Archive for the ‘Eu energy’ Category

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US games with China pipelines

August 18, 2009


I am appalled at the mentality of Americans and the English when they are asked a question about why their countries are sending troups to Afghanistan. It seems that few have even a vague notion of why this expensive military invasion persists. Even more appalling is the Western media reports that purport to explain what is happening in China’s Xinjiang province. I refer here to the recent regional disturbance between the Uygurs and Han people in Xinjiang.

Western media would have one believe this civil unrest is the result of Chinese communist dictators squelching the rights of outlying indigenous peoples. Of course, one expects nothing less of Western media journalism which supports the farcical notion of democracy of the West spread to the lucky countries of Asia and the Mideast.

Yet the real story of the conflicts in this outlying area of China may be quite different than the mainstream media insinuates. As with many other sensationalist propaganda from the West, the essential detail of energy pipeline politics is omitted from the front page analysis.

Below, F. William Engdahl, one of my favorite economists, has a more rational explanation for the civil unrest in Xinjiang recently…one that details the energy pipeline concerns of the U.S. in constraining the unstoppable Sino/Soviet alliance of providing energy to Europe and Asia. Indeed, all conflicts now about ‘democracy’ can be re-interpreted as ‘oiligarchic’ concerns.

Is Washington Playing a Deeper Game with China?


by F. William Engdahl
author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order
July 13, 2009
Source

July 12 —After the tragic events of July 5 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, it would be useful to look more closely into the actual role of the US Government’s ”independent“ NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). All indications are that the US Government, once more acting through its “private” Non-Governmental Organization, the NED, is massively intervening into the internal politics of China.

The reasons for Washington’s intervention into Xinjiang affairs seems to have little to do with concerns over alleged human rights abuses by Beijing authorities against Uyghur people. It seems rather to have very much to do with the strategic geopolitical location of Xinjiang on the Eurasian landmass and its strategic importance for China’s future economic and energy cooperation with Russia, Kazakhastan and other Central Asia states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The major organization internationally calling for protests in front of Chinese embassies around the world is the Washington, D.C.-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

The WUC manages to finance a staff, a very fancy website in English, and has a very close relation to the US Congress-funded NED. According to published reports by the NED itself, the World Uyghur Congress receives $215,000.00 annually from the National Endowment for Democracy for “human rights research and advocacy projects.” The president of the WUC is an exile Uyghur who describes herself as a “laundress turned millionaire,” Rebiya Kadeer, who also serves as president of the Washington D.C.-based Uyghur American Association, another Uyghur human rights organization which receives significant funding from the US Government via the National Endowment for Democracy.

The NED was intimately involved in financial support to various organizations behind the Lhasa ”Crimson Revolution“ in March 2008, as well as the Saffron Revolution in Burma/Myanmar and virtually every regime change destabilization in eastern Europe over the past years from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine to Kyrgystan to Teheran in the aftermath of the recent elections.

Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in a published interview in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The NED is supposedly a private, non-government, non-profit foundation, but it receives a yearly appropriation for its international work from the US Congress. The NED money is channelled through four “core foundations”. These are the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, linked to Obama’s Democratic Party; the International Republican Institute tied to the Republican Party; the American Center for International Labor Solidarity linked to the AFL-CIO US labor federation as well as the US State Department; and the Center for International Private Enterprise linked to the US Chamber of Commerce.

The salient question is what has the NED been actively doing that might have encouraged the unrest in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and what is the Obama Administration policy in terms of supporting or denouncing such NED-financed intervention into sovereign politics of states which Washington deems a target for pressure? The answers must be found soon, but one major step to help clarify Washington policy under the new Obama Administration would be for a full disclosure by the NED, the US State Department and NGO’s linked to the US Government, of their involvement, if at all, in encouraging Uyghur separatism or unrest. Is it mere coincidence that the Uyghur riots take place only days following the historic meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

Uyghur exile organizations, China and Geopolitics

On May 18 this year, the US-government’s in-house “private” NGO, the NED, according to the official WUC website, hosted a seminal human rights conference entitled East Turkestan: 60 Years under Communist Chinese Rule, along with a curious NGO with the name, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO).

The Honorary President and founder of the UNPO is one Erkin Alptekin, an exile Uyghur who founded UNPO while working for the US Information Agency’s official propaganda organization, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as Director of their Uygur Division and Assistant Director of the Nationalities Services.

Alptekin also founded the World Uyghur Congress at the same time, in 1991, while he was with the US Information Agency. The official mission of the USIA when Alptekin founded the World Uyghur Congress in 1991 was “to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics in promotion of the [USA] national interest…” Alptekin was the first president of WUC, and, according to the official WUC website, is a “close friend of the Dalai Lama.”

