Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. — Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria


Must-read. A tale of intrigue and perfidy necessary to understand the background of the situation in the Middle East post WWII.

Revealing. How Washington, beginning in 1949, plotted to overthrow governments and create jihadism — Ike actually used the term "holy war"— to exclude Soviet influence and gain control of petroleum resources.

A choice piece:
A charismatic young murderer named Saddam Hussein was one of the distinguished leaders of the CIA’s Ba’athist team. The Ba’ath Party’s Secretary, Ali Saleh Sa’adi, who took office alongside Saddam Hussein, would later say, “We came to power on a CIA train,” according to A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite, by Said Aburish, a journalist and author. Aburish recounted that the CIA supplied Saddam and his cronies a murder list of people who “had to be eliminated immediately in order to ensure success.” Tim Weiner writes that Critchfield later acknowledged that the CIA had, in essence, “created Saddam Hussein.”…
At the same time, the CIA was illegally supplying Saddam’s enemy, Iran, with thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to fight Iraq, a crime made famous during the Iran-Contra scandal.…
Fast forward:
…our war against Bashar Assad did not begin with the peaceful civil protests of the Arab Spring in 2011. Instead it began in 2000, when Qatar proposed to construct a $10 billion, 1,500 kilometer pipeline through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. Qatar shares with Iran the South Pars/North Dome gas field, the world’s richest natural gas repository. The international trade embargo until recently prohibited Iran from selling gas abroad. Meanwhile, Qatar’s gas can reach European markets only if it is liquefied and shipped by sea, a route that restricts volume and dramatically raises costs. The proposed pipeline would have linked Qatar directly to European energy markets via distribution terminals in Turkey, which would pocket rich transit fees. The Qatar/Turkey pipeline would give the Sunni kingdoms of the Persian Gulf decisive domination of world natural gas markets and strengthen Qatar, America’s closest ally in the Arab world. Qatar hosts two massive American military bases and the U.S. Central Command’s Mideast headquarters.…
Of course, the Russians, who sell 70 percent of their gas exports to Europe, viewed the Qatar/Turkey pipeline as an existential threat. In Putin’s view, the Qatar pipeline is a NATO plot to change the status quo, deprive Russia of its only foothold in the Middle East, strangle the Russian economy and end Russian leverage in the European energy market. In 2009, Assad announced that he would refuse to sign the agreement to allow the pipeline to run through Syria “to protect the interests of our Russian ally.”
Assad further enraged the Gulf’s Sunni monarchs by endorsing a Russian-approved “Islamic pipeline” running from Iran’s side of the gas field through Syria and to the ports of Lebanon. The Islamic pipeline would make Shiite Iran, not Sunni Qatar, the principal supplier to the European energy market and dramatically increase Tehran’s influence in the Middke East and the world. Israel also was understandably determined to derail the Islamic pipeline, which would enrich Iran and Syria and presumably strengthen their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria.…
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Read the whole thing.

The conclusion:
But, if we are to have an effective foreign policy, we must recognize the Syrian conflict is a war over control of resources indistinguishable from the myriad clandestine and undeclared oil wars we have been fighting in the Mideast for 65 years. And only when we see this conflict as a proxy war over a pipeline do events become comprehensible. It’s the only paradigm that explains why the GOP on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration are still fixated on regime change rather than regional stability, why the Obama administration can find no Syrian moderates to fight the war, why ISIL blew up a Russian passenger plane, why the Saudis just executed a powerful Shiite cleric only to have their embassy burned in Tehran, why Russia is bombing non-ISIL fighters and why Turkey went out of its way to shoot down a Russian jet. The million refugees now flooding into Europe are refugees of a pipeline war and CIA blundering.…
Politico.eu
Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

12 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Then think about how Bush1 led the CIA for a while then later attacked Saddam's Iraq for invading Kuwait and then Saddam tried to have him assassinated after GulfWar1...

So then Bush2 is going to be able to cooperate with Saddam in the GWOT? No way... have to invade and take Saddam out and create new Iraq leadership... "we brought you into the world so we can take you out..."

There is probably something out there similar about Syria's Assad... reneged on some type of deal and now he's got to go too... maybe the Hezzbollah impunity...

Same with Libya when they were given the Pam Am Lockerbie bomber back for some quid pro quo and then they created a media spectacle out of it right on the tarmac... next thing Daffy Kadaffy is dead...

