Friday, June 09, 2006
Before the first world war 2 competing systems of alliances grew up aimed at each other both trying to maintain the international order, in their own interests. This happened because the Concert of Europe (agreement between the 5 great powers) had broken down.Then I read this article in Asia Times which puts it as much less a military organisation but, in some ways more alarmingly, as an energy alliance.
The origins of this group committed to stopping incursion of "terrorists & armed gangs" & stopping seccession is clearly aimed at what happened to Yugoslavia. By destroying all concept of the rule of law in going to war to help KLA Moslem terrorists commit genocide NATO are directly responsible for the creation of the SCO.
It is vital that the NATO states stop throwing their weight around & start supporting a peaceful & lawful international order. America may consider Iran a rogue terrorist supporting state but many in the world, with considerable legal reason, consider America one. Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
In recent months, however, this strategy of global energy dominance has shown signs of producing just the opposite: a kind of "coalition of the unwilling", states that increasingly see no other prospect, despite traditional animosities, but to cooperate to oppose what they see as a US push to control the future security of their energyWhile the US, Britain & NATO have been going around proving how important they are by attacking people the SCO Members (Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan & now Iran) have been getting richer & making the world safer for each other. Once again our official media have been reporting only the particular screw-ups inIraq which we are involved in & ignoring the big picture.
.......Curiously, Washington has repeatedly accused China of "not playing by the rules", in terms of its oil politics, declaring that China is guilty of "seeking to control energy at the source", as though that had not been US energy policy for the past century.
.......Next Thursday, member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, will reportedly invite Iran, currently an observer, into full membership. Even if full membership is postponed, as has been mooted, the fact remains that Russia and China both want to seal closer cooperation with Iran in Eurasian energy cooperation.
....... SPEAKING FREELY
US outflanked in Eurasia energy politics
By F William Engdahl
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.
The United States' global energy-control strategy, it's now clear to most, was the actual reason for the highly costly regime change in Iraq, euphemistically dubbed "democracy" by Washington. But while it is preoccupied with implanting democracy in the Middle East, the United States is quietly being outflanked in the rush to secure and control major energy sources of the Persian Gulf, the Central Asian Caspian Basin, Africa and beyond.
The quest for energy control has informed Washington's support for high-risk "color revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan in recent months. It lies behind US activity in West Africa, as well as in Sudan, source of 7% of
China's oil imports. It lies behind US policy vis-a-vis President Hugo Chavez' Venezuela and President Evo Morales' Bolivia.
In recent months, however, this strategy of global energy dominance has shown signs of producing just the opposite: a kind of "coalition of the unwilling", states that increasingly see no other prospect, despite traditional animosities, but to cooperate to oppose what they see as a US push to control the future security of their energy.
If the trend of recent events continues, it won't be US-style democracy that is spreading, but rather Russian and Chinese influence over major oil and gas supplies.
Some in Washington are beginning to realize that important figures might have been too clumsy in recent public statements about both China and Russia, two nations whose cooperation in some form is essential to the success of the global US energy project.
Ripping into China and Russia
Contrary to advice from older China hands, including former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, architect of president Richard Nixon's 1972 opening to China, the White House denied visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao the honor of a full state dinner when he visited in April, serving instead a short "state lunch". Hu was publicly humiliated by a well-known Falungong heckler at the White House press conference.
A few weeks later, Vice President Dick Cheney slapped Russian President Vladimir Putin with the most open attack on Russia's internal human-rights policy as well as its energy policy in a speech in the Baltic state of Lithuania. There, Cheney declared of Russia, "The government has unfairly and improperly restricted the rights of her people." He accused Russia of energy "intimidation and blackmail". Some days later, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated that Russia should be "pressed" on democratic reforms. Rice also slapped China in the face in March during a trip to Southeast Asia, calling China a "negative force" in Asia.
Curiously, Washington has repeatedly accused China of "not playing by the rules", in terms of its oil politics, declaring that China is guilty of "seeking to control energy at the source", as though that had not been US energy policy for the past century.
The significance of taking aim simultaneously at both Russia and China, the two Eurasian giants, the one the largest investor in US Treasury bonds, the other the world's second-most-developed military nuclear power, reflects the realization in Washington that all may not be as seamless in the quest for global domination as originally promised by various strategists in and around the administration of President George W Bush.
Next Thursday, member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, will reportedly invite Iran, currently an observer, into full membership. Even if full membership is postponed, as has been mooted, the fact remains that Russia and China both want to seal closer cooperation with Iran in Eurasian energy cooperation.
The SCO was founded in June 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its stated goal was to facilitate "cooperation in political affairs, economy and trade, scientific-technical, cultural, and educational spheres as well as in energy, transportation, tourism, and environment protection fields". Recently, however, the SCO is beginning to look like an energy-financial bloc in Central Asia consciously being developed to serve as a counter-pole to US hegemony.
Russia's energy geopolitics
In recent months SCO members have taken several potentially strategic steps to distance themselves from energy and monetary dependence on the US. In his recent State of the Union speech, President Putin announced that Russia is planning to make the ruble convertible into other major currencies and to use it in its oil and gas transactions.
A convertible ruble is to be introduced, according to latest Russian statements, on July 1, six months earlier than originally planned. Russia also has stated it plans to shift a share of its now considerable dollar reserves away from the US currency and that it will use 40 billion US dollars to purchase gold reserves.
Russia's state-owned natural-gas transport company, Transneft, has consolidated its pipeline control to become the sole exporter of Russian natural gas. Russia has by far the world's largest natural-gas reserves and Iran the second-largest. With Iran inside, the SCO would control the vast majority of the world's natural-gas reserves, as well as a significant portion of its oil reserves
........ China energy geopolitics also in high gear
For its part, Beijing is also moving to "secure energy at the sources". China's booming economy, with 10% growth, requires massive natural resources. China became a net importer of oil in 1993. By 2045, China will depend on imported oil for 45% of its energy needs.
On May 26, crude oil began to flow into China through a newly completed pipeline from Atasu, Kazakhstan, to the Alataw Pass in China's far-western region of Xinjiang, a 1,000-kilometer route announced only last year. It marked the first time oil is being pumped directly into China. Kazakhstan is also a member of the SCO, but had been regarded by Washington since the collapse of the Soviet Union as in its sphere of influence, with ChevronTexaco, Rice's former oil company, the major oil developer.
By 2011 the pipeline with extend some 3,000km to Dushanzi, where the Chinese are building their largest oil refinery, due to completed by 2008. China financed the entire $700 million pipeline and will buy the oil. Last year the China National Petroleum Corp bought PetroKazakhstan for $4.2 billion and will use it to develop oilfields in Kazakhstan.
China is also in negotiations with Russia for a pipeline to deliver Siberian oil to northeastern China, a project that could be completed by 2008, and a natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Heilongjiang province in China's northeast. China just passed Japan to rank as world's second-largest oil importer behind the United States.
Beijing and Moscow are also integrating their electricity grids. Late last month the China State Grid Corp announced plans to increase imports of Russian electricity fivefold by 2010.