Closer examination reveals that UNPO in turn to be an American geopolitical strategist’s dream organization. It was formed, as noted, in 1991 as the Soviet Union was collapsing and most of the land area of Eurasia was in political and economic chaos. Since 2002 its Director General has been Archduke Karl von Habsburg of Austria who lists his (unrecognized by Austria or Hungary) title as “Prince Imperial of Austria and Royal Prince of Hungary.”

Among the UNPO principles is the right to ‘self-determination’ for the 57 diverse population groups who, by some opaque process not made public, have been admitted as official UNPO members with their own distinct flags, with a total population of some 150 million peoples and headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands.

UNPO members range from Kosovo which “joined” when it was fully part of then Yugoslavia in 1991. It includes the “Aboriginals of Australia” who were listed as founding members along with Kosovo. It includes the Buffalo River Dene Nation indians of northern Canada.

The select UNPO members also include Tibet which is listed as a founding member. It also includes other explosive geopolitical areas as the Crimean Tartars, the Greek Minority in Romania, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (in Russia), the Democratic Movement of Burma, and the gulf enclave adjacent to Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and which just happens to hold rights to some of the world’s largest offshore oil fields leased to Condi Rice’s old firm, Chevron Oil. Further geopolitical hotspots which have been granted elite recognition by the UNPO membership include the large section of northern Iran which designates itself as Southern Azerbaijan, as well as something that calls itself Iranian Kurdistan.

In April 2008 according to the website of the UNPO, the US Congress’ NED sponsored a “leadership training” seminar for the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) together with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. Over 50 Uyghurs from around the world together with prominent academics, government representatives and members of the civil society gathered in Berlin Germany to discuss “Self-Determination under International Law.” What they discussed privately is not known. Rebiya Kadeer gave the keynote address.

The suspicious timing of the Xinjiang riots

The current outbreak of riots and unrest in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang in the northwest part of China, exploded on July 5 local time.

According to the website of the World Uyghur Congress, the “trigger” for the riots was an alleged violent attack on June 26 in China’s southern Guangdong Province at a toy factory where the WUC alleges that Han Chinese workers attacked and beat to death two Uyghur workers for allegedly raping or sexually molesting two Han Chinese women workers in the factory. On July 1, the Munich arm of the WUC issued a worldwide call for protest demonstrations against Chinese embassies and consulates for the alleged Guangdong attack, despite the fact they admitted the details of the incident were unsubstantiated and filled with allegations and dubious reports.

According to a press release they issued, it was that June 26 alleged attack that gave the WUC the grounds to issue their worldwide call to action.

On July 5, a Sunday in Xinjiang but still the USA Independence Day, July 4, in Washington, the WUC in Washington claimed that Han Chinese armed soldiers seized any Uyghur they found on the streets and according to official Chinese news reports, widespread riots and burning of cars along the streets of Urumqi broke out resulting over the following three days in over 140 deaths.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said that protesters from the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority group began attacking ethnic Han pedestrians, burning vehicles and attacking buses with batons and rocks. “They took to the street…carrying knives, wooden batons, bricks and stones,” they cited an eyewitness as saying. The French AFP news agency quoted Alim Seytoff, general secretary of the Uighur American Association in Washington, that according to his information, police had begun shooting “indiscriminately” at protesting crowds.

Two different versions of the same events: The Chinese government and pictures of the riots indicate it was Uyghur riot and attacks on Han Chinese residents that resulted in deaths and destruction. French official reports put the blame on Chinese police “shooting indiscriminately.” Significantly, the French AFP report relies on the NED-funded Uyghur American Association of Rebiya Kadeer for its information. The reader should judge if the AFP account might be motivated by a US geopolitical agenda, a deeper game from the Obama Administration towards China’s economic future.

Is it merely coincidence that the riots in Xinjiang by Uyghur organizations broke out only days after the meeting took place in Yakaterinburg, Russia of the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as Iran as official observer guest, represented by President Ahmadinejad?

Over the past few years, in the face of what is seen as an increasingly hostile and incalculable United States foreign policy, the major nations of Eurasia—China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan have increasingly sought ways of direct and more effective cooperation in economic as well as security areas. In addition, formal Observer status within SCO has been given to Iran, Pakistan, India and Mongolia. The SCO defense ministers are in regular and growing consultation on mutual defense needs, as NATO and the US military command continue provocatively to expand across the region wherever it can.

