Engdahl : Color Revolutions & Geopolitics * cj exclusive


Richard Moore

    China's energy demand is growing annually at a rate of
    more than 30%. China has feverishly been trying to secure
    long-term oil and gas supplies, especially since the Iraq
    war made clear to Beijing that Washington was out to
    control and militarize most of the world's major oil and
    gas sources. A new wrinkle to the search for Black Gold,
    oil, is the clear data confirming that many of the world's
    largest oil fields are peaking or rapidly declining while
    new discoveries fail to replace lost volumes of oil. It is
    a pre-programmed scenario for war. The only question is,
    with what weapons.

Color Revolutions, Geopolitics and the Baku Pipeline

By F. William Engdahl, author of 'A Century of War:
Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order,' from
Pluto Press Ltd.

After a short-term fall in price below the $50 a barrel
level, oil is now bounding back towards $60 a barrel and
likely far higher. In this situation one might think that
the announcement of the opening of a major new oil
pipeline to pump Caspian oil to world markets might dampen
the relentless rise in prices.

However, even when OPEC agreed on June 15 to raise its
formal production quota by another 500,000 barrels per day
(bpd), the reaction of NYMEX oil futures prices was to
rise, not fall. Estimates are that world demand in the
second half of 2005 will average at least 3 million
barrels a day more than the first half.

Oil has become the central theme of world political and
military operations planning, even when not always openly

Caspian Pipeline Opens a Pandora's Box  

In this situation it is worth looking at the overall
significance of the May opening of the Baku to Ceyhan,
Turkey oil pipeline. This 1,762 km long oil pipeline was
completed some months ahead of plan.

The BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) Oil Pipeline was begun in
2002 after four years of intense international dispute. It
cost some $3.6 billion, making it one of the most
expensive oil projects ever. The main backer was BP, whose
chairman Lord Browne is a close adviser to Britain's Tony
Blair. BP built it in a consortium including Unocal of the
US and Turkish Petroleum Inc., and other partners.

It will take until at least late September before 10.4
milllion barrels can provide the needed volume to start
oil delivery to the Turkish port Ceyhan on the
Mediterranean. Ceyhan is conveniently near to the US
airbase Incirlik. The BTC has been a US strategic priority
ever since Clinton first backed it in 1998. Indeed, for
the opening ceremonies in May, US Energy Secretary Samuel
Bodman attended and delivered a personal note of
congratulations from US President George W. Bush.

As the political makeup of the Central Asia Caspian region
is complex, especially since the decomposition of the
Soviet Union opened up a scramble in the oil-rich region
of the Caspian from the outside, above all from the United
States, it is important to bear in mind the major power
blocs which have emerged.

They are two. On the one side is an alliance of
US-Turkey-Azerbaijan and, since the Rose Revolution,
Georgia, that small but critical country directly on the
pipeline route. Opposed to it, in terms of where the
pipeline route carrying the Caspian oil should go, is
Russia, which until 1990 held an iron grip over the entire
Caspian outside the Iran littoral. Today, Russia has
cultivated an uneasy but definite alliance with Iran and
with Armenia, in opposition to the US group. This two-camp
grouping is essential to understand developments in the
region since 1991.

Now that the BTC oil pipeline has finally been completed,
and the route through Georgia has been put firmly in
pro-Washington hands, an essential precondition to
completing the pipeline, the question becomes how will
Moscow react? Does Putin have any serious options left
short of the ultimate nuclear one?

A clear strategy

A geopolitical pattern has become clear over the past
months. One-by-one, with documented overt and covert
Washington backing and financing, new US-friendly regimes
have been put in place in former Soviet states which are
in a strategic relation to possible pipeline routes from
the Caspian Sea.

Ukraine is now more or less in the hands of a
Washington-backed 'democratic' regime under Viktor
Yushchenko and his billionaire Prime Minister Yulia
Timoshenko, known in Ukraine as the 'gas princess' for the
fortune she made as a government official, allegedly
through her dubious dealings earlier with Ukraine Energy
Minister Pavlo Lazarenko and Gazprom.

