Public Comment

Which Demonstration?

By R.G. Davis, Ph.D.
Thursday June 03, 2010 - 11:28:00 AM

If it is evident that a crisis weeks ago will be replaced by another crisis this week: Which demonstration should we go to? Is there a demonstration against both crises? Perhaps comparing the similarities between BP’s underwater oil spew and the Israeli assault on 6 humanitarian aid ships, we might be able to decide. 

The over-arching similarity is the hubris by both sets of perpetrators.The oil corporation didn’t have back up protection, didn’t test equipment, lobbied for deregulation, rather than go slow they plunged ahead and now blame Halliburton (perhaps true) or Transoceanic (also probably true).BP's actions and their partners killed eleven (11) oil workers. 

The Israelis stopped a 6-ship flotilla from delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza residents. The seizure of the ships in international waters, and kidnapping civilians is illegal in addition to their siege/ closure of Gaza. They reportedly killed 9-10-16 or 20 people on board, and wounded others on the ship they invaded, (KPFA, NYT, WSJ, Counterpunch) 

The second similarity is that their instantaneous response to such horrific actions is to spin, lie, distort and produce confusing statements and images in order to control the perception of the event. 

BP faced with “surprise conditions” made the wrong choices while the riggers made a mistake, the cement didn't hold, the sea was rough, therefore eleven (11) workers died.These are the risks one has to take while obtaining oil by drilling 13,000 feet (almost 3 miles) down. 

After seizing 6 ships in international waters, [piracy] the Israelis immediately closed off information about the people seized and distributed videos of passengers with steel pipes about to hit soldiers.The commandos had paint ball guns (this is the good part of the story, even a Zionist would have to belch at this one) and then obviously used their other weapons to kill civilians. The deaths are unfortunate, said Netanyahu. When the deaths in the 2006 Gaza invasion were finally verified it was 1400 Gazans dead and 30-120 IDF soldiers killed by Hamas. The thousands of destroyed buildings and the wounded evaporated in accounts, however, as with cluster bombs, the wounded cause greater hardships then the dead. 

The puffery is both linguistic and horrendous; as it becomes obvious they both are lying.BP said the spew was only 2500 barrels a day, 60 gallons in a barrel—that makes for 150,000 gallons a day. Even though they used a smaller figures calculated in barrels, not gallons, it still was a lie. When NOAA, the Coast Guard and University scientists saw the underwater spew they said it was 12,000 to 18,000 barrels a day. BP’s $25,000 full page ads in major papers stated: “We will get it right.”The mega oil company is careful to avoid using the name British Petroleum(AKA Anglo-Persian Oil) since patriotic nationalistic Americans might realize their economy is being plundered by foreign corporations as in smaller countries. Free Trade, & NAFTA, at home. 

British petroleum executives will not be jailed for killing eleven workers, nor will the Israeli officials be jailed for killing 9 to 16 civilians from different countries. For BP it is insurance payout for dead workers, and for the Israelis the dead are Palestinian supporters, all lesser peoples. 

Who did what, when, where (and why)? 

In BP’s case, a month ago we didn’t know the size of the wells, the rigs, and the depth of destruction, as BP kept the public confused until government agencies, university and ecological tests and cameras investigated. 

We won't know all the details of the Israeli raid until we receive Turkish, French and Spanish information. Israel’s statements like BP’s are flak.The UN Security Council condemned the attack, and requested the Israelis investigate—certainly an opportunity for double-speak.Israeli feeds to the commercial press already claim the people on the ship attacked the Israeli commandos first, with knives, steel rods and deck chairs. Some reports by soldiers said guns, but that item dropped out of later news reports. 

What else unites these two crises? 

These actions affect millions of wild life creatures/critters. The oil spew depletes deep water feeding beds, wetlands, shore life, plus the livelihood of fishermen, tourists, workers operating off the waters plus those who eat the fish or don't because hydrocarbons poison the crustaceans. The Israeli’s argue that their security demands they destroy and kill anywhere; the US and the UK do it.Seven hundred (700) people on the boats were kidnapped: "an act of piracy" said the Turkish ministers, as a million and half Gazans are deprived of healthy necessities. 

The crossover for both is the deep ecological damage. The true unity is an ecological one as resources and people are destroyed in the process of retrieving oil, or the destruction and occupation of homes, farms and villages with walls, special roads, blockades plus periodic air bombardments to hinder Palestinian reconstruction.Imperialist wars, and the concurrent spew of C02, methane, and nitrous oxide from ships, airplanes and helicopters, are a destructive event from inception: Military vehicles are designed polluters. 

In both cases, the subjects ignored by anthropocentric reports are the diseased millions of wild life, fish, phytoplankton, bivalves, in both the Gulf and the Mediterranean. Nature nevertheless responds in ways that capitalist resource hunters or hubristic militarists think it won’t affect them.We, around the edges, will eventually feel the effects of Israeli attempts to prevent Palestinians from living in Palestine, when Moslems, Arabs and religious fundamentalists around the world take up their scimitars for good reason while the phytoplankton in larger numbers will die off, thereby reducing wildlife, and fish. 

The ultimate similarity of BP and Israel is their systemic praxis, and their noted special relationship with the USA.