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U.S., China Are on Collision Course Over Oil

Obama’s Yemeni odyssey targets China

Asia Times
January 9, 2010

A cursory look at the map of region will show that Yemen is one of the most strategic lands adjoining waters of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. It flanks Saudi Arabia and Oman, which are vital American protectorates. In effect, Uncle Sam is “marking territory” – like a dog on a lamppost. Russia has been toying with the idea of reopening its Soviet-era base in Aden. Well, the US has pipped Moscow in the race.

The US has signaled that the odyssey doesn’t end with Yemen. It is also moving into Somalia and Kenya. With that, the US establishes its military presence in an entire unbroken stretch of real estate all along the Indian Ocean’s western rim. Chinese officials have of late spoken of their need to establish a naval base in the region. The US has now foreclosed China’s options. The only country with a coastline that is available for China to set up a naval base in the region will be Iran. All other countries have a Western military presence. (are western military puppet governments)

The American intervention in Yemen is not going to be on the pattern of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama will ensure he doesn’t receive any body bags of American servicemen serving in Yemen. That is what the American public expects from him. He will only deploy drone aircraft and special forces and “focus on providing intelligence and training to help Yemen counter al-Qaeda militants”, according to the US military. Obama’s main core objective will be to establish an enduring military presence in Yemen. This serves many purposes.

A new great game begins

First, the US move has to be viewed against the historic backdrop of the Shi’ite awakening in the region. The Shi’ites (mostly of the Zaidi group) have been traditionally suppressed in Yemen. Shi’ite uprisings have been a recurring theme in Yemen’s history. There has been a deliberate attempt to minimize the percentage of Shi’ites in Yemen, but they could be anywhere up to 45%.

More importantly, in the northern part of the country, they constitute the majority. What bothers the US and moderate Sunni Arab states – and Israel – is that the Believing Youth Organization led by Hussein Badr al-Houthi, which is entrenched in northern Yemen, is modeled after Hezbollah in Lebanon in all respects – politically, economically, socially and culturally.

Yemenis are an intelligent people and are famous in the Arabian Peninsula for their democratic temperament. The Yemeni Shi’ite empowerment on a Hezbollah-model would have far-reaching regional implications. Next-door Oman, which is a key American base, is predominantly Shi’ite. Even more sensitive is the likelihood of the dangerous idea of Shi’ite empowerment spreading to Saudi Arabia’s highly restive Shi’ite regions adjoining Yemen, which on top of it all, also happen to be the reservoir of the country’s fabulous oil wealth.

Saudi Arabia is entering a highly sensitive phase of political transition as a new generation is set to take over the leadership in Riyadh, and the palace intrigues and fault lines within the royal family are likely to get exacerbated. To put it mildly, given the vast scale of institutionalized Shi’ite persecution in Saudi Arabia by the Wahhabi establishment, Shi’ite empowerment is a veritable minefield that Riyadh is petrified about at this juncture. Its threshold of patience is wearing thin, as the recent uncharacteristic resort to military power against the north Yemeni Shi’ite communities bordering Saudi Arabia testifies.

The US faces a classic dilemma. It is all right for Obama to highlight the need of reform in Muslim societies – as he did eloquently in his Cairo speech last June. But democratization in the Yemeni context – ironically, in the Arab context – would involve Shi’ite empowerment. After the searing experience in Iraq, Washington is literally perched like a cat on a hot tin roof. It would much rather be aligned with the repressive, autocratic government of Saleh than let the genie of reform out of the bottle in the oil rich-region in which it has profound interests.

Obama has an erudite mind and he is not unaware that what Yemen desperately needs is reform, but he simply doesn’t want to think about it. The paradox he faces is that with all its imperfections, Iran happens to be the only “democratic” system operating in that entire region.

Iran’s shadow over the Yemeni Shi’ite consciousness worries the US to no end. Simply put, in the ideological struggle going on in the region, Obama finds himself with the ultra-conservative and brutally autocratic oligarchies that constitute the ruling class in the region. Conceivably, he isn’t finding it easy. If his own memoirs are to be believed, there could be times when the vague recollections of his childhood in Indonesia and his precious memories of his own mother, who from all accounts was a free-wheeling intellectual and humanist, must be stalking him in the White House corridors.

Israel moves in

But Obama is first and foremost a realist. Emotions and personal beliefs drain away and strategic considerations weigh uppermost when he works in the Oval Office. With the military presence in Yemen, the US has tightened the cordon around Iran. In the event of a military attack on Iran, Yemen could be put to use as a springboard by the Israelis. These are weighty considerations for Obama.

The fact is that no one is in control as a Yemeni authority. It is a cakewalk for the formidable Israeli intelligence to carve out a niche in Yemen – just as it did in northern Iraq under somewhat comparable circumstances.

