Cheryl Seal
Bush Going after Burma Now? A Land Raped by Cheney's Co.
Tue Mar 28, 2006 18:10

Rice Rattles Bush Saber at "Human Rights Offender" Burma
But Fails to Mention that Dick Cheney Used the Burmese Military to Displace, Torture, Murder, and Enslave Natives

By Cheryl Seal

I turned on C-Span this afternoon (March 28) just in time to hear Condi Rice self-righteously pontifcating about the awfulness of Burma's current regime, which, says Condi, continually violates human rights on so many levels. The world simply MUST do something about Burma, she declared. Pardon me while I barf! Several US corporations - the same sleazoids who helped insure Bush was elected not once but twice - have made billions, collectively by flagrantly pissing all over the human rights of the Burmese, using the same "awful Burmese military" as its henchmen. And one of those countries was Halliburton....WHILE Dick Cheney was at the helm.

Condi bragged that the US had "taken care" of the other two regimes with the "worst human rights records" - Iraq and Libya - and that these two places "weren't a problem anymore." What a joke! Libya is still under the same dictator that it's had for decades (Moamar Ghaddafi). The only thing different is that he is making nice with US corporations like Halliburton which, by the way, has had an office in Tripoli for years (dba Brown & Root), even when doing biz with Libya was against US law due to sanctions.

Robert Bryce of the Austin Chronicle reported in 2000 that while Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, he "sought a way around the sanctions so that Halliburton could provide oil-field goods and services to Iran's oil industry. He tried to craft innovative approaches for Brown & Root to operate more openly in Libya. Since the mid-1980s, Gadhafi's "rogue regime" has paid Brown & Root more than $100 million to oversee engineering work on the Great Man-Made River Project, a massive, $20 billion pipeline project that will provide water for Tripoli and other Libyan cities. To get around the U.S. sanctions, Halliburton transferred the engineering work to Brown & Root's overseas offices. But it still hasn't escaped American law enforcement. In 1995, according to the Baltimore Sun, Brown & Root was fined $3.8 million for re-exporting U.S. goods through a foreign subsidiary to Libya -- in violation of U.S. sanctions." Note that right up to becoming Bush's running mate, Cheney was seeking ways to tap into Iran's oil industry business. Hmm...does anyone see a pattern here? What do Iraq, Burma, Libya, and Iran all have in common? 1. They have been vilified by the Bush administration AND 2. they have been economic playgrounds for Halliburton.

Condi today talked about dreadful the current Burma regime is, and how very sad that in 1990 the democratic government was overthrown. But it's all phony crocodile tears because there is little doubt that the first Bush administration had a hand in overthrowing said Democratic government and installing in its place a military regime that was not only friendly to US corporations, it helped them exploit the rights of the poorest of Burmese natives to save the corporations money.

Third World Traveler reported: "Halliburton had an office in Rangoon as early as 1990, two years after the military regime took power by voiding the election of the National League for Democracy, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi. In the early 1990's, Halliburton Energy Services joined with Alfred McAlpine (UK) to provide pre-commissioning services to the Yadana pipeline [a massive project, with the line running from Burma to Thailand]. .In 1997, after Dick Cheney joined Halliburton, the Yadana field developers hired European Marine Services (EMC) to lay the 365-kilometer offshore portion of the Yadana gas pipeline. EMC is a 50-50 joint venture between Halliburton and Saipem of Italy. From July to October 1997, EMC installed the 360-inch diameter line using its pipe-laying barges.

"The route followed by Halliburton and Saipem was chosen by the Burmese government to minimize costs, even though the onshore pipeline path would cut through politically sensitive areas inhabited by ethnic minorities in the Tenasserim region of Burma. Given the Burmese military's well-documented history of human rights violations and brutality, human rights groups say the western companies knew or should have known that human rights crimes would accompany Burmese troops into the onshore pipeline region. They say there was ample evidence in the public domain that such violations were already occurring when Halliburton chose to lay pipe for the project. As Katie Redford, a lawyer with EarthRights International puts it, "To be involved in the Yadana pipeline is to knowingly accept brutal violations of human rights as part of doing business."
As of 2000, Halliburton STILL worked in Burma, obviously having no problem coexisting with what Condi so hypocritcally condemned as one of the most brutal regimes on the planet
The Wall Street Journal reported in 2000: "Halliburton's Burma connection is a potentially embarrassing episode for Mr. Cheney, now in the final stretch of his campaign as the Republican vice presidential candidate. Since 1988, when Burmese's army killed thousands of pro-democracy protesters to stay in power, the country's military junta has been widely condemned as one of the world's most brutal violators of human rights. The U.S., which withdrew its ambassador and suspended aid to Burma a decade ago, banned new U.S. investment in the country in 1997 and has led international efforts to isolate the regime.

"The sanctions don't cover service contractors such as Dallas-based Halliburton and the energy-services giant's subsidiaries, nor do they affect U.S. investments in Burma prior to 1997. Hence, Halliburton, which today remains one of the last U.S. companies to keep an office in Burma." So right up until taking office, Cheney was pretty darn cozy with the "worst regime in the world."
Third World Traveler reported that "For years, Earth Rights International has worked to document an extensive pattern of forced relocation and forced labor associated with the Yadana pipeline. Earthrights International has used the evidence mounted to build its legal case against the western multinationals involved. Halliburton, which only worked on the offshore portion of the pipeline, is not a defendant in the case.
"ERI believes a consistent pattern of human rights and economic rights violations in the pipeline region are a predictable and direct result of the investments made by western multinationals.
"In August 2000, a U.S. federal district court concluded that the Yadana pipeline consortium "knew the military had a record of committing human rights abuses; that the Project hired the military to provide security for the project, a military that forced villagers to work and entire villages to relocate for the benefit of the Project; that the military, while forcing villagers to work and relocate, committed numerous acts of violence; and that Unocal knew or should have known that the military did commit, was committing and would continue to commit these tortious acts."
Corporate Mercenaries
Cheney and Halliburton Go where the Oil Is
Halliburton in Burma

Halliburton's Destructive Engagement: How Dick Cheney and USA-Engage Subvert Democracy at Home and Abroad

The Candidate from Brown & Root

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