Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, December 23, 2016

No Surprise

In the early 2000’s, the nation of Chad was one of the poorest and the most corrupt countries on earth.  It had been run by a dictator for 25 years.
Then, oil was discovered in Chad, so the World Bank and George W. Bush’s administration brokered a deal.  Chad’s new President Idriss Déby agreed that all the new oil money, wouldn’t be use by him to purchase weapons to keep himself in power.  It was agreed that Chad would spend the new money to benefit the people of that country.  The money would be spent on education, hospitals and basic infrastructure to improve people’s quality of life.  It was an attempted to stabilize a part of world where there’s a lot of Islamic extremist.
The oil started pumping in 2003, and Chad’s GDP quintupled within ten years.  However, once the money started flowing in, President Déby decided that he needed a much larger military, and more weapons.  He decided to disregard the deal the World Bank and the Bush administration had brokered.
In 2006, Déby told Chevron and Petronas, two of the three oil companies that were part of deal, they had one day to get out of Chad.  The other company Exxon was allowed stay, because Exxon had made a deal to continue giving Déby money for pumping out the oil, but they wouldn’t tell him how to spend it.
In his book “Private Empire,” Steve Coll explained that the total of American aid was less than $20 million, while Exxon was paying Déby more than $500 million a year in oil revenue.
In April 2016, Déby was reelected for a 5th term with 61.5 percent of the votes cast.  American military officials have praised Chad’s prominence in the fight against Islamic extremist groups in Africa.  Nevertheless, Chad’s “President” has spend over $4 billion on weapons, and his country remains one of the poorest and most corrupt nations on earth.  
We shouldn’t be surprised that Donald Trump has chosen Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee to be our next Secretary of State.  


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