by Michel Chossudovsky
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. . . .
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 April 2006, Israel and Turkey announced plans for four underwater
pipelines, which would bypass Syrian and Lebanese territory.
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 isolate Iran.
Meanwhile, Israel has emerged as a new powerful player in the global energy
market. . . .
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.
Daniel Howden and Philip Thornton, "The Pipeline That Will Change the
World," Independent, May 25, 2005
"U.S. - Backed Israel Pounds Lebanon, Thousands
Flee," The Wisdom Fund, July 13, 2006
James Bamford, "Iran: The Next War," Rolling
Stone, July 27, 2006
Robert Fisk, "A Nato-led force would be in Israel's
interests, but not Lebanon's," Independent, August 1, 2006
Margaret Griffis, "Sheba'a Farms: Much Ado
About Nothing?," Independent, August 12, 2006