Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

On the death of Gaddafi and how the Rena spill relates to East Cape oil exploration

October 21st, 2011

The death of Muammar Gaddafi – either from wounds inflicted by a NATO air strike, or (more likely) from summary execution on his way to hospital – cancels the option of an international war crimes trial. Doubtless, such a trial would have given the Libyan dictator a useful platform from which to harangue the court, and to reveal embarrassing details of the lucrative deals he’d signed in the past with the same Western governments who eventually sent their warplanes to depose him.

No doubt, Gaddafi alive would have been a disruptive figure on the landscape of the new Libya. The trial of Slobodan Milosevic didn’t set an inspiring precedent for how the rule of law is likely to operate in such cases, Yet for all their flaws, such trials are the only alternative to the extra-judicial killings and assassinations (eg Osama Bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaki) that are fast becoming the West’s preferred modus operandi.

Also, there was a faint hope that Gaddafi on trial could have been the focus of a truth and reconciliation process in which the Libyan people who suffered at his hands could have confronted the humbled tyrant in a courtroom, and told their stories. More to the point, Gaddafi dead removes a source of national unity. Hostility to Gaddafi is just about all that is holding together the various Libyan rebel militias.

That lack of unity is a product of Gaddsafi’s 40 year personality cult, which crushed any semblance of civil society. Now, all the tribal factions that Gaddafi manipulated so skilfully will have to be represented in a government of national unity. As the Stratfor intelligence think tank has pointed out, it is already clear that the Libyan Transitional National Council that the West recognises, enjoys little respect or authority among many of the rebel fighters:

The NTC is one of several political forces in the country. Since the rebel forces entered Tripoli on Aug. 21, there has been a steady increase of armed groups hailing from places such as Misurata, Zentan, Tripoli and even eastern Libya itself that have questioned the authority of leading NTC members. These groups have been occupying different parts of the capital for two months now, despite calls by the NTC (and some of the groups themselves) to vacate.

In other words, the TNC has only a shaky clam to authority beyond Benghazi. At the same time, the outside world is expecting the TNC to honour the dodgy contracts for Libya’s oil reserves that Gaddafi signed, and not to let matters like internal politics or morality get in the way:

There have been repeated questions over the status of business contracts and agreements involving Russian companies, which have been signed by the Gaddafi regime, and whether they will be honoured. They generally involve oil or gas development and exploration, but also include railways and military cooperation….

Last month the Russian Foreign Ministry recognized the Transitional National Council of Libya as the current authority, adding that it expected existing contracts to be honoured.

“At present the Transitional National Council is analyzing the contracts, signed by the Gaddafi regime, in order to establish whether or not they are transparent. I do not think the new Libyan government will begin with the evaluation of contracts with Russia by political criteria,”Margelov said, adding that it would be more correct for the new government to analyze the contracts from a technical and economic perspective.

Now, the real problems begin.

***

You’d think it would be obvious that if New Zealand hasn’t got the necessary equipment or management skills to handle an oil spill just outside Tauranga, it should suspend oil exploration activities that could well lead to a similar spill – or worse – off the remote regions of the East Cape. No such luck, though.

A striking aspect of media commentary on the Rena disaster has been the patronising stance taken towards anyone treating the Rena disaster as a warning about the dangers of deepwater oil exploration. Oil exploration is different, according to the pundits. Here’s an example of the condescension I’m talking about:

We desperately need onshore mining and offshore oil exploration to help lift us out of our precarious economic position. Onshore mining has received a public relations backlash. Now the Rena grounding, while completely unconnected with offshore exploration, has presented environmentalists with an emotive argument against the development.

Oh, those emotive environmentalists. Yes, oil exploration is “completely unconnected” to offshore exploration. Actually, that’s a problem. Because if anything, the legal position regarding the ambit of compensation is even worse when it comes to static oil platforms than it is to ships passing through international or coastal waters. More on that below.

For now, the liability picture in Tauranga remains extremely murky. The Key government has already found it difficult enough to get any compensation from the Mediterranean Shipping Company, who chartered the Rena – but who continue to deny any liability, and instead lay all the blame upon Costamare, the owners of the vessel. All MSC has done so far is make a voluntary “goodwill” donation of $1 million to the cost of the clean-up. No precedent value in that.

At this point, the extent to which the insurers for Costamare will come to the party remains unclear. Will they pay for all, or only for part of the clean-up, and will it be only for the cleanup? What about the related and enduring economic costs to business that has been lost or badly affected by the disaster? Will the owners’ insurance pay for any of that?

