Crusade! Few words in the English lexicon rally so many jingoistic emotions. In the past, Knights jousted for the honor of fair maidens or the chance to prove their valor. Today, our knights circulate whitepapers in think-tanks, pondering over the feasibility of pipeline projects in distant lands for which common folk will shed their lives to secure. Not so romantic, is it? Well, enter John Bolton, a bona fide Guardian of Zion. With a swashbuckling moustache and plenty of zeal, he’ll deliver a Promised Land from the Nile to Euphrates.
Nile to Euphrates? That’s a funny turn of phrase, I hear you say. You see there’s a belief in many mid-east nations that the two blue bars on the Israeli flag are in fact a reference to a Biblical prophecy that the Jews will inherit a ‘Greater Israel’ stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates – an inside joke, if you will. Quite the increase in territory! Could this be true? Who knows, but in the past many have advanced this theory openly, including Yasser Arafat, Hamas, and the Iranians. Whether Israel seeks to absorb such territory – as it did the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981 – or simply exert more power over them, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, have reason to distrust Zionism.
Two weeks ago, John R. Bolton began serving in the staunchly pro-Zionist Trump White House as the new National Security Advisor. Bolton is the recipient of the 2017 Guardian of Zion Award. These nations bordering Israel will have reason to pause. They’ll be considering whether a Crusade already begun in Iraq and now in Syria will further spill over by design. This Crusade is not being fought by sword swinging warrior monks or Christian lords.
On the contrary, with great irony, this asymmetric warfare is being waged by a relentless campaign of Islamist freebooters and mercenaries, whipped up into a whirlwind by NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and probably Qatar – as the Wikileaks Stratfor emails confirm. The United States and Europe are along for the ride; the former in need of maintaining the petrodollar system, the latter in need of cheap energy relationships.
John Bolton was by far the most dangerous man we had in the entire eight years of the Bush Administration. Hiring him as the president’s top national security advisor is an invitation to war, perhaps nuclear war. This must be stopped at all costs. The president won the 2016 election with foreign-policy positions antithetical to those championed by the perennially hawkish Iraq War supporter.
Bolton is a one-man Apocalypse. The warnings of Republican Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter – although a member of the hysterical ‘Never Trump’ and David Brock aligned CREW movements – should actually be heeded on Bolton. The hard-right pro-Zionist influence in the Trump WH is now epic. Right-wingers cannot allow hatchet men like Painter to be proven right. This will damage our cause and give more fuel to leftists than the Obama era Bush-bashing which was caused by Iraq and Afghanistan war fallout.
What started as an Islamist virus in post-war Iraq has spread to Bashar al-Assad’s Syria, to the glee of war hawks such as John Bolton; though he will claim quite to the contrary in public. This war is mainly about pipeline real-estate, but also the spoils of war. As we will see, the primary target of this proxy war in Syria and Iraq is actually Russia and Iran. China is also standing in the wings with a decision to make.
Syria finds itself right now with worse geostrategic luck than Afghanistan; that other unfortunate nation which shares borders with Iran and China. Iran is a major oil and natural gas supplier whereas China is a developed hydrocarbon market. They’re an economic love match but Afghanistan prevents the marriage. No, the US isn’t still in Afghanistan to smell the poppies or for the goat meat stew. There’s an important similarity between Syria and Afghanistan which begs for expansion.
This similarity is the key to understanding how and why the biggest global conflict in human history is about to explode between NATO and the emerging axis of Russia-Iran-China. The Cold War never ended and it might finally turn hot. The similarity: Syria stands between the developed hydrocarbon market of Europe and a super-massive natural gas field shared by both Qatar and Iran. This massive gas field and the Iranian ability to tap it efficiently – ie, with trans-national pipelines to Europe or China – is the common link between both warzones. This single field contains enough gas to supply the European Union for over 150 years!
North Dome/South Pars has more recoverable reserves than the next thirteen largest fields in the world combined but probably holds more!
