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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X marks the spot: Spy ring and warships encircle Iran

The X-band radars that the United States has installed in Israel’s Negev desert (AFP Photo/David Buimovitch)

The Pentagon is quickly tightening its ring of forces around Iran. As a recent report reveals a radar belt around the Persian country is almost complete, the biggest ever naval drills, involving up to 20 nations, are to take place in the Gulf waters.

The US military have asked for $12.2 million from Congress to build an AN/TPY-2 type radar station in Qatar. The construction is due be finished by the end of this month, The Wall Street Journal reports, quoting US officials.

Similar radars, commonly known as X-band, are also located in Turkey and Israel’s desert of Negev. The detector in Qatar would complete the backbone of a system designed to protect Israel and Europe from Iranian ballistic missiles, say the WSJ sources. The shield would pinpoint missile launches from the north, west and south of the Persian country.

There are also ambitions to deploy a THAAD (the army’s first Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile-interceptor system to the region in the coming months. This independent detector may be hosted by the United Arab Emirates and, as the project sponsors say, together with X-Band will provide “an extra layer of defense.” Continue reading

Indian RAW cracks down on Mossad operations in India

By Wayne Madsen at OpinionMaker

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An Israeli Chabad sect couple, Rabbi Sheneor Zalman and his wife Yaffa Shenoi, have been told by Kerala police to leave India in fifteen days. The two are suspected by the Indian intelligence, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of being involved in a covert operation in India linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack in which six Chabad members were killed in a shootout between Dawood Ibrahim’s Pakistan-based gangsters and the residents of Mumbai’s Chabad House. The incident was reported as a major act of terrorism when, in fact, it was score settling between Ibrahim’s drug syndicate and Chabadniks who were seen as moving in on Ibrahim’s control over the Mumbai drug trade.

WMR has previously reported that Chabad houses around the world are believed by multiple intelligence agencies to be centers for Mossad activity operating under religious “cover.”

RAW agents apparently staked out the couple’s pricey residence in Kochi as late night meetings were conducted with suspect individuals under Indian intelligence surveillance. The Israeli couple had lived in Kochi for almost two years. After being presented with evidence of espionage by the intelligence and police services, the Ernakulum District in Kochi decided to order the Israeli couple deported.
Chabad Jews and Mossad were forced to leave their former base in Goa as a result of increased RAW and federal police surveillance of their activities, believed to include the shipment of heroin from Afghanistan to Southeast Asia in the east and the United Arab Emirates to the west. The Israeli Mossad and Chabad re-located their operations to Kochi, which had replaced Goa as a major drug trans-shipment point.

In addition, Mumbai bombing suspect David Headley is believed to have maintained contact with the Mossad station in Goa prior to the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Headley is believed to have also maintained links with Ibrahim’s crime syndicate in Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group in planning false flag terroist attacks in India. hen the green light for the Mumbai attacks was given, Ibrahim’s men decided to use the occasion to also attack their drug smuggling competitors at the Mumbai Chabad House.

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Iran, Gold and Oil – The Next Banksters War

Remember the real reason why Moammar Gadhafi is dead. He dared to propose and started creating an alternative currency to the world reserve U.S. Dollar. The lesson learned in Libya is now ready for teaching in Iran. Forget all the noise about going nuclear, the true message is that the banksters rule and nation states serve their ultimate masters. The hype and disinformation that surrounds the push for war is best understood by examining the viewpoint of Iranian MP Kazem Jalali. The Tehran Times quotes him in saying,

“The European Union must be aware that it can never compel the Islamic Republic to succumb to their will and undermine the Iranian nation’s determination to achieve glory and independence, access modern technologies, and safeguard its rights, through the intensification of the pressure.”

“The European Union is seeking to politicize the atmosphere ahead of nuclear talks with Iran and is aware that sanctions on Iran’s oil exports cannot be implemented since the world is not limited to a number of European countries”

Many political commentators warn that an embargo is an act or war. Chris Floyd provides this observation of the recent oil embargo against Iran.

