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Promise? 16 August 2009

Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
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Note
President Obama holds a note from his personal assistant Reggie Love as he speaks during a town hall meeting on health insurance at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

[EWEL SAMAD / AFP / Getty]

***

More seriously… Spiegel has a two parter (each part is just a page) on rich investors in various countries buying up, long term leasing farm land across the globe… Think catnip put up a report from one of the UK papers last week…

Part 1 The new colonialism

[E]very crisis has its winners. A group of them is sitting in the Stuyvesant Room at the Marriott Hotel in New York. The conference room, where the shades are drawn and the lights are dimmed, is filled with men from Iowa, Sao Paulo and Sydney — corn farmers, big landowners and fund managers. Each of them has paid $1,995 (€1,395) to attend Global AgInvesting 2009, the first investors’ conference on the emerging worldwide market in farmland.

According to most prognoses, there could be 9.1 billion people living on earth in 2050, about two billion more than today. In the coming 20 years alone, worldwide demand for food is expected to rise by 50 percent. “These are pessimistic prospects,” says the OECD man. He looks serious and even a little sad, as he describes the future of the world.

But for the audience in the Stuyvesant Room, mostly men and a handful of women, all of this is good news and the mood is buoyant. How could it be any different? After all, hunger is their business. The combination of more people and less land makes food a safe investment, with annual returns of 20 to 30 percent, rare in the current economic climate.

Susan Payne, a red-haired British woman, is the CEO of the largest land fund in southern Africa, which currently includes 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres), mainly in South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. Payne hopes to raise half a billion euros from investors. She talks about fighting hunger, but the headings on her PowerPoint slides, embellished with photos of soybean fields at sunset, tell a different story. One such heading refers to “Africa — the last frontier for finding alpha.” The word alpha signifies an investment for which the return is greater than the risk. Africa is alpha country.  snip

A cotton farmer in Burkino Faso. To boost harvests and achieve annual returns of 20 percent or more, foreign landowners must operate their farms on an industrial scale. When the soil becomes depleted after a few years, many investors simply move on. Land is so cheap that they are not forced to value sustainable farming practices. [AFP]

Part 2 The investor needs a weak state

“When food becomes scarce, the investor needs a weak state that does not force him to abide by any rules,” says Philippe Heilberg, an American businessman. A state that permits grain exports despite famines at home, that is consumed by corruption or deeply in debt, ruled by a dictatorship, racked by civil war, or sends millions of workers abroad and is dependent on these workers receiving visas and jobs.

Heilberg has found such a nation: South Sudan, which is in fact a pre-nation, autonomous but not independent. The 44-year-old American, son of a coffee merchant and the founder of the investment firm Jarch Capital, is now the largest land leaseholder in South Sudan, where he leases 400,000 hectares of prime farmland in Mayom County.

The mere mention of the words South Sudan conjures up images of civil war, refugees and famine, not of a place where one would consider growing tomatoes. But Heilberg raves that his project will be more beneficial to people than the UN, and that he will create jobs and produce food. And he is adamant that Paulino Matip, from whom he has leased the land for 50 years, not be referred to as a warlord, but as a “former warlord” or “deputy army chief.” Heilberg neglects to mention that the rebels led by Matip are suspected of having committed war crimes.

Ah, war crimes… but then we have too .. committed war crimes I mean.  Brothers in arms.

Solving the problem means developing new land, which is only available in Africa, Asia and South America. – Part 1

Not hard to figure out we don’t care the least little bit who starves in the countries themselves …  Who starves now and starves tomorrow – ’til the land renews…

Probably part of the plan… less visible destruction than invasion – war – occupation.  And, bonus! – the multi-national investor class takes care of it for us.

So simple it is brilliant!

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Comments»

1. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

The matters at hand….AND the Pic atop:
“..Sir You have time for 1
more question

But does HE Have time for one more answer? Do we?
And yes…ah yes… the fools gold foil. So appropo.

Cuz I certainly have time for more questions regarding the matters at hand. Control of the worlds food supply. War. Health. Civil Liberties and Justice. Just a few. Just a few questions of the not so just few.

But I am so glad this is being addressed. Because the next time an Obama for America person calls, I’ll be even more happy to share that I doooo indeed want to offer “more input”. To wit,

Did you happen to see a piece online where “the President” was holding a gold foiled Give-Em-The-Brushoff-Card and the author noted that….

perhaps,

Don’t you think SOME of l that money handed to the Rich to buy the Global Food Supply could have been used to Finance Healthcare? HMMM?

Provocative piece , thanks mcat. Top form.

I’m all starch cuff and goo foil noted out .
Top of the morning, everyone…

2. marisacat - 17 August 2009

Busy Bee gives a speech Monday. Shoring up the shore.

catnip - 17 August 2009

Obama described why he believes the Afghanistan policy he unveiled earlier this year is working and why the United States must remain committed to stabilizing the war-ravaged country.

“This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity,” Obama said. “Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.”

“So this is not only a war worth fighting, this is fundamental to the defense of our people,” Obama said.

War war rah rah rah. 9/11. Are you still scared? Well, you should be!

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Too many people don’t care enough about the wars.. but one thing people DO know, the wars have gone on too long and cost to damned fucking much.

BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

Well, it’s a Necessity War, now. He said so.
…And the neccisity-nar-i-ness …

And from the New Jersey perspective and all™..
take Labor Day weekend for instance, for those of us enticed by a pre-Hurricane swim…the last thing ya need , ya know—
is some Taliban swimmin up. Fuckers.

So I guess what he’s saying is
we have to Sink with them There,
so we don’t have to Swim with them Here.
Right?

But doesn’t that sound like….?

3. marisacat - 17 August 2009

Japan is said to be “limping out” of its recession… but I have no idea hwat this means:

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Chinese stocks tumbled 5.8 percent to their lowest close in two months on Monday, posting their biggest daily percentage drop in nine months on worries about added share supply and commodity price declines.

Hong Kong shares posted their steepest drop in 4-½ months of 3.6 percent on Monday, tracking a sharp drop on the Shanghai bourse and after U.S. consumer confidence data darkened the global economic outlook.

“Definitely not a capitulation … just that things were looking a bit overdone,” said Andrew Sullivan, sales trader with MainFirst Securities. “The markets have had a good run but a lot of people are still undecided on which way they will continue to move, so when there’s some bad news like the U.S. data, it’s not unusual to see some people take their money off the table.” […]

We’re supposed to perk up, be cheery and shop shop shop. Shop after we drop, even…

Why do I feel there are sea monsters hanging out there, beyond the sea mist. Prolly cuz there ARE…

4. marisacat - 17 August 2009

Watching for the sea monsters..

[A]t midday Monday, the FTSE-100 in London was down 1.9 percent, the DAX in Frankfurt was off over 2 percent and France’s CAC-40 shed 2.3 percent.

The Shanghai stock market has been a star performer for much of this year, with a rise of more than 80 percent during the first seven months of 2009 on ample liquidity and China’s relatively upbeat economic prospects. It reversed course in early August, starting a correction that many analysts had long said was overdue.

Monday’s fall means the index has now lost 17 percent since its Aug. 4 high — though it remains 57 percent above where it began this year.

Many observers believe there may be more declines to come.

5. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

Oh the effort to nudge the Rahm Narrative…
A top offering this weekend via NYT

Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff, Wields Power Freely, and Faces the Risks

Todays lede on Politico:

Israelis sour on Rahm Emanuel

Ken Vogel is the Politico journo of Philly /NJ origin…
kin to a Rubinite blogee on DK, a CPA from from NJ.. in Adam B’s circle…the link a few years back was hidden quickly, the original post and thread where it popped up in some dick swinging display deleted.

Anyways…. Haaretz – normally worth half a shit – has the same blubber in the last 24…
” Oh Bebe is just so pissed at Rahm and David….” GMAFB.

The only question IMO is– when was the greenlight given?
Israel is redoubling efforts at stoking internecine warfare between Fatah and Hamas, already rolling into East Jerusalem, ….and got another one of their IDF soldier captured.

Sensing the predictable from ThugNut Israel, Hezbollah says no prob, they can rocket Tel Aviv now if attacked…

So the distancing and distraction bullshit…Certainly Works for Bibi

The coming distraction– A “Besieged” Israel at War™….
is also welcome distraction that works for Rahm and Axelrod -domestically – given Ob’s patently obvious Born without Testicles sitch.