The Yushchenko government's domestic credibility is
reportedly beginning to fade as Ukrainian Orange
Revolution euphoria gives way to economic realities. In
any event, on June 16 in Kiev, Yushchenko hosted a special
meeting of the Davos World Economic Forum to discuss
possible investments into the New Ukraine.

At the Kiev meeting, Timoshenko's government announced
that they plan to build a new oil and gas pipeline from
the Caspian across Ukraine into Poland which would lessen
Ukraine's reliance on Moscow oil and gas supplies.
Timoshenko also revealed that the Ukrainian government was
in positive talks with Chevron, the former company of
Condoleezza Rice, for the project.

It goes without saying that such a project would run
counter to the Russian regional interest. One reason for
Washington's strong backing for Yushchenko last year was
to counter a decision by the Kuchma government and
Parliament to reverse the flow of the Brody-Odessa
pipeline from a planned route from the Black Sea port into
Poland. The initial Odessa-to-Poland route would have tied
Ukraine to the West. Now Ukraine is discussing with
Chevron to build a new pipeline doing the same. The
country presently gets 80% of its energy from Russia.

A second project Ukraine's government, and the state NAK
(Naftogaz Ukrainy) are discussing is with France's Gaz de
France to build a pipeline from Iran for natural gas to
displace Russian gas. Were that to happen it would
simultaneously weaken ties of mutual self-interest between
Russia and Iran, as well as Russia and France.

On the same day as the Kiev conference, Kazakhstan's
government told an international investors' conference in
Almaty that they were in negotiations with Ukraine to
route Kazakh oil as well through the proposed new
Ukrainian pipeline to the Baltic. Chevron is also the
major consortium leader developing Kazakh oil in Tengiz.
Given the political nature of US Big Oil, it is more than
probable that Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney and the
Administration in Washington are playing a strong role in
such Ukraine pipeline talks.

The Orange Revolution, at least from the side of its US
sponsors, had little to do with real democracy and far
more with military and oil geopolitics.

Pipelines and US-Azeri ties

The Baku-Ceyhan pipeline was originally proclaimed by BP
and others as The Project of the Century. Zbigniew
Brzezinski was a consultant to BP during the Clinton era,
urging Washington to back the project. In fact, it was
Brzezinski who went to Baku in 1995, unofficially, on
behalf of President Clinton to meet with then-Azeri
President Haidar Aliyev, in order to negotiate new
independent Baku pipeline routes including what became the
BTC pipeline.

Brzezinski also sits on the board of an impressive, if
little-known, US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC).
The chairman of USACC in Washington is Tim Cejka,
President of ExxonMobil Exploration. Other USACC Board
members include Henry Kissinger, and James Baker III, the
man who in 2003 personally went to Tbilisi to tell
Shevardnadze that Washington wanted him to step aside in
favor of the US-trained Georgian President Mikhail
Shaakashvili. Brent Scowcroft, former National Security
Adviser to George H.W. Bush, also sits on the board of
USACC today. And Dick Cheney was a former board member
before he became Vice President. A more high-powered
Washington team of geopolitical fixers would be hard to
imagine. This group of prominent individuals certainly
would not give a minute of their time unless an area was
of utmost geopolitical strategic importance to the United
States or to certain powerful interests there.

Now that the BTC pipeline to Ceyhan is complete, a phase 2
pipeline is in consideration undersea, potentially to link
the Caspian to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan with its rich
gas reserves, directing that energy away from China to the
West in a US-UK-controlled route.

In this context, it's worth noting that President Bush
himself made a trip to Tbilisi on May 10 to address a
crowd in Freedom Square, promoting his latest war on
tyranny campaign for the region. He praised the US-backed
'color revolutions' from Ukraine to Georgia. Bush went on
to attack Roosevelt's Yalta division of Europe in 1945. He
made the curious declaration: 'We will not repeat the
mistakes of other generations, appeasing or excusing
tyranny, and sacrificing freedom in the vain pursuit of
stability," the president said. "We have learned our
lesson; no one's liberty is expendable. In the long run,
our security and true stability depend on the freedom of
others.' Bush went on to say, 'Now, across the Caucasus,
in Central Asia and the broader Middle East, we see the
same desire for liberty burning in the hearts of young
people. They are demanding their freedom -- and they will
have it.'

