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dear all, i recently had to take myself off the casi mailing list because of a virus infection its happened agian! i really would desperately like to know what you all have to say but fear that i will have to remove myself from this list because of this recurring problem all the best shameem ps anyone any better ideas? ----- Original Message ----- From: Hamre, Drew <email@example.com> To: 'Iraq-CASI - Discussion' <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 3:42 PM Subject: David Ignatius on oil and American politics > David Ignatius is one of the pillars of the Washington press establishment. > He currently serves as financial columnist for the Washington Post, where he > was formerly the foreign affairs editor. In September, Ignatius will become > the Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune > <http://www.iht.com/IHT/CORP/PRESS/020400.html>. > > Ignatius is also a novelist, specializing in tales of espionage and intrigue > ... > > In 1994, he wrote "Bank of Fear" (the title itself a nod to Samir > al-Khalil's "Republic of Fear") whose heroine is a sympathetically drawn > Iraqi-expatriate. The back cover of this mystery features blurbs from not > one, not two, but three former Directors of the CIA (Robert Graves, Richard > Helms, and William Colby) - plus writer Seymour Hersh. The Directors' > accolades are especially stunning in view of the plot, which presents > America's foreign policy as directed by a secret group whose chief concern > is access to oil ... and which reveals Saddam Hussein as having been > recruited by the CIA. ((Don't recall ever hearing of agreement among three > former Directors of the CIA ... <g>)) > > More to the point, in today's Washington Post, David Ignatius writes about > the all-too-murky confluence of politics and big oil, which give every > appearance of being "inextricably bound". Personally, I've always believed > "it's all about oil" to be a gross simplification. But I find these > writings intriguing, nonetheless. > > Regards, > Drew Hamre > Golden Valley, MN USA > === > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1493-2000Jul29.html > > Political Oil Slick > > By David Ignatius > Sunday, July 30, 2000; Page B07 > > Politics is ultimately about personal relationships--the handshakes and > winks that provide a semblance of trust among often untrustworthy people. > The oil business is that way too, and maybe that's why the two have become > inextricably bound together. > > We're now facing the bizarre prospect of a presidential campaign in which > three of the four candidates have intimate personal links to the oil > industry. George W. Bush made his start running a flaky little > oil-exploration company; Richard Cheney, the GOP vice presidential > candidate, has for the past five years been CEO of Halliburton Inc., a huge > oil-services company that thrived on Cheney's global contacts; and Al Gore's > biggest asset is a family trust that holds hundreds of thousands of dollars > of stock in Occidental Petroleum Corp., where his father worked for many > years. > > The Democrats hope to make the Bush-Cheney oil connection a winning campaign > issue, and there's certainly some tantalizing material to work with. But > Gore's Oxy connection raises some uncomfortable questions, too. > > What's clear, looking at the three candidate's relationships with the > industry, is that oil is a kind of original sin in American politics. It's a > big, messy (sometimes dirty) business, and it has touched everyone and > everything in our political system, from the days of the Rockefellers to > Bush and Gore. > > The industry has become so intertwined with U.S. foreign policy over the > years that sometimes--as in Operation Desert Storm (which Cheney oversaw as > defense secretary) or the recent scramble to secure Caspian Sea oil (which > has been a Gore project)--it's impossible to tell the difference. > > Bush's oil connection is the most quixotic, because he was such a failure at > the business. He started his first company, Arbusto Energy Inc., in 1977, > and got friends to invest in various drilling ventures that mostly went > nowhere. (Thanks to tax loopholes, it generated more than twice as much in > tax deductions as in profits.) Friendly investors arranged a 1984 deal in > which Arbusto was acquired by another drilling company called Spectrum 7; > it, in turn, was bought in 1986 by Harken Oil and Gas, which seemed to > recognize that Spectrum's biggest asset was the Bush name. > > Cheney's oil resume is more distinguished, and it illustrates how oil and > politics can be nearly inseparable. Despite his lack of experience in the > industry, he was named Halliburton's CEO in 1995, three years after leaving > the Pentagon. Cheney's real drawing card was the network of contacts he had > developed during the Persian Gulf War. Grateful Saudis and Kuwaitis were > eager to fete Cheney--and to shower his company with contracts. > > Cheney, like most oilmen, has been unhappy when human rights or other > foreign policy issues intrude on the pragmatic needs of the industry. And he > has opposed U.S. sanctions that prevented oil companies from doing business > with Iraq, Iran and Libya. According to Petroleum Finance Week, he told a > 1996 energy conference in New Orleans: "The problem is that the good Lord > didn't see fit to put oil and gas reserves where there are democratic > governments." > > Cheney's raw pragmatism also extends to Russia, where Halliburton recently > was involved in a controversial deal with an oil company called Tyumen Oil. > Halliburton sought a $292 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Export-Import > Bank to help refurbish an oil field for Tyumen. The Clinton-Gore > administration, stung by charges that it had been soft on Russian business > "oligarchs," waged a pressure campaign to persuade Ex-Im to drop the Tyumen > loan. > > The Cheney nomination may thus undermine the Bush campaign's plans to attack > Gore as soft on Russian corruption. Hard to be indignant when it turns out > that Cheney was lobbying hard to help Russians the Gore crowd regarded as > corrupt. > > Gore's oil connection is hereditary, and it may seem unfair to tar him with > the sins of his father. But if he attacks Bush the elder, then the Oxy link > will be fair game. > > A devastating account of the elder Albert Gore relationship with the late > chairman of Occidental, Armand Hammer, is contained in Edward Jay Epstein's > 1996 book, "Dossier." He decribes how Hammer first made Gore a partner in a > cattle-breeding business back in 1950, when Gore was a congressman, > providing him with "a substantial profit." The FBI was wary of going after > Hammer's connections with the Soviet Union, Epstein notes, because he had > influential "political support," including from Gore. > > Two years after Gore's father left the Senate in 1970, Hammer made him > chairman of a coal company Occidental owned, Island Creek Coal. Young Al > Gore knew that Hammer was a family friend and benefactor. He invited Hammer > as his guest to the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, according to > Epstein. And according to a new biography by Bill Turque, Gore took in more > than $300,000 through the early 1990s--his largest source of income outside > his congressional salary--from a land deal his father had made with Hammer > in 1973. > > Oil and politics mix all too well, as these three case studies show. Oil > isn't a bogeyman, to be sure; it's a legitimate business. But it shouldn't > have a secret key to the White House. > > > > > -- > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq > For removal from list, email email@example.com > Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: > http://welcome.to/casi > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi