[eDebate] lebabon war/baku pipeline

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Sat Jul 29 18:48:08 CDT 2006

russia fucks up syria war plans


The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil

by Michel Chossudovsky

July 26, 2006

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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?

Virtually unnoticed, 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 ??ra?an 

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 

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. In 
2005, Georgian companies received some $24 million in military contracts 
funded out of U.S. military assistance to Israel under the so-called 
"Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program".


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.

Militarization of 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:

"[The BTC 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 Sea.

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 

What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel 
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 

"Turkey and 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,

The new Turkish-Israeli proposal under discussion would see the transfer of 
water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel via four underwater 


?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

Diverting Central 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.

Ultimately, this 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 
isolate Iran.

Meanwhile, Israel has emerged as a new powerful player in the global energy 

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:

"Defense 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 border.

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 Syria.

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 border.

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.

"The Long War"

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 pipelines.

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 

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 Lebanon.

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 
Chossudovsky's book  America's "War on Terrorism", click here.

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)

? Map by Eric Waddell, Global Research, 2003.  (click to enlarge)

For details on th Campaign against the pipeline see 

See related articles:

The Militarisation of the Eastern Mediterranean: Israel's Stake in the 
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

- by Michel Chossudovsky
Planned US-Israeli Attack on Iran, by Michel Chossudovsky

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, by Michel Chossudovsky

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