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The Gas Wars

By Kenneth Eade

01 October, 2015

Smedley Butler, the highest ranking USMC Major General of his time, put it best when he said, “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” He describes his military career as serving in “all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

The same is true of the “War on Terror.” Patriotism has, throughout history, been used as a tool to garner public opinion in support of war. The terror card played by George W. Bush, has been passed on to Barack Obama, who ironically won a Nobel Peace Prize for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” and promotion of a “new climate in international relations, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.” Our peace loving president, whose first effort to bomb Syria was quashed by Russian diplomacy, is now at it again, under the guise of attacking ISIS, an organization whose strength would not be possible without the U.S. intervention in Iraq as part of the “War on Terror.”

What are these wars on terror really about? Do they justify the large scale stripping of our constitutionally guaranteed rights in order to keep us safe? The answer can be found on the pages of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Just a few short years ago, the United States was suffering from a fossil fuel shortage. Dependence on foreign oil seemed inevitable until the advent of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which has unlocked a massive oil and natural gas reserve formerly trapped in shale rock, and all we have to do is poison our groundwater to get it.

What to do with the 13.1 million barrels of oil a day by 2019 and the 44% increase in natural gas production? Well, the United States still needs a customer base, because, even though it is the largest consumer of gas and oil on earth, there is more being produced annually than we can sell at home. That is one of the reasons why the U.S. installed its own government in Ukraine, in an attempt to stifle European dependence on Russian natural gas. By 2015, a $12 billion liquefied natural gas terminal in Sabine Pass, Louisiana will come online and it, along with six other proposed terminals approved by the Department of Energy can supply half the daily gas that Russia now supplies to Europe.

The “gas wars” are also the current impetus behind the anti-terrorist rhetoric in fighting ISIS in Syria. Dubbed the “Islamic Pipeline,” a planned 3480 mile long Iran-Iraq-Syria natural gas pipeline going toward Europe from the Middle East, has the full support of the current Assad government. This pipeline project is competing with U.S. and European dreams to build a similar pipeline, originally contemplated to run from Qatar and Saudi Arabia through Syria to Turkey, to to supply European customers through Austria. According to an article in Mint Press News, Wikileaks has published State Department memos “revealing U.S. plans to overthrow the Syrian government through instigating civil strife.” It is apparent that Assad’s refusal to join the U.S. backed plan is the reason behind the current crisis. Russia, in the meantime, according to Agence France-Presse, continues its plans for a new gas pipeline to supply gas to Europe through Turkey. Moreover, according to a February 2014 article in Die Presse, Austria’s OMV may be contemplating a deal with Russia’s Gazprom. Russia, in the meantime, according to Agence France-Presse, continues its plans for a new gas pipeline to supply gas to Europe through Turkey.

The United States has already devastated the infrastructure and government in Iraq, giving rise to political chaos and power to fanatics like ISIS. The last thing we need is more destabilization in Syria and in Europe’s own backyard in Ukraine. The refugee crisis caused by the U.S. intervention in Syria is a sad side effect, which is already causing a tremendous strain on Europe. So, before waving the flag and congratulating your Congressman for signing the next Patriot Act, and before sending your next born child off to war in a foreign land, you should question what is really behind these political decisions.

Kenneth Eade (http://kennetheade.com) is an attorney and the best-selling author of The Brent Marks Legal Thrillers, including the recently released,A Patriot’s Act, the fictional story of a naturalized U.S. citizen, captured in Iraq and held indefinitely at Guantanamo.



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