by M. Ní Sheighin Friday, Jul 29 2005, 2:02pmBelow is a link to a story from The Nation by Naomi Klein on how, among other issues, the resources of a country should be used to benefit the people of the country from which oil/gas is extracted, and how this has not been the case in Nigeria, Bolivia and elsewhere.
It provides an interesting parallel with Ireland, except that Third World countries still reap more benefits financially from gas/oil exploration in their territories than is the case in Ireland, where our natural resources are given away for a song.'''Oil wealth urged to save Africa,' reads the headline in London's Observer. Here is a better idea: Instead of Saudi Arabia's oil wealth being used to ''save Africa,'' how about if Africa's oil wealth was used to save Africa--along with its gas, diamond, gold, platinum, chromium, ferroalloy and coal wealth? With all this noblesse oblige focused on saving Africa from its misery, it seems like a good time to remember someone else who tried to make poverty history: Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was killed ten years ago this November by the Nigerian government, along with eight other Ogoni activists, sentenced to death by hanging. Their crime was daring to insist that Nigeria was not poor at all but rich, and that it was political decisions made in the interests of Western multinational corporations that kept its people in desperate poverty. Saro-Wiwa gave his life to the idea that the vast oil wealth of the Niger Delta must leave behind more than polluted rivers, charred farmland, rancid air and crumbling schools. He asked not for charity, pity or ''relief'' but for justice...''''..The idea for which Saro-Wiwa died fighting--that the resources of the land should be used to benefit the people of that land--lies at the heart of every anticolonial struggle in history, from the Boston Tea Party to Iran's turfing of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan. This idea has been declared dead by the European Union's Constitution, by the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (which describes ''free trade'' not only as an economic policy but a ''moral principle'') and by countless trade agreements. And yet it simply refuses to die. ''Read full article at this link: http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050627&s=klein
29 July 2005 - 9:13pm