Probably not. On overseas experience (the Exxon Valdez, the Texaco/Chevron oil spills in Ecuador) there is usually a distinction between accountability for the clean-up and accountability for the ongoing economic and environmental damage caused by the company’s activities, which is usually shunted on to taxpayers. .

So far, the Key government has talked vaguely about compensation to Tauranga business – which, if it materialises at all, will be paid for by the New Zealand taxpayer. Clearly, “clean-up costs” are a very, very vague notion. Usually the best that multinational oil (and shipping companies) do is pay for a quick spruce- up of the immediately affected area, before they hightail it out of Dodge

Now, back to that “ completely unconnected” matter of oil exploration in deep water locations off East Cape, or in the Great South Basin. Nearly 18 months ago, I wrote a cover story for Werewolf that noted the Wild West situation under international law when it come to static oil platforms, as opposed to the far more settled position ( governed for example, by the Bunker Convention) when it comes to ships in transitr. The relevant passage is worth repeating :

The international conventions and maritime regulatory frameworks that do exist belong to an earlier era. They speak of general obligations (eg Law of the Sea article 192) to “protect and preserve” the marine environment. While that point is elaborated on in UNCLOS article 208 (which says that states are responsible for “artificial islands, installations and structures under their jurisdiction”) there is no legal or administrative framework to police and enforce these vague exhortations. To date, the oil spill risk has been seen almost entirely in terms of discharges and sinkings of oil tankers as they move through international waters – as with the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989, and with the huge Amoco Cadiz and Erika spills that occurred off the coast of Brittany in 1978 and 1999, respectively.

However, deepwater oil platforms are not like ships in transit – they are parked semi-permanently, often in chronically difficult conditions. At the time of writing, the International Maritime Organisation was meeting to try and finalise an update of its Code for the Construction and Equipment of Mobile Drilling Units – but at present, there are no binding international rules, standards or practices for oil rig platforms.

Therefore, when Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee is giving out assurances that industry best practice will be observed and would be enforced with respect to the likes of Petrobras and Exxon-Mobil, he is uttering empty assurances in a void. At the level of technical expertise, no one knows how to devise BOPs (blowout preventers) guaranteed to work at such depths and in such open sea conditions. In addition, there are no international or local framework of design standards and operating procedures that can be enforced, even if there was a will to do so. As for adequate compensation for fishing and tourism operators whose livelihoods might be destroyed by oil spills …the Exxon Valdez case should be a sobering warning about the inadequacy of the current compensation mechanisms, as I’ll explain later in this article. In May, shortly after the BP spill began, the New York Times noted the glaring gap in international law in these terms:

“There is a tremendous body of international law addressing oil pollution, dealing with matters including construction and seaworthiness of ships, safety of navigation, pollution response, and liability,” said Tim Stephens, a senior lecturer on the law faculty at the University of Sydney and the co-author of a forthcoming textbook on the law of the sea.

However, the international maritime conventions ….do not apply to accidents involving oil platforms, like the Deepwater Horizon spill. “It is definitely an omission,” Mr. Stephens said, adding that only “tentative” steps have been taken so far to make the maritime agency’s rules applicable to platform spills.

A key area for exploration and production-related spills is liability. “There is no global convention governing this issue,” said Sergei Vinogradov, a senior lecturer at the Center for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, in Scotland. By contrast, liability from tanker spills is covered by two 1992 conventions, one dealing with civil liability and the other with an oil-pollution compensation fund…

Given this situation, many are urging a halt to any new deepwater drilling operations. “We should hold off on exploring in some of the deeper basins,” Tina Hunter, an assistant law professor at Bond University in Queensland who studies offshore oil regulation, said in this Bloomberg Business Week article in mid June. “The last thing we need is to go into deeper waters and risk something like what happened in the U.S.”

That leaves communities on East Cape with even less protection – regarding liability and insurance – than the people of Tauranga.. (In the coming weeks, this column will be seeking to clarify whether the legal position regarding oil platforms has changed substantially in the ensuing 18 months.)

The other main ground for concern is a purely practical one. The response to the Rena grounding has given New Zealanders no reason to believe there would be a properly equipped and co-ordinated response from local and central government if and when there was a major oil spill triggered by Petrobras operations in the Raukumura Basin.

It is highly unlikely, for instance, that Petrobras will be asked to put up a bond to cover the possible environmental impact of their activities. What then, will be the ceiling for the relevant insurance compensation, and what will be the ambit of possible claims against it? Will it be only for cleanup costs, or for the economic damage to business, food resources, and the local environment – and if the latter, how will eligibility for compensation be assessed?

