BP: The Unfinished Tale of Imperialism
by Frederic F. Clairmont on 26 Jun 2010 0 Comment

In  the  light of BP’s crime  against humanity  committed in the the Gulf of Mexico, it  is well  to remember the sordid historical role of BP and its earlier incarnation as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. This  company was the  apogee of imperialist  rapacity and we should not forget  the judgment of Iran’s president Dr. Mossadeq at the time of the Abadan Crisis.  Its story is littered with blood  and unbounded exploitation. Its victims of which Iran is but one glaring examole knew nothing of  the scale of its financial swindles. Its corporate balance sheet was  the Big  Lie writ large.

The entire corporate and accounting structure was a vast machine of lies. BP moved hand in hand with the British government. Among its biggest shareholders  was Churchill and the British Royal Family, that harked back to the pre-l914 days. No one except its cabal of gangster officialdom knew how much oil  it  extracted from the bowels of our planet. Listen to the  charge sheet of  the  moderate nationalist that was Dr Mossadeq in 1950.


Let us be clear, Dr Mossadeq  was a political moderate who was not seeking the expropriation of  the AIOC but merely a larger share of of the petroleum dollar. But even that  species of reformism was wholly unacceptable. The  unbending position of  BP and its political cronies was  similar to that of a leading US oil magnate in Venezuela in 195l: Here in Venezuela you have the right to do what you like with your capital. This right is dearer to me than all the political rights in the world” [Quoted in TIME 21 September 1952.] And that we might add was in the aftermath of a succesful military coup that guaranteed unlimited market and ownership rights to the oil giants.


“The petroleum industry” notes Dr Mossadeq at the moment of the Abadan crisis, has done nothing for the well-being of my country. The evidence  for that statement is that after 50 years of exploitation by a foreign oil company, we still do not have enough Iranian technicians and must call in foreign experts... The Iranian government is determined to use this vital resources, which is part of our national patrimony, to raise its standard of living...” True, but imperialism, then as now, has never been  concerned with raising ‘living standards’. Rather the alpha and omega of its raison d’etre is the vampire-like extraction of mega profits  for an exiguous class of largely-white-skinned parasites.


Neither the British government nor the US Corporate military Gulag could tolerate  a change in  Iranian policy. The Iranian government was overthrown and we know the role of the CIA and the British government in this act of state terrorism: that is  part of the familiar historical record. Tens of thousands died in the counter-revolutionary bloodbath that followed. 


Emphasising the political aspects posed by foreign investments in Iran before the UN Security Council, Dr Mossadeq charged: [Minutes, UN Security Council, 15 October 1951]

“It went without saying that as long as a company as the former Anglo-Iranian Oil Company [which subsently re-baptized itself as  BP or British Petroleum] had a monopoly over this source of wealth, the government and people of Iran  could not enjoy political independence. Despite its business facade, this company is to be considered  as the modern counterpart of the  old East India Company, which, in a short period extended its control over India. The former Anglo-Iranian Oil Company  had an annual income exceeding that  of the Iranian government; the same was true of its imports and exports; it intervened actively in the internal affairs of the country, and threw its weight about in elections to the Majlis and the formation of cabinets, acting in a manner calculated to wring the greatest profits from resources under its control. By a complex organization network within the country, by corruption of government ministries, and the illegal support to native journalists and politicians, it had in fact created a State within a State, and little by little it sapped the independence of the Iranian nation.”


This is the blueprint of imperial genocide seen in the stricken soul of one of its victims.


This damning indictment of one of the greatest criminal corporations of all times has never been  more  succinctly  portrayed. 

Today BP is not merely extracting its super profits for a handful of mega parasites, it is destroying our  fragile planet, our peoples and its fauna and flora on a scale unprecedented in history.   

The crimes of BP  unmasks the face of imperialism in all its nakedness and no less the bankruptcy of  capitalism and its ideological peddlers.

Frederic F. Clairmont is a frequent contributor to Global Research. 

© Copyright Frederic F. Clairmont, Global Research, 2010; courtesy Global Research.ca

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