Daily Archives: October 18, 2011

Obama’s Uganda Gambit to serve Soros

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Ed Lasky

Journalist Aaron Klein has an interesting take on Barack Obama‘s surprising decision to send troops into Uganda to battle a rebel army.  The genesis of the idea may have begun at the George Soros-funded International Crisis Group, one of the “think tanks” that Soros uses to promote policies that benefit him.  In this case, the ICG recommended last year that America deploy military forces to Uganda.  This move prompted questions since the rebel group did not pose a threat to American interests. But whose interests might be served by defeating the rebel group? George Soros — a major Obama backer.

Klein writes:

Soros himself has been closely tied to oil and other interests in Uganda.

In 2008, the Soros-funded Revenue Watch Institute brought together stakeholders from Uganda and other East African countries to discuss critical governance issues, including the formation of what became Uganda’s National Oil and Gas Policy.

Also in 2008, the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, a grantee of the Soros-funded Revenue Watch, helped established the Publish What You Pay Coalition of Uganda, or PWYP, which was purportedly launched to coordinate and streamline the efforts of the government in promoting transparency and accountability in the oil sector.

Also, a steering committee was formed for PWYP Uganda to develop an agenda for implementing the oil advocacy initiatives and a constitution to guide PWYP’s oil work.

PWYP has since 2006 hosted a number of training workshops in Uganda purportedly to promote contract transparency in Uganda’s oil sector.

PWYP is directly funded by Soros’ Open Society as well as the Soros-funded Revenue Watch Institute. PWYP international is actually hosted by the Open Society Foundation in London.

The billionaire’s Open Society Institute, meanwhile, runs numerous offices in Uganda. It maintains a country manager in Uganda, as well as the Open Society Initiative for East Africa, which supports work in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Soros seems to have his hand in trying to guide the development of the oil and gas industry in Uganda.  The Ugandan government would naturally be beholden to Soros if he could show he had enough influence with the White House to bring in American troops to take out a rebel group.  Also, the defeat of the rebel group would make development of the energy industry that much more viable since operations would be much more secure.

This strategy bears similarity with the story of InterOil, a major holding of George Soros, that has  been granted concessions for reportedly major natural gas reserves in Papua New Guinea.  The government there has recently been arguing with InterOil regarding that company’s ability to develop these reserves and build and operate a Liquefied Natural Gas port to export the gas.

What could friends of George Soros in the American government do to help him soothe the deal with the Papua New Guinea government? What the Obama administration did in fact do was send government experts all the way from here to there to help the nation develop its reserves. This was especially surprising since the Department of Interior has blamed its delay in issuing permits to develop our own domestic reserves on lack of manpower and funding — yet the administration found the manpower and money to export our experts do help develop New Guinea’s reserves. Or rather the reserves that InterOil and its major shareholder , George Soros, want developed courtesy of the American taxpayer.

Anyone see a pattern here? In one case, Obama sends military forces to Uganda — a nation where Soros has been active in trying to help it formulate a policy to tap its oil wealth.  But before the policies could be put in place, a rebel group needs to be vanquished.  In the other case, Obama sends American government experts to help another nation to develop its natural gas wealth when the one company ideally positioned to benefit from this taxpayer-funded development has as its major shareholder none other than George Soros.

Soros declared his own modus operandi when he said in a 2004 New Yorker profile that there are “symbiotic moments between political and business interests.”  He is a master at finding these moments and promoting the political careers of those who will do his bidding.

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Obama, the king of Africa

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By Pepe Escobar

If United States President Barack Obama really wanted to get rid of the new bogeyman du jour, Uganda’s Joseph Kony – a former altar boy turned mystical Christian prophet/politico, sporting at least 60 wives – he would order US Attorney General Eric “The Fast and the Furious” Holder to concoct a plot subcontracting the hit to a lunatic Iranian linked to a Mexican drug cartel.

Plan B would be to order the United Nations to tell the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to impose a no-fly zone over Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) “rebels”, and then bomb them to oblivion.

Plan C would be to drone the LRA to death with a fleet of MQ-9 Reapers; yet the nearest US drone base is very far away, in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.

