to rely on their own resources to get by.

In a word, Friedmanomics preaches unrestrained market fundamentalism. “Free to choose,” he said with no regard for human needs and rights. For him and his followers, economic freedom is the be-all-and-end-all under limited government, the marketplace being the master.

Applied to New Orleans, it meant permanent changes, including removing public housing, developing upscale properties in its place, privatizing schools, and destroying a way of life for thousands of disadvantaged blacks expelled from their communities and not allowed back.

Klein called Friedman’s thesis “the shock doctrine.” Applied to Russia, Eastern Europe and other developing states, it was shock therapy. For affected people, it was economic and social disaster under Friedman’s prescription for mass-privatizations, deregulation, unrestricted free market predation, deep social spending cuts, and harsh crackdowns against resisters. It’s disaster capitalism, business is booming, and Haitians will soon feel its full fury under military occupation.

Haiti – Beleaguered, Occupied, and Stricken by a Disaster of Biblical Proportions

Since the 19th century, America dominated Haiti. Before the quake, a proxy paramilitary Blue Helmet force occupied the country, dispatched not for peacekeeping but iron-grip control. Worse still, it was the first time ever that UN forces supported a coup d’etat government, the one Washington installed after US Marines kidnapped President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, forcibly exiled him to Africa, and ended the political, economic and social reforms he instituted – in areas of health, education, justice and human rights. Ever since, conditions for Haitians have been nightmarish, and now the quake and further misery ahead from the Pentagon’s iron fist and greater than ever exploitation.

Obama’s top priority is control, underway immediately after the Pentagon took over the Port-au-Prince airport, reopened it after its brief closure, and set up a temporary air traffic control center. Military personnel now decide what gets in or out, what’s delivered, how fast, and according to unconfirmed reports, they slowed arriving search and rescue equipment, supplies, and personnel, except for what other countries managed to send in types and amounts way short of what’s needed. As a result, trapped Haitians perished, whereas a concentrated, sustained airlift, including heavy earthmoving and other equipment, might have saved hundreds or thousands more lives.

The 1948 – 49 Berlin airlift showed how. For nearly 11 months, western allies delivered what rose to a daily average of 5,500 tons, providing vital supplies for the city’s two million people. Today, the Pentagon has far greater capabilities. If ordered, massive amounts of virtually everything could be expedited, including heavy earthmoving equipment and teams of experts for every imaginable need. The result would have been vast numbers more lives saved, now perished because little was done to help, except for heroic volunteers providing food, water, and medical care, and Haitians who dug out survivors with small implements and their bare hands.

On January 15, Reuters reported that the Port-au-Prince 9,000-foot runway escaped serious damage and could handle big cargo planes easily. Immediately, food, water, medicine, rescue crews, and other specialists began arriving from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, China, and elsewhere, but very little from America, including vitally needed heavy equipment. Haiti has very little of what’s needed.

Instead, the Pentagon sent in thousands of Marines and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers (a 10,000 force contingent once in place), armed killers, not humanitarian personnel and regular supplies to sustain them. Larger numbers may follow to be supplemented by UN Blue Helmets and Haitian National Police under Pentagon command. A long-term commitment for militarized control is planned, not humanitarian relief, reminiscent of the 20-year 1915 – 1934 period when US Marines occupied and ravaged Haiti.

Throughout the country, the lives of nine million people are at stake. Of immediate concern, are the three million in Port-au-Prince and surroundings, devastated by the quake and unable to sustain themselves without substantial outside help.

Central also is Haiti’s government, now crippled, including one report saying the senate building collapsed with most of the lawmakers inside. It’s not clear who’s alive or dead in either National Assembly chamber, the cabinet, or other government posts. It hardly matters, however, under US military control leaving President Rene Preval and Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive mere figureheads.

Once full control is established, the immediate shock subsides, and the media lose interest, reconstruction will be implemented for profit, not poor Haitians left on their own in communities like Cite Soleil and Bel Air or permanently displaced for what developers have in mind.

Efforts will focus on upscale areas and facilities for the Pentagon, US officials and selected bureaucrats. Before the quake, the Preval government was weak, ineffective, and uncaring about Haiti’s vast needs. He effectively ceded power to Washington, the UN, and the large imperial-chosen NGO presence in the country.