As can be seen above, affordable natural gas is quickly becoming the keystone energy resource for competitive economies as coal declines. Europe consumes LNG shipments from this Qatar field, which is far more costly than would be the case if it could be piped up through Turkey. This means the EU is currently reliant on Russian Gazprom to supply vast quantities of its cheap natural gas requirements.
“Between 2000 and 2012, the [Russian] government’s dependence on oil and gas sector revenues increased from 47 to 50 per cent of its state budget, and accounts for roughly 25 per cent of Russia’s GDP.” ~ NATO Review. 2014.
This cheaper Russian supply is pumped from the east through countries like Ukraine; another military flashpoint; no coincidences here. Russia is reliant on the majority state-owned hydrocarbons giants Rosneft and Gazprom to repair its economy from the post-communist train wreck during the 80’s and 90’s. The European Union, however, desires to source the vast majority of its natural gas from anywhere but Russia, by NATO mandate (ie, from Arabs, Azerbaijan, North Africa and Nigeria, even US LNG).
In 1949 shortly after WWII, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO – was created as a mutual defense pact between the United States, Canada and the nations of Western Europe. It quickly became an anti-communist organization with an unrivaled paranoia including a hatred for the Kremlin. This paranoia was justified, but the hatred morphed into a lust for conquest and spoil which did not end when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. NATO began to sponsor infamous acts of covert terrorism within Europe in what has become known as Operation Gladio.
It’s déjà vu all over again
In reality NATO has become a reiteration and, an expansion, of what was known as The Great Game during the nineteenth century. This game was fought between the British Empire and the Russian Empire over encroachments by Russia into Central Asia; playing out in the geostrategic pivot zone known as Afghanistan. Occurring before oil, natural gas and pipelines were a major concern, in the modern world the stakes are far higher and the weaponry unimaginably destructive.
As I mentioned in a previous article, the petrodollar system born in the 1970’s is the bedrock of modern finance. It anchors US Dollar fiat in its role as World Reserve Currency because dollars are no longer backed by redeemable gold bullion. This creates an artificial demand for dollar denominated securities overseas, allowing the US to fund its increasing budget deficits with pure debt. Most or all of this deficit is only necessary because the military spending for the US is so epic; in 2018 it is projected to total $875 billion (DoD Base + DoD OCO + Support).
The US Military spend is over twelve times more than Russia and nearly four times larger than China. This spend is also more than the next nine nations combined and is getting larger every year – especially under Trump. There’s a very good reason for this ever increasing spend: The petrodollar system is funding the US Military and the US Military is defending the petrodollar. It’s a vicious cycle: The cycle of Empires – dying ones. The American Empire has simply replaced the British Empire; déjà vu. Like Britain, the US has brawled with Russia in Afghanistan – by proxy – and that process of holding geostrategic pivots continues; déjà vu.
A more correct name for this post-1970’s imperium would be the NATO Empire, since the neoliberal City of London is the US dollar clearing center for international finance and the European Union is NATO’s big energy market being merged with the MENA economically. This EU-MENA integration is occurring under a 1995 agreement known as the Barcelona Process – initially known as the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, since 2008 the Union for Mediterranean (UfM). In the map of the UfM below, it can be seen to approximate the territory of the ancient Roman Empire, plus the Germanic and Nordic tribal lands.
Hegelian dialectic: The deliberate clash of civilizations
The Barcelona Process was sealed in Barcelona by 27 attendant countries – Islamic, Jewish and European – on November 27th-28th, 1995. The meeting was chaired by the Spanish President Javier Solana; a lifelong member of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party. Solana opened the conference by saying these nations were being brought together to straighten out the “clash of civilizations” and the “misunderstandings” which had once plagued them. He said it “was auspicious” that they had convened on the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade.
This is how the Euroligarchy chose to trigger a clash of civilizationsusing a process proclaimed as a solution to straighten out historical clashes of civilization.
