Civil Defense Perspectives September 2013, Vol. 29 No. 6
Those who would dominate the world in the Industrial Age need to control access to abundant energy. They need to have energy themselves—and to keep others from challenging their monopoly over essential supplies. One type of weaponry is explosives and the means to deliver them. The other is fear, propaganda, and government regulation.
Oil as a Weapon
The main reason for the current importance of the Middle East in world affairs, and its financial clout, is oil production and petrodollars (which fund weapons that kill Americans).
Egypt, a minor player in oil production, plays a key role in the energy market because it controls the Suez Canal and the Sumed Pipeline. Last year, 7% of all seaborne-traded oil and 13% of liquefied natural gas traversed the 101-mile canal. The 200-mile Sumed Pipeline, with a carrying capacity of 2.5 million barrels a day, is the key strategic route for oil and gas shipments to Europe and North America (Fox Business 8/20/13).
Egypt, under Gamal Abdel Nasser, seized the Suez Canal in 1956. The British and the French proposed to send in troops to regain control, provoking Soviet threats. Britain was forced to withdraw because of financial pressure by the Eisenhower Administration. The U.S. began selling sterling, threatening to provoke a financial crisis, and also suspended oil shipments to Europe, according to Kevin Freeman in his book Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S Stock Market and Why It Can Happen Again. (Freeman spoke at the 2013 annual meeting of DDP in Houston.)
The Muslim Middle East was further empowered by the creation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1970. OPEC originally included Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Venezuela, and later added Libya, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and others.
By the late 1970s, the U.S. was importing 6.2 million barrels per day, up from around 1.2 million in 1970. U.S. oil production peaked at around 9.5 million barrels per day in 1970, and was only about 5 million in 2005 (http://tinyurl.com/k564swp).
Every year, the U.S. transfers more than $300 billion in wealth to oil producers, and is highly vulnerable to oil price manipulation. According to Freeman, Islamic figures own a huge stake in American financial institutions. Sharia-compliant finance, he states, is designed to enable financial jihad—which may even involve the fiscal equivalent of a suicide bomb. For years, Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda spokesmen have called for using the weapon of oil against American infidels.
Russia’s power is heavily dependent on its energy dominance. Hydrocarbons accounted for half of Russia’s GDP growth since 2000. Anything that puts pressure on Gazprom’s profits undermines Putin’s regime. The discovery that the eastern Mediterranean has huge untapped oil and gas reserves offers the potential to rebuild Russia’s Cold War influence in the Middle East. While Europe is preoccupied with going Green, Gazprom has signed a 20-year deal involving Israel’s offshore Tamar gas field.
At the same time that it is fostering friendship with Israel on one hand, Russia has close relationships with Iran and Syria on the other (Asia Times 2/28/13, CCNet 3/9/13). Lebanon, Syria, and Cyprus lie along the same offshore strata.
Keeping the West Dependent
Nothing could be worse for Muslim and Russian ambitions than for the West to exploit its tremendous hydrocarbon reserves through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). The environmentalist movement may be coming to their rescue.
After Canadian protesters “occupied” a pumping station, Ezra Levant interviewed some of their supporters on the way to a court date, for the Canadian television show The Source (http://tinyurl.com/pv5mx6v). Since the 1970s, the Line 9 pipeline has been carrying Saudi oil (“conflict oil” or “Sharia oil,” Levant calls it) from eastern ports westward. Protesters object to the “reversal,” which would start shipping “ethical” oil from the Albertan oil sands eastward. Saudi oil is “sweet,” said one interviewee: it has 2% less sulfur. But when it spilled from the Exxon-Valdez, it was seen to be just as oily and black as Albertan oil. Greenpeace is “foreign funded,” Levant emphasizes.
One of the financial backers of the anti-fracking movie Promised Land, starring Matt Damon, is Image Nation Abu Dhabi, owned by the state media company in one of the UAE.
Lobbying the European Commission’s Council of Ministers for laws that would make fracking virtually impossible in Europe was Jeremy Wates, former radical activist, now well paid by the European Environmental Bureau, which claims to represent 140 environmental citizens’ groups (Sunday Telegraph 8/25/13).
Civil war, considered to be an extension of the Arab Spring, broke out in March 2011. To date, some 100,000 civilians have died, 2 million have fled the country, and some 4.25 million are displaced within the country. Since the death of 1,400 civilians from an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime on Aug 21, the Obama Administration has threatened to take action.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel the action would deter the future use of chemical weapons, degrade the regime’s ability to use them, and weaken its military capability, but without tilting the balance of power in favor of the rebels. There would be “no boots on the ground” (Wash Post 9/3/13). A U.S. amphibious transport ship was deployed to the Mediterranean on Sep 1, according to live updates published on RT.com.
Saudi Arabia has said it would support U.S. military intervention. The Arab League issued a resolution calling on the international community to punish the Syrian regime. Syrian opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba said that Syria, Iran’s only Arab ally, could be the gate to fight Iran. Israel fears that U.S. equivocation on Syria foreshadows weakness on Iran. (And Assad refuses to negotiate on the Golan Heights.)
In an online poll, RT.com asked: “If Washington green lights unilateral military response on Syria, what will the end game look like?” The answer “a catastrophic conflict engulfing the entire region including Israel and Iran” was chosen by 57%.
Everything in the region is connected to everything else.