I figure an Israeli onslaught is a go ..soon…

Maybe when Obs at the Vineyard…Trot out the old devises ..stories about new devises… of the 24/7 commander in chief – He can be reached Anywhere! —the Holy Whizmo / Potus Communications /What Will They Think of Next stories as dated as the Red Phone…It’s Special! ///etc////

Yeh I think its a go..another run by the Israelis at justifying a spillover into Iran…maybe right after recess when US newsmedia returns to DC Drama
and the Pronounced Forehead types are obsessed with Football

marisacat - 17 August 2009

“Holy Whizmo”

I like that.

I thought the Rahm puffery was a laugh a minute.. the NYT barely bothered.

6. catnip - 17 August 2009

Obama=turncoat. Heads explode.

BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

That thread is fuckin bong-bong.
“Bob you racist pig” the tone of some nitwits…
the OTHER CAMP of nitwits insisting:
“NO! It’s OKAY to call the President simply “Barack” in a Diary!”

It’s a fuckin online Idiot Festival.
Especially Funny considering weirdo Steven Darksyde’s ridiculous crap about 25 buck a week TO START! paid blogging opportunities.

Yeh Sure. And David Patterson’s gonna win the Triple Crown next year.

catnip - 17 August 2009

Aren’t they precious?

BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

Yep.
But only for their money and designated DFH status.

catnip - 17 August 2009

You yanks are getting pony dispensers? I’m so jealous!

BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

I mis read that as “panty” dispensers.
Not that it made a dif..
The conclusion from the sap?. Even as
The Wheels on the Bus go Crunch Crunch Crunch …

OK, I’ll give you this one.
He hasn’t thrown us under the bus yet.
Does this sound better?
“He is throwing us under the bus.”

by damnlonghair hippie on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 12:28:31 PM PDT

Fuckinn…. Idiot Festival.

CSTAR - 17 August 2009

Hah! That thread is funnier than this one!

CSTAR - 17 August 2009

I think we might get aspirin dispensers as a health care compromise. If we’re lucky. (No soy yanqui)

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Norwich aspirin, a dollar for 200.

Go away and don’t call the government again…

🙄

CSTAR - 17 August 2009

Talking about yanquis and canadians, isn’t the whole heads exploding thing a canadian invention? Scanners. 🙂

7. marisacat - 17 August 2009

Dean Maddow and Feingold are demanding a Public Option.

Gotta lvoe it. To the big bad barricades!

8. catnip - 17 August 2009
9. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

Oh God.
It’s another Attack of The Chipmunk-Man.

Midday open thread
by kos
Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 11:55:16 AM PDT

I wonder if the White House truly understands the depth of anger they’ll face from the progressive side if they fail to pass health care reform with a strong public option. We haven’t busted our asses the last four years to pass bank bailouts and give insurance companies everything they ever wanted. If we wanted that, we’d be Republicans.

Oh sonny-munk, Markos…Yes YOU DID. And YES YOU ARE.

marisacat - 17 August 2009

earth to kos earth to kos:

No Public Option. Not that it matters (NTIM)

CSTAR - 17 August 2009

Try klingon.

10. catnip - 17 August 2009

The furor…the furor: The Sequel

Following a furor over how the data would be used, the White House has shut down an electronic tip box — flag@whitehouse.gov — that was set up to receive information on “fishy” claims about President Barack Obama’s health plan.

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Patheto the Flea. Leading the Flea Circus.

Republicans are drooling, wondering what is for dessert…

11. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

Dana Houle staying in Minnesota
by Populista
Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 03:11:34 PM PDT

Dana Houle is one of the best campaign managers in Democratic Party politics right now. {SNIP}

NyaOkayThat’sEnough

And ta tink –
He brought his last campaign to a conclusion without even a vote!

12. marisacat - 17 August 2009

Markets

Dow

-186.06 at 9135.34

Nasdaq

-54.68 at 1930.84

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 August 2009

Not happy w/ Obama? Nevermind, look! SCARY ARMED WHITE PEOPLE!!

Man Carrying Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle And Pistol Outside Obama Event (VIDEO)

UPDATE: The Associated Press is now reporting that there were actually about a dozen armed people among the protesters in Phoenix:

About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with an AR-15 assault rifle, milled among protesters outside an event where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday in Phoenix.

It’s the latest incident of gun-rights advocates visibly displaying firearms near the president.

Phoenix police say the people with guns, including a man carrying the assault rifle, didn’t need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

The man carrying the assault rifle declined to be identified, but told The Arizona Republic that he was carrying the weapon because he could, adding that he still has some freedoms.

