Petrolio e Balcani (Fwd)
- Subject: Petrolio e Balcani (Fwd)
- From: "glr" <glr.y at iol.it>
- Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 22:09:35 +0200
- Priority: normal
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Date sent: Mon, 21 May 2001 13:26:30 +0200
Subject: [JUGOINFO] Petrolio
From: "jugocoord at libero.it"<jugocoord at libero.it>
Ex Jugoslavia: Il gioco si chiama PETROLIO!
di Karen Talbot (11/5/2001; fonte: Stop Nato)
dal sito della Lega Antimperialista del Belgio:
The name of the game is OIL!
The Bush administration, with its spectacular connections to oil and energy
corporations, is telling the U.S. people they need more oil, gas and nuclear
power to meet the so-called "energy crisis." It is becoming unmistakable that
events in the Balkans, including the recent terrorist attacks in Macedonia,
have been directly related to this drive for ever-greater sources of oil and
profits. Not only do the people of the former Yugoslavia continue to pay an
enormous human price, but U.S. consumers and taxpayers also are shelling
out huge sums which ultimately enrich these corporations. The intensifying
"civil war" in Macedonia is a case in point.
Terrorist assaults in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
by the so-called "National Liberation Army"(NLA) have resumed and greatly
escalated in recent days with major ambushes including against security
forces near Kumanova. The FYROM government troops have responded with
a major offensive to counter the terrorists. (1) The ethnic Albanian terrorists
have been engaging in fierce attacks in the rugged mountains of Macedonia,
not only targeting Serbs and Macedonians, but also Albanians who oppose
them. Their actions have been criticized by Western powers as threatening to
ignite a wider Balkan conflict. (2) But is there a hidden agenda?
Though the U.S. administration says it opposes the recent terrorism in this
region, they have not stopped these attacks which are initiated from the
Serbian province of Kosovo. This is despite the overwhelming KFOR
presence, including U.S. forces based at the huge military base, Camp
Bondsteel in Kosovo, conveniently located in this vital area.
These NLA forces are openly acknowledged to be connected with the
Kovoso Liberation Army (KLA) which has consistently been backed by the
U.S. and NATO troops occupying Kosovo. This alliance has persisted
despite the KLA's continuing widespread attacks on Serbs and other non-
Albanians in Kosovo and its widely known criminal and drug trafficking
activities. The KLA was nominally transformed into the Kosovo Protection
Corps (KPC) which is trained by Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI),
made up by former U.S. military officers, based in Alexandria, Virginia. The
MPRI also had been involved in the training and command of the Croatian
military that forced over 200,000 ethnic Serbs from the Krajina region of
Croatia in 1995. (3)
It is curious, therefore, that NATO Secretary-General George Robertson
described the ethnic Albanian NLA fighters as "a bunch of murderous thugs
whose objective is to destroy a democratic Macedonia and who are using
civilians as human shields." Are they not thugs when engaging in similar
behavior in Kosovo? (4)
Contingents connected with the KLA also have been stirring up intense
fighting in the Presevo Valley in southeast Serbia. This valley is a narrow
strip of land between lofty mountains bordering Kosovo on the west and a
high range bordering Bulgaria on the east. It is a strategic route used for
centuries for commerce and to provide passage for armies between Europe
to the Middle East. Hitler's fascist armies relied heavily on this passageway.
The current attacks in Macedonia have centered very near the boundaries
between Macedonia, Kosovo and the Presevo Valley.
Trans-Balkan oil pipeline
It is now becoming clearer than ever that one primary reason the U.S. has
been so involved in Kosovo, Bosnia, and throughout Yugoslavia, has much to
do with the immense wealth to be gleaned from oil.
Construction of a major "trans-Balkan" pipeline is underway from Burgas in
Bulgaria on the Black Sea, through Macedonia, to the Albanian Adriatic port
of Vlore. It is being built by U.S.- owned Albanian-Macedonia-Bulgarian
company (AMBO) and is scheduled to be operational by 2005. (5)
The trans-Balkan pipeline passes through what is known as corridor 8-
traversing very near the borders between Macedonia, Kosovo and the
Presevo Valley. (see map http://www.lai-aib.org/images/319.gif)
Furthermore, it is to be connected with another series of pipelines, some of
them Soviet-era pipelines. A major one of these will pass down the Presevo
Valley-known as corridor 10- connecting with the AMBO pipeline precisely at
these same critical borders. This system of pipelines not only is designed to
transport petroleum to sea ports for shipping abroad, but extends into the
heart of Europe. Two branches of the AMBO line jut into Greece - one to
Thessalonika, the other to a terminal on the west coast.
All of this has to do with the enormously rich petroleum fields of the Caspian
Sea basin. In order to get that oil to market, one of the best routes is to pipe it
to the Black Sea, ship it in tankers across the sea, and then pipe it again
across the Balkans to the Adriatic Sea. This by-passes the treacherous
narrow Bosporous Straits near Istanbul, which Turkey claims could not safely
accommodate the heavy tanker traffic from the Black Sea to the
Mediterranean. By restricting this route, Turkey is also limiting Russian oil
transport through the straits and boosting its own interest in the construction
of a pipeline from Baku on the Caspian Sea to the Turkish terminal at
Ceyhan, which would also by-pass Russia. This route also has fluctuating
support by the U.S.
The AMBO Trans-Balkan pipeline "will make all countries from the Caspian
Sea to the Balkans politically and economically dependent on the U.S." (6)
The transport of oil through the Balkans is not the only consideration for the
giant oil cartels. They are also pursuing the development of rich petroleum
fields in various parts of the Balkan region itself, especially in Albania.
