Nabucco Highlights Potential Russian-Iranian Energy Competition

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putin.amdinejad.jpg
Finally, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Hungary have agreed to begin building the Nabucco project, a 2,050 mile natural gas pipeline that aims to diversify Europe’s gas supplies away from Russia. The project, first proposed in 2002, gained momentum when Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in January, raising concerns about Russia’s reliability as a supplier.
Now that the initial agreement has been made, the next question is, Who will supply the gas to fill the pipeline?
The surest bet right now is Turkmenistan – which has ample supplies and has expressed its willingness to pump them through Nabucco. Azerbaijan is also considered a major potential supplier, but its close relationship with Moscow makes its participation uncertain. The same goes for Kazakhstan.
Iraq is also in the mix, but years of underdevelopment and enduring political instability make its participation questionable as well. Syria and Egypt have offered to participate, but their supplies are limited.
The potential shortfall makes Russia and Iran the two elephants in the room. Both countries possess natural gas supplies, but whether they will be permitted to participate remains unclear. Given that lessening Europe’s dependence on Russian gas is a primary motivation for developing the pipeline, using Russian gas to fill the pipeline seems to defeat that purpose.
Meanwhile, Iran’s participation is questionable because of its ongoing conflict with Washington. United States Special Envoy Richard Morningstar said yesterday that

I don’t think there would be an agreement at this point among the Nabucco consortium for Iranian participation at this time…Our European allies, I think, are in sync with this position…This would be the absolute worst time to encourage Iran to participate in a project in Nabucco when we’ve received absolutely nothing in return.

Meanwhile, Nabucco Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek appears to be leaving the door open to Iran’s participation. Here’s what he said earlier this week

Nabucco has never, ever excluded any source. Nabucco is not excluding any source. Bottom line, we have to buy the gas. The national gas companies will evaluate the political aspect, the commercial aspect, the technical aspect and then they will decide to buy gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran and Russia. For all these sources, we are open to transport the gas.

It will probably be years before we know whether Nabucco will buy Russian or Iranian gas – but all of this highlights the long-term energy competition looming between Russia and Iran and its implications for America’s effort to secure Russian cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue.
As Marcin Kaczmarski explains, Russia perceives Iran as both a tactical ally against the United States and as a strategic competitor as an energy supplier to Europe. Russia fears that a rapprochement between the United States and Iran would open Iran’s energy markets and threaten Russia’s dominant position as Europe’s primary natural gas supplier.
A likely unintended consequence of Nabucco will be to heighten those fears in Moscow and make U.S-Russian cooperation on Iran’s nuclear issue more difficult.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

40 comments on “Nabucco Highlights Potential Russian-Iranian Energy Competition

  1. JohnH says:

    One thing is clear–if they won’t provide us with a credible explanation for the endless wars, then it goes without saying that they have a hidden agenda. And since the corrupt corporate media and their fellow travelers in the blogosphere won’t even ask questions, then they’re part of the hidden agenda, good Germans all. Personally, I think it’s all about the energy security industry, the confluence of interests between Big Oil and the military. Just look at who advertises in magazines like ‘Foreign Policy.’
    And one other thing is for certain: they won’t provide an honest explanation unless enough people start demanding why they spent our Social Security savings and are even borrowing the nation into indentured servitude by piling up enormous amounts of debt with China in order to fund their reckless ambitions.

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  2. ... says:

    jorhnh – excellent commentary @ 2:03pm post..
    i have always maintained war is about making money, thus war=money…their is a collusion between oil interests, military industrial complex interests, and political interests that coagulate to produce what we have today… no one wants to look at any of this becuase it is ugly… far better to find some superficial reason as to why we are fighting wars in faraway places, then to be honest and look it squarely in the face…

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  3. easy e says:

    Posted by easy e, Jul 21 2009, 2:25PM – Link
    Let’s try this again:
    PIPELINEISTAN THEN (2002) AND NOW (2009)
    2002 – http://atimes.com/c-asia/DA25Ag01.html
    2009 – http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KE29Df02.html

    Reply

  4. easy e says:

    PIPELINEISTAN 2002 & 2009
    * * *
    2002 Asia Times
    THE ROVING EYE
    Pipelinestan: The rules of the game
    By Pepe Escobar
    War against terrorism? Not really. Reminder: it’s all about oil.
    A quick look at the map is all it takes. It’s no coincidence that the map of terror in the Middle East and Central Asia is practically interchangeable with the map of oil…..
    continued…http://atimes.com/c-asia/DA25Ag01.html
    2009 Asia Times
    Pipelineistan goes Af-Pak
    By Pepe Escobar
    As United States President Barack Obama heads into his second 100 days in office, let’s head for the big picture ourselves, the ultimate global plot line, the tumultuous rush towards a new, polycentric world order. In its first 100 days, the Obama presidency introduced us to a brand new acronym, OCO – for Overseas Contingency Operations – formerly known as GWOT (as in “global war on terror”)…..
    continued…http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/KE14Ag01.html

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  5. JohnH says:

    Martin, I’ll give you an example. We are 8 years into the Afghan fiasco. Yet I rarely hear questions about why the US is doing what it is doing. Reports focus on what the US is going to try next, not why they are even bothering to try it.
    Once I saw Steve on Olberman. He asked Steve what we were trying to accomplish there. Steve answered, “it depends on who you talk to,” and then as I recollect, he went on to talk about different ways to proceed without describing what anyone hoped to really accomplish there or how it served the national interest.
    Rarely do I agree with Chris Hedges, but his piece, “War without Purpose,” has it exactly right:
    “No one seems to be able to articulate why we are in Afghanistan. Is it to hunt down bin Laden and al-Qaida? Is it to consolidate progress? Have we declared war on the Taliban? Are we building democracy? Are we fighting terrorists there so we do not have to fight them here? Are we “liberating” the women of Afghanistan? The absurdity of the questions, used as thought-terminating clichés, exposes the absurdity of the war. The confusion of purpose mirrors the confusion on the ground. We don’t know what we are doing. ”
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090720_war_without_purpose/
    This follows on the Occupation of Iraq which has gone on 6 years with no formally declared strategic purpose to it. Alan Greenspan and Chomsky both agree that it was about oil. Why don’t other “foreign policy experts” ever manage to put “Iraq Occupation” and “oil” into the same sentence?
    And the neo-conmen and many others want to attack Iran. Discarding the nuclear weapons program, for which there is no evidence, what is the strategic purpose behind attacking and (probably not) occupying Iran? And what about Honduras? Why is the US pretty much the only nation on earth to continue to have relations with the coup government? What is the strategic importance of a banana republic? Its potential for sweat shop labor?
    It seems to me the media and many bloggers are shirking their responsibility to provide the most basic of information or ask the most fundamental of questions.

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  6. Martin says:

    JohnH, there most certainly is disagreement within foreign policy circles about agendas and objectives. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that there is a media blackout, I think it just doesn’t interest the media consumer, so the media doesn’t report. You do however bring up interesting questions which lead me to think, maybe it is about time to describe the foreign policy process in depth. I run a blog, nationalpundit.com which deals with foreign policy, I am in the middle of moving to DC right now but give me sometime and I will post a few in depth articles.

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  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The observations made by Naomi Klein in her Harpers article, “Bagdad Year Zero” speak forcefully about the true motives behind the invasion of Iraq. It is a must read. I even reread it periodically because it is such a powerful piece of journalism.
    http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2004/09/baghdad-year-zero-pillaging-iraq-pursuit-neo-con-utopia

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  8. JohnH says:

    If Alan Greenspan and Noam Chomsky agree on something, it must be true.

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  9. ... says:

    arthur, i see it differently and i do think oil was an important part of the rationale for invading iraq. here is a quote from chomsky 2002
    Is it a war for oil? Anything in that region of the world has something to do with oil, that’s not even questionable. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, whoever controls it will be an extremely powerful force in world affairs – apart from the fact there are huge profits to be made. And it’s always been clear that sooner or later the US will move to take control over this. But that’s been true for a long time. I don’t think that’s to do with the timing, it’s in the background.
    chomsky has never been an apologist for israel.. he hasn’t said enough, but he has said enough to convince me he is relatively open minded about middle east issues..

