by Tom Mysiewicz

“Iraq is breaking up before our eyes and it would appear that the creation of an independent Kurdish state is a foregone conclusion.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to John Kerry in Paris, 26 June 2014

“The goal is to proclaim a ‘Kurdistan’ straddling the border between Iraq and Syria, and then expel the Syrian populations who live there, followed by the transfer of 10 million Turkish Kurds to this new state.”[1]

Thierry Meyssan, 2015

Unfolding now is a multidimensional chess game comprising centuries-old animosities, petrodollars, pipelines, a neo-Ottoman sultanate, plans for balkanizing the Mid East into manageable ethnic states, Israeli energy plans and oligarchs, Neoconservatives, the U.S. military-industrial complex, Daesh-ISIS, NATO, the EU, Kurdistan, Ukraine and a gaggle of nation states. I first addressed this hard-to-fathom situation in my 2014 piece “War With ISIS: Multiplexing a New World Order.”[2]

In my earlier piece I saw the creation of “Kurdistan” from energy-rich areas of a partitioned Iraq and Syria as central to the plan. (This plan had existed in Neoconservative circles and within groups like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) well prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion. And I wrote about it, often.)[3]

Understand that I’m sympathetic to the Kurds. If both Syria and Iraq adopted a Federal system giving autonomy to their Kurdish regions—and provisions were made to equitably divide the energy resources (or their revenue streams via a neutral body)–it would avoid national disintegration and millions of new refugees. And it would avoid the inevitable destabilization of surrounding countries. However, based on the Egyptian experience with supplying natural gas to Israeli companies—and getting it back at higher prices—it would be wise for all of the parties to avoid selling energy resources disproportionately or exclusively to Israel simply on a pragmatic level.

This is not a religious issue. The nonagenarian Zionist pioneer Uri Avnery, recently noted that he and “King Bibi” (actually Benjamin Mileikowsky) are both atheists but that “Bibi” courts extremist religious elements for political reasons. A recent Avnery op-ed gives us a clue that the current energy struggle involving Turkey is of an entirely secular nature:

“All of Israel has been consumed for months with the debate about the “natural gas plan” – the way of dividing the profits from the natural gas reservoirs discovered in the sea near the shores of Israel. Netanyahu supports with all his might the “plan” that pours the riches into the pockets of a handful of tycoons connected somehow with Sheldon Adelson, his protector (and, some say, his owner).”[4]

First and foremost, massive amounts of money and, basically, political and military control of the world is at stake. In the process of attaining these goals, various entities (including the U.S., Zionist oligarchs, Saudi monarchs and neo-Ottoman Turks) are employing religious fanaticism—as asymmetric weapons in the struggle—of which ISIS-ISIL-Daesh are the most obvious manifestations.

In fact, it now appears ISIS was largely funded by illicit sales of stolen oil transported by Turkish entities. Which oil was, in turn, mostly sold to Israel at deep discounts from the price it would have otherwise paid for Russian oil, presumably reducing its demand for that product. According to Globes Online, Israel Business News of 30 November 2015:

In August, the “Financial Times” reported that Israel obtained 75% of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan, which the FT describe as a “potential gateway for ISIS-smuggled crude…Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of ISIS oil. Without them, most ISIS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Even the three countries would not receive the oil if they did not have a buyer in Israel,” an industry official told the newspaper “al-Araby al-Jadeed.”[5]

The above was hardly a surprise to me, but I didn’t anticipate in 2014 how the overall situation might be tied in directly to events in the Ukraine. Or that Erdogan would be capable of directly attacking Russia as well as mounting a “soft invasion” of Europe (with the connivance of NATO and EU leaders seeking, in part, alternative energy sources) in pursuit of a neo-Ottoman “caliphate.”

But, clearly, ISIS was and is the vehicle for the policy goals of the various players—some of whom really are indeed trying to form a “new world order.” And, it appears, the biggest beneficiary of this situation may be Israel, which has profited from the crisis all along and has given artillery support to Daesh on the Golan, bombed Damascus, and even cared for Daesh wounded in its hospitals. “King Bibi” can sit on the sidelines, taking virtually no risks, and professing neutrality while things fall into place as planned. (My guess is that Erdogan sees the “handwriting on the wall” and is already taking some of his marching orders from Tel Aviv and not from Washington.)