Only a socialist could say such a thing with a straight face. Just one solitary week after signing this agreement, Javier Solana began his four year term as the 9th Secretary General of NATO. This act is central to understanding the UfM-NATO dynamic. This was a completely symbolic appointment, declaring that the modus vivendi of this new arrangement for the Mediterranean would be held in place by NATO – a military imperative disguised as a purely economic and social contract.
The recent influx of Muslim populations into Europe is a feature of this finely planned agenda. It is part of a population displacement and replacement operation designed to reignite the UfM which had stalled by 2005 due to disagreements; the majority of which were caused by the Israel-Palestine conflict. As usual, the inclusion of Israel in geopolitical agreements adds fifty flavors of pain. By thrusting the two halves of the old Roman Empire together in a humanitarian and social crisis, leaders in the EU were hoping to ignite a Hegelian dialectic with which to clear political roadblocks and recharge supra-nationalism. This has led to an increase in events of EU members slighting Israel in order to please the Arabs.
Besides the Islamic discontent over Israel and the inability of European leaders to appease them, Gadhafi of Libya was only willing to be a UfM observer. In October 2011 Gadhafi was toppled by a NATO proxy war posing as a multi-polar civil uprising which then led to a protracted civil war, destroying Libya. Afterwards, the NATO aligned jackals swarmed in. One month after Gadhafi’s death and eight months after the beginning of the Syrian civil war, on November 22nd, 2011, Syria removed itself from the UfM. This seven year long, ongoing civil war in Syria, is also a NATO proxy war. The UfM is merely an expansion program for NATO and Bashar al-Assad is no fool.
This UfM integration strategy is very simple: Most Islamic UfM countries either have hydrocarbons or are required transit zones for proposed pipelines radiating towards three different regions ;
1) the GCC Arab nations,
2) N.Africa and trans-Saharan pipeline from the Nigerian delta,
3) Azerbaijan, Caspian Sea and Central Asia.
Connecting these hydrocarbon supply regions with the industrialized goods and service economies of the EU using pipelines, is ambitious, but would create the single most powerful economic engine in the entire world. It would be far more efficiently integrated with cheap energy supplies than North America, but especially China. This economic behemoth would roar like a lion, strengthening NATO greatly.
Before this energy integration can be feasible, the UfM is designed to trap the go-between UfM MENA nations into a high level legally binding special economic zone; the EuroMediterranean Free Trade Area advertised as a ‘shared prosperity’ initiative. This supra-national zone is the master key required to lock in stable resource extraction and pipeline transit investment areas, but it has stalled since the Arab Spring broke out. This proposed zone is designed specifically for NATO aligned infrastructure projects, owned and managed by friendly multinational corporations; like Dutch Royal Shell and EXXON, from whence ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emerged. It’s a Bilderberg Group wet-dream.
This zone will exclude, notably, Russian hydrocarbon extraction and processing giants such as Gazprom and Rosneft; locked out under the rubric of ‘sanctions’. By locking Russia out of these zones, the petrodollar system and possibly an emerging petroeuro system – in a NATO power sharing arrangement – can hold the western dominated neoliberal status quo in place, preventing the collapse of the NATO Empire which is currently teetering on financial destruction. This would then give NATO the inertia to finally crush Russia economically and to bring the rest of the world to heel. This is a fine plan, but sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.
Pipedreams: Shiites versus Sheiks and the Russian Bear
In 2009, Assad refused to sign an agreement with Qatar for an overland pipeline running from the Gulf to Europe via Syria to protect the interests of its Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas. An Arab diplomat with contacts in Moscow said: “President Putin listened politely to his interlocutor and let him know that his country would not change its strategy.” “Bandar bin Sultan then let the Russians know that the only option left in Syria was military and that they should forget about Geneva because the opposition would not attend.”
~ Agence France-Presse (Beirut). August 8th, 2013.