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  10. arthurdecco says:

    Noam Chomsky insists the invasion of Iraq was for oil. So much for his bona-fides.
    He’s a deliberate dissembler and obvious obfuscator – perfectly placed to smooth the waters that swirl around Israel and it’s fatal infection, Zionism – only from the left hand side of the political pile of poo.

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  11. ... says:

    easy e – thanks for the 801pm article..
    martin, i enjoyed your post.

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  12. ... says:

    and…. why are we preoccupied with iran? constant 24/7 talk for the same foreign policy people…
    noam chomsky strikes me as someone familiar with foreign policy who is able to talk about these issues, but many try to ignore him, or worse.. one has to wonder/question what others motives are for this that and every other reason….

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  13. JohnH says:

    “Only by knowing the goals of each actor within the process can someone understand how a policy/action was determined and what it is designed to do.”
    That means the there is DISAGREEMENT inside foreign policy circles about ambitions and objectives, simply because different actors have different agendas. This is a prime area for news coverage–describing each agenda and how the actors jockey for position. Yet by blacking out any discussion of them, it appears as if there is NO disagreement. All discussion takes place behind closed doors.
    -Why are we occupying Iraq? After all the false pretenses were discounted, there was NO discussion.
    -Why are we threatening Iran? After the nuclear threat is discarded due to lack of evidence, there is NO discussion.
    -Why are we occupying Afghanistan? NO discussion.
    -What we US goals in Honduras regarding the coup? NO discussion.
    -How does the US intend to achieve energy security amidst dwindling availability of supplies? NO discussion.
    The animating factors behind all the key crises of our times are ignored in favor horse race coverage–the bad guys did THIS to us today. How dare they do THAT? I mean, don’t we have a right to camp out in their living room?

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  14. Mr.Murder says:

    Classic triangulation opportunity.

    Reply

  15. Martin says:

    JohnH I like your questions…”Why is there such a media blackout on US policy ambitions and goals? Should discussion of foreign policy objectives be off limits in a democracy?” I think you are right, talking about policy ambitions and objectives is inconvenient to the wealthy and powerful.
    Additionally I think even those who are not the powerful elite who would be more willing to talk about such things are still unlikely to do so because it would not be within their best interest regarding their career. For someone to have a good handle on US foreign policy objectives they would need to have a good pulse on the entire foreign policy process, in other words they would have to work within the field. Only by knowing the goals of each actor within the process can someone understand how a policy/action was determined and what it is designed to do. But the moment it is discussed in depth in public I imagine the person(s) disseminating the original article or information would fall out of favor within foreign policy circles and what would have been a good career as well as a good blog turns into a mediocre career and a speculative blog at best… even if those who are writing are highly educated and somewhat in the loop – there is always a modicum of speculation.

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  16. samuel burke says:

    if it were only Harry Reid….as far as i am concerned the majority of our congressional representatives are cowered by the israeli first american zionist.
    i think the main job of our national press is to obfuscate and to keep us fully entertained while the foreign policy elites play hegemony chess against the rest of the world.
    if americans knew something (or cared to know something) other than what color brittanys panties are or how did michael jackson die they would be in shock about what goes on in their country and in their name.
    the Ron Paul phenomena was a great example of the upcoming trends, where more and more americans are becoming aware of some of the truths that are kept undercover by the press and the elites.
    the next bubble to burst in america is the israeli zionist bubble, it is now an ongoing event…
    the best thing that has happened here in the states has been the wallstreet elites debacle of their derivative computerized trading bull crap system where they falsely price financial instruments to enlarge their balance sheets so that lending can go on ad infinitum…now with its demise americans are forced to awaken and take notice of the world around them since the elites behind the curtain are shown to be as fake as the wizzard of oz.
    shamefully many of the men and women in the press and politics (websites bloggers etc) that ought to be jumping onboard of the denouning bandwagon would still rather be invited to washington parties and to be accepted by the washington elites in politics and media.

