The Trans-continental pipeline on United States foreign policy and international events

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Critical Mass is back

Hey all - Critical Mass is coming back... Stay tuned

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


My posts have been lagging, I seem to spend too much time putting in research for my posts, that they end up just being backlogged. I am currently still working on a few more posts... I am also having trouble with the fonts, trying to keep them consistent and it doesn't help that I am computer-stupid. Thanks for everyone's patience.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Arm-erica: The Bullet-holes of Hypocrisy

A press release in a 2005 study from the Human Security Center says that number of armed conflicts has dropped by 40% since 1992. A very lukewarm and bittersweet piece of news that maybe welcome, but still difficult to digest. But further on, the release (pdf) says:

Most armed conflicts take place in the poorest countries of the world, but as income rise, the risk of war declines.

Okay... the little fact seems to diminish the study somewhat. What exactly is the nature of these nation's to invest so much in arms despite their people's suffering is beyond any reason. Nations like Chad, the fifth poorest nation in the world, continue to fuel atrocities in Darfur - squaring off with another nation in which it really doesn't have any business in meddling with. The nature of the arms industry is this according to

Global military expenditure and arms trade form the largest spending in the world at over $950 billion in annual expenditure, as noted by the prestigious Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPIRI), for 2003.

It is agreed, undoubtly, that arms trade is a huge business. Moreover, the Red Herring (requires password+ID) reports that more money is fueled into new technologies to "smoothen" the effects of war (efficient killing). Further on, the report brings up this:

America's military is the country's biggest business. According to the House Budget Committee, in 2000, defense expenditures represented 16 percent of discretionary federal spending.

The United State's current war The business of war and arms is peaking at this point for one the largest and sophisticated military in the world. However despite the United States own military expenditure, the government is able to balance the costs through being one of the forerunner's in the arms market. A report (pdf) published on August 29, 2005, catalogs the number of conventional arms transfer across the world. Conventional meaning limited to guns, assault weaponry and not in the realm of higher military technology such as ballistic missiles or nuclear, chemical, biological weaponry.

The second page of the report reveals striking facts, or may not be striking at all:

  • Developing nations continue to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales by weapons suppliers. During the years 1997-2004, the value of transfer of arms with developing nations accounted for 62.7% of all such agreements worldwide.
  • The value of all arms transfers to developing nations in 2004 was $21.4 billion. The number of arms deliveries to developed nations totalled to a value of $22.5 billion.
  • In 2004, the United States ranked first in arms transfer agreements with developing nations with nearly $6.9 billion or 31.6% of these agreements. Russia was second with $5.9 billion or 27.1% of such agreements.
  • In 2004, the United States ranked first in the value of arms deliveries to developing nations at nearly $9.6 billion or 42.6% of all such deliveries. Russia ranked second at $4.5 billion or 20% of such deliveries.
The United States has been in the forefront of selling arms to many nations, establishing the marken alongside Russia. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) cite light arms as one of the purveyors of constant destruction around the world:

Illicit arms trafficking fuels civil wars, contributes to sky-rocketing crime rates and feeds the arsenals of the world's worst terrorists. Particularly troubling is the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). SA/LW account for an estimated 60-90% of the 100,000+ conflict deaths each year (Small Arms Survey 2005) and tens of thousands of additional deaths outside of war zones.

Conventional and light weaponry no doubt inflict a larger death toll despite the obsession of many developed nations have with controlling the use of chemical nuclear and biological weapons. In the background, conventional arms seem to repeatedly go unnoticed, and inflict a higher human toll than imagined. With the number of arms transfers that occur through the United States, although it is a business, after the weaponry is tranferred, there is no way to track or be able to ensure that weaponry does not fall in the wrong hands, and in particularly concerns Russia with its shaky adminstration. Ironically the report also reveals this fact:

The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) was the leading recipient of arms deliveries among developing world recipients in 2004, recieving $3.6 billion in such deliveries. Saudi Arabia ranked second in arms deliveries in 2004 with $3.2 billion.

The Dubai Ports deal that rocked the United States a few months ago, met opposition by the public because UAE was "known" to support terror groups with anti-western sentiment. Despite this, UAE was still the largest reciever for arm deliveries. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia, a nation that has repeatedly holds a "shady" stand on international terrorism, also recieved an extraordinary amount of arms. What gives? How do we explain this?

