Saturday, June 19, 2010




Moscow, June 9-10, 2010


Your Excellency Mr. Viktor Ivanov, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates and Ladies & Gentlemen,


At the outset, let me express my word of appreciation to be accorded the privilege of addressing this prestigious forum of well-known of experts and policymakers on the Afghan problem.


An advantage of speaking at the advanced stage of a conference is that it is possible to speak with the benefit of hindsight, as so much thoughtful discussion has taken place on this floor on the problem of narcotic-drug production in Afghanistan.


I wish to digress a bit and take a largely South Asian perspective. My emphasis will be on two core issues, namely, the effective development of regional cooperation to tackle the problem and on the approaches to a peace settlement in Afghanistan as a precondition for social and economic development.


The problem of drug production in Afghanistan seriously undermines the security and stability of the region. Pakistan is the region's major consumer of the drugs produced in Afghanistan, estimated to consume almost 10 percent of the total production.


Pakistan is also a major transit route for drugs from Afghanistan, estimated to account for roughly one-fourth to one-third of that country's total drug production, via Baluchistan to Karachi and on to Western Europe by sea as well as via an air route to Russia and Central Asia. Besides, according to a new United States State Department report released in March titled "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2009", Pakistan is also a transit country for drug traffickers who import precursor chemicals used for processing raw opium poppy in Afghanistan into heroin and morphine.


Historically, traffickers exported raw opium produced in Afghanistan to Pakistan for processing into heroin and other opiates, but in the recent years, the country has emerged as one of the biggest producers of refined products.


What complicates the security scenario is the nexus that has formed involving the drug traffickers and the extremist groups based in Pakistan.


But here I must delve into a bit of history. This nexus is not a recent happening. Unfortunately, along with Islamic militancy and terrorism, drug trafficking is also a legacy of the "Afghan jihad" of the 1980s. The sponsors of the 'jihad' – US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia principally – condoned drug trafficking as the price of military success. Opium surfaced for the first time as a potent force in Afghanistan's politics during the Pakistan-based, US-backed Mujahideen's covert war against the Soviets.


Not many would recollect that as the "jihad" was winding down, in May 1990 to be precise, Washington Post published a front-page article detailing how the then rising star of the "jihad", Mujahideen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was operating a chain of heroin laboratories inside Pakistan under the protection of Pakistan's Inter-Servies Intelligence [ISI]. The "jihad" transformed the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands, which had zero heroin production in the mid-1970s, into the world's largest heroin producing region.


The Washington Post graphically described how once the Afghan Mujahideen brought opium across the border, they sold it to hundreds of Pakistani heroin labs operating under the ISI's protection. Unsurprisingly, between 1980 and 1990, Afghanistan's opium production grew 10-fold – from 250 tonnes to 2000 tonnes. Even after the "jihad" ended and its western sponsors pulled out, ISI continued to fund its favourite warlords in pursuit of the long-term goal of gaining "strategic depth" in Afghanistan.


Thus today's formidable nexus of drug traffickers and jihadis with the state security agencies has a long history. The ominous trend is that the very same threat that India faced during the past couple of decades from this nexus is now beginning to haunt Central Asia, if the developments in Ferghana and the twists and turns to the "color revolution" in Kyrgyzstan are any indication.


That is to say, what is at stake here is much, much more than a matter of effectively destroying poppy fields and plantations or interdicting the drug traffic routes or locating the secret laboratories or even good governance.


Quite obviously, the drug cartels are run by rich and powerful khans who at the local level enjoy near impunity. Afghanistan's poppy crop is grounded in networks of social trust that tie people together in each step of the chain of production. Crop loans are necessary for planting, labor exchange for harvesting, stability for marketing, and security for shipment.


I wish to highlight three aspects. First, the big question is how to roll back the slow transformation of Afghanistan from a diverse agricultural system – with herding, orchards and over 60 food crops – into the world's first economy subsisting on the production of a single illicit drug? The modern firepower in war has devastated the herds, damaged snowmelt irrigation systems and destroyed many of the orchards. Without any aid to restock herds, reseed fields or replant orchards, Afghan farmers found sustenance in poppy cultivation, which requires nine times more labor per hectare than wheat. Opium cultivation offers immediate seasonal employment alone to more than a million Afghans.