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Exactly… and Southern Poverty law Center ramps up fundraising.

Which is not to diminish right wingers nor organised activities of the white right wing.

And, remember the Joker poster is racism. What misdirection it all is… worry about the damned poster.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 August 2009

Taibbi: Obama’s Pre-emptive Health Care Surrender

Now, obviously (and this is will be explored in more detail in the forthcoming piece, which will be out this week), the public option was not a cure-all. In fact, the Democrats had in reality already managed to kill the public option by watering it down to the point of near-meaninglessness. But the notion that our president not only does not have any use anymore for a public option, but in fact “will be satisfied” if there is merely “choice and competition” in the market is, well, disgusting.

I’ll say this for George Bush: you’d never have caught him frantically negotiating against himself to take the meat out of a signature legislative initiative just because his approval ratings had a bad summer. Can you imagine Bush and Karl Rove allowing themselves to be paraded through Washington on a leash by some dimwit Republican Senator of a state with six people in it the way the Obama White House this summer is allowing Max Baucus (favorite son of the mighty state of Montana) to frog-march them to a one-term presidency?

To quote Method Man’s Calvin “Cheese” Wagstaff character from The Wire, “This is some shameless shit right here.”

marisacat - 17 August 2009

I am sorry no one (that I am aware of) has snagged a longish, on the record, filmed interview with Baucus… because even in short appearances he is barely able to make sense.

15. marisacat - 17 August 2009

The charge of seeking to “reform” [cough choke strangle] health care with NO plan is gonna stick.

NYT

[T]he agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is the largest buyer of health care in the United States. Its programs are at the heart of efforts to overhaul the health care system. If it had an administrator, that person would be working with Congress on legislation and could be preparing the agency for a new, expanded role.

“The vacancy stands out like a sore thumb,” said Dr. Denis A. Cortese, president of the Mayo Clinic, often cited by the White House as a health care model.

“In effect,” Dr. Cortese said, “Medicare is the nation’s largest insurance company. The president and Congress function as the board of directors.

“Under a strong administrator, it could take the lead in making major changes in the health care delivery system, so we’d get better outcomes and better service at lower cost. snip

16. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

We have a black President.
by homogenius
Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 05:19:44 PM PDT

N.B.—–> – Speechless!

catnip - 17 August 2009

I look at the Obamas with misty eyes and at least a tiny glimmer of hopefulness for our country.

There’s your problem – right there.

catnip - 17 August 2009

So I’m looking at pictures of the Obamas, Soetoro-Ngs, and Robinsons on their trip through our National Parks on Huffington Post, and it hits me. Look at this beautiful multi-ethnic family, with roots across our country. A family of achievers who worked hard to succeed and represent what is best about America.

WOW!!!

Most here will remember that I came to support Obama via a twisted path–I still don’t understand how he and his team manage only to screw up on LGBT issues. It makes it very hard sometimes, and I struggle to maintain perspective. Similarly, it’s hard for us to look at the big picture when he’s playing his low-key, keep-the-cards-close-to-the-vest, patient, calculated game.

But just step back and look at those pictures. Look at what this guy did–he made it! He fought a hard campaign, defeated a supposedly undefeatable competitor for the nomination, and ran probably the most disciplined campaign for president in a generation (at least). And now The United States of America, for the first time, finally, has an African-American-identified, mixed race, born in Hawaii President. Dayum! We did it!

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

marisacat - 17 August 2009

well those are the people who consider Dana Houle the foremost Democratic campaign consultant in the nation.

The bubble is big over there…

catnip - 17 August 2009

They don’t get out much, do they?

CSTAR - 17 August 2009

I especially like
“Come take a breather with me after the jump…”

As a brazilian general supposedly said re the military coup in 1964: “We stood before the abyss and we took a step forward”…

17. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009

LMAO. Huge Font Size Atop HuffPo now.

CODE BLUE
Rockefeller, Feingold, Pelosi Call Public Option Essential

Psst. “Code Blue” generally means DOA. Total crump.
Fat chance. Have a smoke. Call the Morgue.

And its just a link thru to this…

Public Option Called Essential
Senate Democrats Express Concern
By Anne E. Kornblut and Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Concern!
HuffPo!…….Jeezis!…….Lazarus! …..What lengths!.
With regard to a pulse on the Left..
Dare anyone breath the words “Code Pink”???