As no unsuspecting Mexicans were available, and the “rebels” in this case are the bad guys, Obama settled for the classic imperial option; he pulled an AfPak and ordered a surge cum boots on the ground, sending 100 US Special Forces to help a corrupt dictator – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni – crush his local bunch of “rebels”.

Anyone may be excused to see Uganda as Libya upside down – because that’s exactly what it is; the dictator in this case gets a good guy billing – one of “our bastards” – while the “rebels” have a pact with the devil. But is that all there is?

I got an urge to surge
The reality in Uganda is an absolute, murderous mess. As much as the LRA “rebels”, Museveni’s government (helped by Washington) has also perpetrated horrendous massacres against civilians. Kony may even be an amateur compared to Museveni – a sort of dictator for life who has just supervised the displacement and mass murder of at least 20,000 Ugandans on behalf of British corporations. Additionally, Museveni basically stole the Ugandan elections early this year.

Obama’s Uganda surge should be seen as a crucial exchange of favors with Museveni – who has sent thousands of Ugandan troops to the African Union (AU) force that is fighting the hardcore Islamist al-Shabaab in Somalia. So while Uganda fights a proxy war for the US in Somalia, Washington helps the dictator to get rid of the LRA “rebels”. No wonder the Pentagon is quite fond of Uganda; Museveni recently got $45 million in equipment, including four small drones.

The LRA – a ragged bunch of hardcore Christian fundamentalists – is based in northern Uganda but spread out between four countries, including the new South Sudan and Congo, in Central Africa. They carry no heavy weapons. They don’t stand a chance of destabilizing the Ugandan government – much less being a “national security” threat to the US. Bogeyman Kony may be in hiding somewhere along the immense Sudan-Congo border, with no more than 400 warriors left.

Uganda’s proximity to the new country of South Sudan is key in the whole equation. So far, for Northern Sudan the LRA has been a convenient, weaponized firewall against Western puppet Museveni. But most of all, this whole area is prime real estate where the fierce battle between China and the Americans/Europeans plays out, centered on oil and minerals, all part of the Great 21st Century African Resource War.

Behold the mineral kingdom
That brings us to Uganda as a new land of opportunity. Ah, the sheer scale of humanitarian warmongering possibilities. For a semblance of success, the initial steps of Obama’s African surge would have to include a military base with a long runway attached, and a mini-Guantanamo to imprison the “terrorists”. If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is; think of the Pentagon’s Africom headquarters soon entertaining the possibility of time-traveling from Stuttgart, Germany, to somewhere in Uganda.

Any student of realpolitik knows the US doesn’t do “humanitarian” interventions per se. Africom’s surge parallels the real name of the game; precious minerals – and mining. Uganda – and nearby eastern Congo – happens to hold fabulous quantities of, among others, diamonds, gold, platinum, copper, cobalt, tin, phosphates, tantalite, magnetite, uranium, iron ore, gypsum, beryllium, bismuth, chromium, lead, lithium, niobium and nickel. Many among these are ultra-precious rare earth – of which China exercises a virtual monopoly.

The mineral rush in Africa is already one of the great resource wars of the 21st century. China is ahead, followed by companies from India, Australia, South Africa and Russia (which, for instance, has set up a fresh gold refinery in Kampala). The West is lagging behind. The name of the game for the US and the Europeans is to pull no punches to undermine China’s myriad commercial deals all across Africa.

Then there’s the inescapable Pipelineistan angle. Uganda may hold “several billion barrels of oil”, according to Heritage Oil’s Paul Atherton, part of a recent, largest-ever on-shore oil discovery in sub-Saharan Africa. That implies the construction of a $1.5 billion, 1,200 kilometer long pipeline to Kampala and the coast of Kenya. Then there’s another pipeline from “liberated” South Sudan. Washington wants to make sure that all this oil will be exclusively available for the US and Europe.

