That President Obama has been paid more money by BP, the oil company responsible for the explosion and oil leak of April 23, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, than any other president creates no great confidence in his willingness to protect the land he technically presides over. The reins are in other hands, the hands of BP in this case. A pressure of seventy thousand pounds per square inch a mile below the floor of the Gulf where the oil is gushing at the rate of four million gallons a day creates little confidence in the ability of BP to do anything about it.
Babies born in Japan in 1945, at the end of the second world war, can hardly be blamed for anything Japan may have done during that war. Those who did it are all dead, and the babies are now aged sixty five, having lived all their lives in a conquered and occupied country, without any action committed by them to justify that, or any power to change it – the reins are in other hands. The hands belong to France, UK, US, the victors of world war two, who also control the UN security council, with the power to forbid any decision made by the rest of the world.
In “the land of the free” (note for the weaker brethren: this is the name that the United States of America has for itself) it is unacceptable to call the recent Gaza aid convoy, attacked by the Israelis in international waters with ten or so people killed, “relief,” or “humanitarian.” Only the term “Pro Palestinian” is allowed, and this is the description unanimously used by the “free press.” By decision of the UN security council only the Israeli government is qualified to carry out an investigation into that attack – the reins are in those, and only those, hands.
So control of the Gulf oil spill since April 23 has remained entirely in the hands of BP, who also have control of all statements about it, since they are the only people who know about oil drilling. Workers BP has hired to deal with the oil inexorably advancing to the Florida, Louisiana, and Texas coasts are paid about three thousand dollars a day, but their contract with BP forbids them to talk to the press. At $3,000 a day they can hardly refuse. Workers who wear masks are fired since this might create the impression the operation is dangerous to health. As indeed it is.
The paid minions of BP in the US congress (“Invest in America! Buy a congressman!”) are making great efforts to limit liability to seven hundred thousand dollars, from a daily profit of many billions, but the share price of BP has fallen by some thirty five per cent. After its Alaskan oil pipeline spill disaster, and the refinery fire disaster, both caused by ignoring safety regulations, maybe the company has an uncomfortable feeling that perhaps people will talk. By one of those ironic strokes of fate (BP stands for British Petroleum, and has its head quarters in London) the UK “…Daily Mail's main concern is that the drop in BP share prices will affect (some) people's pension plans.... Now that WOULD be terrible…” and the currents are carrying four million gallons a day by the Gulf Stream towards the western isles, “the islands of the blessed” in the ancient world, also known as the British Isles. (So there is a God, after all?)
Those are the hands that hold the reins of power. Charming.