Saturday, June 12, 2010

What goes around comes around

Via Counterpunch

One of the greatest bailouts in history came in 1953, when the Eisenhower
administration authorized a CIA-backed coup in Iran. The Anglo-Iranian Oil
Company, owned by the British government, had been expropriated and
nationalized in 1951 by unanimous vote of Iran's parliament. The '53
coup evicted prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq and installed Shah Reza
Pahlevi, the creature of the West's oil companies , with full tyrannical
powers. The AIOC got back 40 per cent of its old concession and became an
internationally owned consortium, renamed… British Petroleum.

There are plenty of American ingredients in the company, with such BP
acquisitions and mergers down the years as Standard Oil of Ohio, Amoco and
Arco,. No matter, it's "British Petroleum" now in the minds of Americans
and the company is the designated fall guy – a role it richly deserves
since, as Jeanne Pascal, a former lawyer for the US Environmental
Protection Agency, recently put it, "They are a recurring environmental
criminal and they do not follow US health, safety and environmental

No mercy.

Footnote: A CounterPuncher writes to me: "BP is indeed a conscience-less
company, possibly even more so than the rest. My father who was an
eye-surgeon was appointed by the Shah government and A.I.O.C.
(Anglo-Iranian Oil Co, later renamed BP) to teach Persian doctors to
battle trachoma in South Persia (Abadan). I remember the many instances of
utterly callous behavior from A.I.O.C. officials towards heavy accidents
in the huge refinery there affecting Persian workers, the neglect of
normal safety procedures and even the disgust about A.O.I.C.'s working
methods expressed by the Dutch director of Shell at whose house we were
staying for some time on Mount Demawand near Teheran."

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