Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Foreign Policy For Sale
"But this spring, events for Chevron took an ominous turn when a court-appointed expert recommended Chevron be required to pay between $8 billion and $16 billion to clean up the rain forest. ... Chevron is pushing the Bush administration [BA] to take the extraordinary step of yanking special trade preferences for Ecuador if the country's leftist government doesn't quash the case. A spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab confirmed her office is considering the request. ... Chevron argues that it has been victimized by a 'corrupt' Ecuadorian court system while the plaintiffs received active support from Ecuador's leftist president, Rafael Correra--an ally of Venezeula's Hugo Chavez. ... 'The ultimate issue here is Ecuador has mistreated a U.S. company,' said one Chevron lobbyist who asked not to be identified talking about the firm's arguments to U.S. officials. 'We can't let little countries screw around with big companies like this--companies that have made big investments around the world'," Michael Isikoff at Newsweek, 4 August 2008.
Which court does Chevron think it's in front of? The US Roberts' court? Exxon didn't want to pay a punitive damage award and poof, Roberts & Co. creates some law to reduce the award by 90% from the jury's initial determination. Paraphrasing Inherit the Wind (1960), "If it's good enough for Exxon, it's good enough for Chevron". I await the BA intervening in this case. Why not? The BA wanted Texas not to execute Jose Medellin to keep Mexico happy. No problem. Let's declare war on Ecuador for Chevron! It's the least we can do. While Chevron apparently wants this, I have another plan. Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution lets Congress grant letters of "marque and reprisal". Fine, Chevron, stop lobbying, get a letter of reprisal, raise an army and a navy and go at it with Ecuador. You can put the battles on pay per view. With a little luck, you and Ecuador might make a bundle at this! Battles are popular. The Washington, DC elite picnicked while watching the first battle of Bull Run in 1861.