BP: The Unfinished Tale of Imperialism

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 dqya. No one except its cabal of gangsterofficialdom 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 A I O C 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 p;olitical rights in the world” [ Quoted inn TIME  21 September 1952.]   

And that we might ad 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  is the vampire-like  extraction of  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.

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Articles by: Frederic F. Clairmont

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