Is there a
relationship between the bombing of Lebanon and the inauguration of
the World's largest strategic pipeline, which will channel more than
a million barrels of oil a day to Western markets?
the inauguration of the Ceyhan-Tblisi-Baku (BTC) oil pipeline, which
links the Caspian sea to the Eastern Mediterranean, took place on
the 13th of July, at the very outset of the Israeli sponsored
bombings of Lebanon.
One day before the
Israeli air strikes, the main partners and shareholders of the BTC
pipeline project, including several heads of State and oil company
executives were in attendance at the port of Ceyhan. They were then
rushed off for an inauguration reception in Istanbul, hosted by
Turkey's President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in the plush surroundings of
the Çýraðan Palace.
Also in attendance was
British Petroleum's (BP) CEO, Lord Browne together with senior
government officials from Britain, the US and Israel. BP leads the
BTC pipeline consortium. Other major Western shareholders include
Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, France's Total and Italy's ENI. (see Annex)
Israel's Minister of
Energy and Infrastructure Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was present at the
venue together with a delegation of top Israeli oil officials.
The BTC pipeline
totally bypasses the territory of the Russian Federation. It
transits through the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and
Georgia, both of which have become US "protectorates", firmly
integrated into a military alliance with the US and NATO. Moreover,
both Azerbaijan and Georgia have longstanding military cooperation
agreements with Israel.
OLEODUCTO CONSORCIO DEL CASPIO -
OLEODUCTO BAKÚ-CEYHAN -
Israel has a stake in the Azeri oil fields, from which it imports
some twenty percent of its oil. The opening of the pipeline will
substantially enhance Israeli oil imports from the Caspian sea basin.
But there is another dimension which directly relates to the war on
Lebanon. Whereas Russia has been weakened, Israel is slated to play
a major strategic role in "protecting" the Eastern Mediterranean
transport and pipeline corridors out of Ceyhan.
the Eastern Mediterranean
The bombing of Lebanon
is part of a carefully planned and coordinated military road map.
The extension of the war into Syria and Iran has already been
contemplated by US and Israeli military planners.
This broader military agenda is intimately
related to strategic oil and oil pipelines. It is supported by the
Western oil giants which control the pipeline corridors. In the
context of the war on Lebanon, it seeks Israeli territorial control
over the East Mediterranean coastline.
In this context, the
BTC pipeline dominated by British Petroleum, has dramatically
changed the geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean, which is now
linked , through an energy corridor, to the Caspian sea basin:
pipeline] considerably changes the status of the region's
countries and cements a new pro-West alliance. Having taken the
pipeline to the Mediterranean, Washington has practically set up
a new bloc with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Israel, " (Komerzant,
Moscow, 14 July 2006)
Israel is now part of
the Anglo-American military axis, which serves the interests of the
Western oil giants in the Middle East and Central Asia.
While the official
reports state that the BTC pipeline will "channel oil to Western
markets", what is rarely acknowledged is that part of the oil from
the Caspian sea would be directly channeled towards Israel. In this
regard, an underwater Israeli-Turkish pipeline project has been
envisaged which would link Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon
and from there through Israel's main pipeline system, to the Red
The objective of
Israel is not only to acquire Caspian sea oil for its own
consumption needs but also to play a key role in re-exporting
Caspian sea oil back to the Asian markets through the Red Sea port
of Eilat. The strategic implications of this re-routing of Caspian
sea oil are farreaching.
What is envisaged is
to link the BTC pipeline to the
Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel's Tipline, from
Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon. In April 2006, Israel and
Turkey announced plans for four underwater pipelines, which would
bypass Syrian and Lebanese territory.
Israel are negotiating the construction of a multi-million-dollar
energy and water project that will transport water, electricity,
natural gas and oil by pipelines to Israel, with the oil to be
sent onward from Israel to the Far East,
Turkish-Israeli proposal under discussion would see the transfer
of water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel via four
“Baku oil can
be transported to Ashkelon via this new pipeline and to India
and the Far East.[via the Red sea]"
"Ceyhan and the
Mediterranean port of Ashkelon are situated only 400 km apart.
Oil can be transported to the city in tankers or via specially
constructed under-water pipeline. From Ashkelon the oil can be
pumped through already existing pipeline to the port of Eilat at
the Red Sea; and from there it can be transported to India and
other Asian countries in tankers. (REGNUM
Water for Israel
Also involved in this
project is a pipeline to bring water to Israel, pumping water from
upstream resources of the Tigris and Euphrates river system in
Anatolia. This has been a long-run strategic objective of Israel to
the detriment of Syria and Iraq. Israel's agenda with regard to
water is supported by the military cooperation agreement between Tel
Aviv and Ankara.