War Reports, Rumors, Declarations
Whodunit? “What our American, British and French partners have shown us…does not convince us at all. There are no supporting facts,…only repetitious talk in the vein of ‘we know for sure’” (Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov). Putin compared chemical weapons accusations with “false data” used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Experts “don’t exclude the possibility that the opposition conducted a…provocative action…to give their sponsors a pretext for military intervention” (Huff Post 9/4/13).
In May 2013, Syrian Islamist rebels arrested in Turkey allegedly had chemical weapons (RT News). A rebel warehouse contained protective masks and materials that could be used to make “kitchen sarin” (Yossef Bodansky, http://tinyurl.com/o6azztf). According to a 100-page report that Russia filed with the UN, shells from the Mar 19 chemical attack were unlike munitions of the Syrian army but like those manufactured by the Bashir al-Nasr brigade (RT.com 9/4/13).
Prelude to War: Jihadists have been pouring into Syria from the Middle East and even the West (GCOR, September 2013). About a thousand tons of weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, were distributed to opposition groups from storehouses controlled by Turkish and Qatari intelligence, under tight U.S. supervision (Bodansky, op. cit.).
The CIA was allegedly involved in smuggling weapons from Libyan stockpiles to Syrian rebels via Turkey during the September 2012 attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi. This could explain CIA intimidation tactics to silence survivors of the attack (http://tinyurl.com/m4rzzgv). Rebels may have used SA-7s from Gaddafi’s stockpiles to shoot down Syrian military helicopters (WND 8/2/13, http://tinyurl.com/mz8v6el).
Missiles: A “joint” U.S./Israeli missile launch in the Mediterranean, involving the Arrow Weapons system, was said to be pre-planned “target practice,” unrelated to events in Syria. According to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s missile defense system proved its effectiveness when it was put on high alert following the test launch (RT.com 9/3/13).
Russia has a contract to deliver an S-300 air defense missile system to Syria. Putin has suspended it for now, but could revive it (Huff Post, op. cit.).
In 2009, the U.S. reneged on its commitment to provide missile defense for Poland, claiming to have a better plan. That plan was scuttled in March, when Secretary Hagel announced cancellation of the fourth and last phase, which would also have offered protection of U.S. territory from Iranian missiles (Larry Bell, Forbes 8/4/13, http://tinyurl.com/kgx4sjh).
Meanwhile, Armavir, one of four advanced missile defense radars built by Russia recently, is being rushed into service by 2020. Three stations are already deployed near St. Petersburg and in the Irkutsk region of Siberia. Each can track 500 objects simultaneously, and all are protected by advanced long-range S-400 air defense and antimissile interceptors (ibid.).
Russia is illegally expanding its global missile reach. It recently tested the Yars-M ballistic missile in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INP) Treaty. In a “New START,” Obama is unilaterally deactivating one-third of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, without consulting Congress. A facility essential for extending the life of our aging nuclear warheads has been delayed for at least 5 years (ibid.).
Ron Paul Receives Edward Teller Award
At the 31st annual meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Houston, the Edward Teller Award was conferred on Dr. Ron Paul. Dr. Teller always stood for a strong defense of America, including civil defense, and in later life was best known for promoting strategic missile defense. Dr. Paul was outstanding among political candidates for his call to “secure America first.” He states on his website: “We are bankrupt as a nation. Our army marches in Chinese boots, while our air force flies on Saudi oil.”
Climate Science Serves Politics
Science has become a source of authority rather than a mode of inquiry, writes Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (www.jpands.org/vol18no3/lindzen.pdf).
Lindzen describes the Iron Triangle and the Iron Rice Bowl, in which ambiguous statements by scientists are translated into alarmist statements by media and advocacy groups, influencing politicians to feed more money to the acquiescent scientists.
In consequence, “A profound dumbing down of the discussion…interacts with the ascendancy of incompetents.” Prizes and accolades are awarded for politically correct statements, even if they defy logic. “Unfortunately, this also often induces better scientists to join the pack in order to preserve their status.”
Lindzen writes that climate alarmism will be more difficult to overcome than Lysenkosim and eugenics because it has become a religion and has co-opted most institutional science worldwide.
Audio and video recordings of Dr. Lindzen’s talk on “What Happens to Science in the Public Square,” and other presentations from DDP’s 30th annual meeting on Long Island are still available (order form enclosed). Dr. Lindzen’s talk is also on YouTube at http://youtu.be/6O6yJRUycFQ.
Widespread Opposition to War
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 56% of respondents do not want the U.S. to intervene in Syria, and only 19% support U.S. action. Just 29% support arming anti-government rebels, while 49% oppose this (RT.com 9/3/13). “It is our role as representatives of the American people to make [the decision], to forget the polls,… and to do what one knows is right,” said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) at the hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Sep 3 (http://tinyurl.com/kybj92q). Sen. Rand Paul stated that in thousands of calls, not a single one supported intervention (ibid.).
The British Parliament voted 285-272 against Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal for military action against Assad, with more than 30 members of his own Conservative party voting against him, and another 30 staying away (RT.com 8/30/13).
At the G20 summit, Putin told a reporter that in the event of a military strike, Russia will help Syria. He said that only Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and France supported the U.S.
Ron Paul said a strike would be “reckless and immoral.”
May, July Issues Delayed
The last issue to be mailed was March. Your editor apologizes for being late.