The challenge, therefore, is to rebuild Afghanistan's rural economy making it possible for young farmers to begin feeding their families without joining the Taliban militia. Evidently, there is no alternative to the costly, long-term reconstruction of Afghanistan's agriculture. Quick fixes can only backfire. Rapid drug eradication without alternative employment will only plunge the country into greater misery and stoke the fire of mass anger. The only realistic choice is serious rural development – that is, reconstructing the Afghan countryside through countless small-scale projects until food crops become a viable alternative to opium.


In this connection, I should underline the need for the international community to set aside geopolitics and to seriously consider reviving Afghanistan's Soviet-era projects that offer an immediate means of employment generation. Again, where are the tens of thousands of Afghan experts and specialists and technocrats who were trained in the former Soviet Union? Setting aside geopolitics, the time has come to re-integrate them. The fact remains that on balance, thanks to Soviet assistance, Afghanistan scaled unprecedented heights of social formation. 


Second, an approach predicated on an expanded international military presence driving back the drug traffickers and handing over pacification to the Afghan forces in the downstream cannot succeed. The choice is clear enough: end the war, vacate the foreign occupation and refocus on helping renew that ancient, arid land by replanting its orchards, replenishing its flocks, rebuilding its irrigation systems ruined in decades of war and foreign interference.


In short, a political solution is needed. An enduring solution t the drug trafficking problem cannot be found except within the framework of an Afghan settlement. Here, the imperative of a regional initiative cannot but be stressed. As frontline states that are facing the brunt of the ascendancy of the forces of militancy, venality and terrorism, the regional countries have huge stakes. For Afghanistan's neighbours, which include India and Russia, the challenge is to work for a neutral Afghanistan, free of foreign interference, stable and democratic. A settlement that is inclusive and reflects the plural character of the Afghan society is an absolute prerequisite of durable stability. And the search for political reconciliation needs to be Afghan-led with the regional countries acting as guarantors and facilitators.


Finally, there is the issue of Afghanistan's regional integration. A window of opportunity arises with Afghanistan's membership of the SAARC [South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation]. It is a matter of time now before Afghanistan ratifies the SAFTA, the framework envisaging the region's free trade. Conceivably, given its huge stakes in Afghanistan's security and stability, India will be more than willing to open its vast market to Afghanistan's agricultural produce.


No matter the differences in India-Pakistan relations, a cooperative attitude on the part of Islamabad in allowing transit through its territory for Afghan-Indian trade will immensely strengthen the cause of regional stability.


In sum, the range of measures that this forum is expected to adopt with regard to the coordinated strategies internationally for combating the drug production in Afghanistan has an important regional dimension as the long-term security and stability of the South Asia is at the crosshairs.


Amb. M.K. Bhadrakumar

       Mr. M.K.Bhadrakumar served in the Indian Foreign Service for three decades and served as ambassador to Uzbekistan and Turkey . Apart from two postings in the former Soviet Union, his assignments abroad included South Korea , Sri Lanka , West Germany , Kuwait Pakistan and Afghanistan . He served thrice in the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan Division in the Ministry of External Affairs, including as the Head of the Division in 1992-95.


       Mr. Bhadrakumar sought voluntary retirement from the IFS in 2002 and has since devoted himself to writing. He contributes to various publications in India and abroad and is a regular columnist for Asia Times and The Hindu. He has written extensively on Russia , China , Central Asia, Iran , Afghanistan and Pakistan and on the geopolitics of energy security. He normally resides at Delhi , when not traveling and lecturing abroad.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Idea of Pakistan-Myth and Reality-Agha H Amin

The Idea of Pakistan-Myth and Reality


Agha H Amin

Pakistan today stands in the eye of the storm and every act of Islamic extremism can be traced to Pakistan or persons of Pakistani origin.Resultantly a battle of ideas has started in Pakistan about ascertaining the true role of Mr Jinnah and his political ideas.

