Friday, 25 June 2010

Gulf Oil Gusher: Danger of Tsunamis From Methane?

Gulf Oil Gusher: Danger of Tsunamis From Methane?

London, UK - 21st June 2010, 11:55 GMT
Updated with a References section on June 24th, 2010 at 23:30 BST:


A new and less well known asymmetric threat has surfaced in the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher. Methane or CH4 gas is being released in vast quantities in the Gulf waters. Seismic data shows huge pools of methane gas at the location immediately below and around the damaged "Macondo" oil well. Methane is a colourless, odourless and highly flammable substance which forms a major component in natural gas. This is the same gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. The "flow team" of the US Geological Survey estimates that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas, which primarily contains methane, is being released into the Gulf waters with every barrel of oil. The constant flow of over 50,000 barrels of crude oil places the total daily amount of natural gas at over 145 million cubic feet. So far, over 8 billion cubic feet may have been released, making it one of the most vigorous methane eruptions in modern human history. If the estimates of 100,000 barrels a day -- that have emerged from a BP internal document -- are true, then the estimates for methane gas release might have to be doubled.

Tsunami: Low Probability High Impact Event


Older documents indicate that the subterranean geological formation below the "Macondo" well in the Gulf of Mexico may contain the presence of a huge methane deposit. It has been a well known fact that the methane in that oil deposit was problematic. As a result, there was a much higher risk of a blow out. Macondo shares its name with the cursed town in the novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by the Nobel-prize winning writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

By some geologists' estimates, the methane could be a massive bubble trapped for thousands of years under the Gulf of Mexico sea floor. More than a year ago, geologists expressed alarm in regard to BP and Transocean putting their exploratory rig directly over this massive underground reservoir of methane. Warnings were raised before the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that the area of seabed chosen might be unstable and inherently dangerous.

Methane and Poison Gas Bubble

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found high concentrations of gases in the Gulf of Mexico area. The escape of other poisonous gases associated with an underground methane bubble -- such as hydrogen sulfide, benzene and methylene chloride -- have also been found. Recently, the EPA measured hydrogen sulfide at more than 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) -- well above the normal 5 to 10 ppb. Some benzene levels were measured near the Gulf of Mexico in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 ppb -- up from the normal 0 to 4 ppb. Benzene gas is water soluble and is a carcinogen at levels of 1,000 ppb according to the EPA. Upon using a GPS and depth finder system, experts have discovered a large gas bubble, 15 to 20 miles wide and tens of feet high, under the ocean floor. These bubbles are common. Some even believe that the rapid release of similar bubbles may have caused the sinking of ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle.

50,000 to 100,000 PSI

The intractable problem is that this methane, located deep in the bowels of the earth, is under tremendous pressure. Experts agree that the pressure that blows the oil into the Gulf waters is estimated to be between 30,000 and 70,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Some speculate that the pressure of the methane at the base of the well head, deep under the ocean floor, may be as high as 100,000 psi -- far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff valves and safety measures were only built for thousands of psi at best. There is no known device to cap a well with such an ultra high pressure.

Oxygen Depletion

The crude oil from the "Macondo" well, which is damaging the Gulf of Mexico, contains around 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Scientists warn that gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide and benzene, along with oil, are now depleting the oxygen in the water and are beginning to suffocate marine life creating vast "dead zones". As small microbes living in the sea feed on oil and natural gas, they consume large amounts of oxygen which they require in order to digest food, ie, convert it into energy. There is an environmental ripple effect: when oxygen levels decrease, the breakdown of oil can't advance any further.

Fissures or Cracks

According to geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be manifest via fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the path of least resistance, ie, the damaged well head. Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic midget submarines working to repair and contain the ruptured well. Smaller, independent plumes have also appeared outside the nearby radius of the bore hole. When reviewing video tapes of the live BP feeds, one can see in the tapes of mid-June that there is oil spewing up from visible fissions. Geologists are pointing to new fissures and cracks that are appearing on the ocean floor.

Fault Areas

The stretching and compression of the earth's crust causes minor cracking, called faults, and the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has many such fault areas. Fault areas run along the Gulf of Mexico and well inland in Mexico, South and East Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the extreme western Florida Panhandle. The close coupling of new fissures and cracks with natural fault areas could prove to be lethal.

Bubble Eruption

A methane bubble this large -- if able to escape from under the ocean floor through fissures, cracks and fault areas -- is likely to cause a gas explosion. With the emerging evidence of fissures, the tacit fear now is this: the methane bubble may rupture the seabed and may then erupt with an explosion within the Gulf of Mexico waters. The bubble is likely to explode upwards propelled by more than 50,000 psi of pressure, bursting through the cracks and fissures of the sea floor, fracturing and rupturing miles of ocean bottom with a single extreme explosion.

Cascading Catastrophe Scenarios

1. Loss of Buoyancy

Huge methane gas bubbles under a ship can cause a sudden buoyancy loss. This causes a ship to tilt adversely or worse. Every ship, drilling rig and structure within a ten mile radius of the escaping methane bubble would have to deal with a rapid change in buoyancy, causing many oil structures in its vicinity to become unstable and ships to sink. The lives of all the workers, engineers, coast guard personnel and marine biologists -- measuring and mitigating the oil plumes' advance and assisting with the clean up -- could be in some danger. Therefore, advanced safety measures should be put in place.

2. First Tsunami with Toxic Cloud

If the toxic gas bubble explodes, it might simultaneously set off a tsunami travelling at a high speed of hundreds of miles per hour. Florida might be most exposed to the fury of a tsunami wave. The entire Gulf coastline would be vulnerable, if the tsunami is manifest. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southern region of Georgia might experience the effects of the tsunami according to some sources.

