Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Syria: Enter the Arab League.

'the Arab League threw its weight behind the allies' judgement that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical attack, the US and Britain paved the way for intervention, saying it would be a response to a violation of international law and not aimed at regime change.'
The final part of the plan to attack Syria is to get the Arab League to back it. The goal is regime change in that missile strikes are designed to get the Assad to negotiate his departure on the West's terms. But this is still a dangerous calculation in the New Great Game to control oil and gas.

The real stakes in the Syrian conflict are energy resources and global power politics. Qatar has funded the Muslim Brotherhood, as has Turkey, because Iran is a major geopolitical rival that is also vying with it to pump gas from the South Pars field it shares with its tiny neighbour, a leading state in the Arab League.

Qatar is a major supplier of liquefied natural gas ( LNG ) to the West where numerous states want energy diversification and not to be too dependent upon Russia. The depletion of North Sea Gas has also made Britain anxious to please Qatar and benefit from the colossal amounts of money it invests in London.

The facts are instructive as to where Britain's future strategic interests lie even though the vast majority of gas still comes from the North Sea and Norway. The UK economy has become increasingly a rentier one since the 1980s and dependent upon oil money and its export of weapons to oil rich Arabic states.
'Qatar investments in the UK have reached QR125bn ($34bn), including stakes in grocery chain Sainsbury’s, BAA (British Airports Authority), London Stock Exchange, Barclays, the US Embassy building in Grosvenor Square and the Shard of Glass development, which is Europe’s tallest building'
Qatar is a regional gas rich superpower upon which the EU states especially depend upon and hence why Britain and France were pushing Washington to intervene militarily. But the US has vital interests there too as it has become a major player in the global LNG market after its 'shale revolution'.

The Gulf states became increasingly hostile to Assad as Iran stepped up its supply of arms via Iraq and to its Lebanese proxy Hizbollah. Saudi Arabia also fears its non-Arab and Shia rival across the Persian Gulf. The oil rich kingdom fears an axis of influence between Iran, Iraq and Syria to the north and a planned pipeline.

Saudi Arabia even offered Russia a deal on control of the oil market if it gave up its support for Assad. But Russia fears that Western missile strikes could embolden Al Qaida affiliated groups within Syria, some of whom come from Chechnya and are allegedly funded by the West's strategic partner.

If Russia drops its support for Assad, then Saudi Arabia's Head of Intelligence Prince Bandar has offered an alliance between the OPEC cartel and Russia and to safeguard its gas interests in the Eastern Mediterranean such as those discovered near Tartus on the border with Lebanon where Russia has a naval base.

The lack of compliance would result in Saudi Arabia not being able to guarantee the security of the Sochi Winter Games as the West proceeds with removing Assad Bandar claimed of the jihadists “We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”

The imminent US and British attacks on Syria have not much to do with humanitarian outrage at chemical weapons use as these are largely a pretext for an intervention they wanted. The aim is continuity with that of getting regime change while not leading to a collapse of Syria into a failed state.

That's the reality. European states and their economies are basically too overdependent upon gas for energy from states such as Qatar and do not wish to be dependent on states such as Russia which are global geopolitical rivals with huge resources of oil and gas that it doesn't have enough of any more.

Instead of wasting time denouncing 'hypocrisy', 'warmongering' and so on ( as if this were some surprise ) it is better to concentrate on the underlying reasons why the double standards in the West's foreign policies have become increasingly obvious since the end of the Cold War.

1 comment:

  1. I dislike, and make it a practice, to avoid using popular phraseology, but I think this will be 'the straw that breaks the camel's back', I cannot help but route for Assad in this scenario. I mean with the revelations of the NSA, and all that growing in crescendo, the outrageous silliness with Egyptian protests, which since Syria, has hardly been covered, as the military literally has been arresting all dissidents. Not just the MB, as if u recall, there was a guy, i followed on twitter, the reason i opened the account, who was shot in the arm, a day i even prayed for the guy out of worry, well, he is from Ohio, and egyptian american, and yesterday or two days ago his account was taken over by his family. He had been picked up and arrested and disappeared!

    All this babble, where you say words matter, and i know what u mean, but my wordsdontmatter, also is relevant, as we have been bombasted with so many words(that)dontmatter that have obfuscated everything. Worse, most US citizens, and your citizens, and everyone, is like totally against this, and being ignored.

    Even more worse, as I know you recognize, is the International Law, the UN, etc is literally being raped openly in public, and is establishing a global coup, right in front of our eyes, and I still have not seen the UN, who just found out they are being recorded and spied on, come out and say WTF?

    This is a sad state of affairs, and I think my long run vision of bad things to come, with your analysis and sense of this too, is rapidly approaching and coalescing in this moment:

    'the straw that broke the camel's back'

    as it is a negative form of soft and hard power: widespread disbelief and recognition that elites everywhere are literally, right in front of our eyes, saying fuck all of u, and it is being operationalized under stuch obvious stupidity.

    I mean, it is as if, noncreative destruction is the norm, Satan, could not come up with a better plan.. we are losing faith in private internet companies, i mean, i would never go back to microsoft..

    so oil crash, loss of trust in public traded internet companies, persistent lies/more lies due to progressive leak (smart by snowden et al), and flip flop from outright murders of egyptian protesters, to this silly almost direct to DVD staged, seems to me, chem attack, is mad.

    I cannot stop thinking...Likud-Saudi-egypt military uniting and openly disobeying, as they can, washington is tied into this bait in switch, whereby, like a huge dumb oaf, Obama leads the US into this obvious trap. I cannot even really believe that washington has the ability to strategize, and it seems they have been led like donkeys into this geopolitical trap..

    a two day strike...before any votes, on flimsy evidence, claiming moral superiority, and even if it did something, which it wont, it has/is destroying western citizens, and all muslims, peaceful or violent, belief in western hegemony and trans national corps and the 1%..

    this is fucked up yo..;)