Big business isn’t exactly winning a lot of awards today for social responsibility, but why has it taken us 20 years to figure this out? Yesterday we learned how a big oil company played war in Africa, killing tens of thousands.
It’s one thing when you choose sides in a war to fight for an idea. But my life time has been beset by wars fought not for ideas but for the power to control natural resources. The old communist adage of the “ends justifying the means” has become a truism as appropriate to rightist politics as leftists.
I’ve written how the Obama Administration through the Dodd-Frank Act has almost single-handedly ended the wars in The Congo over Coltan. With similar dispatch, we now need to stop the endless killing in the Nigerian Delta over oil.
And it appears all it might take is strapping the oil companies into a closed room and nationalizing them. What d’ya think? Sound possible?
The report released yesterday in London documents Shell Oil Company waging war in the Nigerian Delta. Specifics include direct transfer of money to illegal militant organizations, changing sides depending upon who was winning mini civil wars “picking the more powerful group to help protect its oil infrastructure.”
Not good or bad, or capitalistic or socialist, just “who was winning.” To keep the oil flowing. No matter right or wrong. Ends justify the means.
The NGO responsible for the report is Platform. This is no fringe organization. The report was considered so credible it was immediately reprinted by London’s Guardian newspaper and its author immediately interviewed on Canadian Broadcasting, among literally dozens of other media platforms.
But, um, didn’t see much about it in the U.S. In fact, interestingly, the Guardian which closely follows oil company evils in Nigeria didn’t print the story in its U.S. edition.
The paper’s environmental editor, John Vidal, has published award-winning stories including castigating Americans and others for paying so much attention to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf when the accumulated disaster of oil spills, wars and patent corruption in Nigeria has effected many, many more lives and livelihoods worldwide.
Well, that’s the reason, I guess. America isn’t ready to go to the back shed for a whipping yet, and suggesting such might … well … be counterproductive?
Media, today, is as much a function of ends justifying means as every other sinister component of modern life.
There are many Platforms in the world, daily churning out the truth. In fact, there’s so much truth about the sinister activities of oil companies in Nigeria that it’s heart-breaking it hasn’t prompted action, for instance, embodied in the Dodd-Frank Act regarding Coltan.
Write your Congressman? Buy a Prius? Maybe just add a few foreign media sources to your daily news intake?