Thursday 21st of October 2021

dicky's miracle oils .....

 

oily miracles .....

‘Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.

The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972.

The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said.’

War On Iraq: Western Oil Companies A Step Away From Iraq's 'Prize'

latest oil futures .....

‘The stability that emerged in southern Somalia after 16 years of utter lawlessness is gone, the defeat of the ruling Islamic Courts Union now ushering in looting, martial law and the prospect of another major anti-Western insurgency. Clan warlords, who terrorized Somalia until they were driven out by the Islamists, and who were put back in power by the U.S.-backed and -trained Ethiopian army, have begun carving up the country once again.

With these developments, the Bush administration, undeterred by the horrors and setbacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, has opened another battlefront in this volatile quarter of the Muslim world. As with Iraq, it casts this illegal war as a way to curtail terrorism, but its real goal appears to be to obtain a direct foothold in a highly strategic area of the world through a client regime. The results could destabilize the whole region.

The Horn of Africa, at whose core Somalia lies, is newly oil-rich. It is also just miles across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, overlooking the daily passage of large numbers of oil tankers and warships through that waterway. The United States has a huge military base in neighboring Djibouti that is being enlarged substantially and will become the headquarters of a new U.S. military command being created specifically for Africa. As evidence of the area's importance, Gen. John Abizaid, the military commander of the region, visited Ethiopia recently to discuss Somalia, while Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Horn countries a few months ago in search of oil and trade agreements.’

Destabilizing The Horn: American-Backed Warlords Invade Somalia

illusions no worse than theirs...

I was the last one inside the plane… The old 480 Airbus had landed when I realised I had forgotten my Covid pass and my passport back in Melbourne. Of course I was still attached to my seat as I had unbuckled my trousers instead of the seatbelt… The 900 passengers had disembarked. Unable to move, I panicked as the lights were being turned off, until a lovely hostess told me about my mistake. She took me to the back door of the disembarking bay and pushed me out six feet down onto railway tracks full of weeds. 

 

Destitute on the streets of London, I had no money either. My wife had all the cash and had already gone through the official system: Covid check, customs, bomb disposal... I imagined she was panicking in her little hotel room, supported by a couple of female friends. Where was I? I was her worst worry bead. Always… I did not panic about this yet, though I knew I would be toast when she’d find me… She always did.

 

On the public transport with no fare and dodging covid inspectors, my clothes stank foul and looked more and more like the one I am wearing now:  Old goofy pants splashed with paint daubs and a jumper full of holes and food stains. My long beard and my white locks looking like a balding 100 year-old Jesus-Christ, was enough to turn me into a reject at the end of a useless life. I was not looking good enough, to inspire a painting of a tramp by Goya Mayor. No mirror nor shop windows would look at me.

 

While going aimlessly from one station to the next, hoping to find a clue as to where I should stop, I discovered I could create illusions. Small illusions at first… See, I said to a woman next to me, this is a bucket. She saw a bucket, though she looked at me like a piece of garbage on the way to the tip. There was no bucket. But the illusion was powerful enough to be seen by other people. And I could make the bucket disappear… Soon I was busking in the streets showing my illusions. The group of bamboozled people grew and grew… I collected enough REAL money in my tarty black cap to offer myself a night at the Ritz. Why not? There I carried on with entertaining the staff, the customers and pilfered the till, filling it with fake gold coins… The manager was impressed. He knew what he saw was unreal, but he enjoyed it… He had a client in show business who within a few hours had me playing at the biggest theatre venue in London. 

 

Five hours after landing in England, I had bypassed the annoying “Britain’s Got Talent”… Mind you I could not go on the Voice. While my illusions were amazing, I could only mumble grunts and discreet senseless jumbled words. I could not think clearly either.

 

So, on the biggest stage ever, I displayed enormous illusions of rainforests, magnificent birds, music ensembles, historical tableaux and the famous London tube passing through. Nothing was real, including the elephants and the stars. The ever changing beautiful landscapes were amusing a full house — a public in need of reprieve from the static-grey doom and sticky gloom outside… And they only had to pay one pound to get in… 

 

And I woke up… 

 

Still too early... Go back to the Palladium and throw more star dust… 

 

 — Robert Urbanoski

 

 

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