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Express Concern

They are concern trolls! How appropriate.

18. catnip - 17 August 2009

haha

This is why Rahm is so very important (6+ / 0-)

I know folks get mad at him for what he does (or doesn’t do), but this is why it is critical for Obama to have Rahm in that position. These folks can’t say that Obama’s an “anti-semite” with a straight face as long as he has Rahm where he is.

by calchala on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:17:31 PM MDT

I’m sure Rahm luvs being seen as the Token Jew.

19. catnip - 17 August 2009

Chicago shuts down to save money

If they really want to save money, they should shut down DC for a while. Mind you, the cost of cleaning up the exploded grey matter of congresscritters and lobbyists might be prohibitive.

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Well reading about Chicago today… and watching reports.. i can say SF did one thing right, our garbage collection is private, contracted by the city… we pay individually.

Chicago garbage not getting picked up in August?

hmmmmmmmm. Leave town, if you can.

catnip - 17 August 2009

Toronto just went through a long garbage collectors’ strike. What a mess.

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Oakland had a long strike, several weeks, last summer. What a mess!

20. catnip - 17 August 2009

I sure am glad we brought democracy to Afghanistan. How about you?

marisacat - 17 August 2009

Also Karzai used those fundie laws against women, getting them thru the congress (or whatever it is called) as a way of making deals with fundies. The wording was changed some, tho not the restrictions on women and they pushed it thru.

moiv - 17 August 2009

Well, legalized starvation of one’s spouse does sound a bit unreasonable to Western ears. But to be fair, the new laws only apply to married Shia women who don’t slip out from underneath their burkas upon their husband’s “reasonable” demand.

Do you think Laura Bush might lend Michelle one of her old speeches on the vital importance of defending women’s rights in Afghanistan?

catnip - 17 August 2009

They’re recycling the same old war so why not?

21. BooHooHooMan - 17 August 2009
marisacat - 17 August 2009

Rush has lost 82 lbs. Maybe they have been dieting together. Next up, skin removal surgery!

22. marisacat - 17 August 2009

And so on…

[L]eft unmentioned was the fact that Daschle, in his capacity as a high-paid consultant at the law firm Alston and Bird, is once again working closely with lobbyists for UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. industry player, aiding the company’s effort to convince moderate Senate and House Democrats to, among other things, kill the public option and keep company profits high. snip

23. Arcturus - 18 August 2009

re Jarch:

29 Apr 2009

Although it slipped past the world’s media, in mid-April it emerged that Jarch Capital had doubled its landholdings in Southern Sudan. That takes the acreage owned by Phillippe Heilberg and chums to a massive 800,000 hectares, or 3,000 square miles, which the firm claims will become a gigantic agricultural plantation. Of course, for a firm whose motto is “because it is YOUR land and YOUR natural resources” there is a natural suspicion that oil or mineral goodies will be part of the deal as well.
. . .
Basically, Jarch is a “bucaneering” investment firm run by a man named Philippe Heilberg, an ex-commodities trader for the disgraced insurer/bank AIG and a man who has excellent connections on the New York cocktail circuit. On board with Heilberg are some curious names.

There’s Joseph Wilson, who rose to international fame when his wife was outed as a CIA operative after Wilson had poo-pooed the stories that the Bush administration was peddling concerning uranium exports from Niger to Iraq. Then there is Larry Johnson, an ex-CIA operative himself, who frequently appears as a talking head in the U.S. media and became something of a critic of Bush era policies. There is also J Peter Pham, a prominent neo-conservative commentator and “expert” on global issues, who had a far less critical stance towards the Bush administration. And there also used to be Gwyneth Todd, who played a role in the Clinton administration as an adviser on Middle East affairs.

It’s a well connected bunch of adventurers, although one slightly lacking in agricultural experience. What they share, apart from Pham, is an allegiance to the Democrat Party and a few have intelligence connections. link

marisacat - 18 August 2009

hmm thanks for that Arcturus. One thing I did pick up early, Wilson and the Plame foo foo was a Democratic scam.

marisacat - 18 August 2009

From Arcturus’ link:

[A]lthough I discuss it in detail elsewhere, Heilberg has pretty much admitted that Jarch’s strategy is to back dissident movements in strategically important countries with a view to cleaning up after the fighting ends.