The United States history in the arms trade is quite extensive actually and reveals holes in the policies that the government reflects or at least tries to. PBS Frontline World presents an interesting and in depth look into the worldwide arms trade and its evolution:

The richest and longest-lived practitioners of this treacherous business simply "fronted" for a particular government or alliance or even "ruling family." In the 1950s and 60s, the late legendary Sam Cummings, a CIA veteran, supplied anyone who had U.S. government approval with weapons from stockpiles in the United States and the United Kingdom. And, of course, there were the "middlemen" who stood in for the oil rich, such as Adnan Kashoggi, who in the 1970s and 80s often fronted for the interests of the Saudi royal family.


During the first 25 years of its existence, Israel was often denied weapons and ammunition by U.S. and European governments, as well as most nations in Asia and, of course, the Middle East. As a result, it built its own arsenal and related industries that are to this day active internationally. Israeli arms and trainers have turned up in China, Guatemala, Ecuador and Central Africa. Israel Defense Industries has a long history of both procurement and development of military technology and its sale overseas. The man once known as the richest Israeli, the late Shaul Eisenberg, is an example of the "legitimate" arms entrepreneur using the trade in weapons and weapons technology to create a multi-faceted business empire.

Israel according to another FAS resource:

Since 1950, the United States has provided more than $46 billion dollars in grant military aid to Israel, a sum that outstrips military aid to Egypt, America' s next largest beneficiary, by at least $20 billion. Israel has also received many billions more in grant 'economic' aid, loans for military purchases, and used American armaments.

However, Israel has been accused of actions that may violate U.S. arms export control laws. Specifically, some Israeli military operations and reported retransfers of U.S. weapons or technology may have violated the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the Foreign Assistance Act. More broadly, Israel serves as an example of how vast amounts of arms sales and military aid eventually contribute to a loss of U.S. control over conventional arms proliferation.

It is difficult to track arms. Although weapons are supplied in a diplomatic fashion, there is just no way to keep track of all it. In effect, they can be distributed unknowingly to the nations that first supplied them. Which can have a disasterous effect when they are used against the nations that have produced or supplied the weapons in the first place - a la Stinger missiles in Afghanistan. We as a nation try to push the image of peace and cooperation, but we seem to reduce that image to a lie everytime things like this happen. The shortsightedness cannot be that short of the government. Frontline goes on to profile some of the most prolific arms dealers in the world. One in particular that is profiled is Jean Bernard Lasaund who operated out of Miami International Airport:

A French citizen by birth, Lasnaud has made South Florida his home for more than a decade. Personable and easy-going, he was in the business of selling tanks, rocket launchers and SCUD missiles from a luxury condo in a gated South Florida community. With the proper paperwork, a customer can still order a fighter plane or a 400-bed field hospital from Lasnaud's Web site.

He was accused of:

Over the years, Lasnaud, 60, has been sought on a number of arms-related charges - mostly allegations of embargo violations and financial fraud - in France, Belgium and Argentina. A Belgian newspaper reported in 1983 that Lasnaud was convicted in absentia for illegal arms trafficking. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but the newspaper said police could not find him. A few years later, he showed up in the United States.

Lasnaud now stands accused in Buenos Aires courts of brokering sales of Argentinean weapons to Croatia and Ecuador from 1992 to 1995, in violation of U.N. and international embargoes.

In all, more than 6,500 tons of small arms and ammunition found its way to wars in the Balkans and the Andes, for fees totaling $100 million or more. Investigators estimate that half the money went for bribes.

Ironically despite of all these crimes and having been issued a "red warrant" for his arrest by Interpol (Osama Bin Laden too has a "red warrant") the United States Justice Department stepped backwards in extraditing him to Latin authorities to stand trial for these crimes. Recently however:

UPDATE: Just days after the publication of this Web-exclusive report on May 23, Jean Bernard Lasnaud was arrested in Switzerland in response to an Interpol request. Swiss authorities contacted the Argentina courts, where the current judge on the case quickly requested Lasnaud's extradition. If sent to Argentina, Lasnaud will face 22 years in prison on charges of arms smuggling and "abuse of authority."