The feasibility study giving the green light to the AMBO project was largely
paid for by U.S taxpayers. Was it mere coincidence that the terrorist attacks
in Macedonia began just after the successful completion of the study and the
go-ahead was given for the pipeline?
Journalist Richard Norton-Taylor, writing in the [London] Guardian, put it this
way: "While the U.S. and NATO -and now the EU- hold out the prospect of
untold wealth for the Caucasian states of the former Soviet Union, the West
will also have an important economic stake in Albania and Macedonia...The
implications for Kosovo, a Serbian province with an overwhelming ethnic
Albanian population, and for Macedonia, with armed groups from Kosovo
stirring up trouble among the ethnic Albanian population, are potentially
General Michael Jackson, who eventually took over command of KFOR in
Kosovo, when speaking of Macedonia, said: "[W]e will certainly remain here
a long time so that we can also guarantee the security of the energy corridors
which traverse this country." (8)
Bush administration ties
Somehow it comes as no surprise that the pipeline being built by AMBO is
headed by CEO, E.L. "Ted" Ferguson, former Director of Oil & Gas
Development for Europe for Brown and Root, part of Halliburton, - Vice
President Dick Cheney's old company! The oil giants already moving into
place to operate under the umbrella of AMBO are Texaco, Chevron, Exxon,
Mobil, BP, Amoco, Agip and TotalElFina. (9) Interestingly, the gargantuan
Camp Bondsteel was also built by Halliburton. It is the largest U.S. military
base constructed since Vietnam. Furthermore, the troops stationed in the
Balkans are being serviced by Halliburton and the feasibility study for the
AMBO pipeline was conducted by Brown and Root Ltd. of London.(10)
There is tremendous pot of "Black Gold" at the end of this pipeline rainbow.
Such a massive project as the trans-Balkan pipeline requires enormous
amounts of U.S. government money in the form of investment guarantees
from the Export-Import Bank, loans from the World Bank, and other backing.
It needs the sword to march along with the dollar, even if that sword is
wielded by surrogate forces. It needs NATO troops and the massive U.S.
"Fort" Bondsteel in the "frontier" outpost of Kosovo, to protect the
investments. Who better to guarantee all of these things than the Bush
Administration team with its connections to corporations like Halliburton, and
big oil? They are dripping in oil and energy profits."
The European Union, with Germany leading the way, since the early 1990s
has been projecting several corridors not only as energy corridors, but to
provide a vast complex of communications- highways, railroads, airports,
maritime ports and rivers-critical to the economy and corporate profits in
Europe. These plans have created one of a number of substantial rivalries
between the U.S. and the E.U. with the U.S. balking at several of the pipeline
and corridor plans that would carry oil from the Caspian and Russia,
(including through Ukraine) into Europe. Another pipeline competing with the
AMBO corridor is projected to carry crude from Russia to Greece via
Bulgaria. (11) Hundreds of billions of Euro dollars are at stake. (12)This
competition has been reflected in recent years in differences over Kosovo,
Bosnia, and Macedonia, among other disputes. However, it appears that the
AMBO pipeline, with its connection to the corridor 10 pipeline, will give the
U.S. control over a considerable amount of the oil coming into Europe from
the Caspian basin.
The goal of the ongoing terrorism led by the KLA has been, and now is
openly proclaimed to be, the establishment a "Greater Albania." The only
time such an entity ever existed was under the fascist rule during World War
II. This objective again is being espoused by the neo-fascists of today. Is the
success of the AMBO pipeline project dependent on going along with this
aim? The map of "Greater Albania," includes parts of Greece. Is it mere
happenstance that the AMBO line includes branches into Greece and that the
Presevo Valley is the only possible route for a pipeline between Europe and
the Greek port of Thessalonika? (see map)
The agony of the people of Yugoslavia who were steadily bombed by the
U.S. and NATO for 78 days, and hard hit by the severest economic sanctions
for years, coupled with the fragmenting of the former Yugoslavia, requires
viewing against the backdrop of corporate profits, particular oil profits. Upon
close examination, one discovers that the giant oil companies continue to be
deeply involved in most of the conflicts in the world including in efforts to
destroy national sovereignty, breakup nations, Balkanize, and create tiny
"emirates" and "banana republics." More often than not, U.S. government
and military policies back them up. In the case of the southern Balkans, the
intent may well be to establish a "Greater Albania" to advance the interests of
the oil conglomerates.
This article is an update to several articles by Karen Talbot
"Backing up Globalization with Military Might,"
CovertAction Quarterly, fall/winter, 1999;
"Chechnya: More Blood for Oil,"
CovertAction Quarterly, Spring/Summer,2000.
The map is from http://www.scarabee.com/EDITO2/070699.html
(1) "Macedonians Fear Impending Civil War," Danica Kirka,
Associated Press, May 3, 2001
(2) "Macedonian Conflict Reignites World Worries," Reuters, May 4,
(3) "The U.N. Appoints an Alleged War Criminal," Michel
Chossudovsky, Mar. 17, 2000, www.tenc.net [emperors-clothes]
(4) "Rebels push Macedonia to 'the brink,'" Juliette Terzieff, San
Francisco Chronicle, May 8, 2001.
(5) "AMBO Pipeline to Start Raising Funds in July," Reuters, June
(6) "Trans-Balkan Pipeline Complicates U.S.-Turkey Relations,"
Global Intelligence Update, Jan. 14, 2000.
(7) "The New Great Game," Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian
(London), Mar. 5, 2001.
(8) Sole 24 Ore, Apr.13, 1999.
(9) Op. cit. no. 4.
(10) see MILSNEWS, Skopje, Jan. 23, 1997.
(11) Op. cit. no. 4.
(12)"Caspian Sea's Oil Reserves," Michel Collon,
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