The liability issues also relate to the extent of provable negligence. If, say, Petrobras drills into a difficult and techtonically unstable deep sea region (which the Raukumura Basin is known to be) and that triggers an oil spill, will that be deemed to be negligence – or merely the best industry practice possible in a difficult environment, and how will such distinctions impact on the level of compensation?

After all, negligence can be easily proved with respect to the Rena because there is established procedure about using navigational charts to detect and steer safely around the Astrolabe Reef. That’s not the case with deep sea drilling. Negligence can be almost impossible to prove.

Already in Tauranga, we have seen the split in responsibility/liability between the owners and the charterers of the vessel. In the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year, there was a similar split between BP’s responsibility and that of Anadarko, who operated the platform. At the moment, has the government any idea at all about how liability would pan out off East Cape between Petrobras, and any negligence by sub-contractors that it may employ?

Does an Oil Spill Contingency Plan yet exist that governs the Petrobras activities off East Cape, and what input have local councils and communities had to the development of such a plan? Until the government can answer such questions – and clearly Crown Law is struggling right now to assess legal liability in the far more clearcut situation of the Rena grounding – it would be foolhardy to allow the Petrobras oil exploration to proceed.

********

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    1. 54 Responses to “On the death of Gaddafi and how the Rena spill relates to East Cape oil exploration”

    2. By Kate Lang on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

      Thank you Gordon, for a clear, indisputable outline of the ungoverned dangers of deep sea oil. We need MPs who recognise the vulnerability of our (relatively) clean seas and coastlines. The livelihoods that rely on this gracious ocean are at risk, for a few dirty, minimal percentages of payment into the government coffers. Let us vote for the preservation of our seas, and not for the greedy glitz in the eyes of the National Party.

    3. By KJT on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

      Commented already on the Rena.

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/10/rena-neo-liberal-failure.html

      The regulatory failure, and the almost comical ineptitude of the response to the Rena grounding, gives me no confidence in New Zealands capability, or the National Governments desire, to try and avoid spills from deep sea drilling.

    4. By Joe Blow on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

      Gaddafi’s death

      The death of Gaddafi is a travesty for the development of international justice and the development of Lybia.

      I met a Lybian recently in New Zealand whose family was aligned with the rebels in Lybia. He thought that the worry about the potential for conflict based on tribal affiliation was unfounded and thought there was more risk of a clash between the Islamists and the other rebels that broadly support democracy in Lybia. Anyway, just thought I’d share another view with you.

      RENA and deepsea drilling

      Yip, the government’s handling of the RENA disaster shows how woefully unprepared we are for deepsea drilling.

      The issues surrounding liability are going to escalate as time goes on. With the Deepsea Horizon spill BP initially promised to cover all claims and a fund has been set up but this has not stopped the need for litigation. There are civil claims by the Federal government and class actions by out of work fishermen and tourist resorts. I see what you mean Gordon, as this is just the kind of damage caused by the RENA spill that may not come under the definition of “oil pollution damage” which the ship owner’s insurers have promised to cover… the questions surrounding liability are still well and truely up in the air.

    5. By Mike on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

      NOW SHOWING: “THE PASSION OF THE GADDAFI”

    6. By Leon Henderson on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

      Hey Joe Blow, President Gaddafi of Libya was viciously MURDERED.

      By “Mr. Hopey Changey” Barack Obama and the vicious capitalist Tart Hillary Clinton and their Jewish Bosses.

      Joe Blow, “Mr. Hopey Changey” and Hillary Clinton should actually get married, because they make a very good pair of fellow-souls:

      And which is to say utterly immoral, utterly devoid of any vestige of human empathy sympathy or compassion, and instead are vicious, violent, murdering arch-enemies of all human beings.

    7. By nznative on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      Another excellent aritcle by Gordon who deserves a medal for his information and insight.

      The slow motion rena wreck has shown our disaster management response to be pathetic and that goes all the way to the top and lands in John Keys lap.

      The national govt response of ” containor ships are from mars and deep sea oil rigs are from venus” means nothing when you cant clean up the crap from either of them.

      Thats whats been shown and its what our Govt of greedy 1%ers dont want to admit. We cant cope with oil in our water WHATEVER the source.

      At last the wools starting to slip from New Zealanders eyes and they are seeing the true dangerous greedy gambler Government we have.

      And P.s I may not agree with Joe Blow on a lot of things but I respect him as a poster because he is a “thinking conservative”, and I’ve seen him adjust his opinion when presented with new information.

      Rants against him demean the quality of Gordons Blog and to a reader like me seem a touch obssesive …….

      Once again a bloody fine article From Gordon C who is one of the best journalists in New Zealand and I’d rate him world class …..

