Friday, October 28, 2011

Should We Be Concerned With Those Harper is Passing the Pipe With?

In 1911, the United States Supreme Court broke up Standard Oil, then the largest multinational corporation, because it was simply becoming too big and powerful.  The company's battles with former president Teddy Roosevelt were legendary, as depicted in this 1906 Punch cartoon.

Standard Oil New Jersey has since grown to become Exxon, so unfortunately the action did not stop the continued threat of corporations becoming more powerful than government.

The XL pipeline that Harper plans to build for the Koch Brothers, that will send bitumen to the U.S. for refining, is causing concern on both sides of the border.

However, while the pipeline is an important area for discussion, we should also be looking closely at the company that our government is doing business with.

Not only have the Koch Brothers waged a war against President Obama, but they are also engaged in some troubling international escapades.

Bloomberg ran an in depth story this month: Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales.

They revealed that the company had been bribing foreign government officials to secure contracts. 

When that story first broke, Koch went into damage mode, firing many who were simply following orders.  Also fired typically was the whistle blower.

However, more troubling was the fact that they were supplying Iran with chemicals, through their foreign subsidiaries, side stepping the sanctions against the country that George Bush included in his "axis of evil". (A term coined by his former speechwriter, David Frum)
Internal company records show that Koch Industries used its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran until as recently as 2007, the records show. The company’s products helped build a methanol plant for Zagros Petrochemical Co., a unit of Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co., the documents show. The facility, in the coastal city of Bandar Assaluyeh, is now the largest methanol plant in the world, according to IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of chemicals, energy and economic data.
So while funding the Tea Party, who claim to be the only true patriots, Koch is unpatriotically doing business with a deemed enemy, providing them with sensitive materials. 

This used to be called treason.  Now it's called the Free Market.

Of course this is business as usual for the corporate sector.  IBM created a punch card system for the Nazis that helped to categorize all German and European Jews and other minorities.  According to Andrew Marshall in Financing Fascism:  The Military-Industrial Complex and the Rise of Neo-Conservatism
The punch card machines would punch in specific numbers, which would have different meanings, for example, one number would identify the person to whom it is being assigned as a Jew or a Gypsy or a Communist, and so on. Another number would determine the person’s fate, assigning specific numbers to mean slave labour, to be shot or what was termed ‘the special treatment’; gas chambers. These numbers were then tattooed onto the arms of each person interned in concentration camps. When Allied troops entered concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, there inside the camps, they found the punch card machines clearly showing the proud corporate logo of IBM. There are even photos of the CEO of IBM sitting down at a table with Hitler in the early 1930s.
IBM was not the only corporation to profit from the Holocaust.  According to Marshall, GM manufactured many of the vehicles Hitler used in his military campaign, and through their German subsidiary company, Opel helped to build leaded gasoline plants for the dictator.

Other companies profiting from Nazi aggression included Ford, Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon), Chase Manhattan Bank (now J.P Morgan Chase), DuPont, Dow Chemical - the list goes on.

However, there was another Nazi war profiteer that should give us pause.  Prescott Bush, grandfather of George Bush.  He was the director and Vice President of the Union Banking Corporation, that helped to finance many Nazi pursuits.  Another of his business ventures, the Silesian-American Corporation, profited from slave labour at Auschwitz concentration camp. (2)

When it was discovered that Bush was conducting business with the Nazis, he had his assets frozen, but after the war was compensated by the U.S. government to the tune of $1.5 million.  That was how he started the Bush family fortune.  Prescott Bush would go on to become a U.S. Senator, and both his son and grandson, Presidents.  Who said that crime doesn't pay?
With Harper and company posturing over Iran, why are they getting into bed with those supplying chemical to the "enemy"?  "The biggest threat to the world?"
And they wonder why the necessity of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The closest my father ever got to a cuss word was "cripes", but that word packed a wallup.  So CRIPES why are we allowing corporations to get so big that they can not only push us into war but profit by supplying the other side?
Our addiction to oil is going to be our Waterloo.
According to retired Army brigadier general Steven M. Anderson:
As the military’s senior logistician in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, I saw the impact of our oil addition in the Iraq combat zone. Our appetite for fuel wastes billions of taxpayer dollars, transfers $1 billion daily in our wealth to the Middle East, and puts our soldiers at risk. The fuel trucks we depend upon provide hundreds of convenient rolling targets for our enemy. My experiences in Iraq convinced me that the greatest threat to our security is our over-reliance on oil and that Americans must immediately take steps to cut our petro-addiction before it’s too late.

The Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t help. This pipeline would move dirty oil from Canada to refineries in Texas and would set back our renewable energy efforts for at least two decades, much to our enemies’ delight. It would ensure we maintain our oil addiction and delay making the tough decisions regarding energy production, management and conservation that we need to start making today.
The $7 billion that Harper is sinking into this project could be better spent

1. “IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation”, By Edwin Black, Crown Publishers, New York, 2001

2. "How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power", By Ben Aris and Campbell Duncan, The Guardian, September 25, 2004


  1. This goes beyond merely doing business with "the enemy". It also includes fomenting war with it. War is the single-biggest depleter of energy supplies, racking up sales of them at unprecedented rates and advancing their scarcity (and, thus, the market value of the diminishing supply). And the entire bill is footed, not by individuals who can resist by changing their consumption habits, but by captive taxpayers forced to pay it. The same is true for weapons manufacturers, logistics providers, construction companies, private security forces and, most of all, financiers. Today only one form of "treason" is actually recognized in North America and that is treason against the plutocrat class of the planet. Compared to that, national boundaries are meaningless.

  2. And, since you've rightly raised the subject of the Bush Family's role in WWII, it's significant that Precott Bush's son, George Herbert Walker, fought, not in the European, but the Pacific Campaign. Despite being an Axis ally of the Nazis, Japan was a potential competitor with Germany for control of large tracts of resources. So Hitler had a vested interest in ensuring that his oriental "friends" were prevented from becoming too strong. Bush, Jr. managed to contribute nicely to that objective while appearing to be every bit the American patriot. Then, after the War, Bush, Jr. got to work closely with many of the brains of the Nazi Party whom the OSS/CIA secreted out of harm's way where they could refine and advance their world-domination schemes beneath a mantle coloured red, white and blue. Small wonder that, upon gaining the presidency, this same Bush lost no time whatsoever in proclaiming a "New World Order". How nicely the pieces fit when seen ultimately in place.