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  17. JohnH says:

    Joseph Stiglitz is a perfect example. A Nobel laureate, enormously respected in much of the world, but largely shunned by the US government and its official, corporate media. (His views, though excellent policy prescriptions, are inconvenient to the rich and powerful.)
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/207390
    Which is fine, as long as readers and viewers realize that what passes for news here consists largely warmed over recipes from the standard American foreign policy and economics cookbook. But, then again, even the Food Channel can be instructive…

    Reply

  18. SAnd says:

    — “Biden to greet eager allies in Ukraine and Georgia” on Monday [AP]
    http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/07/19/biden-to-greet-eager-allies-in-ukraine-and-georgia/

    Reply

  19. Sand says:

    — “…That same professional will never be caught saying bad things about the truly awful regimes that are America’s friends, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf States, Nigeria, Georgia, Israel, etc. etc…
    Likewise, an organization that wants to be ‘taken seriously’ can talk all it wants about America’s noble objectives in the world–freedom, democracy, human rights, womens’ rights, etc. But nary a word about America’s HEGEMONIC or ECONOMIC INTEREST, relating to energy and water security. America’s interest in these matters is like the tree that fell in the forest. No one heard it, so it must not have happened…” —
    Ain’t that the friggin’ truth. Same goes for some of those ‘individial’ high-minded ‘progressive’ or ‘intelligence’ blogs that won’t touch certain topics or names with a barge pole.

    Reply

  20. JohnH says:

    I think the media’s tendency not to ‘stray off the reservation has little to do with future missile targeting and more to do with funding, recruitment and incentives. Independent minded organizations don’t receive much corporate and government funding. Organizations underwritten by the establishment–including schools training foreign policy ‘experts’–don’t recruit independent thinkers or promote them. Pretty quickly, a career minded professional will learn that he can talk all he wants about the evils of the Russian, Chinese, Korean, Iranian, Syrian, Palestinian, Cuba, Venezuelan, Bolivian, Ecuadorean, and Nicaraguan governments. But nary a word of praise shall pass his lips or be sent from his computer. That same professional will never be caught saying bad things about the truly awful regimes that are America’s friends, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf States, Nigeria, Georgia, Israel, etc. etc.
    Likewise, an organization that wants to be ‘taken seriously’ can talk all it wants about America’s noble objectives in the world–freedom, democracy, human rights, womens’ rights, etc. But nary a word about America’s hegemonic or economic interests, relating to energy and water security. America’s interest in these matters is like the tree that fell in the forest. No one heard it, so it must not have happened.
    So on the one hand, being a foreign policy ‘expert’ in Washington is easy. The themes are all prepared–just pick them off a list. You can talk about anything that “interests you,” as long as it’s on the list. What’s difficult is finding something fresh and salient to say about them. That’s called PR or ‘public diplomacy,’ and the competition is intense.

    Reply

  21. easy e says:

    Let’s try this link again.
    Posted by easy e, Jul 19 2009, 7:56PM –
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The notion of “true independence” probably applies to a few sensitive foreign policy matters. The essay in the prior link might be an indication as to why TWN doesn’t stray “off the reservation” on certain issues.
    http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/05/pro-israel-mouthpiece-says-freedom-of.html

    Reply

  22. easy e says:

    Why would Israel offer ANY concessions to a government whose political power structure is completely infested with its agents? It’s amazing that Netanyahu/Lieberman & Co. can actually keep straight face during negotiations and news conferences.
    Since we’re on the topic of Israel, one of the most influential voices of the pro-Israel lobby has published an essay suggesting that, in the future, there should be “military attacks” on journalists and media outlets that oppose American military ventures on behalf of Israel.
    No surprise here…http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/05/pro-israel-mouthpiece-says-freedom-of.html
    * * * * *
    Also,
    Posted by JohnH, Jul 19 2009, 11:31AM
    and
    Posted by …, Jul 19 2009, 12:17PM
    >>>>>
    Agreed. Excellent point JohnH and counterpoint…
    The notion of “true independence” probably applies to a few sensitive foreign policy matters. The essay in the prior link might be an indication as to why TWN doesn’t stray “off the reservation” on certain issues.