The political use of religion was started after 1857 by Muslim aristocracy of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Punjab once they saw that Muslims were under threat of being reduced to zero because of introduction of competitive examinations and European style political representation.Thus the origins of Muslim politics in India in the period 1858-1947 was safeguarding the class interests of Muslim aristocracy and middle class in Punjab and UP.

The All India Muslim League founded in 1906 was a Bengali Muslim heavy effort but immediately hijacked by UP Muslims and its headquarters shifted to UP.The All India Muslim League remained UP Muslim dominated to such an extent that in Lucknow Pact in absence of many Punjabis or Bengalis the All India Muslim League agreed to surrender Muslim majority in Punjab to partity and Muslim majority in Bengal to minority.A direct result of Lucknow Pact was the Unionist Party in Punjab ,formed because Muslims of Punjab needed to be in partnership with Hindus and Sikhs without which they could not form a government.Similarly the Bengali Muslims suffered all along till 1946 because of Lucknow Pact and were forced to be manipulated by Hindu blackmail in Bengal politics.Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman did call Lucknow Pact a faux pas.

Mr Jinnah the founder of Pakistan was not known to be a religious man till 1937 at least when his All India Muslim League was literally routed in Muslim majority provinces of India getting just (7,319,445) the League got only 321,772 Muslim votes out of a total Muslim votes of 7,319,445 a mere  4.4 percent. In Punjab the League won just 2 seats out of 84 , in Bengal 39 out of 117,in NWFP none .Even in Muslim minority provinces the Muslim League was not Muslims first choice except Bombay where it won 20 out of 29 seats.

The Second World War brought the Congress in conflict with British and the Congress resigned from its ministries.The Lahore Resolution of 1940 was a strategic response of Mr Jinnah to counter the congress.It dove tailed with British war effort which Mr Jinnah supported and it countered the Congress which again suited the British.

The higher class and the middle class Muslims in UP , Punjab , Bengal and Sindh  saw it as an opportunity to eliminate the Hindus and Sikhs from political , economic and employment competition.It is well known that some 25 % of Hindu money lenders were in Punjab and the vast majority of Muslim landlords in Punjab and Sindh were in debt to these money lenders.This factor prompted many Punjabi Muslim members of the Unionist Party to change loyalties to the Muslim League in 1940-46.

The Muslim feudal and educated classes of Punjab and UP saw Pakistan as a place where they would dominate the politics ,the business, the jobs and thus be the successors of British,The Bengali and Sindhi position was very low in the Muslim League hierarchy dominated till 1936 by UP Muslims and by Punjabi Muslims in partnership with UP Muslims after 1938.

It is a well known fact that Islam was used as a central mobilizing slogan in the elections of 1946 in Punjab,Sindh and Bengal.Mr Jinnah may have been a totally secular man but the campaign of 1946 did create a religious picture of Pakistan.

And now the class aspect of Pakistan. Who voted in 1946 Elections for Muslim League or Congress. Most of the people, particularly, women and lower class people, had no voting rights. These elections were based on the extremely restricted franchise of the 1919 Act, and the total number of votes cast was only 586,647, representing almost exclusively the propertied classes.Stanley Wolpert notes that just 5 % of Indias population voted in 1946 Elections.

Those who could understand and feel were bitter about the Punjab massacres and Hafeez Jullundhuri thus expressed his disgust :--

Qaafloay lut gayay barbad ho gayay to kia hua

Mutmain hain Qaflas salaar apnay kam say

The aftermath of Pakistan and its chequered political history proves many contradictions .

The exercise by the West Pakistani feudal military and civil service dominated by Punjabis and some UPites to reduce the majority Bengalis to parity at gun point using threats of dissolution finally succeeded in 1956 constitution when Bengalis actually in majority were forced to agree to 50 % vote.

The creation of One Unit thus destroying the very idea of provincial autonomy and spearheaded by West Pakistani civil and military bureaucrats was imposed in 1954-55 and Balochistan,Sindh and NWFP reduced to political chattels.

The military actions in Balochistan in 1948,1958, 1959-66,1973-76 is no feather in Pakistans cap.

The military recruitment policy eliminating Sindh,Balochistan and East Bengal from the eligible material was again ethnically biased.Mr Jinnah did pioneer Bengali recruitment but his ideas were garbaged by Ayub Khan and Ghulam Mohammad.