As he told Energy Compass last year, “states in turmoil can be fertile ground for risk-takers who are ready to cut deals with today’s rebels on the chance they’ll become tomorrow’s leaders.” Which is exactly what he did in Southern Sudan. With a referendum looming on whether the South will secede from Sudan proper, a windfall looms for those risk takers. Firms with an already existing stake in Sudan, such as France’s Total or the Chinese firm Sinopec, will lose out.

It’s an elegant, if brutal business strategy, and it holds out the potential for a return to wholesale civil war in Sudan if it goes awry, which it probably will. And Jarch is helping to set in place a reactionary oligarchy in the South to protect its assets, which will certainly not help the long suffering peoples of the area.

24. Arcturus - 18 August 2009

& more – big time humanitarian patriots, this bunch:

Heilberg himself, frequently described as a bucaneering billionaire, has done time at AIG and Citibank (a glorious resume for sure), but this doesn’t seem to have dampened his spirits. In the 1990s he toured the ex-Soviet Union, tying up commodities deals, while he also worked for years out of Hong Kong for the now decrepid insurance behemoth.
. . .
As he told reporter Barry Morgan in February 2008, “I look at the unwinding of the Ottoman Empire, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two Gulf Wars and the fall-out from Bosnia & Herzegovina and I can see things reverting to a natural state of equilibrium where it simply makes no sense for some nations to be grouped together or stay in their earlier alignment.”

A year later, he was telling reporters that “several African states, Sudan included, but possibly also Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia, are likely to break apart in the next few years, and that the political and legal risks he is taking will be amply rewarded.”
. . .
n 2005, Heilberg thought that he had sewn up a $15 million deal to secure exploitation rights to an oil block in the region. The government in Juba, however, preferred to do business with a British based firm called White Nile (headed by an ex-test cricketer no less). In response, Heilberg sought to work through ethnically Nuer contacts in the region to whip up anti-Dinka sentiment (the Dinka dominated the government at the time). Turning away from the government, Heilberg struck up a relationship with Nuer leader General Paulino Matip, leader of the South Sudan Defence Forces.

Matip’s forces were then occupying a huge stretch of land, some 240,000 sq.km in extent – and promised Heilberg that it would be wrapped up into a “super block” for Jarch to exploit. This proved a canny decision when the government of South Sudan rejected White Nile’s overtures, leaving the ground free for Jarch to step in. Although it can’t extract and export the oil that it has reserved, owing to U.S. government sanctions, if Sudan should break up – and the south become independent – then Jarch will win big. America will too. The blocks that Jarch has reserved were once held by France’s Total, and could have passed to Britain’s White Nile or, horror of horrors – to China.

It’s independence or bust for Washington.
. . .
Jarch had reportedly entered into an agreement with the Sudanese firm LEAC, which just happens to be owned by the son of General Matip, with whom Jarch worked to conquer White Nile’s oil concessions in 2006.

According to the Sudan Tribune, “Through Gabriel Matip’s company, Jarch Capital will have the right to grow products including cereals, oil seeds, vegetables, fruits, and flowers and can process these raw commodities for both local and export use” or, of course, biofuels. This would be an innovative way of evading U.S. sanctions which, while prohibiting oil exports from Sudan, allow agricultural commodities to cross borders (a legacy of Coca-Cola’s lobbying to maintain supplies of gum arabic). Thus, Heilberg is playing a double game. If southern Sudan becomes independent, then sanctions will be moot, and the oil can flow. If independence is delayed (by a referendum scheduled for 2011) then the agrofuels head south, maybe with the odd cut flower to ease the way.
. . .
Either way, a huge a mount of land is going to be placed in the hands of American capital. In an article entitled “Sudan beckons for new investors,” the BBC somewhat gleefully suggested that “Such a vast tract of land will require a tremendous amount of labour, so there will be jobs and wages paid” – slave wages, of course, but no matter, as Jarch will be donating 10 percent of its profits to “community projects.”

According to Heilberg, this represents a “populist approach” stemming from their “grassroots” strategy. Yet this is nonsense. Heilberg’s concession is the product of local tyranny, in the form of Matip which is anything but “populist” or “grassroots.” As he told the FT, “You have to go to the guns, this is Africa.”