As this FRONTLINE/World report pointed out, the U.S. had broken from standard practice and never took even basic steps toward detaining Lasnaud. If he finally faces the Buenos Aires courts, it is hoped Lasnaud's testimony will help shed light on how a wanted international arms smuggler was able to spend a decade living openly in the U.S.

Wow, I mean WOW. Is that not the height of hypocrisy? This could also fuel a sense of anti-US sentiment across Latin American which is spreading already. The refusal or slowness to act to detain him doesn't prove well for the image of the United States. The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) released an interesting fact sheet (pdf) with a striking statistic:

According to Mexican authorities, 80% of the guns in Mexico originate in the US. In 2002, the Toronto police's gun taskforce estimated that 50% of handguns recovered in crime were smuggled from the US. 30% of guns recovered in Japan originate from the US...

Although the crime rates maybe assumingly low in Canada and Japan, who knows where these light arms will end up? Disarmament and arms limitations are undoubtly linked and have effects on international security. But for the United States to not quell its arms deliveries outside the boundaries, we suddenly get a feeling that we a nation are almost indirectly causing our own fear of lack of security since 9/11. Arms dealings occur all over the place, and there is little control to stop it and also kills or diminishes our sense of security it is like a Iran-Contra Affair times 10.

It is hypocritical for a nation that calls on other nations to disarm or lay-off tactical weapons programs (Iran) when conventional arms are a bigger problem. The recent arms deal to sell F-16's to India for example, only pitts the two (Pakistan) nuclear rivals in more a deadlock than defusing the already critical and fragile situation. In a recent published report, Boeing was actually surprised by the arms deal brokered with India:

But rarely ever to India, which resolutely bought arms from the Moscow, Washington's Cold War rival, and Europe.

Then one day it began changing. Early last year, a top Boeing executive received a phone call from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's office. The US was going to finally clear the sale of F-16s (made by Boeing's rival-in-arms Lockheed Martin) to Pakistan. But the Secretary was keen to offer India more advanced F-16s and even newer Boeing-made F/A-18 Super Hornets in keeping with the strategic shift in the region. Was Boeing prepared for that?

"We were all stunned," another Boeing executive, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the exchanges, recalled. "This is a new generation combat aircraft that we have not sold to our closest allies. Outside the US Navy, no one has it. Yet here was the Secretary asking if we were ready to sell to India and also ready for joint production." Boeing's reply was swift: Sure thing.

The very first post in the blog about Indonesia where Senator Kit Bond visited disaster hit areas of Aceh Province and in the process sold military equipment like F-15 jets. We are open to arms dealings across the world, with weapons firms showing off their wares in a recent "show" in Singapore:

The Singapore air show, which ended Feb. 26, is one of the world's largest arms bazaars. It's a hot spot for foreign countries looking to buy American-made fighters, drones such as those made by AV and other military equipment. The biggest U.S. defense contractors entertained generals here and cultivated contacts from nations on the Pentagon's approved buyers list. They were competing with defense firms from France, Britain, Russia and Sweden who chase the same market.

During the Cold War, air shows in Paris and near London offered settings for the U.S. and the former Soviet Union to sell billions of dollars' worth of weapons to their allies, while spies strolled the exhibit halls. But in recent years, much of the deal-making has shifted to Singapore as American defense contractors, big and small, focus on boosting sales in Asia to make up for the coming slowdown in Pentagon spending.

It is also important to point out that the terrorist groups that we do have a "fear" of, use conventional weapons, small arms, and explosives to further their agendas. We make a big issue out of WMD when the focus should be conventional arms. They are the root to what inflicted 2,000 military deaths in Iraq today. There was no nuclear, chemical, or biological threat. And I hate to say it, the planes in 9/11 - they were conventional even an unorthodox form of weaponry. The emphasis is being misplaced wholly on pre-emptive measures for the threat of WMD use by terrorist groups when the threat NOW is conventional weapons. If the emphasis for disarmament of WMD does not coincide in conjunction with the disarmament of conventional arms - then honestly there is NO effect in the hopes that violence and armed threat will decrease. This also includes landmines, which have inflicted death and maimed millions from Cambodia to Mozambique. In a 1997 BBC news story, it highlights a landmine treaty that was signed by many nations, but surprisingly NOT the United States:

A treaty banning landmines is being signed by at least 89 countries in Ottawa, Canada, but some major producers and users of landmines, including the United States and China, will not be adding to the list of signatories.