    8. By Brewer on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      It is rare I take issue with Gordon but this:
      “which crushed any semblance of civil society.” ..is quite simply wrong and arises from a universal lack of understanding of what “Jamahiriya” (the system of government in Libya) means.
      Suffice to say it was a system of “direct democracy” through around 6,000 “People’s Congresses” that sent opinion and candidates up to the 2,700 representative “General People’s Congress”, from which the executive was elected. Libya had a cabinet, judicial system (on the French model), civil code etc resembling any Western State.

      Libyans, until this putsch, enjoyed:
      Free education (including post-graduate studies overseas)
      Free health Care (including travel and expenses for procedures not available domestically)
      92% home ownership
      Human Development Index rating 53 (top third of the World) despite being severely marked down for a perceived lack of freedom. This is because Political Parties were illegal – not political speech or political action – political PARTIES. Jamahiriya maintains that party systems lead to the “dictatorship of the lobby” – a point of view with some validity.

      Demographics killed Gaddafi. Over 50% of Libya’s population were born in and knew nothing but Jamahiriya.

      You don’t miss your water till the well runs dry.

    9. By Joe Blow on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      @ nznative

      Thanks nznative. I’ll take that as a complement in these here parts. Still conservatisim is a very relative concept. Your perception of conservatism depends on where you are standing and when. For example, Rogernomics was very radical for its time… Put me in a room with a bunch of Tory National party members and you’ll know who the real conservatives or radicals are…

    10. By Joe Blow on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      U.S. Troops to Leave Iraq by Year’s End

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/22/world/middleeast/president-obama-announces-end-of-war-in-iraq.html?_r=1&hp

    11. By Joe Blow on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/21/iraq-rejects-us-plea-bases

    12. By Dave on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      This Rena incident has certainly highlighted our complete unpreparedness to deal with the fallout of a deep sea oil catastrophe. While I’m not opposed to mining or offshore oil drilling per se, I am opposed to handing total control and the lion’s share of the profits to overseas companies. If New Zealand is to leverage any real benefits from mining and drilling, surely we need to develop some local expertise and industry around these activities. What happened to the public private partnerships that have been so lauded by National any time they want to rid their hands of public ownership? Couldn’t we come to some arrangement through which an S.O.E. worked in tandem with Petrobras to ensure safety standards are upheld, locals get work, and a fairshare of the profits remain in New Zealand?

      I’ll also weight in on the ongoing and increasingly annoying rants between Leon and Joe Blow. Anyone who has any semblance of intelligence and has read the content and context of Joe Blow’s posts will recognise that Joe is of the left leaning persuasion, yet tries to balance his own views with evidence and rationale. Leon’s posts on the other hand resemble the type of foaming-at-the mouth imbalance of the very worst extremists. Leon if you can’t handle making sense, at least refrain from insulting others who are actually making a contribution to the discussion.

    13. By Leon Henderson on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      Dave, Joe Blow is one of those infuriating “rationalisers” who (says they) read(s) all the time, but in spite of the almost ridiculously copious amounts of so-called “information” they appear to copiously (allegedly) absorb, everything they write looks like something cranked out every day from Mossad/BBC/Fox News (Blah Blah).

      In other words, the “information” that whoever “joe Blow” is, and “suctions”, and has apparantly, been copiously devouring like a gigantic vacuum cleaner, is of any so-called actual “value” or “veracity” is like being hurled into philosophical perplexity by what a parrot spouts! Is the parrot telling the truth or not!!!

    14. By Leon Henderson on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      Viz Iraq Joe Blow: Wall Street (meaning the Rothschilds) have total and absolute control of their oil.

      Also their ports and the entire Persian Gulf.

      What have the Iraqi people got, apart from only sand, besides oil as a source of wealth, in the “Oil Age

      All the Iraqi people are left with is pulverised cities and towns, totally destroyed by the years of unrelenting bombings by the Arch-Vassals of the Jews, the USA and it’s NATO underlackies.

      For such an apparantly voracious reader, “Joe Blow” you seem to have massive attacks of incredibly convenient amnesia.

      As for you, Dave, I would rather by far be a “fanatic” and a human, than a parrot who is only capable of spouting what they let other sentient entities tell them what to think and say.

      Excuse the language, but FUCK THAT!

    15. By nznative on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      I’d just like you to show a little more respect towards Gordons fine work here Leon .

      Back on Topic …… Is it just me or does it seem to others that the Governments response to the slow motion rena wrecking has been stingy and trying to do it on the cheap ??.

      Is it true that time was lost in the first few days of fine weather while the question of ” who’s going to pay?”, was sorted out ?.

      A true leader would have sprung into action and done EVERYTHING possible to mitigate the damage.

      When the going gets tough the Nats make a lot of spinning noise’s and do stuff all.

      P.s @ Joe Blow, your dead right the word conservative is very relative. Politicians have actually corrupted the word because a lot of self proclaimed conservatives are actually extreamists if we look at their idealogy. I’ve thought of you as a Ross Meaurant type poster ,no offense intendeed .

    16. By Joe Blow on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

      Holy cow! Am I in a room with a bunch of Tory National party supporters? Quick Elyse! Leon needs back up!

      @ Dave

      Well I’m against mining of conservation land per se and I’m yet to be convinced that we can achieve deepsea drilling safely in the Bay of Plenty. I’m not willing to jeopardise our environment for the sake of a few more dollars going to the NZ government’s coffers through the likes of an SOE so I’m not sure where that leaves us on that issue.

      Yeah, Leon is a bit bent in the head from taking all his ques from Michael Chossudovsky, but I like anyone that genuinely cares about our country and he hates the Nazis as much as he hates the Jews so I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt.

      @ Leon

      You are sucking the same mainstream media sources that I am through a very thin straw made by Michael Chossudovsky. Wake up! Think for yourself man!

      @ nznative

      I take offence to being compared to Ross Meaurant. I’m about as far away from being an ex-cop as Annette Sykes is.

      Yeah, the Nats have really “dropped the ball” on the RENA disaster! And pointing the finger at Labour by pointing out that past governments also didn’t ratify the Bunker Convention is wearing thin. Every time Key finds things tough he says, “Look we’re just as bad as Labour were so it’s okay!” but that can’t keep working… let’s hope it doesn’t keep working for this election at least…

    17. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      Hey Joe Blow: you are the one who is “suctioning” on the same information sources, and not me: what is so “wrong”, incidentally, with what Michel Chossudovsky writes? Every single thing he and his vast number of fellow political/economic/sociological thinkers/writers from all over the world have said about Jewish-American capitalism is true. They for years have been making precision-accurate predictions about what the Rothschilds are going to do next: they adamantly stated, for instance, that President Gaddafi would be murdered by the Jews. President Assad of Syria is next: that vicious, rotten, Harpy Hillary Clinton is ranting and railing against President Assad in exactly the same way the evil thug ranted against President Gaddafi of Libya.

      Since you claim to love reading so much, Joe Blow, then let’s see you read this:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27224

      You seem to have incredible difficulty in comprehending the fact that President Gaddafi was MURDERED, Joe Blow. Butchered in exactly the same way as Jack-The-Ripper did to his victoms. By such evil thugs as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nicholas Sarkozy (a Jew) and that slimy bag of snot David Cameron – who all are the servile, grovelling, vassals of the Rothschilds.

      You are fully and absolutely aware of these indisputable facts, Joe Blow, but yet you continue to try and pretend that, to put it metaphorically, “The Sun Orbits The Earth”.

      According to Joe Blow and his fellow-travellers the sun orbits the earth!!!

    18. By Joe Blow on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      There really is a smattering of fanaticism about the way you talk about his holiness Michel Chossudovsky, you know that Leon? Like I said “bent your head”.

      I read your “interview” with Rick Rozoff and I warn you that you’ve got to be careful of anyone who repeatedly chants about obvious “patterns” and how “clear” everything is. Those should set off alarm bells from the word get go!!!!

      Look, I agree with Rozoff about how barbaric it was that they paraded Gaddafi’s body around like they did, but NATO didn’t do that. You could argue that NATO was complicit by supporting the rebels but it was the rebels that killed him and paraded him around in the streets. And that graffiti on the NATO website comment made me hoot! That “wall graffiti” was painted by Libyans not by NATO!

      Why do many Libyans, particularly the ones that painted the graffiti, hate Gaddafi so much Leon?

      You know what they say, a picture paints a thousand words:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/jun/05/libya-gaddafi-street-art

    19. By Joe Blow on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Here are some more pics:

      http://photos.denverpost.com/mediacenter/2011/09/photos-libyan-graffiti/#name here

    20. By Joe Blow on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      And here are the ones on the NATO website:

      http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/photos_79360.htm

      They don’t look that “demeaning and belittling” to me… I guess Rozoff is the kind of guy that would knife someone if he caught them tagging a wall on his property… what about drawing a hitler moustache on Key’s election campaign poster pic?

    21. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      Why is Joe Blow allowed to attack me, and I am not allowed to reply, Scoop???