In addition, Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party was banned from the scheduled February 2010 parliamentary elections (now cancelled or postponed), and was earlier excluded from the 2009 April and June process to fill 12 open senate seats, resulting in a turnout below 10%, and mocking a true democratic process.

Now, millions of Haitians hang by a thread. As one of them put it, “tout ayiti kraze,” the whole country is no more. The government is inoperative. Port-au-Prince is in shambles. People are struggling to survive, 100,000 or more likely dead, a toll sure to rise as disease and depravation claim more. Those in poor communities are on their own. Rescuers are concentrating on high-profile, well-off areas, but without earthmoving equipment can do little to save victims. The problem – Washington obstructionism and indifference to human suffering and need.

On January 15, Al Jazeera reported that aid agencies are struggling under difficult conditions and inadequate supplies, let alone how to distribute them throughout the capital. As a result, frustration is growing with little help, no shelter, decaying bodies still unburied, the threat of disease, and the stench of death everywhere with no power, phones, clean water, food, and everything millions need.

Sebastian Walker, Al Jazeera’s Port-au-Prince correspondent said:

“A lot of people have simply grown tired of waiting for those emergency workers to get to them. Thousands of people are streaming out of the city towards the provinces to try to find supplies of food and water, supplies that are running out in the city.”

On January 16, Al Jazeera headlined “Haiti: UP to 200,000 feared dead.” About 50,000 bodies have been collected, according to Haiti’s interior minister, Paul Antoine Bien-Aime, and he anticipates “between 100,000 and 200,000 dead in total, although we will never know the exact number,” nor how many more will expire in the weeks and months ahead, unnoticed and unreported.

On January 17, Al Jazeera headlined, “Aid teams struggle to help Haitians….amid difficulties in distributing relief supplies to those who need it most.

Sebastian Walker said delivering supplies stacking up at the airport has been extremely problematic:

“This comes down to the complex issue of who is in charge here. The US military has a great deal of control over the number of flights that are landing here. We heard that a UN flight carrying aid equipment had to be diverted because the US was landing its own aircraft there. The question of just who makes the decision over how to distribute the aid seems to be what is holding up the supplies.”

The Pentagon decides, of course, and that’s the problem. Obama also urges “patience,” saying “many difficult days (are) ahead,” without explaining his obstructionist uncaring role.

The result is reports like this:

— from Canada’s CBC As It Happens broadcast interview with an ICRC spokesperson saying he spent the morning of January 15 touring one of the hardest hit areas, and “In three hours, I didn’t see a single rescue team;”

— a same day BBC interview with an American Red Cross spokesperson complained about aid delivery – that arriving planes carried people, not supplies, and amounts at the airpot weren’t being delivered;

– the Canada Haiti Action Network calls Port-au-Prince a city largely without aid because areas most in need aren’t getting it; further, in nicer neighborhoods, dogs and extraction units arrived, but 90% of them are just sitting around, perhaps because of no earthmoving equipment to reach victims;

— another report said a French plane carrying a field hospital was turned away, then later allowed in; meanwhile, Israel got carte blanche for its own field hospital, able to handle 500 casualties daily, so it begs the question – why praise Israel for (selectively) helping Haitians when it murders Palestinians daily, keeps the West Bank isolated and locked down, Gaza under siege, and denies critically ill residents exit permission for treatment unavailable from Strip facilities, leaving them to perish; and

— various reports say US forces are preventing flights from landing; prioritized are landing US troops, repatriating American nationals, and perhaps starving poor Haitians to death; dozens of French citizens and dual Haitian-French nationals couldn’t leave when their scheduled flight to Guadeloupe couldn’t land; an angry French Secretary of State for Cooperation, Alain Joyandet, told reporters that he “made an official complaint to the Americans through the US embassy.”

UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Report on Haiti Relief

On January 15, OCHA reported as follows:

“Logistics and the lack of transport remain the key constraints to the delivery of aid. Needs are still being identified as access becomes possible and as assessments begin to take place.

Displaced populations are currently scattered across multiple locations where there is open space. Temporary shelters urgently need to be established.

Fifteen sites have been identified for distribution of relief items. World Food Program reached 13,000 people today with food, jerry cans and water purification tablets.”