Military strategies like Defence of Pakistan lies in defence of West Pakistan also were ethno centred and this chauvisnism was proved in 1965 when just one division was assigned for defence of majority of Pakistan and the remaining 90 % assigned for defence of Punjab.

While Mr Jinnah was secular man , the use of religion in Muslim Leagues 1946 Election campaign , the communal massacres of 1946 , the Objectives Resolution of 1950 , the Anti Ahmaddi riots of 1953 strengthened the proponents of the idea that Pakistan was an ideological state.However US aid from 1954 to 1965 made Pakistans higher classes forget Islam till 1965 .

After 1969 the Pakistani Military supported the rightist parties and the most secular Mr Z.A Bhutto piloted a law that declared Ahmadis non Muslim.This was an act of educated and so called secular Muslims ! This proves that Pakistans politicians in 1973 saw Islam as a useful political weapon just like they saw it in 1946 Elections.The foundation of militarization of Pakistan are the Ahmadi laws of 1973-74 further blackened in 1984 by an ugly military dictator !

Use of Islam as a political weapon was perfected by Pakistans military and political classes friom 1977.The first was the anti Bhutto agitation launched in 1977 spearheaded by Punjabi urban classes from Lahore and UPites from Karachi also known as Nizam I Mustafa.The Pakistani military junta picked Islam and Jihad as a means of getting economic and military aid from USA and Saudi Arabia from 1978 and this policy was continued by all Pakistani governments civilian and military till 9/11.

From 9/11 the Pakistani military out of fear of US retaliation as well as greed for dollars abandoned its Jihadist policy and Islam was no longer fashionable.

It is stated that covertly the Pakistani military did continue support to Taliban in Afghanistan.

The conclusion is that Jinnah was not a religious man but he used religion as a political weapon in 1946 Elections which transformed him from a rich but unknown politician in 1936 to a great and well known politician in 1946.

The Punjab killings of 1946-47 reinforced religious hatred.

The Pashtuns particularly tribals were used when it suited the Pakistani state in Kashmir in 1947-48 , then dumped , re-discovered when Pakistani military needed dollars in 1978-2001 and branded again as agents of RAW in 2003-todate wheh Islam became less fashionable.Again there is a favourite Islam called good Taliban and an incorrect Islam called bad Taliban.

Before 1971 Pakistans Punjab centred political elite wanted division of funds not on basis of population because Punjabis were in minority and after 1971 on basis of population because Punjabis were in majority ! Where is Islam here ?

The 1973-74 Ahmadi laws were a milestone in destroying Pakistans secularism and all done by Pakistans so called elite and educated classes.A confirmation that Pakistans very educated elite sees Islam as a servile political tool which as Colonel Qayyum states it sees as a pan or a chewing gum.

The strategy of using Jihadists as military proxies openly from 1978 till 2001 and covertly since then has again transformed Pakistans image.

While the majority in Pakistan is still peaceful and rational , a sizeable minority , a minority which can terrorise the majority with guns and violence sees Pakistan as an Islamic state which needs Islam badly in all walks of life.

Pakistans foreign policy is run by its military as far as India and Afghanistan are concerned and Jihad still remains its central idea.

Such was the extent of misuse of religion that South Punjabis were also recruited to die in Kashmir and Afghanistan and today Pakistans political elite wants an operation in South Punjab ?

Note that at political level it is the Punjabi elite alone who has gained and the Punjabi common man as big a loser as any Pakistani,

The Pakistani political classes all along used Islam as a political tool to suit short term agendas and the result today is that Pakistan is a political contradiction and faces hostile external enemies and a dangerous internal conflict.

We need a re-definition of our ideals or the very idea and existence of Pakistan is under threat !

Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."  -- Albert Einstein !!!


Major ( retired) Agha H Amin ,an officer from the Pakistan's Armoured Corps  , belongs to old pavo cavalry , now 11 Cavalry (FF) and served in many tank regiments like 29 cavalry,58 cavalry,15 lancers,14 lancers and commanded 5 Independent Armoured Squadron. He has a Masters degree in History.


