George Bush’s hopes of turning Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in to yet another drilling field suffered a setback yesterday when the Senate voted against him, 52 to 48 (a disturbingly close call due to energy crisis fears, heightened by going to war in Iraq perhaps?). The destruction of this final 5% of northern coastline not yet subjected to oil exploration, may well be one of Bush’s “top energy priorities” but this 19million acre wilderness is home to polar bears, caribou, musk oxen, 130 species of birds, grizzly bears, snow geese etc etc. Why would anyone risk long-term devastation of a protected Reserve for a short-term supply of oil? America may consume a quarter of the world’s oil, but surely the answer lies in reducing consumption as opposed to her ruination of the world’s unspoilt areas?
This significant topic of oil features highly in French news today, as 37 defendants are accused of bleeding circa $300m from Elf Aquitaine during the 1980’s and 1990’s, in the biggest corruption trial in French history. This follows an 8 year investigation and the disappearance and death of key witnesses …The lengths people go to for oil and riches, eh?
Which leads us back to Dubbya: The Allies are reporting that this latest war in Iraq will be an extremely brief one. Now Bush can not be so deluded as to think he’s smarter than, and can outwit, Mr Hussein? Not having specified which side shall be victorious, should we assume from the US military blunder (within the first 24hours of war, no less!) that there’s a counter-plan afoot? In which case, here’s some recommended Strategic Intelligence: use some “American friendly fire” over the White House. Please.
Well, I’ve ranted enough, so I’ll sign out with a quote from Jon Snow, Channel 4 news (UK):
“Last night the US dropped $26 million dollars of missiles on Baghdad in their ‘opportunistic’ strike. So far the UN has been given $34 million dollars for the humanitarian consequences of the war out of a total demand for $123.5 million dollars”