And of course, the reason:

However, the US government will not sign because it still sees a use for landmines in preventing any North Korean invasion of South Korea.

Interesting reasoning nonetheless, it still doesn't make sense in the context of today's world - where the United States is trying to push an image of "peace" against a growing anti-US sentiment.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

India's Pain in the Ass-am

As the price of oil further reaches new heights, beyond just the United States, other nations also have their fair share of controversy and problems surrounding gas prices. The state of Assam in the northwest sector of India, is home to some of the richest reserves of crude oil and other minerals in India. The Gulf Times (A Middle Eastern paper reporting on another nation's oil production, I find humor in this) says that Assam accounts for a major part of India's oil production:

India produces about 30mn tonnes of crude oil annually, with Assam accounting for about 5mn tonnes of the total...Assam has over 1.3bn tonnes of proven crude oil and 156bn cubic meters of natural gas reserves of which about an estimated 58% of these hydrocarbon reserves are yet to be explored. Assam currently produces about 5mn cubic meters of natural gas annually.

With the nature of Assam's geological endowments, India faced a critical issue recently in their oil needs. Recently 72-hour protest was laid by a student union groups against Oil India Limited (OIL) calling for a more comprehensive economic package for Assam. The effects of the protest made a critical impression on the production and energy needs of India. An OIL spokesman said:

'The protests have hit hard our operations, and the production loss till late Friday is estimated to be about 1,200 to 1,500 kilo litres. The entire operations is likely to be severely affected today (Sunday) with the protest becoming stronger,' Bharali said.

The recent protests are only a small part of India's increasingly difficult relations with the state of Assam. With oil as one the main wealth coming out of the region, relatively speaking (actually it is tea, where Assam is the largest producer of in the world), it only becomes the target of interest for the government, but other groups seeking power or attention of somekind. The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) has been active insurgent group operating for a good decade within the boundaries of Assam:

"United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) was formed on April 7, establish a 'sovereign socialist Assam' through an armed struggle."

Some interesting facts before I get to the point...

Subsequently, links were established with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan Mujahideen. Reports indicate that at least 200 ULFA activists received training in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Seized documents and interrogation of some arrested activists revealed that the Defense Forces Intelligence (DFI) of Bangladesh had also trained ULFA cadres in the Sylhet district.

Paresh Baruah has been regularly visiting Karachi since 1992-93. He is also reported to have met Osama bin Laden in 1996 during a visit to Karachi. The ULFA leader was reportedly taken to a camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, where he not only received assurance of military help in the form of arms and ammunition, but also assurances of co-operation and logistical support of all international organisations owing allegiance to bin Laden, including the International Jehad Council, the Tehrik-ul-Jehad, Harkat-ul-Jehadi-e-Islami (HuJI), apart from the Al Qaeda.

With all that taken into bunk, ULFA is a major source of problems for India. Naturally as any insurgent group would operate, they look to dismantle or strike fear or a destablize/disable the entire nation through the boundaries that they are contained in. Assam all the way in Northwestern India, the only way to shake up a nation of 1 billion people: go for the oil.

Suspected rebels launched renewed attacks overnight on pipelines in eastern India, leaving oil operations in the remote region in critical shape, a top oil official said Monday...
"Our production is on, but our storage capacity is going down, and our operations are turning critical," G.K. Talukdar, the head of state-owned Oil India Limited's operations in the eastern state of Assam...
Late Sunday night, a crude oil pipeline was blown up in a small village outside of Duliajan, while a natural gas pipeline, which had been feeding an electricity power plant, was blown up in another nearby village, Bokuloni.

In another event:

GAUHATI, Nov 26: A powerful Indian separatist rebel group claimed responsibility on Friday for blowing up an oil well and injuring at least five soldiers.

A spokesman for the United Liberation Front of Assam told reporters the blasts on Thursday were in response to a "lack of positive response from the Indian government" to their offer of peace talks.

The blasts came soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected the group's demand for independence for Assam. The rebels blew up an injection well belonging to India's state-owned Oil India in the Lankachi area in the east of the state.

