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Africa! the next Iraq? November 20, 2008

Posted by tetrahedron in Uncategorized.
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Nigeria the largest producer and exporter of oil in africa

 

 Every oil-rich country in Africa that has established ties with America is engaged in civil war, or is led by corrupt dictators, with its people living in abject poverty. It would seem that US intervention increases the political and social tensions rather than resolves the  long standing conflicts. The millions of dollars that are being generated through the extraction of oil is going into the pockets of the extremist government leaders of those countries and the corporate boardrooms of the oil companies. According to an April 2003 article by Suraya  Dadoo  When Uncle Sam Comes Calling in Africa Nigeria, the largest  producer and exporter of oil in Africa, has pumped over $300 billion dollars worth of oil over the last 40 years, but 70% of its population continues to live on less than $1 a day * this is spite of the Nigerian government collecting an estimated $14 billion a year in oil revenue*,.  To quote Stanford University political scientist Terry Lynn Karl, “We don’t have a single example of oil leading to long term positive outcomes in developing countries.” In this same article, Dadoo states that the US oil company Exxon stands to earn almost $4.6 billion dollars from Africa’s largest oil project, the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, a project that has been the subject of criticism for its environmental damage and the fact that there is no accountability on the part of Exxon or the two countries as to how much money these countries stand to earn from this pipeline. Without this documentation, the very people who should be benefiting from such a venture have no way to hold their governments accountable.  In another example, ever since oil was discovered off the tiny African island of Sao Tome and Principe, the money generated from oil production has pushed the country into a near dictatorship with the revenues going to the president as well as multinational oil companies. (N.W. Douma) Why isn’t anyone asking why US military might and dollars are not being used to benefit the over 700 million people on the African continent instead of its own self-interests?

The US has engaged in military expansionism in Africa since the September 11 attacks on the pretense of fighting terrorism. The targeted areas include the Horn of Africa where the US has established its largest military base in Djibouti, which is strategically located near the Arabian Peninsula. In testimony at the hearing on “Fighting Terrorism in Africa” before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Princeton N. Lyman, in outlining the steps for the US fight against terrorism, emphasized that an effective worldwide campaign couldn’t take place without addressing the threat of terrorism in Africa. He advocated a “sustained focus on east Africa” when setting anti-terrorism budgets while acknowledging that the US Department of Defense was prepared to assist oil-producing nations on the West Coast of Africa in setting up security against attacks on the off-shore drilling facilities being established along the coast. (Lyman, CFR).

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