3. Second Tsunami via Vaporisation

After several billion barrels of oil and billions of cubic feet of gas have been released, the massive cavity beneath the ocean floor will begin to normalise, allowing freezing water to be forced naturally into the huge cavity where the oil and gas once were. The temperature in that cavity can be extremely hot at around 150 degrees celsius or more. The incoming water will be vaporised and turned into steam, creating an enormous force, which could actually lift the Gulf floor. According to computer models, a second massive tsunami wave might occur.


The danger of loss of buoyancy and cascading tsunamis in the Gulf of Mexico -- caused by the release of the massive methane and poisonous gas bubble -- has been a much lower probability in the early period of the crisis, which began on April 20th. However, as time goes by and the risk increases, this low probability high impact scenario ought not to be ignored, given that the safety and security of the personnel involved remains paramount. Could this be how nature eventually seals the hole created by the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher?


Related Briefings:

Beyond Oil: Beginning of a New Era?


Active methane venting observed at giant pockmarks along the US mid-Atlantic shelf break

Analysis of methane and sulfate flux in methane-charged sediments from the Mississippi Canyon, Gulf of Mexico

Life at the edge of methane ice: microbial cycling of carbon and sulfur in Gulf of Mexico gas hydrates

Methane-induced dolomite "chimneys" on the Kuroshima Knoll, Ryukyu islands, Japan

Gas hydrates: past and future geohazard?

Solubility of crude oil in methane as a function of pressure and temperature

A review of methane and gas hydrates in the dynamic, stratified system of the Blake Ridge region, offshore southeastern North America

The Sissano, Papua New Guinea tsunami of July 1998 -- offshore evidence on the source mechanism

Tsunami deposits in the geological record

Tsunamis and Tsunami Sedimentology

Tsunami hazards in Europe

Nonlinear analysis on dynamic behavior of buoyancy-induced flame oscillation under swirling flow

The structure of buoyant methane and propane diffusion flames

Effects of temperature and wave conditions on chemical dispersion efficacy of heavy fuel oil in an experimental flow-through wave tank

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Franz J. T. Lee, History of Wisdom - Science & Philosophy

Franz J. T. Lee


Ancient Greek Philosophy: Materialism versus Idealism
  Book I & II 
PANDEMONIUM  BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS; Mérida, Venezuela, 2003.  





© 2003   Franz J. T. Lee All Rights. 


1. Introduction to Philosophy

Like Socrates, inter alia,
we know that we know nothing.
 Labour, Patria and History
Before we blaze the fiery, archaic Ancient Greek trail of the "History of Wisdom", we have to introduce our concept of History, based in the Labour process, developed as a result of decades of investigation, research, scientific acting and action, of philosophic thinking and thought, in brief, of práxis  a n d  theory. Certainly, at least three major concepts have to be clarified: Labour, History and the Patria. However, formal logically,  it is well-nigh impossible to expound these far-reaching central conceptual processes in a few introductory paragraphs,
Nonetheless, as we continue, in the following chapters, their real meanings, true context and contents will unfold themselves. Hence, we bid the reader to be patient; on reading the texts again and again, eventually the above will become philosophic household words.  What follows now is unusual, is new, original, authentic.  Let us follow this strange logics step by step, there is an important "method" in this seeming "madness" ( See: Franz J. T. Lee, Science and Philosophy. Also: Franz J. T. Lee, Philosophical Dialogues).  
 The Pico Bolivar Scientific-Philosophic Perspective: A Simple Approximation of a Possible New Man of the Third Millennium
Levels, Degrees and Mensions of Human Knowledge