He is descended from a galaxy of distinguished military officers of united Hindustan many from cavalry divisions , including his own ,senior policemen and diplomats belonging to Asharf families.


He is a fearless and objective prolific writer on history, specially military history , strategic and international political and economic developments , which can be accessed from his websites and blogs . He belongs to many think tanks and has edited many journals on these subjects.



Friday, June 11, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill ‘Could Go Years’ If Not Dealt With

Very few including me understand the complications and ramifications arising out of the ongoing BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico .Here is a piece by a well known expert on this and other subjects.Take Care Gajendra from Brussels.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Engdahl <>
Date: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 10:07 AM
Subject: WG: New Piece on BP Catastrophe--w.e.

For your use as you wish,








The BP Disaster near the origin of the powerful Gulf Stream current could bring the oil disaster to Europe

Gulf Oil Spill 'Could Go Years' If Not Dealt With



By F. William Engdahl, author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order                       109 June 2010



The Obama Administration and senior BP officials are frantically working not to stop the world's worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual ecological catastrophe. Senior researchers tell us that the BP drilling hit one of the oil migration channels and that the leakage could continue for years unless decisive steps are undertaken, something that seems far from the present strategy.


In a recent discussion, Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Russian State University of Oil and Gas, predicted that the present oil spill flooding the Gulf Coast shores of the United States "could go on for years and years … many years." [1]


According to Kutcherov, a leading specialist in the theory of abiogenic deep origin of petroleum, "What BP drilled into was what we call a 'migration channel,' a deep fault on which hydrocarbons generated in the depth of our planet migrate to the crust and are accumulated in rocks, something like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia."[2] Ghawar, the world's most prolific oilfield has been producing millions of barrels daily for almost 70 years with no end in sight. According to the abiotic science, Ghawar like all elephant and giant oil and gas deposits all over the world, is located on a migration channel similar to that in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.


As I wrote at the time of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster,[3] Haiti had been identified as having potentially huge hydrocasrbon reserves, as has neighboring Cuba. Kutcherov estimates that the entire Gulf of Mexico is one of the planet's most abundant accessible locations to extract oil and gas, at least before the Deepwater Horizon event this April.


"In my view the heads of BP reacted with panic at the scale of the oil spewing out of the well," Kutcherov adds. "What is inexplicable at this point is why they are trying one thing, failing, then trying a second, failing, then a third. Given the scale of the disaster they should try every conceivable option, even if it is ten, all at once in hope one works. Otherwise, this oil source could spew oil for years given the volumes coming to the surface already." [4]


He stresses, "It is difficult to estimate how big this leakage is. There is no objective information available." But taking into consideration information about the last BP 'giant' discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, the Tiber field, some six miles deep, Kutcherov agrees with Ira Leifer a researcher in the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara who says the oil may be gushing out at a rate of more than 100,000 barrels a day.[5]


What the enormoity of the oil spill does is to also further discredit clearly the oil companies' myth of "peak oil" which claims that the world is at or near the "peak" of economical oil extraction. That myth, which has been propagated in recent years by circles close to former oilman and Bush Vice President, Dick Cheney, has been effectively used by the giant oil majors to justify far higher oil prices than would be politically possible otherwise, by claiming a non-existent petroleum scarcity crisis.

Obama & BP Try to Hide 


According to a report from Washington investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, "the Obama White House and British Petroleum are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP's liability for damage caused by what can be called a 'mega-disaster.'" [6] Madsen cites sources within the US Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection for his assertion.


Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Salazar, are working with BP's chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. According to informed estimates cited by Madsen, however, the disaster has a real potential cost of at least $1,000 billion ($1 trillion). That estimate would support the pessimistic assessment of Kutcherov that the spill, if not rapidly controlled, "will destroy the entire coastline of the United States."


According to the Washington report of Madsen, BP statements that one of the leaks has been contained, are "pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration., according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources." [7]


The White House has been resisting releasing any "damaging information" about the oil disaster. Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers experts estimate that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. [8]


Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a "national security issue." Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano's actual reasoning for invoking national security, according to Madsen, was merely to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.