Islamism doesn’t deter Israel at all. Saleh couldn’t have been far off the mark when he alleged last year that Israeli intelligence had been exposed as having kept links with Yemeni Islamists. The point is, Yemeni Islamists are a highly fragmented lot and no one is sure who owes what sort of allegiance to whom. Israeli intelligence operates marvelously in such twilight zones when the horizon is lacerated with the blood of the vanishing sun.

Israel will find a toehold in Yemen to be a god-sent gift insofar as it registers its presence in the Arabian Peninsula. This is a dream come true for Israel, whose effectiveness as a regional power has always been seriously handicapped by its lack of access to the Persian Gulf region. The overarching US military presence helps Israel politically to consolidate its Yemeni chapter. Without doubt, Petraeus is moving on Yemen in tandem with Israel (and Britain). But the “pro-West” Arab states with their rentier mentality have no choice except to remain as mute spectators on the sidelines.

Some among them may actually acquiesce with the Israeli security presence in the region as a safer bet than the spread of the dangerous ideas of Shi’ite empowerment emanating out of Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah. Also, at some stage, Israeli intelligence will begin to infiltrate the extremist Sunni outfits in Yemen, which are commonly known as affiliates of al-Qaeda. That is, if it hasn’t done that already. Any such link makes Israel an invaluable ally for the US in its fight against al-Qaeda. In sum, infinite possibilities exist in the paradigm that is taking shape in the Muslim world abutting into the strategic Persian Gulf.

It’s all about China

Most important, however, for US global strategies will be the massive gain of control of the port of Aden in Yemen. Britain can vouchsafe that Aden is the gateway to Asia. Control of Aden and the Malacca Strait will put the US in an unassailable position in the “great game” of the Indian Ocean. The sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are literally the jugular veins of China’s economy. By controlling them, Washington sends a strong message to Beijing that any notions by the latter that the US is a declining power in Asia would be nothing more than an extravagant indulgence in fantasy.

In the Indian Ocean region, China is increasingly coming under pressure. India is a natural ally of the US in the Indian Ocean region. Both disfavor any significant Chinese naval presence. India is mediating a rapprochement between Washington and Colombo that would help roll back Chinese influence in Sri Lanka. The US has taken a u-turn in its Myanmar policy and is engaging the regime there with the primary intent of eroding China’s influence with the military rulers. The Chinese strategy aimed at strengthening influence in Sri Lanka and Myanmar so as to open a new transportation route towards the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and Africa, where it has begun contesting traditional Western economic dominance.

China is keen to whittle down its dependence on the Malacca Strait for its commerce with Europe and West Asia. The US, on the contrary, is determined that China remains vulnerable to the choke point between Indonesia and Malaysia.

An engrossing struggle is breaking out. The US is unhappy with China’s efforts to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf through the Central Asian region and Pakistan. Slowly but steadily, Washington is tightening the noose around the neck of the Pakistani elites – civilian and military – and forcing them to make a strategic choice between the US and China. This will put those elites in an unenviable dilemma. Like their Indian counterparts, they are inherently “pro-Western” (even when they are “anti-American”) and if the Chinese connection is important for Islamabad, that is primarily because it balances perceived Indian hegemony.

The existential questions with which the Pakistani elites are grappling are apparent. They are seeking answers from Obama. Can Obama maintain a balanced relationship vis-a-vis Pakistan and India? Or, will Obama lapse back to the George W Bush era strategy of building up India as the pre-eminent power in the Indian Ocean under whose shadow Pakistan will have to learn to live?

US-India-Israel axis

On the other hand, the Indian elites are in no compromising mood. Delhi was on a roll during the Bush days. Now, after the initial misgivings about Obama’s political philosophy, Delhi is concluding that he is all but a clone of his illustrious predecessor as regards the broad contours of the US’s global strategy – of which containment of China is a core template.

The comfort level is palpably rising in Delhi with regard to the Obama presidency. Delhi takes the surge of the Israeli lobby in Washington as the litmus test for the Obama presidency. The surge suits Delhi, since the Jewish lobby was always a helpful ally in cultivating influence in the US Congress, media and the rabble-rousing think-tankers as well as successive administrations. And all this is happening at a time when the India-Israel security relationship is gaining greater momentum.

United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates is due to visit Delhi in the coming days. The Obama administration is reportedly adopting an increasingly accommodative attitude toward India’s longstanding quest for “dual-use” technology from the US. If so, a massive avenue of military cooperation is about to open between the two countries, which will make India a serious challenger to China’s growing military prowess. It is a win-win situation as the great Indian arms bazaar offers highly lucrative business for American companies.

Clearly, a cozy three-way US-Israel-India alliance provides the underpinning for all the maneuvering that is going on. It will have significance for the security of the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. Last year, India formalized a naval presence in Oman.