Looking through the window here in Mérida, outside there, at the foot of Pico Bolivar, everything is still near and clear, warm, essential and identical, simple and easy, level and tangible, only a limited panorama enters our vision. Higher up, things already move to a distance, they are seen in another context, more related, contradictory and complex; they can only be reflected as such in their different degrees of existence. To explain this complex, complicated matter to someone who forever has been living, acting and thinking in a formal logical, flat, limited world, in a binary and bicameral surrounding, is well-nigh impossible. For her/him to understand concepts like Labour, Ideology or Revolution, s(he) must make some intellectual effort, must activate dormant theoretical capacities, must ascend Pico Bolivar, at least to the second station of the "teleférico", of the cable car lying in the middle part.
Who reaches the top, enters new mensions, has an all round view, sees things in the far distance. Everything appears vague, cool. cloudy and intangible, but one can perceive all sorts of relations, contradictions, conflicts, and antagonisms, one gets a global social vision, a transhistoric perspective.
Because we are socially cognisant of all praxical levels and theoretical degrees, have reached the cold, lonely, well-nigh inaccesible trancendental cliffs of snow-capped Minerva, this new sublime mension, void of all ideological slime, can now be discovered by us, by conscious and conscientious students and professors, for precise, incisive and decisive investigation and research work. This newly acquired knowledge and transhistoric perspective enable us to surmount other majestic emancipatory Andean heights and depths, to reach other unknown micro-, meso- and macroscopic spheres of creative, galactic emancipation.
In this way, the New Man of Ernst Bloch and of Che Guevara could regain his lost human trinity: the human being and existence and transcendence.
Without a radical, cultural, creative revolution, without a transcending "exvolution" towards human emancipation, without a "transvolutionary" exodus (Ernst Bloch) out of capitalist and imperialist misery, without casting off the religious and ideological "chains of illusion" (Erich Fromm), a possible new species man can and will not accomplish any true socialism or real communism, in fact, will not even be given any transit to purgatory or any keys to open the gates of earthly paradise or divine heaven.
This has to be kept in mind, in education, in "exformation", in schools and universities, where revolutionary práxis and theory should be developed, studied, applied. Mixing up the levels, degrees and mensions of things, of relations and processes, of labour reality, as explained above, leads directly to ideological confusion, to reactionary fatalism, defeatism and nihilism.
In short, in our schools, missions, universities and other institutions of "higher" learning, in our educational and socialization institutions, simple things ... like conserving potable water, by closing leaking taps well, by not singing more than one song under the shower (Chavez) ... that is, tangible realities that can be grasped easily by a still oppressed, manipulated and indoctrinated mind, can and must be expressed straightforwardly as concrete levels, in simple, scientific, praxical terms as human acts. As such the latter can and will be understood precisely by any still thinking mind.
Complex things, like práxis and theory, ... like ideology and practice, like reform and revolution, like Ernst Bloch's scientific and philosophic explanations of the relations between cold and warm currents in revolutionary Marxism, ... cannot be expressed as simplicity, it is not their natural habitat. They presuppose intellectual endeavour, social reflection and philosophic creativity.
Vague things like emancipation, like a possible postcapitalist mode of creation, ... like the Arab philosophic concepts of Avicenna or Averroes, natura naturata and natura naturans, creative and created nature, ... definitely do include simple and complex issues, but scientifically and philosophically, they can only be grasped radically and rationally with excellent reasoning, with transcendental excellence, that is with emancipatory, creative Wisdom, more precisely, with transcendental immanence and immanent transcendence (with Bloch's principle of hope).
Logically, academic and intellectual issues and questions that concern the very existence and transcendence, the quo vadis of the human species cannot be approximated with political multiple choice tables or by means of mammoth audio-visual manuals and formal logical questionnaires. We should learn to understand and explain them in an opaque transhistoric fashion. Otherwise, to explain transhistoric wisdom irresponsibly in simple and complex terms, as Mickey Mouse comic strips, as popular hit parade songs, as obsolete catechisms or eternal textbooks for beginners, as liveless things, as absolute truths, that have to be learned by rote, is simply a useless educational venture and a dangerous academic adventure. On the university campus, this kind of academic abuse plays havoc with anything progressive or hopeful, from all directions and tendencies will just call into being student turmoil and devastating professorial typhoons, conspiracy, high treason sabotage and murder, and consequently, will transform the democratic alma mater, the sapient spirit of Minerva, into an ideological factory of the ruling ideas of the ruling classes, into a reformist, reactionary lair for all kinds of social vipers, vices, hoaxes, treachery and corruption.
In the current age, where Hitler's fondest, Orwellian dream is globally becoming true ... "if you want to control a people, control its education" ... more than ever should we defend academic revolutionary práxis and theory, should we create human, transcendental, emancipatory wisdom. Because dialectically absolute truths do not exist in the concrete fields of human science and philosophy, because no objectivity exists without subjectivity, and vice versa, also, in this case we have to choose sides, the side of truth, of humanity, of the billions of "wretched of the earth" (Frantz Fanon) to instruct ourselves and our students cum ira et studio.
We love our erudite professors, we love our diligent students, but the knowable truth and truthful knowledge we love even more.
Building on past scientific and philosophic knowledge, in what historic context can academics and intellectuals support revolutionary práxis and theory in the 21st Century? Let us now concretize the quintessence of our transhistoric quo vadis! What created us? What can we create? --  read more ...


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Franz J. T. Lee // Venezuela: What should never happen in the Orinoco Delta

Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Bylined to: Franz J. T. Lee
Franz J. T. Lee // Venezuela: What should never happen in the Orinoco Delta
Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Bylined to: Franz J. T. Lee

VHeadline commentarist, University of Los Andes (ULA) political sciences professor, Dr. Franz J. T. Lee writes: We could make mistakes, err with reference to anti-capitalism or pro-socialism, however, one thing is certain: the British Petroleum oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the Shell oil catastrophe in the Niger Delta in Africa should never occur in the Orinoco Delta.
Why? It would spell doom for the Bolivarian Revolution and for human emancipation in Latin America and the rest of the globe.
These disasters show who and what are really governing the world, are ruling in the United States of America or in Nigeria: the multinational corporations like BP, Shell, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, Repsol, etc.
What do we know about what really is happening in the Gulf of Mexico, what caused this mega-disaster?
Perhaps in 50 years, when Eva Golinger would inform us about the latest declassified materials in the 'Correo of the Orinoco,' we would have a foggy idea about the criminal war acts of an international mafia syndicate of corporatism. Meanwhile, we can just guess and speculate, could become part of Murdoch's pan et circenses, of mass 'journalistic' manipulation and entertainment which deviate attention away from real news, towards the international traffic of ideological virtual opium.
Inter alia, what is not in the news, and what Venezuela should avoid to happen in the Orinoco Delta?
Why were 17,000 US National Guard members deployed along the Gulf Coast? To guard what? Who should not see what? Are we being informed what Barack Obama's "Gulf recovery czar" really is doing there. Elsewhere the use of Corexit 9500 for such cases is banned, why does BP insist in using it, and what must sink to the bottom of the ocean for the public not to see?
With reference to the above, "it is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:10) is lethal to 50% of fish exposed to it within 96 hours. That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish. So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren't they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?"
Mike Adams explains who really is governing the USA: "Sadly, BP is running the show in the Gulf, not the government! The U.S. government has sold out to private corporations who now think they own the gulf and can run operations there however they see fit."
How dangerous the situation really is, is indicated by the fact that thousands of birds from the Gulf region are migrating northward. Just before the huge tsunami in the Indian Ocean a while ago, animals fled while the clueless human beings who have lost all their natural psi-factors stayed behind and perished. The Gulf spill is a premonition of worse things to come.
Venezuela, we could safely trust in God, however the dollar of Corporate America also trusts in God.
  • This is the reason why Venezuela should be very careful in the corporation with multinational oil corporations. We have two oil disasters already. A third or fifth one will put us on the track of self-destruction.
Perhaps, at last, corporate imperialism wants to introduce Nikolai Tesla' technology, free energy, an alternative to corporate barbarism?
To save BP or Shell, looking at all the metropolitan belligerent moves of the Pentagon, NATO Southcom or Africom, looking at the military bases encircling Venezuela and also at the military cooperation between Brazil and the USA, we can safely conclude that we are drifting more and more away from freedom, from socialism, towards post-Orwellian world barbarism.
Franz J. T. Lee