The Obama administration also conspired with BP to hide the extent of the oil leak, according to the cited federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day were gushing from the seabed chasm. Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day. However, submersibles monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what they describe as a "volcanic-like" eruption of oil.


When the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick, which is larger than is being reported by the media, it was reportedly denied the access. By chance, National Geographic managed to obtain satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site. Other satellite imagery reportedly being withheld by the Obama administration, shows that what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to Madsen's sources.


The Corps of Engineers and FEMA are reported to be highly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only now has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. Under the loose regulatory measures implemented by the Bush-Cheney Administration, the US Interior Department's Minerals Management Service became a simple "rubber stamp," approving whatever the oil companies wanted in terms of safety precautions that could have averted such a disaster. Madsen describes a state of "criminal collusion" between Cheney's former firm, Halliburton, and the Interior Department's MMS, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves. [9]


Silence from Eco groups?... Follow the money


Without doubt at this point we are in the midst of what could be the greatest ecological catastrophe in history. The oil platform explosion took place almost within the current loop where the Gulf Stream originates. This has huge ecological and climatological consequences.


A cursory look at a map of the Gulf Stream shows that the oil is not just going to cover the beaches in the Gulf, it will spread to the Atlantic coasts up through North Carolina then on to the North Sea and Iceland. And beyond the damage to the beaches, sea life and water supplies, the Gulf stream has a very distinct chemistry, composition (marine organisms), density, temperature. What happens if the oil and the dispersants and all the toxic compounds they create actually change the nature of the Gulf Stream? No one can rule out potential changes including changes in the path of the Gulf Stream, and even small changes could have huge impacts. Europe, including England, is not an icy wasteland due to the warming from the Gulf Stream.


Yet there is a deafening silence from the very environmental organizations which ought to be at the barricades demanding that BP, the US Government and others act decisively. 


That deafening silence of leading green or ecology organizations such as Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and others may well be tied to a money trail that leads right back to the oil industry, notably to BP. Leading environmental organizations have gotten significant financial payoffs in recent years from BP in order that the oil company could remake itself with an "environment-friendly face," as in "beyond petroleum" the company's new branding.


The Nature Conservancy, described as "the world's most powerful environmental group,"[10] has awarded BP a seat on its International Leadership Council after the oil company gave the organization more than $10 million in recent years. [11]


Until recently, the Conservancy and other environmental groups worked with BP in a coalition that lobbied Congress on climate-change issues. An employee of BP Exploration serves as an unpaid Conservancy trustee in Alaska. In addition, according to a recent report published by the Washington Post, Conservation International, another environmental group, has accepted $2 million in donations from BP and worked with the company on a number of projects, including one examining oil-extraction methods. From 2000 to 2006, John Browne, then BP's chief executive, sat on the CI board.


Further, The Environmental Defense Fund, another influential ecologist organization, joined with BP, Shell and other major corporations to form a Partnership for Climate Action, to promote 'market-based mechanisms' (sic) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Environmental non-profit groups that have accepted donations from or joined in projects with BP include Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club and Audubon. That could explain why the political outcry to date for decisive action in the Gulf has been so muted. [12]


Of course those organizations are not going to be  the ones to solve this catastrophe. The central point at this point is who is prepared to put the urgently demanded federal and international scientific resources into solving this crisis. Further actions of the likes of that from the Obama White House to date or from BP can only lead to the conclusion that some very powerful people want this debacle to continue. The next weeks will be critical to that assessment.






[1] Vladimir Kutcherov, telephone discussion with the author, June 9, 2010.

[2] Ibid.

[3] F. William Engdahl, The Fateful Geological Prize Called Haiti, Global, January 30, 2010, accessed in

[4] Vladimir Kutcherov, op. cit.

[5] Ira Leifer, Scientist: BP Well Could Be Leaking 100,000 Barrels of Oil a Day, June 9, 2010, accessed in

[6] Wayne Madsen,  The Coverup: BPs Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega Disaster, May 6, 2010, accessed in 

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Tim Findley, Natures' Landlord, Range Magazine, Spring 2003.

[11] Joe Stephens, Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP, Washington Post, May 24, 2010, accessed in

[12] Ibid.