All-in-all, terrorism experts are counting the trees and missing the wood when they analyze the US foray into Yemen in the limited terms of hunting down al-Qaeda. The hard reality is that Obama, whose main plank used to be “change”, has careened away and increasingly defaults to the global strategies of the Bush era. The freshness of the Obama magic is dissipating. Traces of the “revisionism” in his foreign policy orientation are beginning to surface. We can see them already with regard to Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Israel-Palestine problem, Central Asia and towards China and Russia.

Arguably, this sort of “return of the native” by Obama was inevitable. For one thing, he is but a creature of his circumstances. As someone put it brilliantly, Obama’s presidency is like driving a train rather than a car: a train cannot be “steered”, the driver can at best set its speed, but ultimately, it must run on its tracks.

Besides, history has no instances of a declining world power meekly accepting its destiny and walking into the sunset. The US cannot give up on its global dominance without putting up a real fight. And the reality of all such momentous struggles is that they cannot be fought piece-meal. You cannot fight China without occupying Yemen.

 

Russia, China, Iran redraw energy map

Asia Times
January 9, 2010

The inauguration of the Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline on Wednesday connecting Iran’s northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan’s vast gas field may go unnoticed amid the Western media cacophony that it is “apocalypse now” for the Islamic regime in Tehran.

The event sends strong messages for regional security. Within the space of three weeks, Turkmenistan has committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia and Iran. It has no urgent need of the pipelines that the United States and the European Union have been advancing. Are we hearing the faint notes of a Russia-China-Iran symphony?

The 182-kilometer Turkmen-Iranian pipeline starts modestly with the pumping of 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkmen gas. But its annual capacity is 20bcm, and that would meet the energy requirements of Iran’s Caspian region and enable Tehran to free its own gas production in the southern fields for export. The mutual interest is perfect: Ashgabat gets an assured market next door; northern Iran can consume without fear of winter shortages; Tehran can generate more surplus for exports; Turkmenistan can seek transportation routes to the world market via Iran; and Iran can aspire to take advantage of its excellent geographical location as a hub for the Turkmen exports.

We are witnessing a new pattern of energy cooperation at the regional level that dispenses with Big Oil. Russia traditionally takes the lead. China and Iran follow the example. Russia, Iran and Turkmenistan hold respectively the world’s largest, second-largest and fourth-largest gas reserves. And China will be consumer par excellence in this century. The matter is of profound consequence to the US global strategy.

Read Full Article Here

Afghanistan: only the first move in the grand chess game for control of Central Asian resources

 



Terrorists Were Free to Teach Detainees in U.S. Jail

Terrorists Were Free to Teach Detainees in U.S. Jail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBWlcnkZk9A

 



Tarpley: Alqaeda is the ‘CIA Arab Legion’

Tarpley: Alqaeda is the ‘CIA Arab Legion’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rilvE4kYqQ

US-Backed Terrorist Group Kills Iran Military Officers

 



US-Backed Terrorist Group Kills Iran Military Officers

US-Backed Terrorist Group Kills Iran Military Officers
Bankrolling and arming Al-Qaeda offshoot part of 2007 White House directive to destabilize Iranian government

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
October 19, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tz3NPo5jPw

The U.S. government effectively attacked Iran yesterday after its proxy terror group Jundullah launched a suicide bomb attack against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at their headquarters in Pishin, near the border with Pakistan.

Leaders of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Sunni terrorist group Jundullah have claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Iran that killed over 40 people yesterday. The group is funded and trained by the CIA and is being used to destabilize the government of Iran, according to reports out of the London Telegraph and ABC News.

In the aftermath of the attack, which killed at least five commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard along with scores of others, media reports have swung between Iranian accusations of US and British involvement and blanket denials on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

However, the fact that Jundullah, who have since claimed responsibility for the attack and named the bomber as Abdol Vahed Mohammadi Saravani, are openly financed and run by the CIA and Mossad is not up for debate, it has been widely reported for years.

“President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs,” reported the London Telegraph in May 2007.

Part of that destabilization campaign involved the the CIA “Giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan,” stated the report.

Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The fact that it is being directly supported by the U.S. government under both Bush and now Obama destroys the whole legitimacy of the “war on terror” in an instant.

The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government and is also active in Pakistan, having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.

The group also produces propaganda tapes and literature for al-Qaeda’s media wing, As-Sahab, which is in turn closely affiliated with the military-industrial complex front IntelCenter, the group that makes available Al-Qaeda videos to the western media.

In May 2008, ABC News reported on how Pakistan was threatening to turn over six members of Jundullah to Iran after they were taken into custody by Pakistani authorities.

“U.S. officials tell ABC News U.S. intelligence officers frequently meet and advise Jundullah leaders, and current and former intelligence officers are working to prevent the men from being sent to Iran,” reported ABC news, highlighting again the close relationship between the terror group and the CIA.

