Struggle over the Middle East: Gas Ranks First

[ Editor’s note: This article is also available in FrenchItalianArabicGermanRussianSpanish ]

by Imad Fawzi Shueibi (April 17th 2012)

The media and military attack against Syria is directly related to the global competition for energy, as explained by Professor Imad Shuebi in this masterful article. At a time when the euro area threatens to collapse, where an acute economic crisis has led the U.S. into a debt of up to 14 940 billion, and where their influence is dwindling in the face of the emerging BRICS powers, it becomes clear that the key to economic success and political domination lies mainly in the control of the energy source of the century: gas. It is because she is at the heart of the most colossal gas reserves in the world that Syria is being targeted. The wars of the last century were fought for oil, but a new era has dawned, that of wars for gas.

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After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians began to feel that the struggle for armament has exhausted them, especially in the absence of the necessary energy sources needed by any industrial country. The American presence in the oil zones for some decades enabled them to grow and have control over the international political decision without much struggle. Therefore, the Russians turned towards energy sources, be them oil or gas. Since the international apportionment does not bear much competition in oil sectors, Moscow sought to manipulate gas in the areas of gas production, transporting or marketing on a large scale.

The starting point was in 1995 when Putin set the strategy of Gasprom Co. to move within the area in which gas exists starting from Russia through Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran (for marketing) and the Middle East. Certainly, the projects of the Nord Stream and South Stream will be a historical order of merit/insignia given to Vladimir Putin for his efforts in bringing Russia back to the International arena and for tightening the grip on the European economy which will depend, for decades, on gas as an alternative for oil or depend on gas as well as oil, yet with prioritizing the first; i.e., gas. At this point, it was a must for Washington to hasten to create its peer project; Nabucco, to compete against the Russian project as to gain an international apportionment on the basis of which the next century will be politically and strategically determined. Continue reading

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israeli war on Iran looming: US author

israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are reportedly lobbying for a massive attack against Iran among Israeli cabinet members. (File photo)

A US-based political writer claims he has access to a plan made by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for imminent military strike on Iran.

According to Israeli news website Ynet, Richard Silverstein claimed on August 15 that the war document was leaked to him by a “high-level Israeli source” who obtained it from a military officer and includes missile and aerial strikes, assassination of Iranian officials and a massive cyber attack that will paralyze the country’s electronic networks.

The supposed Israeli strike on Iran, he added, will include crippling Iran’s electricity grid and telecommunications network, firing tens of missiles to Iran from Israeli territory and submarines in the Persian Gulf, and bombarding the houses of top Iranian scientists and military commanders. The strike, Silverstein noted, will also involve cyber attacks to render Iran’s internet and telecom networks as well as radio and television, telecommunication satellites, and fiberoptic network dysfunctional.

Smart carbon-fiber weapons will also attack Iran’s power plants causing short-circuit which will stop their operations, he noted, while more missiles will target Arak nuclear reactor and other nuclear facilities in Isfahan and Fordow.

A number of Iranian officials have been also shortlisted for assassination by Israeli missiles, Silverstein said.

Iranian authorities have frequently downplayed Israeli threats of military action against the Islamic Republic, warning that in case the Zionist regime dares to launch such an attack, it will be reduced to rubble.

A number of senior Iranian military commanders have also emphasized that in case Israel and even the US launch any attack an Iran, the conflict is certain to spill into the entire region.

Following the first wave of attacks, according to the American analyst, “an Israeli radar satellite will pass over Iran and transfer information directly to warplanes making their way covertly toward Iran.”

These Israeli planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to Tel Aviv’s close ally, the United States, Silverstein said.

The Israeli report, according to the US analyst, concludes by claiming that among the targets of the aerial attacks “are Shahab 3 and Sejjil ballistic missile silos, storage tanks for chemical components of rocket fuel, industrial facilities for producing missile control systems, centrifuge production plants and more.”

Iranian observers, however, insist that such reports are the continuation of a joint US-Israeli publicity and psywar campaign aimed at inciting fear among the Iranian public.

Source: Press TV

 

 

 

India Russia and the Syrian crisis

By M K Bhadrakumar, Opinion Maker

There are grave security implications for both Russia and India. What happens in Syria holds the potential to impact a wide swathe of the so-called Greater Middle East, stretching from the Levant to the Central Asian steppes – a region that forms the ‘extended neighborhood’ of both Russia and India’s.

Drawing by Alexey Lorsh

If the Russian vote against the resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly over Syria last week was predictable, India’s abstention was fortuitous.

This Russian-Indian ‘divergence’ arose because the two countries so far pursued specific interests. For Russia, Syria has been a strategic ally, whereas India took a pragmatic stance imbued with the alchemy of its equations vis-à-vis the protagonists spearheading ‘regime change’ in Syria – the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

However, that has become a priori history. The die has been cast and it emerges that Russia and India have a strong commonality of interests. That is how the voting pattern at the UN last Thursday needs to be interpreted. The heart of the matter is that certain bigger issues of immense consequence to the international system and the regional and global politics have surged to the centre-stage and India and Russia have shared concerns over their interplay.

Drawing by Dan Pototsky

Syria’s curse could as well be India’s

Principally, there are five key issues involved here.

One, the concerted external intervention to force ‘regime change’ in Syria drives a dagger into the heart of the Westphalian system that historically put primacy on the sovereign nation-state, big or small, as the basic unit of international order. The violation of the established order requires careful explanation, and yet no such explanation is forthcoming. This violation runs contrary to international law and negates the very idea of a democratic world order that Russia and India are working for.

Second, where do we draw the line, assuming the Arab Spring is about the advent of democracy, reform and change in countries with authoritarian rule? More pertinently, who draws the line? The two diehard proponents of democracy and reform in Syria happen to be the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are archaic oligarchies themselves. In sum, what is happening over the Syrian situation is selective intervention for geopolitical reasons, which is camouflaged as ‘humanitarian intervention’.  The irony deepens when we factor in that the humanitarian situation itself has largely been precipitated through instigation of violence from outside to destabilize the Syrian state structures, economy and society systematically with impunity through the past several months, violating the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter.

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