And not just any guns either. Heilberg went to the guns of a trusted ally of the United States. Matip had been in Washington as recently as August 2008, when he stopped by for “medical treatment” but, as a press release from the government of South Sudan related, he stayed for “talks with U.S. Administration official to discuss their support to transform the Sudan People’s Liberation Army to a conventional army.” A conventional army, in that it defends U.S. business interests.

Although Matip has been accused of warcrimes, he has been rehabilitated for use by Washington and Jarch Capital. As the FT relates, “Mr Matip fought with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement against the northern army before gaining notoriety during one of the bloodiest episodes in Sudan’s civil war, when he switched sides to form his own militia, with backing from parts of his Nuer tribe and the Khartoum regime.” Yet Phil Heilberg is unconcerned, commenting that “I am sure Paulino has killed many, but I am sure he did it in protection of his people.”
. . .
Across Africa, U.S. interests are stimulating separatist conflicts so as to enclose the resources that those same separatists lay claim to. The greatest risk that men like Heilberg face is not instability (that’s essential). It is disclosure – being found out. And it’s quite likely that the U.S. has been playing an identical game in Sudan’s Darfur region for years.

Heilberg certainly suggests as much. “If you bet right on the shifting of sovereignty then you are on the ground floor. I am constantly looking at the map and looking if there is any value” he told the FT, which then reported that “he was also in contact with rebels in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, dissidents in Ethiopia and the government of the breakaway state of Somaliland, among others.” That report was in January 2009. Such “contact” is ongoing. The International Republican Institute opened an office in Somaliland last year, for example, suggesting that the assisted disintegration of Somalia is reaching a new stage.

His sentiments reflect U.S. geostrategy, which is not informed strongly by human rights concerns. If it was, then the State Department would be asking serious questions about how deep Jarch’s links with Abdul Wahid Mohammed Nur – the leader of Darfur’s Justice and Equality Movement – go. Nur is the primary obstacle to a peace agreement in the region, other rebel groups having long ago expressed a desire to negotiate with Khartoum. Yet Nur fights on.

25. Arcturus - 18 August 2009

piling on:

[Blackwater] has, however, maintained a presence in the south of Sudan for over a year, training the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army, or a segment of it, for unknown reasons. As the AP reported in January 2007, the South’s representative in Washington told reporters that Blackwater would start training troops within weeks. The State Department confirmed that a “training proposal” had been received.
. . .
As noted above, Jarch is wagering on the disintegration of Sudan. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that they are happy to see Blackwater et al training SPLA troops in the region. Whether they are helping to fund the initiative is unclear. But what is clear is that the stakes are high.

A referendum scheduled to be held across Sudan in 2011 will theoretically determine the shape of Sudan after that point, with southern secession on the ballot. What won’t be on the ballot are two boxes – one marked “Total” and the other marked “Jarch” . . .link

marisacat - 18 August 2009

Thanks for that Arcturus…

I understand “Xe” rhymes with “Nazi”.

Been flipping thru google searches on Erik Prince the last couple of days, esp his Catholic connections and donations..

26. Arcturus - 18 August 2009

rhymes w/ “we” as well . . .

bottoms up

marisacat - 18 August 2009

rhymes w/ “we” as well . . .

There you go… mutable.. flexible. Modern.

I notice their moto, Jarch I mean, is “…because it is YOUR land and YOUR resources”.

So flexible!

27. Arcturus - 18 August 2009

one more, sans “s – I need to get to sleep – by David Barouski, an interesting Canadian researcher/journalist – goes into more details:

Natural Resources in Sudan and Africa: What Nobody is Talking About

28. marisacat - 18 August 2009

IOZ:

[H]eadlines warning that the so-called public plan may be “dropped” entertain the same fallacy as The Obama’s liberal supporters engage–those on the left-hand side of the idiot corpus as it were. They assume that there exists a “public plan” to be dropped. Meanwhile, the rightards engage in some supremely amusing agitprop, creating a fictional groundswell of chimerical grassroots opposition to a proposed system of socialized medicine that was never really proposed.

The whole thing is a sham, and in the end the circular genius of state capital will again reward itself by reforming a system in favor of the system already in place. snip

29. marisacat - 18 August 2009

What does anyone say anymore. Tunisian woman is pregnant with a dozen …

30. marisacat - 18 August 2009

gnu

LINK

…………….. 😯 ……………..


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