Petrolio e Balcani (Fwd)

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Date sent:      	Mon, 21 May 2001 13:26:30 +0200 
Subject:        	[JUGOINFO] Petrolio 
From:           	"jugocoord at"<jugocoord at> 

Ex Jugoslavia: Il gioco si chiama PETROLIO! 
di Karen Talbot (11/5/2001; fonte: Stop Nato) 

dal sito della Lega Antimperialista del Belgio:£ABBBACAD&object_id135

               Former Yugoslavia:
               The name of the game is OIL! 

               Karen Talbot 

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 
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 
immense." (7) 

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." 

               Europe-U.S. rivalry 

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. 

               Greater Albania 

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 


               (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,       [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 
15, 2000.   
               (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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