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Registration of 138,600 dunams near the Dead Sea as State Land – July 2009
    Hagit Ofran
    On June 28, 2009, the Commissioner of Government Property published notices in the Arabic-language press announcing the government of Israel’s decision to register around 138,600 dunams of West Bank land, located on the western shoreline of the Dead Sea, as State Land. The announcement gave the public 45 days to file objections.
    According to sources in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, the registration deals with land that until recently was under water, but due to shrinkage of the Dead Sea, is now exposed shoreline. Based on the public announcements, it appears that the extent of the land covered by this State Land registration effort may go beyond just the recently-exposed shoreline. The location and extent of the land in question, and the timing of the announcement, are alarming signs of the GOI intentions regarding any settlement freeze.
    The map is a projection according to the coordinates which appear in the announcements.
    (click on link, below, to view map)
    Why would the State want to register this land as State Land?
    It would appear that the primary purpose of registering this area as “State Land” is to prevent Palestinian use of the land or any Palestinian assertion of ownership over it. It should be recalled that Israel’s military closure of the area has long placed this area off-limits to most Palestinians. The fact that the land in question appears to go beyond the newly-exposed shoreline raises additional concerns that the government of Israel may also be seeking to use this effort as a pretext for significant new land expropriations in this area of the West Bank
    In addition, this effort may indicate an Israeli government intention to use the land in some way that requires ownership of the land to first be formally defined. The shoreline area of the Dead Sea is used mainly for tourism, and these announcements may indicate that there are plans to expand the use of the shore for such purposes. It is also possible that the State is seeking to register the lands as State land in order to legalize settler use of the land already taking place.
    Whatever the reason, the issue was evidently of sufficient importance for Israeli Authorities to voluntarily open themselves up to serious international criticism for the move – underscoring the implausibility of Israeli arguments that what is happening here is nothing more than an administrative or technical matter.
    Indeed, as recently as last month Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated Israel’s commitment not to confiscate any more land. At his Bar Ilan University speech on 14/6/09, Netanyahu said: “We have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements.” It is possible that Israeli authorities chose this State Lands registration procedure (rather than the usual declaration procedure) to try to avoid this being perceived as land “confiscation,” and to claim that it is “merely” a standard administrative procedure to register the land.
    The procedure of registration lands:
    There are several ways to confiscate or to take over lands in the West Bank. The process of land registration can take a long time if there are individuals who claim ownership, forcing the parties to prove ownership in a long and drawn-out process.
    With respect to the question of whether Israel has a legal “right” to register newly-exposed Dead Sea seabed as State land, this is a complicated question given that it is not clear how laws regarding property rights and accretion of land through sea/lake shrinkage pertain to land held in belligerent occupation. This is particularly true in the case of the West Bank, where the designation of “State Land” – land to be held in trust by the occupying power and to be used for the benefit of the indigenous population – has been abused as a form of de facto expropriation. Since 1967, Israel has declared or registered huge areas of the West Bank as “State Land,” and virtually all of this land has been given over for the exclusive use and exclusive benefit of Israeli settlers and the Israeli military.
    http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=61&fld=495&docid=4304

    Reply

  24. ... says:

    the treachery and traitorous behavior appears to be out in the open more then it has ever been…

    Reply

  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Samuel….
    How much traction would Ohlmert, Netanyahu, and Lieberman have with their arrogance and defiance if this cowardly piece of shit Harry Reid wasn’t openly undermining Obama’s alleged efforts to stop the settlement expansion? It is obvious that these three have NO FEAR that their open defiance threatens our continued financing of Israeli atrocities, policies, and war crimes.
    I wonder too, if our Secretary of State was being firm and supportive of Obama’s efforts in behind closed door meetings, would we be seeing such gutsy arrogance from these three??? I strongly doubt it, and suspect Hillary is actively undermining Obama’s efforts, just as this turncoat Reid is. Without the support of his democratic compatriots, Obama will be completely unable to chjange the nature of our relationship with Israel, or demand ANY concessions on Israel’s part. Personally, I have strong doubts about the sincerity of Obama’s efforts anyway. But even if his efforts ARE sincere, they have little chance of succeeding if these pieces of shit like Reid openly undermine those efforts. And without the support of Hillary, he’s dead in the water, the status quo with Israel will be continued.
    In the end, the settlements will grow, Israel will keep murdering and starving Palestinians, and we will keep pissing money away down the Israeli crapper, to the tune of billions annually.
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see whats going on. With each meeting between American and Israeli diplomats and officials, the Israeli defiance becomes more open. They definitely feel empowered to exhibit such arrogance, which certainly doesn’t imply that Hillary or Mitchell are playing hardball behind the scenes.
    Meanwhile, Congress decides that Israel’s “aid” package needs to be enlarged. Why should Israel offer concessions when we reward them for arrogance and defiance?