Since before the Syrian civil war began in March 2011, rumors have been flying about a proposed pipeline which would/could run northwards through Saudi Arabia from Qatar’s super-massive North Dome gas condensate field discovered in 1971. Apparently Assad and his backer Putin rebuffed this plan in 2009. This line would then run into either Iraq or Jordan, then through Syria, finally transiting Turkey before reaching its destination in the EU energy market. It’s quite obvious to anyone with half a brain that such a ‘trans-Euphrates’ route would be the biggest pipeline in the world by volume and capacity, if feasible. But is it? The answer to this question is that it’s not only feasible, but it’s downright irresistible.
The economics scream “Build me!” The geography here is nothing special. The many problems with this idea are all political and social. It’s almost impossible currently to make the five Muslim nations on this line cooperate; without coercion. This line would enrich Qatar more than the Saudi’s, so they’d squabble, even though they’re both Sunni Wahhabi nations. The Saudis also resent Qatar’s patronage of the Muslim Brotherhood which is highly critical of the Saudi royals. As the 2017-18 Qatar diplomatic crisis proves, Qatar keeps a door open to Iran which the Saudis will not tolerate; the Saudi’s consider themselves to be senior and dominant over Qatar.
Jordan is Sunni but Iraq is majority Shiite – especially in the south – so the Jordanians look like the best bet here but even they’re on shaky terms with the Saudis; the Hashemites resent having been driven out of Hijaz and Mecca by Ibn Saud. These problems exist, and more, before we even get to Syria or Turkey. This is why many mid-east analysts vehemently deny that any such pipeline was ever considered seriously by any such grouping of states, even though it was definitely proposed. The idea that this pipeline route lies behind the proxy war raging in Syria is flat out proclaimed by many analysts to be an unfounded conspiracy theory.They’re missing the point, many of them willfully.
OCCAM’S RAZOR : NATO … NEEDS … THIS … PIPELINE … !!
It’s that simple. Stop looking for local reasons as to why mid-east national feuding could prevent such a project. When the US wanted the Saudi’s to become dollar pimps during the 1970’s birth of the petrodollar system, urgently, was it the Saudi’s who held the cards? No. It wasn’t. He who holds the market and the vicious modern military, holds all the cards. The US, EU, and thus NATO, will mold this UfM to their hearts desire and the Saudi’s will assist. Turkey will assist. This is about containing Russia long-term, not pipeline feasibility studies. Once the pipeline area between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is controlled through balkanization, this pipeline will indeed be laid. Mark my words.
If NATO has to smash Muslim heads together to make this pipeline feasible, they will do whatever it takes to push in the direction of conquest. This is not about the squabbles between parochial Islamic political and sectarian divides. This is about the Cold War. It never ended. The New Great Game is no longer simply against Russia, it’s against Iran and China. Out of this melee the one country in the middle-east which will always side with the US and NATO, is Saudi Arabia; the number one oil exporter in the world and the lynchpin of the entire petrodollar system. The only person who can stop this pipeline is Putin, but for this he needs to uphold Assad.
Russia is the number two oil exporter in the world and the greatest competition to the Saudi’s. Russia is not an OPEC member and lies outside the sphere of Saudi cartel control, thus, NATO control. Furthermore, Russia is not holding to the rule that their oil be sold exclusively in US dollars; a big problem for the US. This is also not about how much oil each nation produces; the US, China and Russia all produce large quantities of oil, but the US and China each consumes their own supply as well as requiring imports. This is about how much each country exports and how cheap they can pump it, to glut the market, using such a glut as a market weapon – as per below.
Weapons of War: The 2014 plummet in the world oil price coincides nicely with the Ukraine-Russia tensions, the Crimean referendum, and the downing of the MH17 airliner. What has this price dive done to oil revenues in Russia while it shells out big to support Bashar al-Assad?
