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Analysis Last Updated: Aug 13th, 2008 - 00:52:16

South Ossetia: superpower oil war
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Aug 13, 2008, 00:20

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The war in the Georgian province of South Ossetia is a classic superpower proxy war, pitting an aggressively US-backed regime, a member of NATO�s regional GUUAM (Georgia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldava) military alliance, against Russia. It is being waged over control of the Caspian Sea, the region in which the third largest oil reserves can be found. The control over this region holds one of the most important keys to world power.

The pipelines

While incendiary propaganda, coded rhetoric (claims over South Ossetia, genocide, �democracy,� etc.) fly back and forth, the actual geostrategic agenda, the energy stakes over which the world powers have engaged in mortal superpower combat (as usual, with millions of innocent civilians used as cannon fodder) remain largely unreported and unaddressed.

A look at the map tells the story. It is taking place in the resource-rich and strategically critical Caucasus/Black Sea region, the same region of the 1990s US/NATO war on the Balkans, led by the Clinton administration.

The stakes involved with the current conflict are identical to those of the previous war: control over the oil of the Caspian Sea/Black Sea/Caucasus basin, and the control of multiple key oil pipelines criss-crossing the region, including the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Ceyhan-Tblisi routes through Georgia, the Baku-Novorossiyk pipeline (through Chechnya and Dagestan), and others.

The most critical pipeline, the infamous Baku-Ceyhan pipeline supported by the US government and a consortium of US-allied transnational oil interests (including Royal Dutch Shell, Unocal, and BP) takes oil from the Caspian Sea across Azerbaijan (another US-supported regime), whereby it crosses Georgia (bypassing Iran and Russia), then on to the Black Sea, where the oil is carried to Western Europe, and the rest of the world.

The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline has been viewed by the Bush/Cheney administration as one of its brightest geostrategic successes. All of the Anglo-American empire�s pipelines and oil facilities, including Baku-Ceyhan, are threatened, if the conflict escalates.

Anglo-American machinations around the Caspian Sea

As pointed out by Michel Chossudovsky in his book America�s �War on Terrorism,� (which details the continuum of Anglo-American war policy from the 1990s Balkans/Kosovo/Yugoslavia conflict, to 9/11, to the present), GUUAM, formed in 1999, has been �dominated by Anglo-American oil interests, ultimately purports to exclude Russia from oil and gas deposits in the Caspian area, as well as isolating Moscow politically.�

Concurrent with the formation of GUUAM, as pointed out by Chossudovsky, Washington began its Silk Road Strategy foreign policy, or SRS, designed specifically to promote the �independence� of �breakaway� republics in Central Asia, and undermine and destabilize its competitors in the oil business, including Russia, Iran and China.

As pointed out in the classic 1999 analysis of the Balkans conflict by the late Karen Talbot, �Backing Up Globalization with Military Might,� the New World Order�s onslaught was �related to the drive to extend and protect the investments of transnational corporations in the Caspian Sea region, especially the oil corporations,� while thwarting Russian and Chinese designs on the same energy wealth.

SRS and GUUAM, embraced by both neoliberal and neocon factions in Washington, led directly to 9/11, the �war on terrorism,� and the conquests of Afghanistan and Iraq, under the Bush/Cheney administration.

Georgia: US-created, US-backed proxy

On a more local basis, Anglo-American machinations across the GUUAM corridor have taken place for years under Bush/Cheney, from militarization, covert operations and destabilizations leading to regime changes (CIA-supported �color-coded revolutions,� manipulated elections), to the literal bottom-up construction of pro-US/transnational corporation-friendly �democracy� puppet governments, such as the Saakashvili regime.

As pointed out in the New York Times, �the United States did not merely encourage Georgia�s young democracy, it helped militarize the weak Georgian state . . . At senior levels, the United States helped rewrite the Georgian military doctrine and train its commanders and staff officers. Georgia, meanwhile, began re-equipping its forces -- with Israeli and U.S. firearms, reconnaissance drones, communications and battlefield-management equipment, new convoys of vehicles and stockpiles of ammunition . . . The public goal was to nudge Georgia toward NATO military standards.� Georgia�s leader, Mikhail Saakashvili, came to power in 2004, as a result of US covert operations.

South Ossetia, one of the so-called �breakaway� republics, is claimed by US puppet, Georgia, but has resisted Georgian rule. The Saakashvili government has attempted to seize South Ossetia for some time. In a pattern similar to that set during the 1990s Balkans conflict, each side accuses the other of genocide, atrocities and violations of international law.

What we are witnessing now is an overt and blunt Russian military response to years of Anglo-American encroachment in the region, and the prospect of a US/NATO-supported military force in South Ossetia, giving the West more control of the Caspian Sea/Black Sea oil.