What color will the Azeri revolution take?

Not surprisingly, that speech was read as a 'go' signal
for opposition groups across the Caucasus. In Azerbaijan
four youth groups - Yokh! (No!), Yeni Fikir (New
Thinking), Magam (It's Time) and the Orange Movement of
Azerbaijan - comprise the emerging opposition, an echo of
Georgia, Ukraine and Serbia where the US Embassy and
specially-trained NGO operatives orchestrated the
US-friendly regime changes with help of the US National
Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and the Soros

According to Baku journalists, Ukraine's Pora (It's Time),
Georgia's Kmara (Enough) and Serbia's Otpor (Resistance)
are cited by all four Azeri opposition organizations as
role models. The opposition groups also consider George
Bush's February meeting in Bratislava with Pora leader
Vladislav Kaskiv as a sign that Washington supports their

It seems the same team of Washington regime change experts
are preparing for a 'color revolution' for the upcoming
November elections in Azerbaijan as were behind other
recent color revolutions.

In 2003, on the death of former Azeri President, Haider
Aliyev, his playboy son, Ilham Aliyev, became President in
grossly rigged elections which Washington legitimized
because Aliyev was 'our tyrant,' and also just happened to
hold his hand on the spigot of Baku oil.

Ilham, former president of the state oil company, SOCAR,
is tied to his father's power base and is apparently now
seen as not suitable for the new pipeline politics.
Perhaps he wants too big a share of the spoils. In any
case, both Tony Blair's UK Government and US State
Department's AID are pouring money into Azeri opposition
groups, similar to Otpor in Ukraine. US Ambassador Reno
Harnish has stated Washington is ready to finance 'exit
polling' in the elections. Exit polling in Ukraine was a
key factor used to drive the opposition success there.

Moscow is following the Azeri events closely. On May 26
the Moscow daily, Kommersant wrote, '"While the pipeline
will carry oil from the East to West, the spirit of 'color
revolutions' will flow in the reverse direction.' The
commentary went on to suggest that Western governments
want to promote democratization in Azerbaijan out of a
desire to protect the considerable investment made in the
pipeline. That is only a part of the strategic game,
however. The other part is what Pentagon strategists term
'strategic denial.'

Until recently the US had supported the corrupt ruthless
dictatorship of the Aliyev's as the family had 'played
ball' with US geopolitical designs in the area, even
though Haider Aliyev had been a career top KGB officer in
the Soviet Gorbachev era. Then on April 12, Defense
Secretary Rumsfeld went to Baku, his second visit in four
months, to discuss demands to create a US military base in
Azerbaijan, as part of the US global force redeployment
involving Europe, Mideast and Asia.

The Pentagon already de facto runs the Georgia military,
with its US Special Forces officers, and Georgia has asked
to join NATO. Now Washington wants to have direct bases in
Azerbaijan proximate to Russia as well as to Iran.

The Pentagon has also allocated $100 million to build a
Caspian Guard of special forces military, ostensibly to
guard the new BTC pipeline, though the latter was
deliberately built underground to make it less vulnerable,
one reason for its high cost. Part of the Pentagon money
would go to build a radar-equipped command center in Baku,
capable of monitoring all sea traffic in the Caspian. The
US wants airbases in Azerbaijan which naturally would be
seen in Teheran and Moscow as a strategic provocation.

In all this maneuvering from the side of Washington and
Ten Downing Street, the strategic issue of geopolitical
control over Eurasia looms large. And increasingly it is
clear that not only Putin's Russia is object of the new
Washington War on Tyranny. It is becoming obvious to most
now that the grand design in Eurasia on the part of
Washington is not to pre-empt old Osama bin Laden and his
Tora Bora cave dwellers.