So why does this matter? It seems most insurgent groups have become more and more keen on be able to destablize a nation or even the world through targeting the means of running economies or the livelihood of nations: energy. It is a very signficant pattern that reoccurs and makes a huge flux in oil prices. It has been apparent in many cases especially in the Middle East.

But despite this, many newspapers and other media outlets repeatedly comment on the growing rise of China and India's economies - which are probably the fastest growing in the world. This combined with their huge respective populations, drives a direct relationship on each nation's consumption of oil.. that is, with they economies and population, they will each consume a huge amount of oil:

IN 2004 alone, India's oil consumption spurted by 11 per cent despite sky-high oil prices. India is now the world's fourth biggest oil consumer, following U.S., China and Russia.

India's oil consumption, now about 2.25 million bbl/day, is estimated to rise, at present rates of expansion, to a huge 5 million bbl in five to seven years.

Our oil companies are looking to Russia, Latin America, and African countries from Angola to Chad, Niger, Ghana and Congo, to Sudan. Other targets include Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Venezuela. There is Myanmar of course; and above all, Iran with which a deal for a 2,600-km gas pipeline through Pakistan is likely to be signed. India has signed a $2 billion contract for a 20 per cent holding in Russia's Sakhalin-I field. It wants to secure one million bbl/day from Russia alone.

India has emerged as China's main rival in grabbing oil contracts in as many countries as possible - following a long trail of rising powers, including imperialist states

With India's own internal troubles, it forces the nation to depend on other sources of oil to meet its growing needs. In the year 2006, the economy of the nation undoubtly has gone up since 2004. But coupling India's need for oil, internal struggles, and then looking for more sources of oil all these little actions and events are bound to have a huge chain reaction on the worldwide demand of oil and drive the prices further up. Considering that India's GDP is far below any average American or European, for a population of its size, the price of gas will probably have an effect 100 times harder than the average American consumer.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Beyond Valdez, Part 4: Cameroon's Ecocide

The relatively unknown nation of Cameroon which borders Chad carries oil along the pipeline part of the much touted Exxon-Mobil Oil Consortium into the Bight of Biafra for processing. The pipeline according to the website for the consortium has been carefully assessed on all levels including environment. The website (pdf) says:

"Over 100 biologists, economists, wild life specialists, sociologists, and other independent worked over a course of seven years to produce a 19-volume environment assessment"

However it does not go into saying how many of those 100 were actually biologists and wild life experts. Despite the 19-volume assessment over seven years, we as humans should always learn one thing... You just can't predict mother nature. Whether it comes down to things like hurricanes (evoking the tragedy and miscalculation of Katrina), earthquakes, down to the convergence of mankind with nature... things will change, an abberation will take place affecting the natural habitat when something new is introduced. Disturbing nature, is expected.

A press release from the Environmental Defense says:

"In Cameroon, the construction of the pipeline has not brought benefits to the population. Instead, it has caused destruction of the environment and of important resources such as fisheries." says Samuel Nguiffo, director of the Center for Environment and Development in Cameroon, and adds: "October 10 will be a public celebration of the broken promises of the pipeline construction in Chad and Cameroon, and of human and worker's rights abuses. The World Bank should not be proud. We are joining our neighbours in Chad in the day of mourning, because we ourselves have no reason to celebrate this day."

Where it was government in Chad, in Cameroon it is the environment. Cameroon's economy is actually one of the brighter spots in Africa. Wikipedia reveals that:

"Yet because of its oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon still has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa...The single largest economic activity in Cameroon is still subsistence agriculture."

With an "endowed" economy and the fact that a large percentage of Cameroon's economy is agricultural... it becomes necessary that the environment is not damaged by the existence of other structures. According to Friend of the Earth International:

"The pipeline cuts across sensitive and valuable ecosystems, particularly in Cameroon's coastal rainforest. Project-related upgrading of existing seasonal roads has led to logging and illegal poaching in otherwise inaccessible areas. The pipeline traverses several major rivers, and construction has already caused oil spills and polluted the water system."

The accidents and miscalculations based on human error is something that a pre-assessed environmental assessment cannot account for. You cannot predict the ecological destruction that will come about from human action beforehand (Exxon-Valdez perhaps?). It is something when it happens, nature will either adjust to or end up victim to.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Ironically Scary...

