Friday, August 26, 2005

Oil Pipelines, Kosova War and Obfuscation 2004

Oil Pipelines, Kosova War and Obfuscation

By Michael Karadjis

Lord Ludd writes:

”So much for NATO's "Humanitarian War" when it launched it's Blitzkriegagainst the civilian population >of Serbia with the support of the so-called"Kosova Liberation Army" (itself lauded by certain "lefts") in >1999 –“

The article reads:

"Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia has (sic) given the go ahead for theconstruction of a $1.2bn oil pipeline that will pass through the Balkanpeninsula.”

Right. So let me get this straight. The US (and the EU, and Russia, by theway) wanted to build an oil pipeline from the Black Sea through Bulgaria,Macedonia and Albania to bring oil directly to Europe without going throughthe Turksih-controlled Bosphorus. Therefore, the US launched a war againstSerbia. Have I got that right?

Was someone blocking the building of the pipeline? One might notice thatneither Kosova nor Serbia is situated inside either Bulgaria, Macedonia orAlbania. The pipeline was not to run through Serbia or Kosova. Perhaps theUS should have bombed one of those 3 countries. Wait - why bomb them, theydidn't oppose the pipeline. So what's the story? Did Milosevic of Serbiaoppose the pipeline? When? In what way? What did Serbia do to oppose thepipeline?

Answer: A loud silence. Nothing, in fact. Nothing at all.

Perhaps it was part of the ongoing Cold war some think is still happeningbetween the US and socialist Russia, or perhaps a new cold war between USimperialism and a new Russian imperialism which has allegedly emerged. Andthen Serbia can be imagined as a 'pawn' of Russian imperialism (if notRussian socialism). All seems unlikely to me, but let's have a look. Thearticle next says:

"The project aims to allow alternative ports for the shipping ofRussian and Caspian oil, that normally goes through Turkish ports.”

So Russia will benefit from this pipeliine, as it will have yet anotherroute to ship oil to its EU partners, apart from various direct oil and gaspipelines going from Caspian and Russian oil sources via Russian territoryto Europe. In fact, by having to send even less through theTurkish-controlled Bosphorus, both Russia and the EU are thereby lessdependent on Turkey, usually seen as a powerful US ally. Why would Russiathen oppose the pipeline? Answer: It didn't. It thought it was neat that aUS-led consortium wanted to put down the money to facilitate Russian oilexports.

If a pipeline was to be built through the southern Balkans, what would theUS and other imperialist powers, and Russia, most want for the southernBalkan region? Obviously, political stability.

So let me get this straight, according to the Chetnik-fan-club section ofthe left. The US requires political stability to build a pipeline, so itcreates an ethnic Albanian drug-dealing, Islamist, terrorist outfit calledthe KLA out of nothing, when everything was actually quite rosy before,throws a peaceful, stable situation into chaos, so that it could go in bombsand all, in order to build a pipeline - that was not threatened or opposedby anyone before, and that previously had the benefit of a stable situation.The machinations of imperialism certainly are confusing, or is it this funnysection of the left that is confused?

In fact, let's take this a few steps further. One of the countries that thepipeline does actually run through, Macedonia, was relatively stable until2001, and already had NATO troops stationed there, since 1994. That year, anarmed Albanian uprising took place, involving political forces closely alliedto the former KLA in Kosova. In the world-view of the Albanian-hating wingof the left, this was also another CIA-inspired, Islamist, drug-dealingterrorist uprising, aimed at getting imperialism in. Like imperialism wasnot already 'in' for years.

So the US even wanted to create further chaos in one of the otherwise stablecountries that the pipeline was to run through.

What a lot of complete codswallop (sp?)

The pipeline issue (hardly new, by the way, if you get a copy of my bookavailable from Resistance Books there is some analysis of this issue back in2000) rather points to a different cause. Imperialism wanted to build apipeline. The southern Balkans were relatively stable after the US-imposed DaytonAccord of 1995 gave the Serbian nationalists half of Bosnia as an ethnicallycleansed 'state'. The other half was dominated by Serbia's key regional ally, Tudjman's Croatia. "Everyone" was happy. The region was “stable” from an imperialist point of view.

Then the rude Albanians launched a mass uprising against the corruptUS-backed capitalist tyranny of Sali Berisha in Albania in 1997. The massesrudely seized state armouries and liberated hundreds of thousands ofweapons. Many of these they passed, as you would, over to their brutallyoppressed brethren in Kosova, who did not at all like the kind of"stability" that kept them under Belgrade's jackboot. In 1998, having had the jack of ten years of ‘peaceful Ghandian’ struggle that got them nowhere, they launchedan uprising. The US declared them to be "terrorists" giving Milosevic agreen light to smash them. This Milosevic failed miserably to do - histerror tactics simply boosted the KLA from a few hundred fighters to a massarmy of tens of thousands.

Now assuming the pipeline was the major issue - which btw I think is afantasy, but which I think may have some relevance - imperialism was nowconfronted with major instability in the southern Balkans. They eventuallyfigured out the only way to end it was to go in with their own troops todisarm the KLA. This led to war with Serbia which had a different plan, evenmore destabilising - wait for the bombs and then carry out a long-time planheld dear by the leaders, which only bombing would give them the cover todo - expel the Albanian population of Kosova. Naturally, imperialism did notsee creating 'Gaza in Europe', giant Sabra-Shatilla type camps for a millionrefugees in the southern Balkan states of Macedonia and Albania - throughwhich the pipeline would pass - as very conducive to stability. They alsodid not see the Albanian uprising in Macedonia in 2001 as very conduciveeither, and acted to bring it to an end.

There is however one other angle. It could be noticed during the war thatthe US spent a lot of energy bombing Serbian bridges on the Danube river,hundreds of miles north of Kosova and of no significance to the war effortwhatsoever. They also bombed factories and power plants along the Danube.The Danube, of course, is a major economic artery of Europe, and this diddamage to the economies of countries like Austria, Italy and Germany, aswell as Serbia and Croatia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Ukraine etc. What was thisall about?

In my opinion, it may have been related to the fact that another planned pipeline forCaspian and Russian oil to Europe was planned, to begin in the Black Sea inRumania, go through Serbia and Croatia along near the Danube, where bothcountries already have oil facilities, onto the Italian port of Trieste.This would have been a more direct link between Russia and the EU, likewiseindependent of the US-client state Turkey. Of course, theBulgaria-Macedonia-Albania route is also free of Turkey. The US prefers themore southern one, as it is less 'inside' Europe and thus more amenable toUS control, especially if it shows the region needs its 'humanitarian' wars.The EU and Russia are quite happy with both, though countries like Germany have a more direct link to Russia (clearly a strategic ally of Russia in every sense) via the northern route. No wonder Germany emerged as head of the NATO 'negotiations' camp by the second day of the NATO attack. Perhaps the US made sure to do as much damage as it could to the possible northern route to damage this more direct EU-Russia oil link. Perhaps, though I hardly think it was basic to the reasons for waging war.

Above all, the one thing the US and all imperialisms had made clear from day1 was that they were totally opposed to an independent state in Kosova,which they thought would be regionally destabilising. No wonder they wantedto get in their troops and disarm the KLA if they were thinking of buildingan oil pipeline nearby.

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