Syria, Sarin and Oil

War drums beat for US/NATO intervention (air war) in Syria, supposedly to punish the Bashar al-Assad regime (the government) over the use of chemical weapons, blamed on it instead of rebel forces.

Were hundreds of Syrian civilians killed with chemical weapons in a government attack out of desperation, or by a surreptitious rebel attack as a provocation? Gwynne Dyer’s op-ed states the reality of the situation in Syria very clearly (link below).

My article though “old” is still useful to show what is theoretically possible as a minimally violent resolution of the Syrian Civil War that is based around the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles (link below also).

But, such a resolution is not realistically possible because none of the numerous combatants nor their rich and powerful sponsors really care about the global public health, safety and security concerns regarding chemical weapons, nor the regional issues of establishing non-authoritarian (democratic or non-dictatorial) governments and regional peace. They each want power, absolutely.

The political power sought (or trying to be maintained) in Syria is that which can be exercised by wealth, and the richest form of wealth for buying power is materially tied to the earth as petroleum: fossil fuel economics.

Syria is a conflict between two combines:

— the Sunni Persian Gulf oil kingdoms and NATO capitalism, who support rebel forces that include al-Qaeda militias (can we call these Wahhabi militants?), and

— a loosely connected Shiite regional bloc of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Alawite centered Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, probably the sympathies (and more?) of the Iraqi Shiite dominated government, the full involvement of Iran, and the diplomatic (and perhaps other technical) support of Russia and China.

The control of fossil fuel resources is the major super-power or geo-political obsession of our time. Global warming and climate change be damned, it’s all about hydrocarbon-based chemical energy providing industrial-strength economic and military power, and that being turned to political advantage internationally, ultimately, I think, out of pure ego. Gorillas thump their chests as warnings and displays of power, we (in the form of our governing elites) do this.

The combines at war in Syria have rival schemes for piping Central Asian oil wealth:

— Iranian and Iraqi oil could be piped west through Syria to the Mediterranean, to feed (addict?) the hungry NATO market, and potentially northeast from Iran through a cooperative Afghanistan directly to China.

— A US-favored route for extracted Central Asian oil would be south (from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan) through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea, where this oil would be loaded onto tankers to join the shipping traffic from the Arabian Peninsula.

— Another US-favored route involves its NATO partner Turkey: pipelines west from Central Asia across or around the Caspian Sea north of Iran, across Azerbaijan and Georgia, west across Turkey, and from there to Europe.

— Pipelines from Asiatic Russia could transport oil west, through Belarus and Ukraine (assuming cooperation) to Europe, or veer south to the Black Sea, and then be transferred to tankers which would have to pass through the Turkish-controlled choke point of the Bosphorus (the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles strait together form the Turkish Straits). A pipeline from Caucasian Russia (east of Turkey) south through Georgia and Azerbaijan (assuming cooperation) or, further east, across the Caspian Sea could connect to pipelines radiating out of Iran.

For its deep-pocket foreign sponsors, the Syrian Civil War is a local and visible flash-point in their much larger and often quiet and discrete global oil chess game.

Gwynne Dyer: An appalling attack and an unwinnable war
27/08/13
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/gwynne-dyer-an-appalling-attack-and-an-unwinnable-war-1-5987754

Sarin In Syria
(MG,Jr.)
14 May 2013
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/14/sarin-in-syria/

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