Monday, 21 June 2010

What's clear about the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico

What's clear about the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico  
(NaturalNews) What's clear about the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is that the independent journalists are doing a better job of asking the really tough questions than the mainstream media. Sure, CNN, Fox and others are bringing some attention to the matter, and they've done some solid reporting on it, but they haven't yet found a way to ask the deeper questions like why the U.S. government seems to be colluding with BP to cover up the truth about the spill.****

Just the other day, I found an article entitled, "16 Burning Questions About The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill" on the site ( It was a really insightful collection of important questions, so I've repeated them below. The author of these questions wasn't mentioned on the page, so I regret I cannot properly attribute the list, but I do think they're worth reviewing, so I've included my own commentary and an extra question below.

Here are the 16 questions:

#1) Barack Obama has authorized the deployment of more than 17,000 National Guard members along the Gulf coast to be used "as needed" by state governors. So what are all of these National Guard troops going to be doing exactly? Are the troops going to be used to stop the oil or to control the public?

Mike's comment: Good question. Much of the response activity to the spill seems to be about controlling the public's perception and limiting media access to the spill site rather than actually cleaning up the mess.

#2) Barack Obama has also announced the creation of a "Gulf recovery czar" who will be in charge of overseeing the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico region following the oil spill. So is appointing a "czar" Obama's idea of taking charge of a situation?

#3) Because it is so incredibly toxic, the UK's Marine Management Organization has completely banned Corexit 9500, so if there was a major oil spill in the UK's North Sea, BP would not be able to use it. So why is BP being allowed to use Corexit 9500 in the Gulf of Mexico?

Mike's answer: Because Corexit kills sea animals and makes them sink and disappear rather than allowing them to wash up on shore where the emotional outcry would be even worse than it is already.

#4) It is being reported that 2.61 parts per million of Corexit 9500 (mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:1o) is lethal to 50% of fish exposed to it within 96 hours. That means that 1 gallon of Corexit 9500/oil mixture is capable of rendering 383,141 gallons of water highly toxic to fish. So why was BP allowed to dump 1,021,000 gallons of Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 into the Gulf of Mexico, and why aren't they being stopped from dumping another 805,000 gallons of these dispersants that they have on order into the Gulf?

Mike's answer: Sadly, BP is running the show in the Gulf, not the government! The U.S. government has sold out to private corporations who now think they own the gulf and can run operations there however they see fit.

#5) If these dispersants are so incredibly toxic to fish, what are they going to do to crops? What are they going to do to people?

Mike's answer: They're obviously going to poison the entire Gulf Coast region if hurricanes whip up these chemicals and deposit them on land. We could be looking at a complete wipeout of the Florida citrus industry, for example, if all the worst conditions converge.

#6) If the smell of the oil on some Gulf beaches is already so strong that it burns your nostrils, then what in the world is this oil doing to wildlife that encounter it?

#7) Is it a bad sign that birds from the Gulf region are flocking north by the thousands?

Mike answer: Remember the Tsunami in the Indian ocean a few years back? The animals fled first, while the clueless people stayed behind and got clobbered by the deadly wave. I think a similar thing could be happening in the Gulf. All it takes is one hurricane to turn the entire region into a toxic stew of chemical poison.

#8) Why is BP being allowed to use private security contractors to keep the American people away from the oil cleanup sites?

Mike's answer: Yes, this is the real question. BP is running security in the Gulf the same way Halliburton runs security in the Middle East. The corporate contractors are now the police force in the area, and they're running the Gulf as if they owned it! This is a clear indication that the corporations have taken over our government.

#9) Why is BP openly attempting to manipulate the search results on sites like Google and Yahoo?

#10) Why has the FAA shut down the airspace above the Gulf of Mexico oil spill? What don't they want the American people to see?

Mike's answer: There are lots of answer to this one: The feds probably don't want people in small airplanes taking aerial photos and posting them online (because the Obama administration is working overtime to cover up the truth here, much like the Bush administration did with the flag-draped coffins coming home from war in the Middle East). It could also be that they are planning something really crazy like a deep ocean nuke to collapse the well, and they don't want civilians falling out of the sky when the mushroom cloud appears.

#11) Senator Bill Nelson of Florida says there are reports that there are additional ruptures in the sea floor from which oil is leaking. If there are quite a few of these additional ruptures, then how in the world does BP expect to completely stop this oil leak?

Mike's answer: BP actually doesn't expect to stop this leak anytime soon. They are clearly in full-on spin mode, just trying to deny the truth and spin the words to buy themselves more time to offload stock shares before the whole thing comes tumbling down.

#12) Why are scientists finding concentrations of methane at up to 10,000 times normal background levels in Gulf waters?

