One great thing about the New York Times is that it serves up fabulous artifacts for others to mine. Such is the case with a strange, strange article about the return of Tony Hayward, the former BP executive vilified for his role in destroying whole swathes of the Gulf of Mexico…perhaps forever.

BP appears to be trying to get away with a comparatively small fine (given the recklessness and consequences), based in part on a formula tying penalties to the amount of spilled oil collected, a number reduced by use of a highly toxic dispersant that broke the oil up into largely invisible micro-droplets. Fishermen, overwhelmed with health problems believed related to the covert aerial spraying of dispersants, are beset by illness, and when they can work, are catching shrimp born with no eyes. (For more on that, see the documentary, “The Big Fix.”

Now, Hayward is back in the game, as described in the Times article:

Two years after being shown the door at BP, in one of the most ignominious corporate exits in recent memory, Mr. Hayward is back in the oil game. Not at an oil major like BP nor, for that matter, in the gulf, where oil rigs and refineries were being tested anew last week, this time by Hurricane Isaac. No, Tony Hayward is hoping to strike it rich in, of all places, the oil fields of northern Iraq.

He has some deep pockets behind him. They include a scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, a former dealmaker at Goldman Sachs and two Turkish tycoons with a foothold in the wild and wildly contentious world of Iraqi oil. It’s a dangerous game, financially and otherwise. But despite sectarian bombings and political deadlock, Iraq’s crude oil production is soaring. In July, the nation produced more than three million barrels of oil a day, the most in a decade, eclipsing Iran and shaking up the old order in OPEC.

Yet oil has also brought its share of problems in Iraq, breeding corruption and aggravating tensions with the Kurdish minority in the north. And Kurdistan is precisely where Mr. Hayward and his partners are making their play.

The Kurdish region has vast, virtually untapped reserves, and its oil minister is carrying out plans to export oil and gas directly to Turkey, just to the north. But Baghdad’s central government maintains that it alone has the right to negotiate contracts and exports. The rivalry between Baghdad and Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has nerves on edge throughout the region.

Here are some thoughts that occurred to me while reading the article:

-Hayward and friends can make a play in Kurdistan because it is considered a safe bet. Why? Because the US military will protect investments there. Evidence can be found in our story about a little-known entity, the American University of Iraq, which is located in Kurdistan. It is run by an odd circle of tin-eared neocons, funded and backed by Kurds who have been enriched by developments, but it presents an ideal, Grenada-like opportunity for US troops to swoop in and “rescue” American citizens (and knock out trouble-makers) should a delicate situation arise. It can hardly be a coincidence that this improbable squad chose Kurdistan for their early and improbable effort to help Iraqis, shortly after the invasion.

-Wealthy Turks are horning in on the Iraq oil situation. Could the desire to evict the Assad regime and install a Western-friendly regime, with the likely military bases there, be driven, in part, by a desire to keep watch over those valuable oil properties in Iraq? Turkey, a Muslim country, would be hard pressed to invade Iraq every time those oil installations are threatened. But no such thing with bases staffed by Westerners next door in Syria. Get it? Everybody wins! (well, maybe not everybody)

-A Rothschild, one of the world’s richest people, is entirely unembarrassed to be investing in the guy who presided over such a human catastrophe. Nathaniel Rothschild, who also shows up at fundraisers for good causes like African micro-finance and on the international advisory council of America’s pre-eminent think tank, the Brookings Institution, is not likely to be denied any dinner party invitations over the matter. Now, some of those who believe the world is rigidly controlled by this or that particular cabal, favor (with hints of anti-Semitism) the Rothschild clan as the one to watch. But this latest move by a scion suggests instead a clumsy and unnecessarily reckless indifference to taste while pursuing investments, behavior that can be found equally among more ordinary mortals. When it comes to making a buck, we are all (or at least many of us) Nathaniel Rothschild.

-The Times piece quotes a guy from the investment house Schroders, being extremely kind to Hayward:

“I think he probably got a bad press,” Richard Buxton, a portfolio manager at the big British asset management firm Schroders, says of Mr. Hayward.

“In a way he has something to prove,” Mr. Buxton continues. “From an investor’s point of view, that is not a bad thing.”

What’s missing is any sense of what Schroders (sometimes spelled Schroeders) itself has represented historically.  Its interests were at one time handled by the attorney Allen Dulles, who went on to run the CIA through spectacular meddling worldwide (and coups in Iran and elsewhere) for control of oil and other resources. If there were in fact a global cabal, it would most likely include blue-blood outfits like Schroders and the related ventures and family members, who have managed to show up over the years in everything from financing Adolf Hitler to building the modern Saudi Arabia to innumerable Bush family financial ventures (as I discovered while researching my book, Family of Secrets.)


The conventional media does some good work, and is useful in making us aware of things that warrant further exploration. But that further exploration is going to be up to others. Like WhoWhatWhy. If you would like to see more reporting on:

-what really happened in the Gulf of Mexico, and why

-whether there was a cover-up, and a secret deal by the administration

-how bad the damage really was—and is

-what the consequences are for our health and lives, and our food supply

-whether Tony Hayward was really the prime bad actor, or a fall guy for more wealthy and powerful individuals

-how much of the policy of our government is dominated by or controlled by those making a fortune off oil

Then please sign up as a monthly sustainer of our work. And if you, or anyone you know, is blessed with exceptionally good financial fortune and would like to help us get to another level and hire the reporters to dig out all of this crucial information, please write directly to me via our website.

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Matt Prather
8 years ago

It really breaks my heart to see how little “love” (facebook likes, disqus stars, comments, etc etc) this post got.

Was it my little essay that somehow turned off attention? Shit I hope not.

There NEEDS to be more investigation on conspiracy in the Gulf of Mexico, and this Tony Hayward is the PERFECT thread to pull on the sweater covering up the true ruling class of America.

It seems to me that the US is predominantly ruled by British elites, who have a tenuous balance of power, or terror, with mainland European elites, including the Rothschilds — let me not “hint of anti-Semitism” when I state that mainland European elites have vast powers of paper-capital reserves and paper-asset ownership claims today, just as they have had since long before 1776.

The word “predominantly” above is to indicate that it’s all a ridiculous game of shared power at their level, with no one faction having true dominance; it’s just about balance of power — the same as it is in one’s home, one’s extended family, one’s job hierarchy, one’s community hierarchy, and so on up to the most elite level.

These guys don’t do the work that the “peasant class” has to do for money. They just devote themselves full-time to staying on top of the game, and everyone is working for them (from their lawyers and financial-market machines and market “racehorse” human employees and their Stormtrooper private security forces and their lapdog CEO’s on down.

And the BP case is THE PERFECT avenue of investigation to really changing the world away from this ridiculous, sick world order.

9 years ago

Wow, great article blew my socks off . Disaster capitalism rules heads I win tails you lose. George Galloway and James Galbraith were nosing around in the Kurdish territories a few years back are they still involved. Puts quite a different light o the civil war in Syria.

Matt Prather
9 years ago

Russ Baker, you are blue-ribbon journalist. (Said with no sarcasm or patronism.) You are a watchdog and not a lapdog. If anyone is new to your website, or your reporting, and they are dubious or skeptical about your voice or your writings or whatever they may perceive to be your “agenda”, then I am sorry for them. More so than virtually any other widely-published journalist, you go where the facts take you, even if they start to tread upon the toes and the agenda of the powerful and the lawless, and then you report what is in the interests of the public, rather than in the interests of those powerful and lawless.

We currently live in a world where MONEY MATTERS as a primary resource, more than anything else. Money is a sine-qua-non resource required of a person before they can even start to talk about what they want to talk about, or do what they want to do. I once heard Bill Hicks say that “if you think we have freedom, if you think you’re free, then just try going somewhere without money.” Our social or political order seems to me to be truly defined and governed by money first before anything else — and it also seems to me that there is an agenda to make the entire WORLD order subject to the money or “capital” held by those who have acquired ungodly amounts of it, and who have the power to create new, ungodly amounts of it out of thin air, backed by the debts of individuals, corporate institutions, and, tragically, sovereign government treasuries which are all now “kiting bad checks”, lying or pretending that they could pay back the money, simply because we have built up decades of social and economic infrastructure upon reliance on this money, and no one dares to shock the system by uncouthly recognizing that our money is now backed as much or moreso by collective ignorance, cowardice, and dishonesty than by honesty or the production of quality and value.

But I have digressed — into matters of macroeconomy, monetary instability, world order, and the holders of ungodly amounts of existing money and money which will exist in the future.