PORTENTS OF A “SEA CHANGE”

A sudden uptick in the pace of the Iraq-Syria-Kurdistan situation, not surprisingly, coincides with the elimination, by Russia, of the ISIS portion of Israel’s oil supply. The U.S. reaction to the destruction of this ISIS “pipeline on wheels,” predictably, relates to the likelihood that it is treaty bound to see that Israel continues to receive the previous amount of oil at the below-market ISIS price or replace it out of its own stocks. (And not simply because McCain and Neocon elements in the U.S. Government probably helped create ISIS.)

According to a Sept. 1st, 1975 MoU (memorandum of understanding) between the U.S. and Israel during the Sadat-Begin Camp David peace process (kept secret but later leaked to the New York Times and other media):

(b) If the oil Israel needs to meet all of its normal requirements for domestic consumption is unavailable for purchase in circumstances where quantitative restrictions through embargo or otherwise also prevent the United States from procuring oil to meet its normal requirements, the United States Government will promptly make oil available for purchase by Israel in accordance with the International Energy Agency conservation and allocation formula as applied by the United States Government, in order to meet Israel’s essential requirements. If Israel is unable to secure the necessary means to transport such oil to Israel, the United States Government will make every effort to help Israel secure the necessary means of transport[6]

As I anticipated the above situation in my 2014 article, I assumed there would be an attempt to rush the creation of Kurdistan and reopen the Mosul-Haifa pipeline. Another reason for this assumption: Netanyahu’s 2003 post-Iraq-invasion comment that soon “…you will see Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa. It is just a matter of time until the pipeline is reconstituted, and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean.”

(In actual fact, that pipeline must be wholly rebuilt but it reportedly can be done easily at a cost of $400,000 per kilometer. An Israeli feasibility study was done in 2004, reportedly at the request of the U.S. Pentagon.)

Another “tell” of a coming change with regard to partition of Iraq and Syria can be found in growing pro-Kurdistan screeds from various U.S. and Israeli mainstream media and the Neocon-centered NGOs.

We suddenly learn that the majority of Jews around the world are closely related to the Kurdish people — more closely than they are to the Semitic-speaking Arabs or any other population that was tested.[7]

Or, we are on the receiving end of this 2014 “gem” from Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin, Colonel in the USAF Reserve and Military Attaché to Israel:

“Most Kurds are Sunni Muslim and one can hear the five-times-a-day Muslim call to prayer, but it is muted and ignored by most…Zako, once the center of Kurdistan’s Jewish population, still invites back descendants of those who long ago left for Zion…

For all of the above reasons, Kurdistan reminds one of Israel. Like Israel, Kurdistan is not dominated by the Arab, nor by Islam. Like Israel, Kurdistan is more democratic than any of its neighbors. Like Israel, Kurdistan is surrounded by enemies that wish it did not exist. Like Israel, Kurdistan looks West. And like Israel, Kurdistan has maintained an internal equilibrium though all the world betrays it.”[8]

Other mainstream media take a more direct approach (in case the audience missed the point of the above “soft sell”):

Kerry discussed the Iraqi crisis with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Paris on Thursday.

Iraq is breaking up before our eyes and it would appear that the creation of an independent Kurdish state is a foregone conclusion,” Lieberman’s spokesman quoted him as telling Kerry.

A day earlier, Israeli President Shimon Peres had a similar message for U.S. President Barack Obama…Peres said he had told Obama he did not see unifying Iraq as possible without “massive” foreign military intervention and that this underscored Kurdish separation from the Shi’ite Muslim majority and Sunni Arab minority…

He added that neighbouring Turkey appeared to accept the Kurds’ status as it was helping them pump out oil for sale…

Israel last Friday took its first delivery of the disputed crude from Iraqi Kurdistan’s new pipeline. The United States disapproves of such go-it-alone Kurdish exports.[9]

And, then we are told by the Israeli press that, like an only child who desperately wants a little brother or sister, Israel desperately wants and needs Kurdistan:

Kurds are deeply sympathetic to Israel and an independent Kurdistan will be beneficial to Israel,” argued Kurdish journalist Ayub Nuri in July. “It will create a balance of power. Right now, Israel is one country against many. But with an independent Kurdish state, first of all Israel will have a genuine friend in the region for the first time, and second, Kurdistan will be like a buffer zone in the face of the Turkey, Iran and Iraq…With few friends in the region, the Kurds will likely look to Israel to help them gain security and closer relations with the United States. As Arab governments in the Middle East totter and fall, and Islamists look to exploit the chaos, the alliance is one that both countries may find beneficial to pursue.”[10]