OCHA continued, saying:

“A total of (only) 180 tons of relief supplies have arrived in-country so far. Operations are heavily constrained due to the lack of fuel, transport, communications and handling capacity at the airport. Some flights are being re-routed through Santo Domingo airport (far from Port-au-Prince in the Dominican Republic) which is also becoming congested.”

In its latest January 16 report, OCHA repeated that airport logistics remain a challenge, the result of re-routed flights, congestion, lengthy offloading times, the lack of transport and fuel, no storage facility, and the airport “now packed with goods and teams” not being delivered.

Three million Haitians need help, but the World Food Program distributed high energy biscuits only to 50,000. Around 50,000 are getting hot meals.

Major health concerns include untreated trauma wounds, infections, infectious diseases, diarrhea, lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, and Haitians with pre-existing condition like HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cancer aren’t being treated.

Up to a million people need immediate shelter and non-food aid, including clean water, blankets, kitchen and hygiene kits, plastic sheeting and tents.

“As of 16 January it is estimated that fuel for humanitarian operations will only last 2 to 3 more days before operations will be forced to cease.”

There have only been 58 live rescues so far among the many thousands trapped beneath or behind rubble. OCHA launched a Flash Appeal for $575 million “to cover 3 million people severely affected for six months.”

Sixteen EU nations are providing aid but not enough. America is doing practically nothing.

One nation delivering heroic help is Cuba, but little about it is reported. Despite its own constraints, it’s operated in Haiti for years, and now has over 400 doctors and healthcare experts delivering free services. They work every day in 227 of the country’s 337 communes. In addition, Cuban medical schools trained over 400 Haitian doctors, now working to save lives during the country’s gravest crisis. It’s no small achievement that Cuba, blockaded and constrained, is responsible for nearly 1,000 doctors and healthcare providers, all of whom work tirelessly to save lives and rehabilitate the injured.

According to China’s Xinhua News Agency:

“Cuban aid workers have taken charge of (Haiti’s) De la Paz Hospital, since its doctors have not appeared after the quake,” perhaps because many perished, are wounded, or are trapped beneath or behind rubble themselves.

Cubans are working despite a lack of everything needed to provide care except for what its government managed to deliver. Dr. Carlos Alberto Garcia, coordinator of its medical brigade, said Cuban doctors, nurses and other health personnel are working non-stop, day and night. Operating rooms are open 18 hours a day.

Independent reports now say Washington is trying to block Cuban and Venezuelan aid workers by refusing them landing permission in Port-au-Prince. The Caribbean Community’s emergency aid mission is also blocked. On January 15, the US State Department confirmed that it signed two Memoranda of Understanding with the remnants of Haiti’s government putting Washington in charge of all inbound and outbound flights and aid offloading in the country.

For years, Cuba has sent doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to countries in need worldwide, winning hearts and minds for its free highly professional services. It provides national healthcare for all its people, and now has about 25,000 doctors in 68 countries. In addition, over 1,800 doctors from 47 developing states graduate annually from Cuban medical schools, return home, and provide quality care for their people.

Major Media Misreporting

Ignoring Haiti’s long history as a de facto US colony, the major media report a sanitized version of today’s catastrophe. For example on January 14, The New York Times cynically editorialized: “Once again, the world weeps for Haiti.” This is the same paper that lied in a March 1, 2004 editorial after US Marines forcibly exiled Aristide, saying:

— he resigned;

— sending in Marines “was the right thing to do;” and

— they only arrived after “Mr. Aristide yielded power.”

It also blamed him for “contribut(ing) significantly to his own downfall (because of his) increasingly autocratic and lawless rule,” and accused him of manipulating the 2000 legislative elections and not “deliver(ing) the democracy he promised.”

In fact, other than a brief period after its liberating revolution (1791 – January 1, 2004), the only time Haiti was democratically governed was under Aristide and during Rene Preval’s first term. Aristide, in fact, was so beloved, he was overwhelmingly reelected in 2000 with a 92% majority and would be equally supported today if allowed to run. In fact, when he’s most needed and wanted, Washington won’t let him return.

In media coverage of Haiti’s disaster, the greater story is suppressed, the one that matters, that puts today’s tragedy in context:

— 500 years of repression; slavery under the Spanish, then French, and since the 19th century as a de facto US colony;

— deep poverty and human misery, the worst in the hemisphere;

— despotic rule, occupation, exploitation, starvation, disease and low life expectancy; and

— now now a disaster of biblical proportions getting Times headlines like:

“In Show of Support, Clinton Goes to Haiti”

Omitted was that it was for a brief airport photo op, America’s usual show of indifference to human suffering, in this case, the result of US imperialism, not as a benefactor the way The Times and other major media portray.

