Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We've found our scapegoat

The UK papers are going mad over Obama and the entirety of the United States spectacularly hating on BP just because they massively fucked up the Gulf. That is when the papers can spare the time they're spending trying to drive Robert Green to suicide. You see, BP used to be regarded as a safe investment across the pond and as such was viewed as a safe centerpiece for pension investments and the like. Now with BP stock tanking and being rated as worth just barely above junk, that's looking like something that could be disastrous.

Of course to the nationalist press, that's all Obama's fault. They're much like our tea baggers. It's not so much BP spilling all that oil and failing to clean it up that's causing the stock problem, it's that Obama is pointing it out and complaining about it that's causing the problem. We, on the other hand, are giving England a right bollocking as if they were to blame for BP's awful, awful safety record, oil spilling, and attempted media chokehold.

Instead of fighting and misplacing blame on each other, let us place blame where it belongs. No, not a corporation. A scapegoat.
Primary responsibility for safety and other inspections rested not with the U.S. government but with the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a tiny, impoverished nation in the Pacific Ocean.

And the Marshall Islands, a maze of tiny atolls, many smaller than the ill-fated oil rig, outsourced many of its responsibilities to private companies.
Under International law, offshore oil rigs like the Deepwater Horizon are treated as ships, and companies are allowed to "register" them in unlikely places such as the Marshall Islands, Panama and Liberia — reducing the U.S. government's role in inspecting and enforcing safety and other standards.
Different types of rigs are classified differently, and the Marshall Islands assigned the Deepwater Horizon to a category that permitted lower staffing levels.
OOOOH! MARSHALL ISLANDS!!! YOU ARE AT FAULT!!!! HOW DARE YOU!!!! THIS IS AN ATTACK ON US!!! Look UK, you hold the Marshall Island's arms and we'll punch them in the gut! Lax standards, loopholes, insufficient regulatory structure, uncomfortable closeness with and industry they're supposed to regulate... who do you think you are, Marshall Islands... us? A tiny country in the Pacific should regulate Gulf oil rigs better. For shame.

So world, if you're looking for the country to blame, it isn't the US or UK and it certainly isn't BP. Don't hate the player, hate the game. And a small collection of atolls with a population that could fit in an NFL stadium concocted the rules of the game and reffed it poorly. It's their fault. J'accuse.

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