Thursday, January 05, 2006

NIGERIANNA

STEPHEN GAGHAN, THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF SYRIANNA APPEARED ON THE CHARLIE ROSE SHOW IN LATE 2005. HE TOLD A STORY ABOUT AN EXPRERIENCE HE HAD WHILE MAKING THE FILM.
HE HAD BEEN INVITED TO A HOME WHERE SEVERAL AMERICAN BILLIONAIRES, WERE DISCUSSING WHICH COUNTRY WOULD BE AMERICA’S NEXT ‘FOCUS.’

AFTER GIVING THEIR OPINIONS, THE HOST ANNOUNCED THAT THE CORRECT ANSWER WAS NIGERIA.

WITHIN DAYS OF THE ROSE SHOW, TWO PLANES CRASHED IN NIGERIA; ONE KILLING ALL 117 ON BOARD, AND THE OTHER KILLING 103.

ON JANUARY 1, 2006, A FRONT PAGE STORY APPEARED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES WITH THE HEADLINE,

BLOOD FLOWS WITH OIL IN POOR NIGERIAN VILLAGES

NIGERIA, WITH 130 MILLION PEOPLE, AND A POVERTY RATE OF 70%, IS AFRICA’S LARGEST PRODUCER OF OIL, AND THE ELEVENTH LARGEST PRODUCER IN THE WORLD.
THE TIMES ARTICLE EXPLAINED THAT A POTENTIALLY VAST FIELD OF CRUDE OIL HAS CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF A MAJOR ENERGY COMPANY, AND THAT AFRICAN OIL IS EXPECTED TO PROVIDE THE UNITED STATES WITH A QUARTER OF ITS OIL SUPPLY IN THE NEXT DECADE, UP FROM FIFTEEN PERCENT NOW.

IN THE NEW YORK TIMES ( JANUARY 6TH) THOMAS FRIEDMAN WROTE ABOUT 'PETROLISM'. IT'S HIS TERM, " ... FOR THE CORRUPTING, ANTIDEMOCRATIC GOVERNING PRACTICES IN OIL STATES... [ SUCH AS ]... NIGERIA."
HE CLAIMS THAT, "...OUR ENERGY GLUTTONY FOSTERS AND STRENGTHENS VARIOUS KINDS OF PETROLIST REGIMES, ... [ AND ] ... IT EMBOLDENS AUTHORITARIAN PETROLISM IN... [PLACES LIKE] ...NIGERIA,... WHICH WOULD HAVE COLLAPSED LONG AGO, BUT HAVE BEEN SAVED BY OUR ENERGY EXCESSES. "

NIGERIA IS ATTRACTING SOME ATTENTION. NO CONSPIRACY, BUT LET’S FOLLOW THE STORY.

9 comments:

Al Scionti said...

I have no idea what your article is about or why you wrote it. We can get the same information from many sources.
I,for one, couldn't care less about what happens in Nigeria or the rest of Africa. The whole country is nothing but ground zero for AIDS.

PS in your opening sentences you should have written poverty rate of 70% not poverty rate is 70%

Jim said...

Doesn't appear that Al Scionti is is a fan of Bruce, Africans or Aids victims. Sounds like quite the open minded,compassionate fellow.

Al Scionti said...

This is for Jim. I am a fan of Bruce, I have been for 47 years. When I said I have no idea why he wrote the article I meant why would anyone with his talent waste their time writing an article about a corrupt country who offers nothing to the rest of the world. A country that takes and takes and gives nothing. I have purchased merchandise all my life and the labels indicated that it was made everywhere but Africa. I have never purchased anything that was produced in Africa. They have more natural resources than all the other countries put together and yet they produce nothing. They are certainly good at one thing killing. They have been chopping each other up for years. All the aid they have been given over the decades has gone down the drain. The billions that George Bush and Bill Gates is giving Africa will disappear faster than a missionary in a pot.

MTH said...

Boy, that guy Al sure can take a whole lot of space to say absolutely nothing.
By the way, Al, you should have a space between "I" and "for" and "P.S." is an abbreviation for "Post Script". It's not an opportunity to look like a stunod.

Jim said...

Al,
To play upon an old cliche:
From your lips to Bill O'Reilly's ears.

P.S. In your second sentence you should have written, "...waste HIS time.." rather than "..waste THEIR time..." In the same sentence you should have written,"...a country WHICH offers.." rather than, "a country WHO offers." (offered in the same spirit as your thoughtful corrections).

quicksand said...

YES, MOST OF AFRICA IS A FAILURE.
AND MAYBE, THE REASONS GO FAR BEYOND ITS HISTORY WITH COLONIALISM.
BUT THIS ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT AFRICA OR NIGERIA.
IT'S ABOUT AMERICA, MOSTLY.
WE CLAIM THAT WE'RE IN IRAQ TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY, AND TO OPPOSE DESPOTIC REGIMES.
THE QUESTION HERE IS, WILL WE PRACTICE THAT SAME STANDARD IN PLACES SUCH AS NIGERIA?

hans blix said...

Wow, Africa produces nothing. Al is picky about grammar but a bit loose with his geography. Africa is a continent and not a country. And for a place that produces nothing that is good, it sure has drawn lots of interest from the West and now we can include China to that list. After colonialism, we had the Cold War to thank for propping up thuggish dictatorships. It wasn't just America and it still goes on today. French President Chirac warmly embraces Robert Mugabe.
The Nigeria case is not a new one. Oil companies have been there for decades and there was a worldwide boycott campaign of Shell after the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa in the mid-1990s. See:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/africa/nigeria_1-18.html
All this to say that if we want to drive cars to go buy a loaf of bread, we are going to have to live with the mess that's needed to get the cars on the road: from global warming to global thuggery.

Jim said...

Consistent with Hans Blix's points, our interest in the politics of other countries whether they be in the mideast (Iraq) or the dark continent of Africa is rarely if ever a matter of altruism. We couldn't care less about dictators and tyrants as long as these tyrants serve our economic and political interests. When asked whether he thought our presence in Iraq had anything to do with oil, the journalist Paul Fiske wisely replied, "If the maim exports of Iraq were asparagus and carrots, the 81st Airborne would not be there."

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