    22. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      Sincere apologies Scoop, but was unable last night to “place” any posts and kept getting dumped onto a page that had the message “Incorrect Email Address” (or words to that effect) and in the end thought I had been banned.

      Thank you Scoop (especially Gordon Campbell and his Tech’s – who are very good dudes) for living up to your Policy of genuinely championing freedom of speech: Werewolf is actually the only place in this country where anyone can “have their say” and the format is excellent where “conversations” take place via threads.

      Please, Werewolf keep this Format because it is the best one possible on the Web for people to intensively debate issues.

      P.S. There are people who seem to think I am some kind of “enemy” of Joe Blow. This is a very wrong impression.

      I like Joe Blow, and admire his intellect. We disagree with each other nearly all the time, but it gives me a lot of hope that there are dudes like Joe Blow in New Zealand.

    23. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      Almost forgot to add, Joe Blow, that President Gaddafi of Libya was hunted down by NATO: they had “special forces” soldiers pouring into Benghazi during the “uprising” which lo and behold was in a notoriously unstable region of Libya (a lot like the Muslim republics in Russia which are way down on the border between Europe and Asia, but which, lucklessly for the Russians, are on the Russian side of the Caucasus Mountain Range which divides Europe from Asia) and (lo and behold!!!) just happened to be by far the most oil and gas rich region in all of Africa (far “wealthier” in these than Jewish-American-owned Nigeria) and President Gaddafi had the “impudence” to be defiant against the foreign control of his Nation.

      He was MURDERED by the Arch-Puppets of the Jews: USA and NATO. Syria next by the look of it.

    24. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      For God’s sake Joe, I implore you to get urgent treatment for the blatantly obvious Crack-Habit that you are incarcerating yourself in: put down the pipe and turn off the BBC and Fox News!!!

    25. By Joe Blow on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Okay until they’ve adequately investigated how Gaddafi died I’ll leave room for the possibility of him being taken out by special forces, but why would they? They didn’t kill Saddam when they had the chance… They were quite happy to have him put on trial by the Iraqis… I would have thought that Saddam would have been even more despised than Gaddafi was… why not just rub Saddam out too? What would they gain from killing Gaddafi rather than having him tried by the ICC? All killing him does is breed more conspiracy theories and make NATO’s motives look insincere. Why not give the European members of NATO what they want and have him tried in the Hague?

    26. By Joe Blow on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Why do many Libyans, particularly the ones that painted the graffiti, hate Gaddafi so much Leon?

    27. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow: why didn’t the Nigerians get “told” by their Jewish-owned “news media” that their Jew-puppet so-called “president” had died SEVEN MONTHS earlier!!!

      The people of Nigeria (the only location in Africa apart from Libya where there is enormous amounts of oil and gas: Nigeria is like a man in chains to the Jews, from the neck to the feet) were not “informed”, Joe Blow, about what happened to their Jew-installed dictator. All of a sudden the vicious thug was nowhere to be seen!!!

      Where did this vicious Thug so abruptly “vanish” to?

      The people of Nigeria were not told!

      For more than seven months the people of Nigeria did not even know if their Jewish-installed dictator was alive or dead, and meanwhile the Jewish-owned oil Cartels continued to pump hundreds of millions of tonnes of oil from the Nigerian Delta.

      Wanna pick another argument Joe blow?

      By the way, Joe Blow, explain to us all about how your supposed “Love-Of-Democracy” (what is “democracy? A very interesting equation, no?) as per what the meaning of it is, because there are people who would love an accurate description of what actually it is supposed to be.

    28. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      Repeat, Joe Blow: what is, specifically, “democracy” ???

    29. By Leon Henderson on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

      The Nigerian thing in some ways is truly “hilarious” and at the same time equally horrifying:

      The people of a poverty-stricken, massively oil-rich nation not knowing that their Jewish-appointed dictator had died seven months earlier!!!

    30. By Joe Blow on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      If you answer my question I’ll do my best at telling you what I think democracy is and what happened to Yar’Adua.

      Why do many Libyans, particularly the ones that painted the graffiti, hate Gaddafi so much Leon?

    31. By richarquis on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Someone’s been drinking and posting again. This is getting quite boring. I’ve been reading Gordon’s articles for a few years now, and the comment threads have, until very recently, been literate and intellectually engaging. Now it’s just like a schoolyard. Please quit with the racism, the name calling, etc. You’re making fools of yourselves. I’ll still read the articles, but if this is the standard of commentary, that’s as far as I can be bothered going. Gentlemen, please do us all a favour, yourselves included, and earn the term.

    32. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, howdy! I am not attacking you with the question about “democracy”, but it is bandied about in the corporate mass-media so much (it is always used in the context of “Democracy = Good”) that it makes me furiously angry.