The current Washington strategy targets many Eurasian
former Soviet republics which per se have no known oil or
gas reserves. What they do have, however, is strategic
military or geopolitical significance for the Washington
policy of dominating the future of Eurasia.

That policy has China as its geopolitical, economic and
military fulcrum. A look at the Eurasian map and at the
target countries for various US-sponsored Color
Revolutions makes this unmistakeably clear. To the east of
the Caspian Sea, Washington in one degree or another today
controls Pakistan, Afghanistan, potentially Kyrgystan,
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. These serve as a potential
US-controlled barrier or buffer zone between China and
Russian, Caspian and Iranian energy sources.

Washington is out to deny China easy land access to either
Russia, the Middle East or to the oil and gas fields of
the Caspian Sea.

Whither Kyrgystan?

Since early 2005 when a series of opposition protests
erupted over the fairness of parliamentary elections in
February and March, Kyrgystan has joined the growing list
of Eurasian republics facing major threat of regime change
or color revolution. The success of former Kyrgystan Prime
Minister Kurmanbek Bakiev in replacing ousted President
Askar Akayev in that country's so-called 'Tulip
Revolution,' becoming interim President until July
Presidential elections, invited inevitable comparisons
with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, or the Georgian
Rose Revolution.

Washington's Radio Liberty has gone to great lengths to
explain that the Kyrgystan opposition is not a US
operation, but a genuine spontaneous grass roots
phenomenon. The facts speak a different story however.
According to reports from mainstream US journalists,
including Craig Smith in the New York Times and Philip
Shishkin in the Wall Street Journal, the opposition in
Kyrgystan has had 'more than a little help from US
friends' to paraphrase the Beatles song. Under the Freedom
Support Act of the US Congress, in 2004 the dirt poor
country of Kyrgystan got a total of $12 million in US
government funds to support the building of democracy.
Twelve million will buy a lot of democracy in an
economically desolate, forsaken land such as Kyrgystan.

Acknowledging the Washington largesse, Edil Baisolov, in a
comment on the February-March anti-government protests,
boasted, 'It would have been absolutely impossible for
this to have happened without that help.' According to the
New York Times' Smith, Baisolov's organization, the
Coalition for Democracy and Civil Rights, is financed by
the National Democratic Institute for International
Affairs, a Washington-based nonprofit organization in turn
funded by Condi Rice's State Department. Baisolov told
Radio Liberty he had been to Ukraine to witness the
tactics of their Orange Revolution, and got inspired.

But that isn't all. The whole cast of democracy characters
has been busy in Bishkek and environs supporting
American-style democracy and opposing 'anti-American

Washington's Freedom House has generously financed
Bishkek's independent printing press which prints the
opposition paper, 'MSN,' according to its man on the
scene, Mike Stone.

Freedom House is an organization with a fine-sounding name
and a long history since it was created in the late 1940's
to back the creation of NATO. The chairman of Freedom
House is James Woolsey, former CIA director who calls the
present series of regime changes from Baghdad to Kabul,
'World War IV.' Other trustees include the ubiquitous
Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Clinton Commerce Secretary
Stuart Eizenstat, and National Security Adviser Anthony
Lake. Freedom House lists USAID, US Information Agency,
Soros Foundations and the National Endowment for
Democracy, among its financial backers.

One more of the many NGO's active in promoting the new
democracy in Kyrgystan is the Civil Society Against
Corruption, financed by the National Endowment for
Democracy (NED).The NED which, with Freedom House, has
been at the center of all the major Color Revolutions in
recent years, was created during the Reagan Administration
to function as a de facto privatized CIA, privatized so as
to allow more freedom of action, or what the CIA likes to
call 'plausible deniability.' NED chairman Vin Weber, a
former Republican congressman is close to neo-conservative
Bill Bennett. NED President since 1984 is Carl Gershman,
who had previously been a Freedom House Scholar. NATO
General Wesley Clark, the man who led the US bombing of
Serbia in 1999, also sits on the NED Board. Allen
Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing
NED, said in 1991, 'A lot of what we do today was done
covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.' Mmmmmm UhHuh...

