Here are another two great articles, which again illustrate why the US is in the wrong during this debacle and that it has no right to preach to other nations over environmental disasters (the US has a poor track record).
Both articles are a bit of a history lesson. The first explains why, despite all the nonsense about a "Special relationship", the US has ALWAYS tried to do Britain down. Obama in particular seems excessively anti-British, and that will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever read his memoirs, Dreams Of My Father, in which he mentions that his father was once tortured by the British in Kenya, an event which he appears to have entirely invented.
The article also has a close look at the so-called "special relationship" of Britain and the US for the last 200 years and finds that the relationship hasn't been special at all.
The second article lists some of the many US-caused environmental catastrophes which have hit the world but which the US has refused to take the blame for, such as the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India which killed almost 4,000 people; the 1967 Torrey Canyon oil spill off the British coast which was the worst oil spill in British history (and the world's first major maritime environmental incident); and the 1988 Piper Alpha oil rig disaster which killed 167 people off the British coast in the North Sea.
America's ALWAYS tried to do down Britain
By Geoffrey Wheatcroft
11th June 2010
Friend or foe? As the oil continues to gush in the Gulf of Mexico, angry rhetoric has gushed from President Barack Obama's lips
Quote: Has the worm turned at last? As the oil continues to gush in the Gulf of Mexico, angry rhetoric has gushed from President Barack Obama's lips. His rabid denunciations of BP have damaged the interests not only of that company but of most British people, in a way that must make us wonder whether he leads a friendly country.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, calls Obama's rhetoric 'extreme and unhelpful'; London mayor Boris Johnson says it's 'anti-British', adding that 'BP is paying a very, very heavy price indeed'.
Bemusingly, David Cameron says only that he understands the U.S. administration's 'frustration', although he promises to take up the matter with Obama, after the Prime Minister returns from Afghanistan - where British troops are fighting and dying on behalf of the United States, it may be recalled.
'Extreme and unhelpful' is no exaggeration. Obama has played to the gallery by saying that he would like to sack Tony Hayward, head of BP; the president talks in a cheap way about 'kicking ***'. Whether or not the American president can kick our asses, he can certainly hurt our wallets and purses.
As BP's share price has plummeted, it has lost £55billion of its market value, and the company's entire outlook is very bleak, which affects most of us. Every British insurance company, building society and pension fund has large holdings of BP shares in its portfolio.
If you have a pension, at present or in prospect, your income falls with every sour word Obama speaks. It's a fine way for a friend to behave, if indeed we should regard the president as a friend.
His rhetoric is repellently hypocritical as well as demagogic. Quite apart from the fact that Hayward and his colleagues have every interest in plugging the spill, for years past BP has filled Washington's coffers with tax revenue, and fed the American people's unquenchable thirst for cheap petrol.
When Obama continually refers to BP as 'British Petroleum', which is no longer its formal name, he is saying something revealing about himself, and his Anglophobic spite will come as no surprise to those who have followed his career, and read his memoir Dreams From My Father.
He seems to have made up the part about his father being tortured by the British in Kenya, but there's no question that Obama nurses a disdain for and even dislike of this country.
Safety measures: Pelicans fly over a small island off the coast of Louisiana which has been surrounded by a boom to protect it from the oil spill. The disaster has wiped billions off BP's value
Instead of reciprocating his feelings, we should maybe take the opportunity to look harder at our connection with the United States, and at that ridiculous phrase 'special relationship'. On the whole Englishmen have used the phrase much more than Americans, although one exception was the affable if inept Senator John McCain.
A few years before he was defeated for the presidency by Obama, he visited England, and was interviewed. 'The special relationship between our two countries will endure throughout the 21st century,' McCain said. 'I say that with total confidence because it's lasted for 200 years.'
It has what? The senator's '200 years' would take us back to the beginning of the 19th century, or let's say to 1812. What was special about the relationship that year was that the two countries were at war.
Shortly after he had taken us into the appalling Iraq war, by way of telling a pack of porkies with Alastair Campbell's sordid help, Tony Blair visited Washington to be greeted by President Bush - 'Thank you, friend' - and cheered to the echo by Congress for services rendered. In his smarmy speech, Blair mentioned the burning of Washington by the British in 1814 and obsequiously said: 'I know it's kinda late, but sorry.'
Had he known more history, he might have been aware that this was only one episode in a very fraught story. For most of the 19th century a large part of the British Army had to be stationed in Canada to protect it from its southern neighbour, and at one point Sir Robert Peel warned Parliament about the grave danger of a war with the United States.
Environmental disaster: President Obama and National Incident Commander Thad Allen make a statement after being briefed on the BP oil spill. Obama has been accused of handling the crisis in an 'anti-British' way
In 1895 the two countries nearly went to war again over an incomprehensible border dispute in South America, and bloodshed was avoided only by the forbearance of Lord Salisbury, the prime minister.
A certain kind of fawning Tory likes to talk about the way the Americans have generously rescued us in the past century. This is historical claptrap. When the Great War began in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson worried that he might need to intervene - on the German side.
In 1917, the United States did at last enter the war, after the British had suffered hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded. Even then the Americans sustained very few casualties by European standards, as they did in the next war.
This time they waited from September 1939 until December 1941, and then they went to war only because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the United States (not the other way round).
And before that, the supposedly generous Lend-Lease agreement had
stripped us of overseas assets and destroyed the British exporting economy for decades to come.