“This week, the warlords of the West took yet another step toward their long-desired war against Iran. (Open war, that is; their covert war has been going on for decades — via subversion, terrorism, and proxies like Saddam Hussein.) On Monday, the European Union obediently followed the dictates of its Washington masters by agreeing to impose an embargo on Iranian oil. The embargo bans all new oil contracts with Iran, and cuts off all existing deals after July. The embargo is accompanied by a freeze on all European assets of the Iranian central bank. In imposing these draconian measures on a country which is not at war with any nation, which has not invaded or attacked another nation in centuries, and which is developing a nuclear energy program that is not only entirely legal under international law but is also subject to the most stringent international inspection regime ever seen, the EU is “targeting the economic lifeline of the regime,” as one of its diplomats put it, with admirable candor.”

The most important aspect of the Iranian response lies in the way that changes oil settlement for delivery and the futile effect of the US/Anglo/EU imperialist dictates have in the marketplace.

Debkafile reports that India (and probably China) will pay for Iranian oil in gold.

“India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran’s total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets. By trading in gold, New Delhi and Beijing enable Tehran to bypass the upcoming freeze on its central bank’s assets and the oil embargo which the European Union’s foreign ministers agreed to impose Monday, Jan. 23. The EU currently buys around 20 percent of Iran’s oil exports.”

A more detailed analysis in Tehran Pushes to Ditch the US Dollar provided ample arguments that an embargo will fail.

“Iran may be isolated from the United States and Western Europe, but Tehran still has some pretty staunch allies. Iran and Venezuela are advancing $4 billion worth of joint projects, including a bank. India has pledged to continue buying Iranian oil because Tehran has been a great business partner for New Delhi, which struggles to make its payments. Greece opposed the EU sanctions because Iran was one of very few suppliers that had been letting the bankrupt Greeks buy oil on credit. South Korea and Japan are pleading for exemptions from the coming embargoes because they rely on Iranian oil. Economic ties between Russia and Iran are getting stronger every year. Then there’s China. Iran’s energy resources are a matter of national security for China, as Iran already supplies no less than 15% of China’s oil and natural gas. That makes Iran more important to China than Saudi Arabia is to the United States. Don’t expect China to heed the US and EU sanctions much – China will find a way around the sanctions in order to protect two-way trade between the nations, which currently stands at $30 billion and is expected to hit $50 billion in 2015. In fact, China will probably gain from the US and EU sanctions on Iran, as it will be able to buy oil and gas from Iran at depressed prices.” Continue reading

Enron, Taliban & Warburg: The Untold Story

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By Dean Henderson at The IntelHub
(Excerpted from Chapter 9: The Texas Oil Mafia: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)

In 1985 Drexel Lambert S&L crook Michael Milken helped Houston Natural Gas merged with Internorth to create Enron. Kenneth Lay headed Houston Natural Gas and became chairman and CEO of the new company. Enron was the biggest corporate contributor to George W. Bush’s campaign to become Texas Governor. [1]

Bush won and Texas led the way in a nationwide deregulation of energy markets which Lay advocated. Deregulation allowed Lay to pioneer energy trading. By 1999 Enron monopolized online energy trading via Enron Online. Throughout the political career of George W. Bush, Lay was his largest financial supporter, personally giving Bush $650,000.

In 1993 Wendy Gramm, wife of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm (R-TX), joined the board of Enron where she was chair of Enron’s Audit Committee. Wendy Gramm came to Enron straight from her job as 12-year chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where she ostensibly aided in the cover-up of BCCI, Capcom, Mena drug trade and S&L scandals. At CFTC Gramm’s main task was to oversee the complex derivatives market, a favorite haven for drug money laundering due to its opaque nature.

While Wendy was covering tracks at CFTC, husband Phil was busy blocking key money laundering legislation and pushing for bank deregulation. He pushed passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which severely reduced government oversight of the derivative and futures markets.