Not to be forgotten, and definitely not least in
Kyrgystan's ongoing Tulip Revolution is George Soros' Open
Society Institute -- which also poured money into the
Serbian, Georgian and Ukraine Color Revolutions.

The head of the Civil Society Against Corruption in
Kyrgystan is Tolekan Ismailova, who organized the
translation and distribution of the revolutionary manual
used in Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia written by Gene Sharp,
of a curiously-named Albert Einstein Institution in
Boston. Sharp's book, a how-to manual for the color
revolutions is titled 'From Dictatorship to Democracy.' It
includes tips on nonviolent resistance -- such as 'display
of flags and symbolic colors' -- and civil disobedience.

Sharp's book is literally the bible of the Color
Revolutions, a kind of 'regime change for dummies.' Sharp
created his Albert Einstein Institution in 1983, with
backing from Harvard University. It is funded by the US
Congress' NED and the Soros Foundations, to train people
in and to study the theories of 'non-violence as a form of
warfare.' Sharp has worked with NATO and the CIA over the
years training operators in Burma, Lithuania, Serbia,
Georgia, Ukraine to Taiwan, even Venezuela and Iraq.

In short virtually every regime which has been the target
of a US-backed soft coup in the past twenty years has
involved Gene Sharp and usually, his associate, Col.
Robert Helvey, a retired US Army intelligence specialist.
Notably, Sharp was in Beijing two weeks before student
demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The Pentagon
and US intelligence have refined the art of such soft
coups to a fine level. RAND planners call it 'swarming,'
referring to the swarms of youth, typically linked by SMS
and web blogs, who can be mobilized on command to
destabilize a target regime.

Then UzbekistanŠ?

Uzbekistan's tyrannical President Islam Karimov had early
profiled himself as a staunch friend of the Washington War
on Terror, offering a former Soviet airbase for US
military actions including the attack on the Taliban in
Afghanistan. Many considered Karimov too close to
Washington to be in danger. He had made himself a 'good'
tyrant in Washington's eyes.

That's also no longer a sure thing. In May Secretary
Condoleezza Rice demanded Karimov institute 'political
reforms' following violent prison uprisings and subsequent
protests over conditions in the Ferghana Valley region in
Andijan. Karimov has fiercely resisted independent inquiry
into allegations his troops shot and killed hundreds of
unarmed protesters. He insists the uprisings were caused
by 'external' radical Muslim fundamentalists allied with
Taliban and intent on establishing an Islamic 'caliphate'
in Uzbekistan's Ferghana Valley bordering Kyrgystan.

While ouster of Karimov is unclear for the moment, leading
Washington backers of Karimov's 'democratic reform' have
turned into hostile opponents. As one US commentator
expressed it, 'the character of the Karimov regime can no
longer be ignored in deference to the strategic usefulness
of Uzbekistan.' Karimov has been targeted for a Color
Revolution in the relentless Washington War on Tyranny.

In mid-June Karimov's government announced changes in
terms for the US to use Uzbekistan Karshi-Khanabad
military airbase, including a ban on night flights.
Karimov is moving demonstrably closer to Moscow and
perhaps also to Beijing in the latest chapter of the new
Great Game for geopolitical control over Eurasia.

Following the Andijan events, Karimov revived the former
'strategic partnership' with Moscow and also got a red
carpet welcome at the end of May in Beijing, including a
21-gun salute. At a June Brussels NATO meeting Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov backed Karimov, declaring
there was no need for an international investigation of
what happened in Andijan.

Tajikistan, bordering Afghanistan and China, is so far the
only remaining Central Asian republic not yet to undergo a
successful US-led Color Revolution. It's not for lack of
trying. For several years Washington has attempted to woo
Dushanbe away from its close ties to Moscow, including the
economic carrot of US backing for Tajik membership in WTO.
Beijing has also been active. China has recently upgraded
military assistance to Tajikistan, and is keen to
strengthen ties to all Central Asian republics standing
between it and the energy resources to the Eurasian west
from Russia to Iran. The stakes are the highest for the
oil-dependent China.