Any idea of a special relationship should have been ended in 1956 when Washington pulled the rug from under the British and French when their troops had gone to Suez. That didn't stop President Johnson from subsequently demanding British troops to serve in Vietnam. Mercifully, Harold Wilson, in his one good deed as prime minister, politely declined.
Since then we have been taken into another terrible war in which we had no reason to fight by Tony Blair, who throughout his career assiduously served the interests of another country. Our rewards from Washington have ranged from a tariff likely to destroy what's left of the British steel industry, to studied American neutrality over the Falklands, to Obama's grandstanding attacks on BP.
A year ago Gordon Brown visited Washington to be publicly humiliated by Obama (remember the exchange of gifts: thoughtful presents for the president and his children, trashy DVDs and toys for the Browns in return).
Rescue: The Discover Enterprise sits over the leak site as it burns off crude oil in Gulf Shores, Alabama
If a dark cloud of oil can now have a silver lining, then it might at least lead us to reassess our ignoble relationship with Washington. If the American president is going to ignore or even damage British interests, then let him.
But might not our own government stand up for those interests? For a start, some of the money we've all lost through the BP debacle, and presidential venom, could at least be recouped by bringing our troops home from a hopeless American war in Afghanistan.
When disaster strikes, the U.S. will NEVER take the blame
For most of the 19th century a large part of the British Army had to be stationed in Canada to protect it from its southern neighbour, and at one point Sir Robert Peel warned Parliament about the grave danger of a war with the United States.
By Michael Hanlon
, Science Editor
11th June 2010
America's hands are far from clean when it comes to environmental disasters, as the list of examples here shows. Whenever U.S. firms have caused death and mayhem around the world, the response from their executives has been to call their lawyers and to deny any liability. And Washington's priority has usually been to protect its citizens and, especially, its shareholders at all costs.
Bhopal Tragedy: The chemical explosion blinded thousands, including this young mother seen here with her baby
• BHOPAL TRAGEDY
On the night of December 2 and 3, 1984, a 40-ton leak of methyl isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, caused the immediate deaths of at least 3,787 people, as a pale mist settled over the town. Thousands more were blinded and crippled by the disaster.
In the intervening years at least 20,000 have died prematurely from the leak, and 150,000 have suffered permanent health problems.
Union Carbide, now a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, was a U.S. firm, and its officials have consistently refused to take full liability for the accident.
Immediately after the disaster the CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, was arrested by Indian police when he visited Bhopal. He was released on bail and left the country.
Since then Anderson, who lives in comfortable retirement in the U.S., has avoided an international arrest warrant, and India has no extradition treaty with the U.S.
Indeed the U.S. government and American courts have repeatedly blocked attempts by survivors' groups and the Indian government to bring Anderson and other American executives to account, and very little of the $450million compensation package paid by Union Carbide has gone to the survivors (money that came not from the company but from its insurers).
This week, seven former Union Carbide managers, some in their seventies, were found guilty by an Indian court of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years in prison. All were Indian nationals.
Not a single U.S. citizen has been punished for the disaster despite evidence emerging that the plant's owners were aware, before the tragedy took place, that faults existed in the Indian plant.
Exxon Valdez: The oil spill ravaged the Alaskan coast
• EXXON VALDEZ
When a quarter of a million barrels of oil leaked from the stricken supertanker Exxon Valdez in March 1989, it was considered the worst maritime environmental disaster in history.
The affected area lay wholly in U.S. territory, Prince William Sound in Alaska, and the ship was owned and operated by a U.S. firm.
Despite the impact on seals, birds, fish and other wildlife, Exxon fought hard to avoid paying the massive compensation decreed by the American courts, reducing an original penalty of $5billion to just $500million on appeal.
As usual, the American legal system acted fast to defend the interests of American corporations, even when their victims were American citizens (and sea creatures).
• TORREY CANYON
The worst oil spill in British history (and the world's first major maritime environmental incident) polluted miles of Cornish coastline, and cost the local tourist industry tens of millions of pounds.
The 1967 disaster involved an American supertanker, the Torrey Canyon, which had been chartered by British Petroleum. It ran aground on a reef off the Scilly Isles, and broke up; the subsequent clean-up operation cost the UK and French governments tens of millions of pounds.
Attempts to recover any cash from the tanker's owners proved almost impossible. At one point, a young British lawyer, Anthony O'Connor, served a writ against the owners by sneaking aboard the Torrey Canyon's sister ship, the Lake Palourde, when she was moored in Singapore. He got aboard by pretending to be a whisky salesman and stuck his writ to the mast.
French naval speedboats chased the Lake Palourde but were unable to board her and serve their writ on behalf of Paris.
Sir Elwyn Jones, the Attorney General, told Parliament, seven months after the disaster that the Barracuda Tanker Corporation was trying to limit its liability in the U.S. courts to just $50.
In the end, compensation of £3million was paid, a small fraction of the clean-up costs and costs to the tourism industry.
Torrey Canyon: The worst spill in UK history
• PIPER ALPHA
On July 6, 1988, 167 people were killed when the North Sea oil rig Piper Alpha exploded in a sheet of flame.
The rig lay about 120 miles northeast of Aberdeen, in the British North Sea Sector. It was wholly owned by Occidental Petroleum, based in Los Angeles, California.
An inquiry found Occidental Petroleum partially liable, on the grounds of inadequate safety and maintenance procedures, but no prosecutions followed.
Despite the catastrophic loss of life (more than 15 times as many were killed as by Deepwater Horizon) and the devastating economic consequences of losing some 10 per cent of total North Sea production, there was no anti-American rhetoric at the time from the Thatcher government.