In July 2009, a Jundullah member admitted before a court in Zahedan Iran that the group was a proxy for the U.S. and Israel.

Abdolhamid Rigi, a senior member of the group and the brother of the group’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi, who was one of the six members of the organization extradited by Pakistan, told the court that Jundullah was being trained and financed by “the US and Zionists”. He also said that the group had been ordered by America and Israel to step up their attacks in Iran.

Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.

Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the U.S. is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.

It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran.

After a bombing inside Iran in March 2007, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official has blown the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.

A story entitled, US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran, reveals how funding for the attacks carried out by the terrorist groups “comes directly from the CIA’s classified budget,” a fact that is now “no great secret”, according to a former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

Former US state department counter-terrorism agent Fred Burton backed the claim, telling the newspaper, “The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran’s ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime.”

John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: “The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity.”

The timing of the bombing that targeted Iranian Revolutionary Guard members yesterday was clearly orchestrated to coincide with talks between representatives from Iran, Russia, France, the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna today concerning Iran’s nuclear intentions.

U.S. backs Jundullah to destabilize Iran

Iranian Unrest: Evidence Of Western Intelligence Meddling

Jundullah admits MKO connection

Iran Finds US-Backed Terrorists in Riots

 



Top Sunni rebel on Iran death row says US ordered attacks

Top Sunni rebel on Iran death row says US ordered attacks

AFP
August 26, 2009

ZAHEDAN: A top Sunni rebel who is awaiting execution in Iran said on Tuesday that his militant group received orders from the United States to launch terror attacks in the Islamic republic.

Abdolhamid Rigi, brother of shadowy Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group leader Abdolmalek Rigi, told reporters his brother was an Al-Qaeda point man in Iran six years ago but that later the group broke off ties with him.

‘The United States created and supported Jundallah and we received orders from them,’ Rigi said in Iran’s restive southeastern city of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan.

‘They (US officials) told us whom to shoot and whom not to. All orders came from them. They told us that they would provide us with everything we need like money and equipment.’

Read Full Article Here

Pakistan General: U.S. provided training facilities to Jundullah terrorists to create chaos in Iran

Iran Finds US-Backed Terrorists in Riots

 



No End in Sight – (Iraq war movie)

No End in Sight – (Iraq war movie)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZd5X6k3HhM

 

Petraeus Says He Will Never Declare Iraq Victory

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enpc6_lqw7Y

 



Obama Promises 10,000 More Troops for Afghanistan

Obama Promises 10,000 More Troops for Afghanistan
If president Obama would install combat brigades into Afghanistan, McCain agrees

Guardian
July 15, 2008


US marines, from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, patrol in the town of Garmser in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Barack Obama yesterday pledged to increase US troops in Afghanistan by a third if he becomes president, sending 10,000 more to reinforce the 33,000 already there.

He was speaking after the US lost nine soldiers at the weekend in the deadliest attack on its forces in the country since 2005.

Obama has promised, soon after becoming president in January, to begin scaling back the 156,000 US troops in Iraq and Kuwait, and to shift the focus to Afghanistan.

Read Full Article Here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjQEwdkqgDU

 

Obama’s Two-Faced Foreign Policy

Independent
July 16, 2008

Obama lays out his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan in an op-ed for The New York Times. It reveals on full display a proposed foreign policy of confusion and contradiction.

With the notable exception of calling for a “residual force” to fight Al Qaeda and train troops, Obama sensibly argues that the best policy is to wean the Iraqis from dependence on the United States and create “a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country.”

Not recognizing the contradiction, however, Obama proposes the exact opposite solution for Afghanistan. Instead of letting the Afghans take “responsiblity for the security of their country,” he wants to make them even more dependent on American welfare:

As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.

 

Obama’s Brave New World Order

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nBTevBB7hvI

Obama: Nuclear terrorism is “gravest danger” to US
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/usa/new..avest_danger%22_to_US

Obama: Afghanistan is the war that we have to win
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080715/ap_on_el_pr/obama_iraq

Obama Calls For $5B For International Intelligence Agency
http://hotlineblog.nationaljournal.com/archives/2008/07/obamas_summit_o.html

Obama’s Hagel-Brzezinski Plan for Iraq
http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/07/obamas_hagelbrz/more

Obama: My Plan for Iraq
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/opi..ref=opinion&oref=slogin

McCain Wants Iraq Like Surge In Afghanistan
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080715/..AvFi7ndipTMId.HaERInvDph24cA

Obama outlines policy of endless war
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jul2008/obam-j16.shtml

Obama’s Foreign Policy Adviser Picks Tell Us All We Need To Know
http://www.wakeupfromyourslumber.com/node/7434