“Officials Strain to Distribute Aid to Haiti as Violence Rises”

In fact, Haitians have been remarkably calm, no thanks to Washington that’s slowing aid delivery, providing very little of its own, and offers little more than militarized occupation, armed killers, including Xe (formerly Blackwater Worldwide) mercenaries, notoriously savage brutes.

“Looting Flares Where Authority Breaks Down”

Looting? People are suffering, starving, dying, desperate because America sends fighters, not food; Marines, not medical aid; combat killers, not compassion, caring, and kindness; and diplomats, not doctors or human decency.

“Government Struggles to Exhume Itself”

Calling it “comparatively stable” ignores that Preval’s government is a proxy for US interests and no longer functioning. Pentagon killers are now in charge.

“Bush, Clinton and Obama Unite to Raise Money for Haiti”

After the December 2004 tsunami struck East Asia, the Bush administration spearheaded a similar campaign, raised over $1 billion, and used it for corporate development, not people needs. Obama backs a similar scheme (Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund) in a show of contemptible indifference to human misery and chose two co-conspirators for his plan.

The Bush administration engineered the February 2004 coup ousting Aristide, established police state rule, and immiserated nine million Haitians. For his part, Clinton kept an iron grip throughout his presidency instead of supporting Aristide’s political, economic and social reforms.

He’s now UN Special Envoy to Haiti heading an Obama administration neoliberal scheme featuring tourism, textile sweatshops, sweeping privatizations and deregulation for greater cheap labor exploitation at the expense of providing essential needs. He orchestrated a plan to turn northern Haiti into a tourist playground and got Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to invest $55 million for a pier in Labadee where the company operates a private resort and has contributed the largest amount of tourist revenue to the country since 1986.

More still is planned, including a new international airport in the north, an expanded free trade zone, a new one in Port-au-Prince, now delayed, various infrastructure projects, and an alliance with George Soros’ Open Society Institute for a $50 million partnership with Haitian shipper Gregory Mevs to build a free-trade zone for clothing sweatshops.ff
In addition, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has $258 million in commitments, including the Better Work Haiti and HOPE II projects, taking advantage of duty-free Haitian apparel exports to America to encourage greater sweatshop proliferation.

According to TransAfrica’s founder Randall Robinson:

“That isn’t the kind of investment that Haiti needs. It needs capital investment. It needs investment so that it can be self-sufficient. It needs investment so that it can feed itself.” It also needs debt relief, not another $100 million the IMF just announced adding more to a $1.2 billion burden.

Above all, Haiti needs democratic governance freed from US control, military occupation, and the kind of oppression it’s endured for centuries so its people can breathe free.

It doesn’t need two past and a current US president allied with Haiti’s elites, ignoring economic justice, exploiting Haitian labor, ignoring overwhelming human desperation, militarizing the country, crushing resistance if it arises, and implementing a disaster capitalism agenda at the expense of essential human needs, rights and freedoms.

The only good new is that the Obama administration granted undocumented Haitians Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. They can now work legally and send remittances to family members. It affects 30,000 ordered deported and all non-US citizens.

During the Bush administration and throughout Obama’s first year in office, repeated calls for it were refused. Now after 80 representatives and 18 senators, Republicans and Democrats, and the conference of Roman Catholic bishops sent appeals, Obama relented for Haitians in America as of January 12. New arrivals will be deported unlike Cubans under the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act (as amended), a “wet foot/dry foot” policy under which those interdicted at sea are returned home, but others reaching shore are inspected for entry, then nearly always allowed to stay.

TPS aside, Haiti faces crushing burdens – deep poverty, vast unemployment, overwhelming human needs, severe repression, poor governance, Washington dominance, a burdensome debt, and much more before the January 12 quake. Now the disaster, militarization by the Pentagon, and disaster capitalism soon arriving besides what’s already profiteering. It’s been Haiti’s plight for generations, the poorest hemispheric nation in the area most under Washington’s iron grip and paying dearly for the privilege.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday – Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://republicbroadcasting.org/Lendman

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