The Strategic Re-routing
of Central Asian Oil
Asian oil and gas to the Eastern Mediterranean (under Israeli
military protection), for re-export back to Asia, serves to
undermine the inter-Asian energy market, which is based on the
development of direct pipeline corridors linking Central Asia and
Russia to South Asia, China and the Far East.
design is intended to weaken Russia's role in Central Asia and cut
off China from Central Asian oil resources. It is also intended to
Meanwhile, Israel has
emerged as a new powerful player in the global energy market.
Russia's Military Presence in the Middle East
Meanwhile, Moscow has responded to the US-Israeli-Turkish design to
militarize the East Mediterranean coastline with plans to establish
a Russian naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus:
Ministry sources point out that a naval base in Tartus will
enable Russia to solidify its positions in the Middle East and
ensure security of Syria. Moscow intends to deploy an air
defense system around the base - to provide air cover for the
base itself and a substantial part of Syrian territory.
(S-300PMU-2 Favorit systems will not be turned over to the
Syrians. They will be manned and serviced by Russian personnel.)
(Kommerzant, 2 June 2006,
Tartus is strategically located within 30 km. of the Lebanese
Moreover, Moscow and Damascus have reached an agreement on the
modernization of Syria's air defenses as well as a program in
support to its ground forces, the modernization of its MIG-29
fighters as well as its submarines. (Kommerzant,
2 June 2006). In the context of an escalating conflict, these
developments have farreaching implications.
War and Oil Pipelines
Prior to the bombing
of Lebanon, Israel and Turkey had announced the underwater pipeline
routes, which bypassed Syria and Lebanon. These underwater pipeline
routes do not overtly encroach on the territorial sovereignty of
Lebanon and Syria.
On the other hand, the
development of alternative land based corridors (for oil and water)
through Lebanon and Syria would require Israeli-Turkish territorial
control over the Eastern Mediterranean coastline through Lebanon and
The implementation of
a land-based corridor, as opposed to the underwater pipeline project,
would require the militarisation of the East Mediterranean coastline, extending
from the port of Ceyhan across Syria and Lebanon to the Lebanese-Israeli
Is this not one of the hidden objectives of the war on Lebanon? Open
up a space which enables Israel to control a vast territory
extending from the Lebanese border through Syria to Turkey.
It is worth noting that the US War Academy had already contemplated
the formation of a "Greater Lebanon" which would extend along the
coastline from Israel to Turkey. In this scenario, the entire Syrian
coastline would be annexed to an Anglo-American Israeli protectorate.(See
Map of The New Middle East below).
Israeli Prime minister
Ehud Olmert has stated that the Israeli offensive against Lebanon
would "last a very long time". Meanwhile, the US has speeded up
weapons shipments to Israel.
There are strategic
objectives underlying the "Long War" which are tied to oil and oil
The air campaign
against Lebanon is inextricably related to US-Israeli strategic
objectives in the broader Middle East including Syria and Iran. In
recent developments, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice stated that
the main purpose of her mission to the Middle East was not to push
for a ceasefire in Lebanon, but rather to isolate Syria and Iran. (Daily
Telegraph, 22 July 2006)
At this particular
juncture, the replenishing of Israeli stockpiles of US produced WMDs points
to an escalation of the war both within and beyond the borders of
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best
seller "The Globalization of Poverty " published in eleven languages.
He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and
Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, at www.globalresearch.ca
. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His
most recent book is entitled:
America’s "War on Terrorism",
Global Research, 2005. To order
America's "War on Terrorism", click here.
Related article on Lebanon:
"Triple Alliance": The US, Turkey, Israel and the War on Lebanon,
by Michel Chossudovsky - 2006-08-06
Revised, 28 July 2006.
The BTC Co. shareholders are: BP (30.1%); AzBTC (25.00%); Chevron
(8.90%); Statoil (8.71%); TPAO (6.53%); Eni (5.00%); Total (5.00%),
Itochu (3.40%); INPEX (2.50%), ConocoPhillips (2.50%) and Amerada
Hess (2.36%). (source BP)
ORIENTE MEDIO: OLEODUCTOS Y
A3 TEATRO DE GUERRA EN ORIENTE
|© Mapa de Eric Waddell, Global Research,
MAP OF THE NEW
Note: The following map was prepared
by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed
Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S.
National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters
Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it
has been used in a training program at NATO's Defense College for
senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps,
has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as
in military planning circles.
For details on th Campaign against the pipeline see
The Militarisation of the Eastern
Mediterranean: Israel's Stake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran. Michel
Is Israel running out of Bombs? New Deliveries of WMD "Made in
America" The Replenishing of Israeli WMD stockpiles points to
escalation both within and beyond the borders of Lebanon.