Washington Playing the China Card

The one power in Eurasia that has the potential to create
a strategic combination which could checkmate US global
dominance is China. However China has an Achilles Heel,
which Washington understands all too well-oil. Ten years
ago China was a net oil exporter. Today China is the
second largest importer behind the USA.

China's energy demand is growing annually at a rate of
more than 30%. China has feverishly been trying to secure
long-term oil and gas supplies, especially since the Iraq
war made clear to Beijing that Washington was out to
control and militarize most of the world's major oil and
gas sources. A new wrinkle to the search for Black Gold,
oil, is the clear data confirming that many of the world's
largest oil fields are peaking or rapidly declining while
new discoveries fail to replace lost volumes of oil. It is
a pre-programmed scenario for war. The only question is,
with what weapons.

In recent months Beijing has signed major oil and economic
deals with Venezuela and Iran. It has bid for a major
Canadian resources company, and most recently made the
audacious bid to buy California's Unocal, a partner in the
Caspian BTC pipeline. Chevron immediately stepped in with
a counter bid to block China's.

Beijing has recently also upgraded the importance of the
four-year-old organization, Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, or SCO. SCO consists of China, Russia,
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan. Not
surprisingly, these are many of the states which are in
the midst of US-backed attempts at soft coups or Color
Revolutions. SCO's July meeting list included an
invitation to India, Pakistan and Iran to attend with
Observer Status.

This June the foreign ministers of Russia, China and India
held a meeting in Vladivostock where they stressed the
role of the United Nations, a move aimed clearly at
Washington. India also discussed its project to invest and
develop Russia's Far East Sakhalin I, where it has already
invested about $1 billion in oil and gas development.
Significantly, at the meeting, Russia and China resolved a
decades-long  border dispute, and two weeks later in
Beijing, discussed potentials for development of Russia's
Siberian resources.

A close look at the map of Eurasia begins to suggest what
is so vital here for China and therefore for Washington's
future domination of Eurasia. The goal is not only
strategic encirclement of Russia through a series of NATO
bases ranging from Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo to Poland, to
Georgia, possibly Ukraine and White Russia, which would
enable NATO to control energy ties between Russia and the

Washington policy now encompasses a series of 'democratic'
or soft coup projects which would strategically cut China
off from access to the vital oil and gas reserves of the
Caspian including Kazakhstan. The earlier Asian Great Silk
Road trade routes went through Tashkent in Uzbekistan and
Almaty in Kazakhstan for geographically obvious reasons,
in a region surrounded by major mountain ranges.
Geopolitical control of Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan
would enable control of any potential pipeline routes
between China and Central Asia just as the encirclement of
Russia controls pipeline and other ties between it and
western Europe, China, India and the Mideast.

In this context, the revealing Foreign Affairs article
from Zbigniew Brzezinski from September/October 1997 is
worth again quoting:

    'Eurasia is home to most of the world's politically
    assertive and dynamic states. All the historical
    pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The
    world's most populous aspirants to regional hegemony,
    China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential
    political or economic challengers to American primacy.
    After the United States, the next six largest economies
    and military spenders are there, as are all but one of the
    world's overt nuclear powers, and all but one of the
    covert ones. Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the
    world's population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent
    of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential
    power overshadows even America's.
    'Eurasia is the world's axial supercontinent. A power that
    dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over
    two of the world's three most economically productive
    regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map
    also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would
    almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa.
    With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical
    chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy
    for Europe and another for Asia. What happens with the
    distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of
    decisive importance to America's global primacyŠ.'

This statement, written well before the US-led bombing of
former Yugoslavia and the US occupations in Afghanistan
and Iraq, or the BTC Pipeline, helps put recent Washington
pronouncements about 'ridding the world of tyranny' and
about spreading democracy, into a somewhat different
context from the one usually mentioned by George W. Bush.
'Elementary, my dear Watson. It's about global hegemony,
not democracy you fool.'



"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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