Mike's answer: Because BP broke the ocean floor, and now huge volumes of gas hydrates (which contain methane) are bubbling up from places that were previously trapped safely underground.

#13) At some testing stations in the Gulf of Mexico, levels of benzene have been detected at over 3000 parts per billion, and levels of hydrogen sulfide have been detected as high as 1192 parts per billion. Considering that these levels would be highly toxic to humans, why hasn't the general public been warned?

#14) Why are so many Gulf oil spill disaster workers showing up at local hospitals complaining of a "mysterious illness"?

Mike's answer: This is going to be the Gulf War Syndrome of the Gulf Coast. Or the 9/11 asbestos question affecting firefighters. There will be a wave of toxic side effects from the use of chemicals in the Gulf, and both BP and the federal government will predictably deny any link between the chemicals and the health effects for years to come.

#15) If "70% or 80%" of the protective booms are doing absolutely nothing at all to stop the oil, then what is going to stop the millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf from eventually reaching shore?

Mike's answer: Nothing, of course. The oil is going to reach the shore, and there's nothing BP or the feds can do to stop in. In fact, it seems as if they are trying to interfere with the cleanup by halting the barges that were supposed to be vacuuming oil just off the beaches.

#16) It is being reported that the deep sea oil plumes are creating huge "dead zones" where all creatures are dying as they are deprived of oxygen. If this oil spill continues to grow could the vast majority of the Gulf of Mexico become one gigantic "dead zone"?

Mike's answer: Indeed, that is precisely what looks likely to happen. The Gulf of Mexico could become a massive dead zone, adding to the long list of humanity's crimes against the planet. See my related CounterThink cartoon at:

I've also added one more question of my own:

#17) Why is our government colluding with BP to cover up the truth about the spill?

Remember the BP press conferences on cable news? A U.S. Coast Guard representative was standing right there beside the BP spokesperson, almost as if she were a subordinate of BP. This is insane! If anything, the US Coast Guard should be telling BP what to do, not the other way around.

And why is the US Coast Guard restricting reporters' access to the spill areas, threatening them with arrest if they "trespass." Trespass into PUBLIC waters? Doesn't anybody realize that BP does not own the Gulf of Mexico and if we want to take our boats out into the Gulf to get some video of what's really happening there, that's our right! But the U.S. government is now working for BP, it seems, and they're trying to protect BP's image by restricting the freedoms of ordinary Americans.

Sound familiar? That's why I think this Gulf of Mexico disaster is another 9/11 reactionary freedom squasher in the works. Just wait... you'll see what kind of freedom-destroying ideas are put forth by our lawmakers in response to this catastrophe. When it's all said and done, it won't only be British Petroleum that loses; it will be all of us.

The Corporatocracy and government collusion
What we're really witnessing here with the BP disaster is our own government colluding with the powerful corporatocracy to cover up the truth all while making it worse by interfering with legitimate cleanup efforts.

It's almost as if the federal government were actively working to worsen the problem and expand the impact of the disaster. But that brings up the question: Why?

Why would our own government worsen a catastrophe? The answer, of course, is right in front of you. Just visit ground zero in New York City and remind yourself of all the various ways the U.S. government expanded its power following the collapse of the twin towers. "Never waste a good crisis" is the mantra of Big Government today, and the easiest way to steal even more power away from the people is to turn a small disaster into a big disaster, then leap in with a "government solution" that enacts some large, oppressive new act that never would have been possible before the disaster.

So what kind of oppressive new laws does the Obama administration want to put in place in response to this disaster? Perhaps government control over all oceans, or government control over all seafood. Maybe they want to outlaw oil over the next 25 years and force everybody to transition to some other form of energy (which may not actually be a bad idea from an ecological perspective, but at what price to freedom?).

There are a thousand other conspiracy theories that try to guess at what the government's true agenda might be in this moment. While it's hard to say which of them (if any) might be true, one thing is crystal clear: The government does not seem interested in solving the problem in the Gulf of Mexico. It is covering up the truth, threatening mainstream journalists who try to photograph the region, restricting air travel over the well site, restricting boat travel anywhere near the spill, and basically lying to the public on a daily basis about what's really happening there.

That alone should make any thinking person suspicious. If the situation were really under control, why would they have to lie about it?

US government poisons its own citizens
There is precedent for believing that the U.S. government might try to poison its own citizens in order to achieve a political goal. During Prohibition, the U.S. government actually released poisoned alcohol in order to harm (or kill) those who were defying the law and drinking liquor.

That story is published today here on Read it to learn more about what our own government may be capable of doing when it wishes to exercise power of the People.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

(Video) - English & Spanish - FIDEL AND MANDELA - The Military Defeat of Apartheid South Africa in Angola

(Video) - English & Spanish - FIDEL AND MANDELA - The Military Defeat of Apartheid South Africa in Angola
(Video) - Inglés y Castellano - FIDEL Y MANDELA - La Victoria Militar contra Sudáfrica del Apartheid en Angola

Youtube: LINK

Also in: 4Shared.Com:


South African Historical Context
Contexto Histórico Sudafricano
See / Ver:
Franz J. T. Lee, Suedafrika am Vorabend
der Revolution (South Africa at the Eve
of Revolution?), ISP-Publikationen,
Frankfurt am Main. 1976.
Content / Contenido

Südafrika am Vorabend der Revolution

Von: Franz John Tennyson Lee



A) Primärliteratur

B) Sekundärliteratur

C) Verschiedene

D) Broschüren

E) Periodika, Zeitschriften und Zeitungen


A) Demokratisches 10‑Punkte‑Programm der AAC, NEUM, SOYA, CPSU, APDUS etc.