Obama, the King of Africa
The Obama administration insists the 100 special forces will be “advisers” – not combat troops. Think of Vietnam in the early 1960s; it started with “advisers” – and the rest is history. Now, the “advisers” are even expected to fan out from Uganda to South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And it’s not even the first time this happens. George W Bush tried the same thing in 2008. It ended in unmitigated disaster because of – what else is new – corruption inside the Ugandan army. Kony was tipped off and escaped hours before an attack on his camp.
So on the surface, we have an uplifting narrative of the first black US president deeply disturbed by the “humanitarian crisis” in yet another African nation, Uganda; i n the perfect cover story for Anglo satrapy Uganda will be propped up as an advanced base for Washington to plunge a dagger inside Islamic Africa.

The official Washington spin hammers the fact that the LRA has “murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children”. Now compare it to devastation perpetrated by Washington, over two decades, on Iraq; at least 1.4 million people killed directly and indirectly, millions of refugees, a Sunni-Shi’ite civil war still in effect and the eastern flank of the Arab nation virtually destroyed.

And compare it to the thunderous silence of the Obama White House as racist eastern Libya “rebels” round up, harass, torture and even snuff out sub-Saharan Africans.

Africa has been fighting like forever against multiple strands of the great white genocidal slave master, aided and abetted by multiple strands of the subservient black dictator/kleptocrat – just to be presented in the early 21st century with an American president of direct African descent who has nothing better to offer than special forces, drones, a militarization surge and hypocrisy-laced “humanitarian” intervention.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

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Deepwater Millenium Drillship Not Moving to Brazil. Stays in Ghana

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An ultra-deepwater rig leased by Anadarko Petroleum Corp is no longer heading to Brazil, according to rig owner Transocean Ltd . A source familiar with the matter said last month that Anadarko was considering the sale of some assets in Brazil, which include some deepwater prospects.

Transocean said on Monday its Deepwater Millennium rig would now remain off Ghana at a rate of $576,000 per day through this month, with the rest of its Anadarko contract through July 2013 now up in the air.

“Subsequent operating location is yet to be determined, and the dayrate under the contract could change depending on the country of future operations,” Transocean said in its latest fleet status report.

The Millennium had been set to move to Brazil in July to work on a daily rate of $561,000, according to Transocean’s July fleet status report.

The Switzerland-based rig contractor also said on Monday its midwater rig, Actinia, would move from Malaysia to India to work for ONGC next May, on a three-year contract with a dayrate of $190,000.

Finally, a previously idle Transocean shallow-water rig, the Harvey H. Ward, will start work next month for Pertamina off Indonesia on a $97,000-per-day deal running to May 2013.

Source: Reuters

Via: OET

Mexico: Pemex Earmarks USD 1 Billion for Perdido Exploration

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Mexican state oil company Pemex’s E&P subsidiary PEP will spend US$1bn in 2012 for the exploration of the Perdido fold belt in the Gulf of Mexico near the US border, PEP’s CEO Carlos Morales told reporters in a seminar in Mexico City.

The amount includes the drilling of three wells in the area, in addition to costs associated with delimitation of the field. First production from Perdido is expected some five years after hydrocarbons are discovered.

The area contains 3Bboe of prospective hydrocarbons resources, Morales said. In the entire Mexican deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Pemex believes it has 29.5Bboe prospective resources. It represents the company’s long-term hope for sustaining production, which has been falling since 2004 due to the natural decline of the giant Cantarell field and a lack of exploration.

Hydrocarbons that are produced would likely cross the maritime border into US waters to utilize existing infrastructure.

The company was expected to begin drilling of Perdido in 2011, but delayed arrival of the Bicentenario semi-submersible rig and concerns prompted by last year’s Deepwater Horizon spill pushed back the start of exploration.

Bicentenario began drilling its first well, Talipau-1, in 940m water depth in mid-2011 and will subsequently move to Perdido. The NOC awarded the five-year rental contract in 2007 to consortium Industrial Perforadora de Campeche and Grupo R Exploración Marina (Gremsa).

Pemex could also drill Perdido using the West Pegasus semi-submersible rig, previously known as Sea Dragon. The contract for the rig, signed with offshore driller Seadrill for a five-year term, also began this year.

Upstream regulator CNH’s commissioner Edgar Rangel told reporters in August that it planned to evaluate the Perdido area in the following months for potential approval.

By David Biller (Business News Americas)

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