    Reply

  26. samuelburke says:

    in 1999, Halberstam wrote:
    Obviously, it should be a brilliant moment in American journalism, a time of a genuine flowering of a journalistic culture . . .
    But the reverse is true. Those to whom the most is given, the executives of our three networks, have steadily moved away from their greatest responsibilities, which is using their news departments to tell the American people complicated truths, not only about their own country, but about the world around us. . . .
    Somewhere in there, gradually, but systematically, there has been an abdication of responsibility within the profession, most particularly in the networks. . . . So, if we look at the media today, we ought to be aware not just of what we are getting, but what we are not getting; the difference between what is authentic and what is inauthentic in contemporary American life and in the world, with a warning that in this celebrity culture, the forces of the inauthentic are becoming more powerful all the time.
    So, too, with the death of Walter Cronkite. Tellingly, his most celebrated and significant moment — Greg Mitchell says “this broadcast would help save many thousands of lives, U.S. and Vietnamese, perhaps even a million” — was when he stood up and announced that Americans shouldn’t trust the statements being made about the war by the U.S. Government and military, and that the specific claims they were making were almost certainly false. In other words, Cronkite’s best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do — directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won’t even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/18-4

    Reply

  27. samuelburke says:

    When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam died, media stars everywhere commemorated his death as though he were one of them — as though they do what he did — even though he had nothing but bottomless, intense disdain for everything they do. As he put it in a 2005 speech to students at the Columbia School of Journalism: “the better you do your job, often going against conventional mores, the less popular you are likely to be . . . . By and large, the more famous you are, the less of a journalist you are.”
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/18-4

    Reply

  28. samuel burke says:

    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/07/ohioan-declares-israeli-govt-is-slapping-us-across-the-kisser-with-our-money-.html
    ‘Israeli gov’t is slapping us across the kisser with our money!’ (an Ohioan speaks out)
    Susie Kneedler, who lives in Ohio, writes:
    Have you been following the news of Netanyahu and Michael Oren’s gall in claiming the right to build in East Jerusalem? We need to “make” Pres. Obama stop the Billions for the IDF, as well as the loan guarantees in general. The Israeli gov’t is slapping us across the kisser with our money. U.S. to Israel: we won’t be “suckers” any more.
    Seham, a Palestinian-American, offers a counterpoint. From the AP: “Israeli radio stations say the U.S. has told Israel to halt construction project in east Jerusalem.” And Seham says:
    If Obama gets me all excited that he is going to do something and then he doesn’t do anything I will be so pissed that I swear to god I will never vote for another Democrat as long as I live even if it’s a fucking Palestinian. Not being dramatic.
    [This site’s policy against profanity is suspended because Seham is young and Californian]
    Weiss adds: In the article Kneedler links, Ambassador Oren, formerly of New Jersey, speaks of Israel’s rights to East Jerusalem. How does this square with Obama’s promise in Cairo that Christians, Muslims and Jews must mingle in Jerusalem?
    Also, note that the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Washington correspondent, Ron Kampeas, is a settler who owns property in East Jerusalem. Will he be covering this story? Wonder whether he has a point of view?
    first it was the nasdaq bubble..then came the housing bubble…next to burst will be the zionist israel bubble and good riddance when it does.
    americas policy wonks wont have to fear to speak up