B) Die Freiheitsurkunde

C) Trotzkis Brief zur nationalen und zur Landfrage in Südafrika

Veröffentlichungen von Franz J.T. Lee

Historic context / Contexto Histórico

The Roots of the Ultra-Colonial War in Angola
By Franz J. T. Lee

Article in "Review of International Affairs", Vol. XIV, No. 329, Belgrade, December 20, 1963
Pandemonium Electronic Publications, Mérida, Venezuela, 1999

In the twenty years after World War II there emerged what French geographers and social scientists call the Third World - Tiers Monde. It stretches from Latin America, across Africa and the Middle East, to Indonesia and the tropical Pacific Islands. It is populated by almost two thousand million people - two-thirds of the world population. These "native" peoples share a common past: a past of humiliation, exploitation and poverty. This legacy binds them together in a vast "Commonwealth of Poverty". Angola - Portuguese West Africa - is one of these emergent states, trying to shake off the shackles of colonialism, and aiming at securing universal peace and equal relations throughout the world.

The forced-labour system

Like the Republic of South Africa, and, in fact, all the African colonies still in the fangs of imperialism, Angola has a well-organized system of forced labour. One can divide labour into four classes:

1. Correctional labour. Africans who break the Criminal, Civil or Labour laws are penalized this way.

2. Obligatory labour. When there is a lack of voluntary workers, Africans by law can be forced to assist in the construction of public works, the laying of rails, the making of roads or the building of bridges. Those who fail to pay the native head tax also receive such penalties. In reality, most of these taxes imposed are simply to force the African to work.

3. Contract labour. This is the vilest form of forced labour. Any African who cannot produce evidence that he worked for at least six months in the previous year, must do compulsory labour for the state or private employers. Wages are restricted to a shockingly low level and vary according to employer and area. On the plantations, e.g., an African earns on the average 1) (approx. DM 0.50) a day.

4. Voluntary labour. The African contracts directly with his employer. Normally, the wages are even lower than for contract labour. Nearly all the workers in the agricultural concerns are mainly "shibalos" - forced labourers.

Apart from these four, there are still "forced cultivation" and "migrant labour". Although these forms are practised in Angola, yet Portuguese East Africa, Mozambique, bears the biggest brunt. According to the Mozambique-Transvaal (South Africa) Convention signed in 1940 about 100,000 Mozambique Africans south of the 22nd parallel and north of the Zambesi River are imported as workers to the Rand gold mines - in return, South Africa exports annually 47.5% of its seaborne exports from the Transvaal through Lourenco Marques, also some 340,000 cases of citrus fruit. Further, Portugal gets R 3.80 (approx DM 18.) for each recruit and also half of his wages, which are supposed to be paid to him on his return after 18 consecutive months of employment There is no difficulty in recruitment as the wages are higher in the mines, about R 0.50 (approx. DM 2.50) a day. There were lately some 173,000 registered Mozambique workers, and a large number of un-registered ones, in South Africa. In Angola about 20,000 Africans are recruited for labour in Northern Rhodesia and South West Africa.

In Mozambique cotton is cultivated. In the northern part, Africans are granted seed by the monopoly companies and must cultivate cotton on their soil. These crops are sold to the companies at fixed low prices, adjusted well below free market prices. The African farmers have no choice, and the natural crops - maize, kaffir corn, manioc and beans - drop to famine level. In 1956, for example, 519,000 African sellers were paid an average of 250 escudos (approx. DM 40.00) for a year’s cotton crop. In some districts the African is paid 50 escudos (about DM 7.00) for cotton from land on which the owner could cultivate grain worth 50 times this value.

This forced labour, forced cultivation and wandering over the continent in search for work in order to live; in short, this human exploitation and oppression has created a feeling of hatred and disgust towards the white man throughout the ages. Portuguese forced labour is the nadir of African misery; the zenith of their endurance they reached in 1961, soon to reach its breaking-point. Surreptitious emigration in Angola is responsible for the serious demographic anaemia of the natives. Physical decadence has become a reality and a death-rate of 40% among workers is not uncommon.

European Settlement in Angola

Efficient exploitation of a colony in Africa demands not only cheap native labour but also effective white presence and control. The first settlers were Boers from Cape Colony. To escape British control these "Dorsland Trekkers" - being hungry for land - left the Mafeking area in 1875. In 1880 300 survivors reached Angola, and settled at Humpata. This annoyed the Lisbon Government, hence Portuguese immigrants had to be sent to Southern Angola to insulate them.

About 1900 Portugal abandoned its emigration policy. At this time the Portuguese population in Angola was about 9,000. In 1927 the white and mestizo (mixed race) population was 42,843. The total population was about 3,000,000. In 1960 the white and mestizo population had risen to about 200,000, the total population being over four million.

There is acute large-scale unemployment noticeable among the whites. This is a phenomenon in Africa. In 1960 "Le Monde" reported a figure of 20,000 white unemployed. An "Observer" correspondent quoted 10,000 for Luanda alone (total white population: 50,000) in 1961. The reasons for this critical state are most probably the low level of capitalization in Angola and the precarious economy of Portugal. A number of government settlement projects have been organized lately. In Cela on the Huila plateaux, about 375 families have been settled to cultivate 12,000 acres. The Government provides them with houses, gardens, orchards, livestock and agricultural implements.

Normaly the colonization of an underdeveloped country involves the transformation of the indigenous population into a dispossessed rural peasantry and urban working class, contained within an economic system, controlled and manned by whites of various levels of skills. However, Portugal has created a European colonial proletariat. The population pressure was merely relieved in the mother-country. The bulk of the Angolan whites are peasants, and perhaps just a little more skilled than the Africans. It seems as if the Portuguese countryside had been physically transplanted to Angola. In these factors Portuguese ultra-colonialism and "reflex"-colonization have their origins.