In July 2011, Syria’s Bashar al Assad, an Alawite Shiite, did the unthinkable. Together with the Shiite dominant Iraqi regime and the purely Shiite Iranian regime, they announced they were ready to sign a pipeline contract potentially worth $6 billon. They were to tap the massive Iran-Qatar gas field on the Iranian side, running a pipeline northwards and through Iraq, then Syria, to Lebanon. This would then be able to supply Europe via a Lebanese LNG port facility or an underwater pipeline passing through the Cyprus EEZ and on towards Greece.
This announcement was bad news for Qatar, because whoever pumps this pressurized super-field first, will capitalize from more of the fields potential value; much of the gas will simply flow by pressure to the end that is being pumped, robbing the other side of potential profit. It was bad news for the Saudi’s because it would enrich the Iranians, increasing their power, but also rob the Saudi’s of possible pipeline proceeds from the rival pipeline on the Arabian side of the Gulf. This 2011 pipeline Assad had agreed to, would also bypass Turkey, which already had a deal for the Persian Pipeline – the simplest of all options – to run through Turkey instead of Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
The Persian Pipeline was seen as a competitor for the NATO preferred Nabucco pipeline, which would/will tap gas from NATO ally Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. This Persian Pipeline deal had stalled in 2010 when the Swiss firm contracted to build it pulled out of the deal citing US sanctions on Iran. The key to understanding all of this pipeline insanity is the Saudi and Israeli relationship with the Anglospheric (US-UK) half of NATO; it’s all about that petrodollar system (NYC-London). Allowing Iranian or Russian gas into Europe will not be tolerated by any of them, at all costs, even if certain European countries desire it – after all, the EU is getting very impatient for cheap energy all the while pipelines are simply pipedreams.
Regionally, the Saudi alliance with the US – which gives access to the gates of armaments heaven – is all that is standing between Saudi control of the Persian Gulf and Iranian ascendancy. Blocking that other pipeline route between China and Iran is a permanent US occupation of Afghanistan which the Saudis are very thankful for. The Sunni-Shiite divide in the middle-east is not only quite real, it is utterly deadly to the security of the world. The Saudis are by far the most active when it comes to rallying and goading fellow Sunni regimes to resist the threat of Shiite Iran. The Saudis are simply NATO assets and this Saudi-NATO quest against Iran is where Israeli influence becomes strongest.
Israel is thick as thieves behind closed doors with the Saudis and any rhetoric on behalf of the latter against Israel is simply kabuki theatre. This is mostly true for Turkey – though to a lesser extent – because the Turks will make money whether the Nabucco or Persian Pipeline is chosen, but would make nothing from the Shiite Iran-Iraq-Syria option which Assad had agreed to in 2011. What we have here are two groups of mid-east interests, condensed around the Shiite and Sunni divide, with larger world geo-political powers backing the group which benefits their own interests most closely. It’s like a black hole sucking the entire world towards Armageddon.
The Shiite bloc backed by Russia and China (patrons of Baghdad) are holding a pipeline blockade in place which protects Gazprom. Their competing pipeline proposal if completed could cause the EU half of NATO to give up wishing on a pipedream, caving to the immediate access to cheaper gas. Russia seems quite happy to share its access to the EU market with this Shiite bloc, because it knows this is the best option available instead of allowing the NATO-Saudi plan to succeed. Putin knows that this NATO-Saudi plan is weaponized to specifically take down Russia. Besides, Gazprom will be invited to share in the project and profits of the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, which would otherwise seem antithetical to Russian aims.
The Saudi bloc backed by NATO and Israel is betting on the balkanization of Syria and almost certainly Iraq, creating a pipeline corridor inhabited by Sunni populations loyal to the Saudi’s and Turkey. Once in place, all the doubts about feasibility will evaporate and the controlled territory of the Shiite bloc running from the Mediterranean to the Zagros Mountains will be broken, isolating Syria from Shiite Iran-Iraq. Israel desperately needs this to occur: It can then chip away at an impoverished Syria which would have lost 95% of its revenue generating north-east territory containing the oil, gas and water resources; an area currently occupied by NATO and its proxies.