    Reply

  29. samuel burke says:

    in the meantime israel continnues to shit all over president Barack Obamas requests….and the news gets no play across amerika…the policy wonks and the aspirants in true christian fashion turn the other cheek…see no israel, hear no israel, speak no evil over israel.
    the fear is palpable to americans politicos and the politico think tanky wannabees.
    the next bubble to burst in amerika will be the israel zionist bubble…and i welcome the bursting.
    The request to refrain from building on the property was delivered to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren by State Department officials within the last few days. According to Ha’aretz, Oren told the Americans that Jerusalem is no different from any other part of his country and that Israel would not accede to their demand.
    In his speech to the cabinet , Netanyahu declared, “Jerusalem is united, it is the capital of the Jewish people, and its sovereignty is not open to debate.” He further added that any Jew has the right to build anywhere in Jerusalem. The Prime Minister’s statement received support from opposition member of parliament Yoel Hasoon (Kadima), who said,”the American request to refrain from building in Jerusalem is not legitimate. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the Jewish people, and is not a settlement….”
    http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2009/07/obama-to-netanyahu-dont-build-here-netanyahu-forget-about-it.html

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  30. ... says:

    johnh 11:31am post… that is an excellent point john… for this to happen it would require a radical change in thinking with true independence on the part of the person running the foreign policy site – steve in this case…

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  31. JohnH says:

    “The U.S. is attempting to corner Central Asian energy and route it westward with pipeline initiatives (foremost among which is Nabucco) precisely to keep the Europeans within its policy orbit.”
    Interesting the you will NEVER see a blogger comment here on US intentions. You always have to go to the comments section to get some idea as to why the US is doing what it is doing. This is not unique to TWN. Why is there such a media blackout on US policy ambitions and goals? Should discussion of foreign policy objectives be off limits in a democracy?

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  32. samuelburke says:

    http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/bear_hug/
    Energy has proven essential between Germany and Russia, since Moscow supplies the German economy with over 40 percent of its natural gas. And to ensure that German end-users will not be affected by Russia’s various disputes with transit nations, the Kremlin is building a new pipeline.
    The Nord Stream project, set to run through the Baltic Sea and slated to come online in 2010-2011, would cement ties between Moscow and Berlin and bypass countries like Ukraine and Poland. The Germans, whose companies have a significant stake in the venture, prefer to sidestep East European issues entirely and maintain a secure link to Russia’s resource base.U.S. policymakers no doubt will voice their concerns of developing Russo-German cooperation in dark undertones (for here we’d an alliance of not one but two nations that have yet to “overcome their pasts”). Much has been made of Berlin’s dependence on Russian natural gas, the newest supposed threat to the liberty of Europe. The U.S. is attempting to corner Central Asian energy and route it westward with pipeline initiatives (foremost among which is Nabucco) precisely to keep the Europeans within its policy orbit. If Washington can cut the Kremlin out of the energy equation, it would have greater freedom of action to pursue its encirclement of Russia without heeding German objections. With the U.S. now being outmaneuvered in Eurasia, rhetoric casting emergent Russo-German ties as a second Rapallo or Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact will become more commonplace.
    Claims that Germany and Russia are enacting yet another sinister plot to snuff out “freedom” can be easily recognized as the polemics of liberal internationalists with their own agenda.

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  33. ... says:

    speaking of swindling, i see goldman sachs is in the news..some folks are claiming they have acted like swine… interesting analogy…
    and in a somewhat related matter, saudi arabia has a few big conglomerates and banks involved in litigation, one accusing the other of corruption… things go funny when the veneer gets removed from the banking industry….

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  34. JohnH says:

    The dirty little secret here is that it may not matter if Russia gets bypassed. As long as Iran and Russia work together, they can implement the equivalent of a gas OPEC. Combined the two countries hold 43% of the world’s proven gas reserves. Including Qatar, you’ve got 57%.
    As oil supplies stagnate, it’s hard to see how Europe will be able to get all the gas it needs
    unless BOTH Iran and Russia figure prominently in their plans.
    With Turkey, the US may have played a role in promoting Nabucco. Unless US relations improve with Iran, however, it is hard to see how the US can be anything but a hindrance to Europe getting the gas it will need.

