[eDebate] lebabon war/baku pipeline
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
Email this article to a friend
Print this article
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
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
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
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
- 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
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility
of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for
Research on Globalization.
To become a Member of Global Research
The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at www.globalresearch.ca
grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles in their
entirety, or any portions thereof, on community internet sites, as long as
the text & title are not modified. The source must be acknowledged and an
active URL hyperlink address to the original CRG article must be indicated.
The author's copyright note must be displayed. For publication of Global
Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet
sites, contact: crgeditor at yahoo.com
www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not
always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making
such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in
an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and
social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and
educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes
other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.
For media inquiries: crgeditor at yahoo.com
? Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, GlobalResearch.ca, 2006
The url address of this article is:
? Copyright 2005 GlobalResearch.ca
Web site engine by Polygraphx Multimedia ? Copyright 2005
Is your PC infected? Get a FREE online computer virus scan from McAfee?
More information about the Mailman