US versus Russia and China, all over the world

Many wonder if this conflict marks the beginning of World War Three. The question itself is flawed. World war -- world resource warfare -- between the Anglo-American empire and its allies, and its main superpower adversaries, Russia and China, and its allies, has been continuous for decades.

This war of empire -- one war, the same war -- has been waged on multiple levels, but it has been fought in absolute earnest during Bush/Cheney, as energy scarcity, or Peak Oil and Gas, has manifested itself in nightmarish fashion, overtly and tangibly. Every geostrategic event since World War II has focused squarely around this paradigm. Analysis by Michael Klare, author of Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, and many others, has clearly spelled this out.

Zbigniew Brzezinski�s imperial war playbook, The Grand Chessboard, and the agendas of PNAC and other neocon groups, have been even more blatant: control the Eurasian sub-continent, the entire geography containing the majority of the world�s known oil reserves, while encircling, blocking and destabilizing Russia and China, and their allies.

The Anglo-American empire�s wars since the 1990s have been sequential and overtly about oil and gas. The 1999 NATO war in the Balkans was fought over the Caspian Sea basin, the location of the third-largest oil reserves. The pipeline politics connected to the control and transport of Caspian Sea oil led directly to the 9/11 event, and the resulting �war on terrorism� into Afghanistan. The attempt to seize and control the second-largest oil reserves led directly to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and a permanent military foothold in the Middle East.

Conflict (economic, political and military) has broken out over every piece of geography containing, or purporting to contain, oil, or involving oil and energy: Nigeria, Iran, Sudan, the South China Sea, Algeria, Darfur, Somalia, Chechnya, and even Canada. In all cases, the Anglo-American empire has faced off against Chinese and Russian interests.

Nightmare scenarios

What is significant about the Georgian conflict is that for, arguably, the first time since the so-called end of the Cold War, it is not the Anglo-American empire unilaterally bombing, invading or occupying a politically weak nation with a primitive military, such as Afghanistan or Iraq. Russian military might is being unleashed directly on a US surrogate.

Russia is daring the Anglo-American empire to do something about it.

It is currently unclear, in the face of complexities (clouded by the violence, and the incendiary and escalating rhetoric from all sides) what scenario will unfold. What is clear is that it is beyond a nightmare scenario already.

See War in the Caucasus: Towards a Broader Russia-US Military Confrontation? and the blog by Mike Ruppert.

Is this a war that Moscow wanted to start, and finish, at a key moment at which the Anglo-American empire, as a result of its own political and economic self-destruction under the criminal Bush/Cheney agenda, is in the midst of real death throes? Is this Bush/Cheney�s �chickens come home to roost� -- Russia calling the administration�s bluff?

What, if anything, has been China�s role behind the scenes?

Is this a war that the neocons, led by Bush/Cheney, via Georgia, provoked, in order to give themselves a new justification to unleash the �unthinkable� open nuclear war that they have insisted on waging �endlessly�? If Bush/Cheney were genuinely caught off guard, will they now, in neocon panic, pull out the stops, and �blow it all up�?

Would such a war trump all other events, including the upcoming presidential election? Is this war connected in any way to political factions backing John McCain?

With the world economy teetering on the brink of petro-dollar collapse, the US close to a depression, and with the US Federal Reserve and Wall Street engaging in ever more desperate actions to save the empire, is there significance in the timing of this war? Any disruption to the oil supply, in one blow, wipes out the economy, the stock markets, raises oil and gas prices to shocking new highs, and flattens an already discredited Bush/Cheney administration.

The spectacle of the Bush family, Henry Kissinger, Putin, etc., entertaining themselves at the Bejing Olympic Games, while South Ossetia burned, and neocons Dick Cheney and UN Ambassador (and CIA man) Zalmay Khalilzad manning the nuclear button in Washington (warning that �Russian aggression will not go unanswered�), should not only turn stomachs, but raise alarms like nothing since 9/11. Even more stomach-turning, but expected, is the near-total inattention to this gigantic war explosion. The eyes of the hopelessly ignorant and acquiescent public are transfixed on Beijing Olympics fun, and secondarily on the sexual misadventures of John Edwards. Again, the timing of all of this raises questions in and of itself.

Who knew what, and when? Who is in control? Who benefits? What horrific nuclear war scenarios are getting operational green lights?

If Bush/Cheney�s false flag event on 9/11, six horrific years of open criminality, its conquest and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the �war on terrorism,� have not already made painfully clear, this moment in history should serve as a wake-up call.

There has never been a more critical time to look past the billowing propaganda smoke.

This really is it.

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