COMPARING BURMA TO AFGHANISTAN
Since its 2005 takeover of Unocal, US oil giant Chevron has been one of the joint venture partners developing the Yadana offshore gas field in Burma, which earns the military regime millions of dollars. Chevron also owns Texaco.
David J. O'Reilly
Chairman and CEO
6001 Bollinger Canyon Rd.
Unocal was the company who wanted to get involved in transporting Caspian Basin energy through Afghanistan, but the Taliban were asking for too much money.
Chevron was part of the Rockefeller Standard Oil cartel. Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney have serious links to Chevron.
Even in Burma, however, Bush’s support for human rights yields to his fondness for the oil and gas industry. Burma has large natural gas reserves, and multinational oil corporations want to cash in. Chevron Corporation is currently the largest U.S. investor in Burma, with a partnership stake in the multi-billion-dollar Yadana gas pipeline project. The Yadana project was originally developed by Unocal, another American oil company, which was acquired by Chevron last year. (Although new investment in Burma is prohibited, the pipeline is grandfathered in under an exception, pushed by Unocal, for preexisting projects.)
The Yadana pipeline has been repeatedly condemned by human rights and environmental advocates as one of the most destructive “development” projects in the world. The Burmese military government is a direct partner in the project, and Burmese soldiers providing security and other services to the pipeline project have conscripted villagers for forced labor on a vast scale, as well as committing murder, rape and torture. These abuses have been widely acknowledged; before Bush took office, the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that “refugee accounts of forced labor” on the project “appear to be credible.”
The Bush administration has close ties to Chevron. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a member of the Chevron Board of Directors for 10 years before Bush was elected, and even had a Chevron oil tanker named for her until it was quietly renamed after Bush took office. And Halliburton, the oilfield services giant formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, has numerous ties to Chevron, signing several multimillion-dollar contracts during Cheney’s tenure. And yet there is no evidence that the Bush administration has used its connections to convince Chevron to divest its Burmese holdings, despite the evidence of abuses committed on the Yadana project and Bush’s public position on promoting human rights and democracy.
Indeed, even before Chevron acquired Unocal and the Yadana project, Bush’s government actively took steps to thwart accountability for the Yadana project. When refugees who had suffered rape, torture, enslavement, and murder at the hands of soldiers protecting the Yadana pipeline sued Unocal in U.S. court, the Bush administration intervened to try to convince the courts that the lawsuit should not proceed. The administration essentially argued that, even if the case would not actually interfere with U.S. relations with Burma, holding Unocal liable would create a precedent that could conflict with U.S. foreign policy in other parts of the world. (The lawsuit, Doe v. Unocal Corp., was ultimately resolved before the courts considered the administration's position, with Unocal compensating the victims in a historic settlement—see http://www.earthrights.org/legal/unocal/.)
And then there's the opium/heroin link. According to the CIA factbook Burma is the world's second largest producer of opium.
Until the coalition of the killing invaded Afghanistan the Taliban had virtually eradicated opium production. But now Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of the stuff.
[Burma] remains world's second largest producer of illicit opium with an estimated production in 2005 of 380 metric tons, up 13% from 2004 and cultivation in 2005 was 40,000 hectares, a 10% increase from 2004; the decline in opium production in the United Wa State Army's areas of greatest control was more than offset by increases in south and east Shan state; lack of government will to take on major narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; major source of methamphetamine and heroin for regional consumption; currently under Financial Action Task Force countermeasures due to continued failure to address its inadequate money-laundering controls (2005)
Certain New World Order families were and probably still are the major dealers in heroin and other narcotics.
So it would appear that the Burmese "evil and wicked Military Junta", as I heard a British government official refer to the Burmese dictatorship, is serving the New World Order well enough; it is co-operating with Chevron to develop the large Burmese natural gas fields, and it is not doing that much to eradicate the opium and heroin production.
Contrast that with what the Taliban did; despite being wooed to the USA they wanted much more money than Unocal would have liked, and they also destroyed the opium industry. In 2001 no evidence was provided that Afghanistan was involved in 9/11, and in 2002 was invaded and the Taliban were overthrown.