What readers are not being told is that the recent Israeli energy squabble involving natural gas[11] may be just the tip of a looming energy “iceberg.” The submerged part of the energy “berg” may be the confiscation of the Syrian Golan, with its historically large oil discovery, Syrian and Gazan offshore gas fields, and the focus of this article, the creation of “Kurdistan” out of the oil- and gas-rich portions of the wreckage of Iraq and Syria. Ancillary to this would be the aforementioned reopening of the Mosul-Haifa pipeline closed in 1948 due to Arab sabotage. Because of this demonstrated vulnerability (despite the best efforts of British Col. Wingate and the Irgun) a reopening would require the cooperation of any future ISIS/ISIL “Sunnistan,” a future Kurdistan and a large military presence in Iraq by Turkey, the U.S., Gulf States and NATO in the vicinity of the pipeline, the first steps of which have been taken.

Also not considered is the fact that Russia has long been one of Israel’s oil suppliers but that need has been cut back by the large quantities of oil (illegally) sold to Israel by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and ISIS oil transited through Turkey—at fire-sale prices. That’s got to make Ivan do some thinking.

Then there’s the little-considered possibility that Erdogan sees his oil revenues evaporating if the Mosul line is built and Jordan gets all the oil-transit revenues, in which case his recent invasion may be an attempt to deal himself in by invading and threatening the plan. Such a pipeline would permanently eliminate the need for the “pipeline on wheels” to the Israelis—but it might be adapted to allow continued ISIS oil sales as a sort of kickback. It’s my belief that, if this is the case, Turkey’s role will quickly change to that of a defender.

Apparently mulling over the above complexities, Russia belatedly criticized on December 8th the latest move by Turkey as “a very serious factor of tensions.” Did Russia also consider another aspect of this potential development; namely, destabilization of Iran and Lebanon via massive numbers of Iraqi Shia refugees following a partition of Iraq and its subsequent disintegration? How would Iraq survive on 10% of its oil revenues? And Iran is Russia’s Caspian neighbor.

Iraq itself is becoming increasingly restive about the prospect of its imminent breakup at the hands of Turkey and its NATO cohorts (for the benefit of Israel)–and even some Sunnis must have second thoughts about allowing the neo-Ottoman Erdogan to serve as de facto sultan over a restored Kurdistan and a Sunnistan. In this regard, the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee is re-assessing their nation’s security agreement with the United States, and again asked Turkish forces to depart. According to one of the Committee members “The [Iraqi] government and the parliament need to review its security agreement with the US, because Washington is not serious about its implementation. We will demand its cancellation.”[12]

ERDOGAN: METHOD TO HIS MADNESS?

I’ve long maintained that partition of Iraq (as an economic and political benefit to Israel) was the major reason for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.[13] Many were skeptical of my view as they imagined NATO member Turkey would be immovably opposed to such an outcome as would Iran.

Turkey, after this time, deceptively dumped its toolbox of tricks down the proverbial steps– apparently secretly agreeing with Israel to accept a Kurdistan while attacking the PKK and giving ISIS logistical and other covert support (fighters and weapons seemingly passed largely unhindered across its borders) and spouting anti-ISIS rhetoric while, simultaneously, Turkish nationals were buying ISIS stolen oil. (The massive oil trade with ISIS can now be borne out by chemical oil-test data and information released by the Russian Federation.)

Confusing as it seems, Erdogan (like his Israeli partner Netanyahu) is not crazy and is pursuing asymmetric warfare with vigor, I believe. He and his family likely were profiting from ISIS oil trading while he was (in deference to his Israeli partners) allowing the Kurdish Peshmerga (PKK) to cross the border into Syria in 2014 to fight ISIS in Kobani while the U.S. simultaneously attacked its own partial creation, ISIS, and dropped large quantities of arms to the Kurds.[14]

What then accounts for the ambush of Russia’s plane over Syria and Erdogan’s subsequent bellicose behavior? As Erdogan plans to be a major player with the EU, NATO and Israel, it could be a way to wean the Turkish business sector away from its previously increasing trade with Russia—which supplies an estimated 40% of Turkish gas needs.  (By increasing business sanctions, Russia may well be playing Erdogan’s game. In any case, Russia’s energy leverage over both Turkey (and Ukraine) will be greatly diminished should Iraq be partitioned and Kurdistan commence Turkish gas deliveries in 2017):

Derbas Resul, the minister of reconstruction and development of the Kurdish Regional Government, announced a 50-year oil-and-gas agreement has been reached with Turkey…Iraq can supply Turkey with 20-30 billion cubic meters of natural gas, experts say. Iraqi gas is expected to be 50% cheaper than the Iranian gas…As for the Israeli natural gas…(construction of) a natural gas pipeline from Israel to Turkey…may start in the second half of 2015. It is believed that a 25-year gas agreement between Turkey and Israel will improve the relations between two countries.”