The war-torn nation of Sierra Leone... known for its blood diamonds, corruption, years of civil war... and killer chimps. A collateral effect of years of raging war? They say primates are very impressionable and are capable of mimicry of human actions...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Beyond Valdez, Part 3: "Love thy Neighbor"... not fuel their war

A continuation of older posts in a series "Beyond Valdez" - Part 1 and Part 2.

The unknown landlocked African nation of Chad has overcome a series of attacks on its capital apparently a result of a "spillage" of the conflict raging on in Darfur region, part of Chad's neighboring nation Sudan.

Chad's economy relies on oil as its main resource in fueling its economy. As a result, rebels sought to control the oil fields in an effort to control and destabilize the current regime of Chad. In a CNN report:

An Exxon Mobil-led consortium exported 133 million barrels of oil from Chad between October 2003 and December 2005, according to the World Bank, earning Chad $307 million.

Exxon-Mobil once again arises amongst the ashes of a violent background. The Exxon-Mobil Consortium involves exploiting Chad's oil reserves and creating a pipeline to channel oil through Chad into Cameroon where eventually Chadian crude can be shipped overseas from the Gulf of Guinea. Despite the high hopes of the project, Chad still falls victim to corruption as a result of its oil wealth and enhances the status of Chad as the world's fifth poorest nation. How is it that with such oil wealth, why do nations still suffer?

A recent article by the Christian Science Monitor analyzes the conflicts raging on in Chad with the government and rebels standing-off on oil fields. Further on, Chad has increasingly been involved in supporting rebels of Darfur (although the government maintains they are neutral) and in exchange, Sudan fuels rebels of Chad. This could be because Idriss Deby, the current leader of Chad, is of the same ethnicity of the Darfur region. Meanwhile...

Chad now pumps about 160,000 barrels a day through a 650-mile pipeline to Cameroon's coast. The pipeline was partly funded by the World Bank as part of a deal that aimed to create a model for ensuring that oil revenues help Africa's poorest. In December 2005, when Deby altered the agreed-upon poverty reduction laws that had been central to the deal's negotiations,the World Bank froze $124 million in loans already earmarked for Chad.

And nation's do not have friends, they have "interests". This is proven when Deby threatened to cut oil exports as the price of oil peaked at $71/barrel...

The US State Department quickly announced this week that it was sending a senior official to act as an "honest broker" to try to resolve the oil and rebel issues.

And the reasons for the "quick" action:

In all, Africa's oil exports are growing rapidly - and could provide 25 percent of US oil imports by 2015.

Ironic, that the United States acts when their interests are threatened, despite the years of war and suffering endured by people of Chad and not to mention the much publicized atrocities that have occurred in the Darfur region. We still somewhat indirectly fuel the atrocities that happen despite our sympathy and calls to end the events that happen in Darfur. Even as the pipeline project went on, according to Amnesty International USA, the project was far from democractic:

In March of 1998, Chadian security forces reportedly killed more than 200 unarmed civilians in the villages of Dobara and Lara in the Doba oil region. The massacre was never investigated. The community consultation process for the oil project took place in Chad largely in the presence of the security forces responsible for these human rights violations, hence exacerbating the climate of fear and intimidation in the oil region

The project went on naturally, with the people struck with fear from ever even consider saying "no" the proposed pipeline. So as oil is shipped through the pipeline, with the government reaping the benefits of the money generated... where does that money go? The BBC reveals that Deby actually publicly stated that Chad requires the money generated by the oil fields to pay for arms:

"Why shouldn't Chad be allowed? We are going to buy weapons. We're going to do it openly. In the next two days these arms will arrive," Mr Deby told the French daily Le Figaro newspaper.

Again, a corrupt government of the fifth poorest nation in the world fails to channel the money where it needs to go: the people. Spending more money on arms could lead to a possible escalation in the conflicts in the Darfur region with the Chadian government supporting rebels in Sudan. The United States is slow to act to analyze where and how we get oil - we may as a nation call down violent acts in the Darfur region, but we hardly notice we somewhat fuel the tension. Certainly with Exxon-Mobil's track record, we would definitely not want them there as diplomats in securing more oil for our thirsty populace. Although Exxon-Mobil posted $9 billion in profits... the costs as a results of these profits are just way too high...