My real point is that you need money, no matter how much truth or facts or justice you could produce in an ideal world, where you are not limited by the non-ideal resource we call “money”. You and other quality members of the independent media (“independent” of course being a relative term, and one which is patently untrue with respect to money) all need money, constantly. The flow of money, be it through donations from independent thinkers to independent reporters, or be it through the profit margins captured in the monopolistic markets for “mainstream” media and telecommunications, IS like the flow of electricity or blood. The way in which people today let their money flow empowers and enlivens the institutions to which it flows. On this point, I hope no one disagrees (they need to open their eyes if they can’t see it). People have a responsibility to divest their money/capital flows from the corrupted and increasingly lawless institutions of power and information, and start to direct it towards new institutions that will bring quality of life, sustainability, and truthful information to them.

The point above is truly fundamental, and I hope someone finds a way of repeating it to people in a less-wordy way than I express. Find someone to draw pictures, make a video, use engaging or friendly audio, what-have-you, whatever can make the message clear… The point is that money flow is like electricity to a building, or blood to a body, and we are choosing which institutions are being empowered by it. The power of the “vote” of how we spend our money matters much more than the power of how we “vote” every so often in voting booths. Yes, many of us have large portions of our incomes mortgaged to and captured by monopolistic and corrupt institutions, but the battle is far from decided in favor of “the bigs”, or the monopolists. People still have discretionary income and it’s important today that they start to invest it and spend it towards new institutions which will at least attempt to bring quality back to our lives (in contrast with the “Judas Goat”–style institutions which have clearly decided to sell the public out) — people need to direct their discretionary income towards institutions like, rather than waste it away on frivolous or toxic entertainments, diversions, and falsehoods, before it is too late.

Regarding this story of Tony Hayward, I’d say your watchdog’s nose has sensed a lead worth very much worth pursuing. The number one story I see unfolding everyday behind all our headlines and bloglines and the hopeful (or sometimes hopeless) talk from the man- and woman-on-the-street, is the story of a global mafia of power-hunger power brokers who are trying to take over the world, divvy it up as feudalistically as these mongols and thieves need to (inasmuch as they can’t trust each other enough to form a grand, unified empire), and otherwise capture all of the energy and capital flows of all of the people on the planet into power for themselves. That’s the ongoing story I see. And matters involving Eastern energy resources, monopolistic corporate powers such as BP or Goldman Sachs, and old-money “Rothschild” investment and capitalization in energy resources seem to be right at the heart of this ongoing story.

Please, do investigate more here, pull the thread on the sweater, and shine some light on what these people are doing in the Middle East, because truth and facts are not only vital for us to hear in order for us to be able to make the right decisions, but we inevitably make the wrong decisions without them. Without hearing the truth about what’s going on in the world, we are forced to live as sheep and children under those who deliver us a false world narrative and then capitalize on the bad decisions we make from the bad information we took in.

I’ll close with a quote from Andrew Gavin Marshall, who is another independent researcher and reporter, who also recently had to make a special plea for funding through donations. His words were his own, of course, but I think they are applicable to you and your site, Mr. Baker:

“There remains a problem [of] financing. In order for information and analysis to remain free of the restraints and chains of corporations, government, think tanks, or foundations, independent analysis is ironically still very DEPENDENT, though instead of relying upon powerful financial interests, it must rely upon its readership, upon those who consume the new media.

“As a researcher and writer, I attempt to examine massive amounts of information and to bring it together in a radical analysis, and to provide it to readers free of charge. The problem is that I need financing in order to continue this work, and especially with my current project, seeking to finish the first volume of The People’s Book Project as soon as possible, I need support from readers now, more than ever. I don’t particularly enjoy asking readers for money, especially since I know that the majority of my readership — and especially those supporters with whom I am in more consistent contact with — are in precarious financial situations. I sympathize with many of those who are struggling students, who work hard to make ends meet and afford rent, food, and other essentials. This, unfortunately, is the situation for most youth in this world, and indeed, most people in the world.”

[. . .]

“If I am to do this, I do need support. I made choices in my life which separated myself from any institutions or individuals of ‘authority’ which could attempt to dictate the terms and substance of my research and writing. I traded financial security for intellectual autonomy, and not a day goes by that I do not feel the unfortunate side-effects of these choices. But still, not a day goes by that I do not know that I made the right decision, and would have it no other way.”


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