The role of the Missionaries

Why have all the European powers, even the most dechristianized ones, encouraged and supported Christian missionary activities in their colonies? Mutatis mutandis, the answer is briefly as follows: To convert the native populations mean to incorporate them into the intellectual and cultural universe of "White, Christian, Western Civilization". Conversion also has an important function for the white settlers. Often an immense fear seizes the white settler and he becomes psychologically unbalanced when he experiences the mysterious culture of the "Dark Continent": he trembles at the blackness of African society. Somehow organized religion intended to convert the "barbaric races" again reassures him. Further, a colonial system needs ipso facto a certain minimum leveI of Europeanization for its subject native population, in exploiting them of course too much European culture and techniques are again dangerous. The Christian religion offers enough to secure the fruits of the former, without endangering the latter. The African obtains enough white culture to become an obedient and disciplined servant, but not enough to acquire initiative and competence. The 1961 barbarism and vandalism show to what extent this enterprise has been successful in Angola.

According to the 1950 census there were about 1,500,000 Catholics and 540,000 Protestants in Angola. In 1957 there were 387 Catholic priests and 300 Protestant ministers. The quality of Protestant teaching seems to be higher. A quasi-elite of Protestant-educated Africans appears to have been formed. These were suspected of providing the leaders of the national liberatory movements. In fact, both Roberto and Pinnock, leaders of the UPA which merged into the FNLA (see later), received their education in British Baptist mission schools. Portugal cannot check the usurpation of Catholic spiritual authority by the Protestant section. In spite of Catholicism playing a crucial role, yet there is no developed political ideology.

Ideology and Practice

Angola is governed as an "integral part of the Portuguese state". The Portuguese policy for the indigénas is based on the "assimilado" or "civilizado" system. In a nut-shell, an African who satisfies certain standards, mainly educational ones, may become a white Portuguese except in colour. An African can never become a full citizen unless he first becomes Portuguese. Concretely, the assimilado system is a Portuguese refusal to accept the African as he is.

A scrutiny of the educational system shows quite clearly the difficulties encountered by an African of becoming an assimilado. This is done deliberately and by design. In 1956, out of a total population of about 4,200,000 only about 85,000 attended school. In 1954 there were 25,367 pupils in the "rudimentary" schools, which are reserved almost exclusively for Africans. The final examinations were written by 1,712 students and only 959 passed. In the secondary and commercial schools the position is far more critical. In the same year a mere handful, only 747 Africans, attended these schools. There are no universities in Portuguese Africa. A few go to the universities in Coimbra, Lisbon or Oporto. The outcome is that about 99% of the African population is officially reckoned to be iliterate. Thus in 1950 the African assimilados were about 10,000, i.e., 0.24% of the total population. This figure includes the semi-automatic assimilation of wives and children.

Although Portugal claims that the distinction between native and non-native is cultural and not racial, yet the very definition of a native is without question unambiguousIy racialist. They are "persons of Negro race or their descendants" (Decree Law No 39.666). In principle and practice, this system, including its manifold ramifications, is just like that of the "White South African Republic" and to a certain extent even Southern Rhodesia. In fact, apartheid, baasskap or racial discrimination in other forms are practised. The African has to carry his "cadernato" - passbook - to control and enslave him efficiently. It is no coincidence that Portugal and South Africa work hand in hand. Portugal was lately South Africa’s defender at the United Nations. At the beginning of July, 1961, the South African Defence Minister, Fouché, paid a judicious visit to Portugal. Soon South African military forces moved into Ovamboland (S. W. A.). The northern border was patrolled by aircraft to watch for Angolan refugees or infiltrators. Hence Portugal must have asked for military help, and beyond doubt Verwoerd actively supplied it. However, both Portugal and South Africa will be faced with severe political, economic and social crises in the near future.

 "Covert Condominium"

There is no adequate factual material from which may be obtained an accurate account of foreign capital in Angola. It is, however, of value to mention the major projects initiated in 1960-1 in either Portugal or her colonies. Some are: Montigo Steel Unit-Damag (Western Germany), Dondo Aluminium Plant (Angola) Pechiney (France), Tagus Bridge Project (USA), English Electrica de Portugal, Angola Mining Projects and Constancia Pulp Mill (England).

The bulk of the Angolan economy is derived from sisal, maize, cotton, diamonds and, above all, coffee. 90% of the coffee, sisal and maize production is exported. The Companhia Agricole de Angola (CADA) and settler estate farms control 80% of the coffee production. To indicate the immense profits made and the sky rocketing effects of human exploitation, depression, repression and oppression, the following example will suffice. In 1958 CADA had a declared capital of 7,775,000 dollars, in the same year, it made a profit of 7,441,195 dollars.

The production of cotton and maize is controlled by large companies. Firms like Companhia de Diamentes de Angola (Diamang), Cia des Betuminosos de Angola, Empresa de Cobre de Angola, and Cia Mineira do Lobito, all rob Angola of its mineral sources. Diamang is the "arch-exploiter", in the double meaning of the word, and a branch of the great Anglo-American Diamond Corporation Limited. Further European capital participation in the sugar companies makes the economic complex of Angola still larger.

Finally, the covert condominium reveals the same debility as the existence of white unemployed, the decrepitude as the utilization of forced labour and the same powerlessness as the failure of Catholicism.