      You are a thinker, Joe Blow, but it was a bit “below the belt” of me to challenge you to describe what “democracy” actually is. It will be good for all of us to have a deep think about this question though.

      What no “democracy” in existence is, or has ever been, is the democracy that the Russian genius Vladimir Lenin envisioned and which was where all politicians were on immediate recall by their electorates.

      In other words, every politician, at any time, could be sacked by their electorates.

      But who is actually “The Electorate”?

      The “democracy” thing is an unendingly fascinating conundrum, isn’t it, Joe Blow?

      Heh Heh Doctor Evil on ze rampage again!!!

    33. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      richarquis

      Stop being such a pompous sucker.

    34. By nznative on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Leon all your succeding at is lowering and demeaning Gordons Blog …….. you do get that dont you ?

      I dont even read your rants, and I bet most regular reader dont either, I prefer proper adult comments that contribute .

      In other words you need to learn its not all about you …..

      Go to kiwi sewer ……. whoops I mean Kiwiblog if you want to act low class.

    35. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      nznative: Get back into your bucket!

    36. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Gaddafi was MURDERED, Joe Blow. As for the so-called “trial” of Saddam – which you appear to be dreaming had any kind of so-called “legitimacy” to it …. as said Joe blow, it is way past time you started leaving the Crack Pipe alone.

    37. By Joe Blow on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      @ richarquis

      Sorry richarquis, I admit that I have been pushing Leon’s buttons on purpose at times, but I feel that the left needs to take a good look at what it is in grave jeopardy of becoming: a paranoid fanatic whose views are so far “left” that they are right around the other side comfortably sitting along side the views of the far right neo-Nazis! I mean the young members of the left are going for this kind of rot hook line and sinker! It’s shocking and abhorrent! Take a good look richarquis. It’s ugly. The left needs a shake up! It needs help! It’s sick…

      This is not merely demeaning Gordon’s blog or the left, this claptrap is destroying all that the left should be standing for!

      What I’m finally happy to see is some other people on this blog actually saying something about it… finally!

      I’ll leave you to it!

    38. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow is being “afraided” by the latest poll results which are showing the Mighty, Mighty, New Zealand Green Party and the Hone Heke (oops! Hone Harawera!!!) Mana Party soaring in the political polls.

      The currency speculator John Key is already massively falling out of even Swing-Voter favour and big time.

      How many times do you need to be asked to READ THIS joe Blow?

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25648

    39. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow thinks I am a “Stalinist”! “Leon is so far Left that he is all the way around the circle and is straight into Nazism”.

      Not a direct quote, but it is what Joe Blow is actually meaning.

      Joe Blow, the website that you always, unfortunately consult, before ever using your brain, Wikipedia, and whose “information” you seem to believe is like some kind of “Sermon-On-The-Mount” revelation (it is no such thing, and at “best” is only a compendium of sheer opinion)

      Joe Blow somewhere on Werewolf claimed that he was a Green Party Member.

      How about for once, Joe Blow, starting to try and prove it?

    40. By David - e on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      The whole Rena situation is a shamble and the first few days of people deciding who was going to foot the bill was quite short by shipping stanards with cases normally ongoing for years on end.

      As for the Jews running Nigeria, i was unaware of this, but a person who believes that Jews run the worls i will have to look into it. NATO smashing Libya, and Siria will be next is absolutely correct. USA goes to where the OIL is and this will continue until everything is taken up. You guysa in NZ better watch out as your countries natural resources which have remaine untapped for so long will eventually proove a carrot too big to ignore and you will see massive investment from foreign countries – aka FONTERRA and will lose another part of your country to this mob of blood sucking mofo’s.

      Congrats on the world CUP.

      P.S – Love the debate and that is why i read this site !!

    41. By Joe Blow on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      @ Leon

      Condemning anti-Semitism
      http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/condemning-anti-semitism

    42. By ADL(Anti Defibrillation League) on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      You need not concern yourself Joe with your misplaced and naïve idea of Leon solely constituting and representing all the ideas of the “left” . What arrogance and egoism to think you and your points of conflict are all .

    43. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow: oh, Blah Blah! Am looking at your Links, Joe Blow, but you are like a parrot who was raised up from an egg at the BBC!!!

    44. By Leon Henderson on Oct 24, 2011 | Reply

      Joe Blow, you attempt to deploy Keith Locke of the Mighty, Mighty, New Zealand Green Party as some kind of “glove-puppet” for your political soapboxings.

      Joe Blow, you and Hillary Clinton should get married immediately!