Same with Putin, deal was done for gas thru Ukraine based on volume and when the price went up over $13 he shut off the valve and reneged... same with Chavez in Venezuela...

You can't renege on the deal... bad for your health....

Bill W. said...

You can't renege on the deal... bad for your health....

Bad for our military youth to huh?

MRW said...

Matt did you ever see General Clark’s FORA-TV 2007 talk on why we bombed these countries?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS651RdXIkM
Ignore the title. A Canadian uploaded the except which probably got around a copyright issue.

Bob said...

Various third parties have varying reasons for wanting to get rid of or keep Assad. The same could be said for many of these ME despots. When their usefulness comes to an end, they tend to be replaced, willingly or not.

ISIS is not concerned about pipelines. Compared to the other factions, they are to jihadists what Trump is to fed-up Americans.

Ignacio said...

"breaking news" ... /s

Matt Franko said...

imv that Nordstream pipeline is key... iirc 51% owned by a Russian entity 49% owned by BASF... Russian can supply Europe gas while bypassing Ukraine; and MENA gas may become irrelevant to Europe with all the externalities it brings with it...

Once that thing comes on line it will be secure and competently operated (BASF German so it will of course run like clockwork) then Russia will have to make the decision of whether they are part of the West or the East...

If they go "West" then probably things will calm down, if they go "East" then expect continued chaos...

But their track record isnt good as they have shown propensity to renege like they did on the deal thru Ukraine... maybe dealing thru the Ukrainians is what screwed the deal for them they just couldnt stand to see the Ukrainian end get financially better ... Nordstream has no such 'middleman' iirc it is a direct deal between a Russia entity and the German entity so maybe this time it will work out better...

If it works out it will probably be expanded and end up supplying most of the BTUs....

The problem is then going to continue to be what to do about MENA as they continue to lose western currency rent revenues which they have grown accustomed to and need to be able to live...



Ignacio said...

Matt you often say "the US is not an empire". This were it shows who is or isn't an empire. Only n the US allows itself to renege when they want and shape relations as they please, when others do it the people in charge gets mad and wants to invade and kill the counter-party.

Nations are sovereign and should be allowed to do whatever they want, if we weren't dominated by 'free trade' bullshit and current exchange system (provide all the liquidity that the "markets" want and some more) this wouldn't be such a big deal because there wouldn't exist the interdependencies that exist now with world trade which is what creates the chaos. Countries would form relatively stable trade partnerships in equal terms instead of trying to leverage commercial relations for geopolitical reasons.

All can be tracked back to 'free trade' and 'free markets' and 'free everything' crap (which leads to capital flows, volatility in exchange rates, raw materials dependencies, etc.). Maybe politicians should do a thought experiment "what the hell would happen if trade with the rest of the world was 90% lower than it is), because that's basically what needs to happen.

Matt Franko said...

"the US is not an Empire":

I am relying on "NO Empire if Caesar thinks he's "out of money!"...

Empire went away almost 2,000 years ago when we went over to the metals and gave up on state currency...

Now were back on state currency so Empire could come back but as of now we are not yet as Caesar still thinks he's under the metals as his academe of economics is failing him...

Its all a big scramble for "money!" at this time just like it was a big scramble for the metals up until a few decades ago for almost 2,000 years...

"Empire" is not a "scramble for money!"...


Bob said...

The US will try to 'convince' Europe to buy less Russian gas.

Matt Franko said...

Well Bob I wouldnt see a Trump admin doing that... Hillary maybe/probably...

And also solar is coming in so that works against the gas in real terms...

Pretty fluid situation...

Refugee problem exacerbated by the collapse in energy rent imo...

Have to watch food shipment levels if the food deficit nations lose current necessary foreign currency revenues...

World might have to take a crash course in grace before this is over if they end up not being able to pay...

John said...

Matt: "...Saddam tried to have him assassinated after GulfWar1..."

What have you been smoking? No one believes this story. It was cooked up by the Kuwaitis after torturing prisoners until they cried out "It was Saddam. Please take that bamboo stick out of my urethra".

John said...

Matt: "...Empire went away almost 2,000 years ago when we went over to the metals and gave up on state currency..."

What were the British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese up to? How about the Nazis? Or Japanese in Asia? Were these not imperialists because they adopted metal? And how about all the times they dropped metal? Did they suddenly become imperialists then?