Short review of the native populations and the national Liberatory Organisations

There are five major ethnic groups in Angola: the Bakongo in the north - 500,000; the Kimbundu in the area below Luanda - 1,000,000; the Ovimbundu (Bailundu) on the Benguela plateau - 1,000,000; in the east, the Luanda people - 350,000, and the Ganguela people 320,000- (1950 census figures).

Due to extreme repression and censorship, political activity was chiefly clandestine throughout the fifties. The two principal parties are the Movimento de Libertacao de Angola, led by Agostinho (MPLA) and Mario, and the Uniao dos Populazoes de Angola (UPA), led by Pinnock and Roberto. Lately these leaders of the UPA formed the Frente Nacional de Libertacao de Angola (FNLA).

On the whole, Cuba and Algeria have shown how premature speculations can be about the exact political character of liberation movements - hence the armed struggle should rather be analyzed as an objective and typical PROCESS, relatively independent of the specific organizations involved in the struggle. Having made a survey of the roots and origins of the dissatisfaction, poverty and misery of the Africans, we can now see the effects and results of this "hell" in the armed insurrection of 1961. The Angolan people much as they hate violence, blood-baths and massacres grew tired of begging and soft words; they had no alternative but to burst into open rebellion and revolt, although they knew that they would have to sacrifice thousands of lives for freedom and human dignity. As usual, in decolonisation they lost 50 times or even more lives than the whites, in their fight for African unity and world peace.

The 1961-62 Insurrection

 a) The first phase: The sudden Uprising.

On February 4, 1961, military and police points were suddenly attacked. Further attacks were on the military prison, the police barracks and the civil prison. Isolated units on the outskirts of Luanda were ambushed. Officially 7 Portuguese and 14 Africans were killed, 53 wounded and 1,000 arrested. The next day a white mob rioted, shouting: "Mata Todos" - "kill them all". They attacked every African in sight. On the 7th raids were made on the African quarters. 24 Africans and 3 whites were killed. The African townships were soon cordoned off and patrolled by saracens and paratroops.

On March 10, the Security Council voted for a discussion of the Angolan question. On March 15, the day of the vote, the national insurrection broke out. The attacks had surprised the government. Within a few days the whole of northern Angola was in the hands of the nationalists. By March 21 there were 3,580 refugees (Portuguese) in Luanda. On April 1, the Vicar-General, Canon Manuel, was arrested for "organizing terrorism". In the major towns educated Africans were dragged out of their homes and shot. At this time there were about 3,800 metropolitan Portuguese and 7,000 provincial (including native) troops in Angola. On May 7 the "Observer" reported that about 20,000 Africans had been-killed, while thousands were in concentration camps. By May 20, there were reckoned to be 40,000 Angolan refugees in the Congo.

Towards the end of May about 1,500 Africans had been arrested in the Lobito area. There are no camps in this area, and the local prison only holds 100 people. These arrested Africans simply disappeared from the face of the earth, Assimilados and almost all literate Africans were arrested. Possession of a grammar primer, a radio set or even a bicycle led to the disappearance of Africans. About 1,000 Portuguese and 40,000 others were thought to have been killed.

June opened with the placing of Angola under administrative military command. Now the nationalists systematically destroyed the coffee plantations. Roads and bridges were methodically destroyed. The Portuguese planned to burn savannah and forest in order to force the nationalists out of their hiding places. This shows how little the Portuguese knew about guerilla warfare. They could not destroy enough of the trees and thick vegetation which would conceal groups of about 50 men. The nationalist offensive could not penetrate farther south than Vila Salazar and Malange. Communications with the Congo were too difficult from the south, also the ethnic centre changed to Ovimbundu, and finally, the terrain was too open. Reinforcements from Portugal arrived. By July 8, the Portuguese had 18,000 troops in Angola.

b) The second phase: The Portuguese Offensive.

On July 18, the Portuguese army marched towards a mountainous and afforested area near Nambuangongo, where they believed the "rebels" had their headquarters and their administrative capital. In fact, no guerilla army has "fixed" military headquarters, let alone an administrative capital. Hence one can see their archaic way of thinking as regards war. The towns and villages were soon recaptured, and on October 8 the Legislative Council announced that the rebellion had ceased. They did not realize that the war had entered a new phase.

c) The third phase: Stabilized Resistance.

On November 27, the Angolan resistance suddenly struck across the north. The resistance had regrouped and redeployed its forces. The classic "mercury" tactics of guerilla warfare were now applied. They no longer attacked en masse, and the front became fluid. Ambushes were reported in the various provinces. The nationalists now used modern equipment - machine-guns, rifles and grenades. Further, the units were using landmines, bazookas and plastic explosives. In Thysville, in the Congo, a training-camp was erected. FLN-trained cadres were returned from Tunisia and assumed command in the area. Now the Portuguese Government was busying itself with faked concessions and the introducing of dummy governments. By the end of 1961 the Portuguese had to be satisfied to occupy the forest regions of the north from the sky in their bombers.

The nationalists in Angola know that victory lies in the continuation of the war. They are aware of the classical parabola of decolonization. The longer the war continues, the more isolated and introverted the Salazar regime will become. All countries that are sincerely interested in world peace, active co-existence, solving the colonial problems with the least spilling of human blood and lives, should ACTIVELY boycott such countries as Verwoerd’s Republic of South Africa, and Angola; i. e., not only in words but with the full force of deeds in practice. It is not only necessary that we know that the world must be changed, that we want a better life and a more hopeful future for HUMANITY; it is far more necessary to put our theories into practice. As Bloch says: Man still lives in his pre-history. The real world is not created yet. The true, real Genesis is not at the beginning but at the end. All men over the earth should contribute towards a better world, a more hopeful future for Humanity.