    45. By richarquis on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      Forget “left” and “right.” Don’t call people crack heads. Don’t synonymise your perceptions of evil with the fact that people are Jewish. Don’t call them tarts, or bags of snot. Or pompous suckers. Grow up and show some manners. Disagree to your hearts content, but do it with some decency, and respect towards others. I don’t see you, Leon, as Joe Blows enemy. I simply see you using racist language and a generally indecent tone when challenged. That’s more like being an enemy to intelligent debate. Tone that down, talk nicely to people, and you won’t see me or others saying things like this. Free speech doesn’t need to be rude speech.

    46. By richarquis on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      And to Joe Blow – I am, quite proudly, a supporter of the left. I do not, however, support anti-semitic baiting. I do not condone politics so far-left that they are right. I do not align myself with any of these things you mention in your post. Please don’t label the left with a singularised notion of who we are, or what we support, simply because one person fits that notion. I do not classify all right wing supporters as Friedmanites or Capitalist Pigs, or what have you. There are many right wing supporters who are kind and decent, and support the right simply because they support those economic policies. And there are many on the left, the vast majority, you’ll find, who abhor racism, who support a capitalist structure, but only object to abuse of power for pursuit of greed, and so on. I do not tar my opponents all with the same brush. I will leave this in the good faith that you do not do so to yours.

    47. By Leon Henderson on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      richarquis, I think Joe Blow is a Troll. Cannot prove it verbatim, but Joe Blow seems to be hinting at this in one of his latest posts.

      Oh, by the way, Joe Blow, have you heard that President Gaddafi of Libya was viciously MURDERED by “Mr. Hopey Changey” Obama and his gang of Wall-Street-Owned-Ratbags: Hillary Clinton; Tony Blair (who was given a “Peace Medal” by the Jews!!! The Jews actually shoved onto the scrawny chest of Tony Blair a “Peace Medal”!!!).

      The murdered body of President Gaddafi was “being paraded out of the control of NATO”.

      Joe Blow, for God’s sake, please put down your Crack Pipe.

    48. By Alan Seay on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      Just a factual correction – Anadarko was a passive shareholder of the Gulf of Mexico rig – BP was the operator.

    49. By Joe Blow on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      @ richarquis and ADL

      I think you guys have missed my point by thinking that I am saying that the left is already like Leon. I should make it clear that I am also a firm supporter of politics and policies of the left persuasion. I am not saying that the left IS like Leon, I’m saying that it is at risk of becoming like Leon. I have met a lot of young lefties that are so brainwashed by anti-American conspiracy theories that they have lost all sense of actually believing in anything. They also have no idea that a lot of these ideas are actually from proponents of the far right Republicans in America and are often laden with racist motivations (e.g. Ron Paul and Alex Jones). Look I am an interventionist so I have been known to rub left wing non-interventionists up the wrong way (Keith Locke is a good example of a NZ left wing non-interventionist), but I still respect them as they do not go as far as Leon does by becoming apologists for the likes of Milosevic or Gaddafi in their need to paint anything non-American good and everything American bad. The world is not that simple. Nor do they turn the world into a simple charcicature where World Jewry is the reason for all of the world’s woes (i.e. they do not turn opposition to Israel into blatant racism against the Jews).

      I hope that makes sense. I guess I have just agreed with you richarquis.

    50. By Leon henderson on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      Young people reading “Werewolf” may not be familiar with the expression “Blinding People With Science”.

      This is what Joe Blow all the time is attempting to do: always trying to confuse the issues such as where did the Jews hide that Forty-Seven-Trillion Dollars they stole, Joe Blow?

      Ver Ist?

    51. By ADL(Anti Defibrillation League) on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      Joe you just reiterated my point regarding your distorted perception and changeless world view “I’m saying that the left is at risk of becoming like ‘Leon’”. No you are wrong.
      But ” They also have no idea that a lot of these ideas are actually from proponents of the far right ” is pure conspiracy theory…
      no wait a minute its the truth.
      Now you agree with Leon on this one point and if we could cure your seperatism and his racism you two could merge into the center lane.

    52. By Joe Blow on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      @ ADL

      ADL have you watched Zietgeist?

    53. By R on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

      Leon & Joe / Joe & Leon, get a room. Your ‘chats’ passed the discourse mark a long time ago.

    54. By Joe Blow on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

      Correction: please subtract “blatant” from my comment above. I was not intending to insinuate that left wing interventionists are subtly racist.

    55. By Leon Henderson on Oct 26, 2011 | Reply

      Hey “R” – can you actually explain linguistically what you are attempting to say?

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