Subject: ON STRATEGIES AND TACTCIS, LARGE AND SMALL.
3 August 2006
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
We received this important economic analysis, item A., from Dr.
Bertell Ollman, who like all of us is trying to make sense of the
escalation of war in the Middle East.
Item B. is an
article sent to us by Dr. Richard Du Boff, which
describes another terrorist attack, in another era: Austin, Texas forty
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
From Bertell Ollman :
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2006
Subject: The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil
Why the war in Lebanon? All we know for sure is that it is not
what the two parties are telling us. The Israelis said at first that it
is a response to the kidnapping of a couple soldiers, adding later that
it is also a way of stopping the rockets that their own attack has
provoked, which are obviously false. The Lebanese govt. says it
is a terrible overreaction on the part of the Israelis and a war crime,
which is obviously true. But neither answer explains what is going on,
so it may be time to stop repeating them, even the true one.
Attached is one of the better pieces I've seen which
begins to make sense of this terrible, but unfortunately highly
The War on Lebanon and the
Battle for Oil
Is there a
relationship between the bombing of Lebanon and the
inauguration of the World's largest strategic pipeline, which will
channel more a million barrels of oil a day to Western markets?
by Michel Chossudovsky
July 26, 2006
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 Çýraðan Palace.
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)
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
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
official reports state that the BTC pipeline will "channel
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
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.
Re-routing of Central Asian Oil
Central Asian oil and gas to the Eastern Mediterranean
(underIsraeli military protection), for re-export 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 isolate Iran.
Israel has emerged as a new powerful player in the global
Prior to the
bombing of Lebanon, Israel and Turkey had announced the
underwater pipeline routes, which bypassed Syria and Lebanon. These
underwater pipeline routes did 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.
implementation of this project requires the militarisation of the
East Mediterranean coastline, sea ways and land routes, extending from
the port of Ceyhan across Syria and Lebanon to the Lebanese-Israeli
Is this not one
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.
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.
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 2006)
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.
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)
Route of the
© Map by
Eric Waddell, Global Research, 2003. (click to
For details on
the Campaign against the pipeline see :
Richard Du Boff :
Date: Wed, 2 Aug
2006 13:54:16 -0400
Remembering Great Moments in U$ history...
This article just appeared in the Houston Chronicle, August 1, 2006.
TOWER SHOOTINGS: 40 YEARS LATER
AUSTIN - On a
sweltering Texas afternoon 40 years ago today, former
Eagle Scout and Marine Charles Whitman transformed the tranquil
University of Texas campus into a killing field.
After rampage, 'you never felt
When gunman Charles Whitman
killed 16, he shook the entire nation
By POLLY ROSS HUGHES
From his perch
on the UT Tower's observation deck, 28 stories high,
Whitman opened fire for an hour and a half before an Austin police
officer killed him.
He left 16
people dead and 31 wounded.
"It was surreal.
We didn't have mass killings in those days," said
Houston criminal defense attorney Herb Ritchie, who was barricaded in a
tower office a few floors beneath Whitman. "After that, you never felt
the same. You were never safe anywhere or with anybody," said Ritchie,
Kennedy's assassination in Dallas just three years before had
shocked the nation, leaving many to wonder, "My God, what next?" said
Don Carleton, director of UT's Center for American History.
But it was
Whitman's unprecedented reign of terror in broad daylight
that forever shattered the nation's sense of safety in public places,
Carleton said. "I think it was a beginning, unfortunately, of a loss of
innocence," he said. "From a historian's standpoint, it is such a
tragic kind of thing. It's such a harbinger of Oklahoma City, the World
his wife and mother to death before venting his rage on
students, faculty and tourists on campus the next day.
It was Aug. 1,
1966, the year the war in Vietnam escalated. Op art was
the rage, Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India and Truman
Capote published his groundbreaking true-crime novel, In Cold Blood.
UT has remained
mostly silent about the horrible day the tower became a
sniper's perch. To mark the 40th anniversary today, the school plans to
simply lower flags on campus to half-staff, said Robin Gerrow, director
of public affairs.
"It's not a
celebratory event," said Carleton. "We have a sensitivity
toward the families of the victims. We want to handle this whole thing
with a keen sense of their loss." Carleton also plans to accept today
95 original and copied historical documents, the Whitman collection of
the late UT Chief of Security Allen Hamilton.
Half Price Books
purchased the collection last year for an undisclosed
price from one of Hamilton's relatives and quickly decided to donate
the records to UT.
While many of
the documents are copies of records long in the public
domain, the collection includes originals of handwritten notes by
campus police officers and Whitman's frequent traffic tickets.
"We all could
have taken it on eBay," said Kathy Doyle Thomas, Half
Price Books executive vice president in Dallas. "That was not their
(the Hamilton family's) intent, and that was definitely not our intent.
It was sensitive and a horrendous event in Austin history."
will supplement extensive records the history center has
on file about the Whitman killings that were gathered by Gary Lavergne
in his 1997 book, A Sniper in the Tower, Carleton said.
include Whitman's chilling final letters detailing
what he was about to do and why.
At 6:45 p.m. on
July 31, Whitman said he planned to kill his wife and
mother to spare them the anguish and shame over the killings he was
carefully planning. "I don't really understand myself these days," he
wrote. "I am supposed to be an average young man. However, lately (I
can't remember when it started), I have been a victim of many unusual
and irrational thoughts."
that he was upset over his parents' split and his
father's abuse of his mother. He also complained of intense headaches
and requested an autopsy be performed. The autopsy revealed a tumor
pushing on Whitman's brain stem.
He also wrote of
spending two hours with University Health Center
psychiatrist Dr. M.D. Heatley, "to convey my fears that I felt (some)
overwhelming violent impulses."
confirmed at a news conference after the killings that
Whitman had told him of his plans, said former Dallas newspaper
reporter Ernest Stromberger, now 66. "It was just surreal," he said.
"This psychiatrist just sat there and said, 'Well, you know, he came to
me. ... He had these feelings of anger and he wanted to go up on the
tower and shoot people.' Everyone was just stunned."
professor Norman Brown said he would have been right in
range of Whitman's fire had he stuck to his original plan to walk
across the main mall, as usual, just under the tower. Instead, he
popped into a nearby bookstore.
At 6 feet 6
inches tall, Brown said, he "would have made a large target
Neal Spelce, a
retired Austin television and radio reporter, said he
arrived at the scene shortly after hearing about the shootings over a
police radio. "The impression was what I saw and heard and felt," he
said, describing the sniper shooting, dead bodies lying around him,
people's screams for help and sirens echoing through campus under a
blazing midday sun. "It was a surreal sensory experience and it
Spelce said he
stayed crouched down as bullets whizzed by and continued
reporting, his voice broadcast on television and accompanied by a
stationary shot of the tower. "It was sight, sound, feeling - the whole
range of emotions all capsulized there for more than an hour," he said.
Ritchie said he
was a 20-year-old sophomore working for a professor in
the tower when he heard a loud bang.
Fear filled the
office when a professor who went to investigate came
back to report dead bodies in the stairwell. They had to barricade
themselves in the office because the university had shut off the
elevator, Ritchie said.
"I put a rolling
blackboard up against a door, and I shoved a desk
against the door," he said, and then he looked at the scene below. I
remember the real brave students. I remember seeing really heroic,
brave students going out there and picking someone up and going back
behind the wall while the firing was going on."
Austin Police Officer and Texas Ranger Ray
Martinez stands in front of the University of Texas Tower in Austin.
Martinez and another officer are credited with killing the UT Tower
BRIAN HOLLINGSWORTH: AP file