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  35. samuelburke says:

    Why Armenia?
    The natural route to bring Iranian gas to Europe via Nabucco goes through Armenia, the small and fiercely independent nation sandwiched between Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. In early 2007 a small pipeline opened bringing Iranian gas to Armenia. A second pipeline, if built, would potentially allow Iran to bring its gas via Turkey and Nabucco to European markets. This begins to explain why Obama made the issue of Turkish reconciliation of the long-standing tensions between Ankara and Armenia over the Armenian charges of genocide during World War I a priority in his April talks with Prime Minister Erdogan.
    It seems Obama’s advisers are playing a far more subtle geopolitical game than did Cheney and Bush. By holding out several juicy financial carrots, to Turkey, to Armenia, even to Teheran if it were to abandon its nuclear ambitions, Washington hopes to throw a giant monkey wrench into the attempt of Moscow to retain a significant control over Eurasian energy supplies to the EU, a major lever to ensure more stable EU-Russian relations amid growing threats to Russia’s security from Washington’s misnamed missile defense shield being built in Poland and the Czech Republic.
    Notably, on the latter point, it is worth noting that Obama refused to give an inch during the recent summit talks in Russia. That’s because Washington’s agenda of geopolitical control over the Eurasian Continent is the only lever of maintaining the hegemony of a failing American Century at this point. Full Spectrum Dominance or none seems to be the motto.
    http://321energy.com/editorials/engdahl/engdahl071909.html

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  36. samuelburke says:

    Nabucco Turkey EU and Obama Geopolitics
    F. William Engdahl, author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order
    July 19th, 2009
    http://321energy.com/editorials/engdahl/engdahl071909.html
    One of his first foreign visits as new President took Barack Obama to Ankara for a high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and other leading Turkish officials. Obama engaged in classical “horse trading” wheeling and dealing. “I give you support for Turkey’s EU membership; you open the diplomatic door to Armenia,” appears to have been the core of the deal. What other inducements the US President gave in the case of Turkish influence within NATO and such is secondary. Obama’s goal was to break a political deadlock in Turkey to construction of a major gas pipeline to Germany and other EU countries in direct opposition to Russian Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline.
    Nabucco is an integral part of a US strategy of total energy control over both the EU and all Eurasia. On July 13 with a Nabucco signing ceremony in Ankara the first fruits of the Obama soft diplomacy appeared to be bearing fruit. The question remains if it will be bitter fruit.
    Leading Republican Party foreign policy figure, Senator Richard Lugar, went as the Obama Administration’s representative to Ankara on July 13 for the signing ceremony approving the controversial Nabucco project. EU Commission President Barosso was also present along with heads of government of Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria.
    The Nabucco project when and if finished would take gas from the Caspian region, Middle East via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary with Austria and further on with the Central and Western European gas markets. It would run some 3,300 km, starting at the Georgian/Turkish and/or Iranian/Turkish border respectively, leading to Baumgarten in Austria, costing at least $8 billion. The project is parallel to the existing Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline and could transport 20 billion cubic meters of gas a year. Two-thirds of the pipeline will pass through Turkish territory.
    Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Iraq are being touted as potential suppliers.

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  38. bed & breakfast says:

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  39. arthurdecco says:

    From the post: “It will probably be years before we know whether Nabucco will buy Russian or Iranian gas – but all of this highlights the long-term energy competition looming between Russia and Iran and its implications for America’s effort to secure Russian cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue.”
    Long-term energy competition? …Looming?!?
    Nonsense.
    In these still-early days of dwindling oil and gas supplies and increasing demand, its a certainty that any country that can pump gas will be able to sell it. Maybe not today, but certainly tomorrow. Because, after all – once its gone, dair ain’t no moe.
    From where I’m sitting it looks like a seller’s market from now until the last well runs dry.
    Tell me how that fosters “long-term energy competition” again.

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  40. JohnH says:

    The really interesting part of this is not just that Turkmenistan will feed Nabucco, but that Turkmenistan is likely to feed Nabucco THROUGH EXISTING IRANIAN pipelines (Russia can veto the corridor under the Caspian sea.)
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KG15Ak01.html
    So the odds are that rapprochement between Europe and Iran in is the cards. Otherwise how does Europe get its gas?
    As Nabucco moves closer to fruition, any US military intervention will threaten European gas supplies, thus representing a strategic threat to Europe itself. The window for the US to put Iran under its heel is closing.

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