Ata Altun of the Eastern Mediterranean University said:”Israel has understood that it will be more economic to ship the natural gas it discovered in the eastern Mediterranean via pipelines over Turkey.” Altun said Israel wants to sell 6 billion cubic meters of the 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas it plans to produce from its Leviathan field to Palestine and Jordan, and the remaining 9 billion cubic meters to Turkey and Europe.

Recently there were reports of a major Turkish company negotiating in Tel Aviv to carry the Israeli gas to Turkey. (See: http://www.ntv.com.tr/dunya/israilin-dogalgazi-turkiyeye-geliyor,8948H3im3kew81yiSxB52w.)

In sum, Turkey’s bridge status in natural gas should firm up in the coming three to four years, when Iraqi and Azerbaijani natural gas will be flowing to Europe via Turkey.[15]

Turkey is currently heavily dependent on Russian natural gas transited through Ukraine. But perhaps not for long. Russian gas to Ukraine is certain to be cut off in the event Ukraine attacks Novorussia—a possibility as Ukraine is being primed to renege on its sovereign debt to Russia and is moving heavy arms back to the engagement lines. The apparent suspension of the “Turkstream” gas pipeline talks by Russia[16] may have been just the excuse Erdogan was seeking to break ties with Russia, in fact.

While Ankara is awaiting the large flow of Kurdistan natural gas and new Ukrainian and EU markets for that and Israeli gas (hence Merkel’s restart of Turkish EU membership) the Baghdad central government, with the help of Russia, could militarily put a stop to these probably-illegal sales by the KRG. From Erdogan’s standpoint, this is unacceptable in light of Turkish-Israeli plans—so his current military stance in Iraq is also “not nice” but is by no means crazy.

In addition to his energy ambitions, Erdogan is seemingly motivated by neo-Ottoman desires to restore the pre-Sykes-Picot Ottoman Sultanate and “multiplexing” a new world order through the vehicle of ISIS, a use my original article anticipated. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has echoed Erdogan’s call for Turkish regional hegemony and a “new order,” seeing a Turkish caliphate being a “litmus test for globalization”:

“When people can pass from a free Palestine through Istanbul to London. That’s our vision. Not building walls around Turkey, but opening up to share with our neighbors. In Cairo we are the Middle East, in Europe we are Europeans. We must shape history with all the nations around us”[17]

Davutoglu’s vision, in fact, begins with the very human wave invasion sweeping Europe and originating in Turkey. This “soft invasion” through its “multiculturalism” is intended to transform the EU. His view is an expansion of the argument of Turkish thinker Abdurrahman Dilipak that Turkey was the legitimate heir of the Ottoman Caliphate.[18]

Could Erdogan be hoping that Russian setbacks in Ukraine and Crimea, a disastrous outcome in the Mid East, and continuing isolation economically will leave a weakened Russia with Putin deposed? Available “plums” could then fall into Turkey’s lap: these could well include Crimea and areas with Turkic peoples in what is today the Russian Federation. But he needs to buy some time if this is his intention.

With this possibility in mind, it’s worth remembering that Turkey could soon reverse roles and replace Russia as Ukraine’s (and Europe’s) natural gas supplier. Advanced offensive weapons have reportedly been supplied to Ukraine by Turkey. And Erdogan and the Turkish leaders apparently “looked the other way” (as with ISIS) while Turkey’s illegal “Grey Wolves”–Bozkurtkar Turk ulkuculeri—left to participate with Ukrainian nationalists in the blockade of Crimea. (The “Wolves”: are supposed enemies of Erdogan and the ruling party, but in 2014 he made conciliatory gestures toward a related political group.) One Russian source comments:

“It is known that our pilot, catapulted from the downed su-24, was shot by the son of the leader of the “Party of the nationalist revival” and the Commander “the Grey wolves”, Alparslan çelik. As was stated in an interview to Aleksey Zhuravko, now, in the Kherson region, there are about 700 fighters of “Bozkurtkar”. There are documented cases of attacks on local residents. In Kherson region the wolves are going to create some kind of “Tatar Republic”…

Turkey is making great efforts, creating elites in Turkic regions of Russia. Ankara relies on a very powerful system, built by followers of Nursi — the so-called “nurdzhular”…So Turkey has someone to rely on in Russia. The power of Turkish intelligence is comparable to that of Israel. It is headed by a professional soldier and political activist who doesn’t speak about the methods of his work. The name of the head of intelligence is Hakan Fidan, who is close to Erdogan.[19]

As Erdogan has already “crossed the Rubicon” with Russia—Turkey’s pressing economic needs and commitment to the NATO attempt to wall off Russia will not likely be altered by mere soothing words, although many are now trying. I wish them luck. For instance, while Erdogan moved some troops out of the illegal outpost in Iraq he will not state they have returned to Turkey but that they have only moved “North” claiming they were invited into the country in 2014 by Iraq.[20]

Erdogan is clearly keeping options open for additional incursions should things not go the way he likes. As Anthony Shadid, writing in 2011 put it:

“Oil is still king in Iraq, and as much as anything else, underlines Turkey’s interests here. The pipeline from Kirkuk, Iraq, to Ceyhan, Turkey, already carries roughly 25 percent of Iraq’s oil exports…

The Turks have (also) signed on to the ambitious $11 billion Nabucco gas pipeline project, which may bypass Russia and bring Iraqi gas to Europe.”[21]

U.S. CONGRESS FOLLOWS ISRAELI LEAD

The recent change in the U.S. stance towards Kurdistan—especially as the U.S. Congress is concerned—is made evident by remembering the October 2007 U.S. reaction to Erdogan’s threats to invade Iraq:

“Turkey is moving fire power and troops closer to Iraq as a border war threatens to become an invasion the United States desperately does not want to happen…
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, on Sunday to press the U.S. case for restraint from Turkey and Iraqi action against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

“We do not believe unilateral cross-border operations are the best way to address this issue,” he said, describing Rice’s call to Erdogan…”In our view, there are better ways to deal with this issue,” he said, stressing that United States regards the PKK as a terrorist organization.”[22]

An almost sure way to determine the actual position of Israel in any matter involving the Mid East is to study the sentiment of the U.S. Congress, most of whose members hold their seats by sufferance of wealthy Zionist supporters. And Congress did not disappoint! It will deal with these PKK former “terrorists” as it has dealt with ISIS. On Dec. 9th, 2015 the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bipartisan bill by unanimous voice vote authorizing the U.S. to directly arm and train the Kurdish Peshmerga (PKK) in both Syria and Iraq and to treat them as a separate country with passage of the $600-billion Defense Authorization Bill. (The U.S. Senate, had already voted 54:45 in June to arm the Kurds directly as a “separate country.”) President Obama’s office has issued a claim that he will veto the legislation, arousing the fury of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ.)

To add insult to injury to President Obama’s foreign policy of maintaining Iraq’s integrity, according to AP, Turkey’s Erdogan is vague about withdrawing troops from Camp Bashiqua and has left at least a skeleton force behind that can quickly be reinforced by two armored brigades just across the Turkish border. Further, as of this writing, the U.S. has scheduled a trilateral meeting, gathering officials from Turkey, the United States and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq on Dec. 21st—without the Iraqi central government in attendance.[23]

#####

[Endnotes Follow]

  • Uri Avnery in privately circulated piece “King Bibi,” 12 December 2015
  • Dan Williams, “Israel tells U.S. Kurdish independence is ‘foregone conclusion’,” Reuters, 26 January 2014, link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-crisis-israel-kurds-idUSKBN0F11I520140626#KobzryUWBTuwTVOB.97
  • Op cit. Uri Avnery in privately circulated piece “King Bibi,” 12 December 2015
  • Tom Mysiewicz, “Mission Accomplished,” Bush’s claims that the “mission” had been accomplished in Iraq may be true, the author asserts. But that mission may, in fact, have been the future partition of that hapless country. MediaMonitors, 9 May 2004, link: http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/6646
  • Eric Walberg, “Islamic Resistance to Imperialism””, Clarity Press, Atlanta, GA, 2015, p. 261.
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world