Enron, where Wendy Gramm now collected a $200,000 per year stipend, received exclusive regulatory exemptions through the legislation. Section 101 of the Act granted regulatory exemption to on-line energy traders. There was only one such entity – Enron OnLine. One CFTC official stated of Section 101, “everyone called it the Enron exemption”. [2]

Ken Raisler was a key lobbyist for Enron. Raisler served as general counsel to the CFTC before joining Enron. Currently he is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell – the spook law firm behind the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala.

Enron hired former Clinton Treasury official Linda Robertson to head its Washington offices. Former Montana Governor Marc Racicot joined Enron as a lobbyist. Racicot, whom the Montana Militia has fingered for providing cover for a cocaine ring operating along the Montana/Canadian border while serving as Montana Attorney General, was appointed chair of the Republican National Committee just days before Enron went bust. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were huge Enron lobbyists. [3]

James Baker, Robert Mosbacher and Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey all lobbied for Enron. James Baker had been hired straight from office as Bush Sr. Secretary of State to lobby the Kuwaiti government on behalf of Enron. Enron received a $600 million contract from Kuwait to build an electrical power plant as a result of his efforts. President Bush Jr. himself earned lucrative fees from Enron for speaking engagements.

Just before Racicot bolted Enron, Sen. Phil Gramm announced his retirement. Enron executives began feverishly selling stock options, which had reached a high of $96/share. In October 2001 Enron froze its employees’ 401K plan, locking them into a downward spiral in Enron’s stock price. On December 2, 2001 Enron declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, making its shares worthless. Ten days later House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) announced his retirement. The Bush Justice Department announced an investigation, but Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the case due to political contributions he received from Enron. Former Enron employee Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson took over the investigation.

No less than fifteen Bush Administration officials owned Enron stock. Enron met at least six times with former Halliburton CEO Vice-President Dick Cheney to help craft a national energy policy. [4] Enron called Commerce Secretary and former Tom Brown natural gas executive Donald Evans, and Treasury Secretary and former ALCOA executive Paul O’Neill, to ask for a government bailout. On February 17, 2001 Enron executives met with O’Neill just three weeks into his appointment. O’Neill agreed to quash a law that limited Enron’s use of off-shore shell companies to hide losses. [5]

Enron called Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Kenneth Hebert to pressure him to make a ruling favorable to the company. When Hebert refused President Bush relieved him of his job. Enron CEO Ken Lay was told by Bush to interview four candidates for the FERC post during the Bush transition to the White House. During the 2000 Presidential elections Enron was the biggest corporate funder of the Bush Campaign, giving $113,000 to the campaign, $100,000 for the inaugural ball and $5,000 to the Florida Recount Fund, which was presided over by James Baker. During 1999-2000 Enron doled out $2,439,000 in political contributions.

This was chump change compared to the $20 million Enron had given as bribes to Indian officials in 1993 when it moved into the power generation business in that country’s Maharashta State. Enron snookered the Indians into a deal where they would pay $30 billion to Enron to provide electricity at rates 700% the national average. The Enron Dabhol plant produced the highest priced electricity in India. Maharashta state officials wanted out. The US Ambassador to India chastised officials for even considering backing out of the deal. [6]

In 1999 the Indians finally sent Enron packing after both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International cited Enron for human rights violations in handling opposition to Dabhol. Amnesty said women were dragged from their homes and beaten by thugs on Enron payroll.
There is a bigger story behind Enron’s failed Dabhol project in India. By the mid-1990’s the Unocal-led Centgas consortium, which proposed the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan natural gas pipeline to supply the Far East, began proposing an alternate route that would terminate at Multan, Pakistan on the Indian border in the heart of disputed Kashmir. A proposed 400-mile extension of the pipeline would bring cheap gas to India to supply the Dabhol plant, allowing Enron to be competitive in the Indian market. [7]

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