The Strategic Importance of Xinjiang for Eurasian Energy Infrastructure

There is another reason for the nations of the SCO, a vital national security element, to having peace and stability in China’s Xinjiang region. Some of China’s most important oil and gas pipeline routes pass directly through Xinjiang province. Energy relations between Kazkhstan and China are of enormous strategic importance for both countries, and allow China to become less dependent on oil supply sources that can be cut off by possible US interdiction should relations deteriorate to such a point.

Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a State visit in April 2009 to Beijing. The talks concerned deepening economic cooperation, above all in the energy area, where Kazkhastan holds huge reserves of oil and likely as well of natural gas. After the talks in Beijing, Chinese media carried articles with such titles as “”Kazakhstani oil to fill in the Great Chinese pipe.”

The Atasu-Alashankou pipeline to be completed in 2009 will provide transportation of transit gas to China via Xinjiang. As well Chinese energy companies are involved in construction of a Zhanazholskiy gas processing plant, Pavlodar electrolyze plant and Moynakskaya hydro electric station in Kazakhstan.

According to the US Government’s Energy Information Administration, Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field is the largest oil field outside the Middle East and the fifth largest in the world in terms of reserves, located off the northern shore of the Caspian Sea, near the city of Atyrau. China has built a 613-mile-long pipeline from Atasu, in northwestern Kazakhstan, to Alashankou at the border of China’s Xinjiang region which is exporting Caspian oil to China. PetroChina’s ChinaOil is the exclusive buyer of the crude oil on the Chinese side. The pipeline is a joint venture of CNPC and Kaztransoil of Kazkhstan. Some 85,000 bbl/d of Kazakh crude oil flowed through the pipeline during 2007. China’s CNPC is also involved in other major energy projects with Kazkhstan. They all traverse China’s Xinjiang region.

In 2007 CNPC signed an agreement to invest more than $2 billion to construct a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China. That pipeline would start at Gedaim on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and extend 1,100 miles through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Khorgos in China’s Xinjiang region. Turkmenistan and China have signed a 30-year supply agreement for the gas that would fill the pipeline. CNPC has set up two entities to oversee the Turkmen upstream project and the development of a second pipeline that will cross China from the Xinjiang region to southeast China at a cost of some $7 billion.

As well, Russia and China are discussing major natural gas pipelines from eastern Siberia through Xinjiang into China. Eastern Siberia contains around 135 Trillion cubic feet of proven plus probable natural gas reserves. The Kovykta natural gas field could give China with natural gas in the next decade via a proposed pipeline.

During the current global economic crisis, Kazakhstan received a major credit from China of $10 billion, half of which is for oil and gas sector. The oil pipeline Atasu-Alashankou and the gas pipeline China-Central Asia, are an instrument of strategic ‘linkage’ of central Asian countries to the economy China. That Eurasian cohesion from Russia to China across Central Asian countries is the geopolitical cohesion Washington most fears. While they would never say so, growing instability in Xinjiang would be an ideal way for Washington to weaken that growing cohesion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization nations.

Copyright © 2009 F. William Engdahl

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It’s about Gas! Gaza has it – Israel wants it.

January 14, 2009

Anyone who thinks that Israel’s invading Gaza has to do with ‘terrorism’ or ‘defending Israel’, or for that matter the history of the conflict, are missing the elephant in the room: Gas. Gaza has it; Israel wants it. In fact, Israel has already made deals with British Gas (BG)
(the innovative distributor) to pump the Gazan gas to the BTC pipeline where it can be sold to the West.

How many people still think the Georgia-Russia conflict was NOT about an oil corridor – the BTC pipeline? It is all about oil corridors….approximately 90% of it…and the other 10% is about the Big Dogs controlling the remaining resources of earth.

While the media whips up public opinion into a circus like feeding frenzy, the energy corporations are pulling the strings. Below is an article from 2007 on the contract between BG and Israel to harvest and transport Gazan natural gas. The following month, BG confirms their strategy to match markets and knows reserves innovatively, to continue soaring profits.

When Hamas came into power, democratically elected, it refused to abide by the previous terms set out by the American Fatah puppets. So the gas deal is up in the air. To catch these ugly details requires some pretty boring reading through volumes of corporate doublespeak and media propaganda. I have presented some notable sources here. But we must all think for ourselves. Noone promised the truth would be easy to find or pleasant when found.

BG Group at centre of $4bn deal
to supply Gaza gas to Israel
The British energy firm is set to agree terms of a $4bn, 15-year deal over gas discovered off the Gaza coast

Source
May 23, 2007
Steve Hawkes and Sonia Verma in Jerusalem
BG Group is poised to agree the terms of an historic $4 billion (£2 billion) deal to supply Palestinian gas to Israel from a discovery off the Gaza coastline, The Times has learnt.

Representatives from the British energy company are scheduled next week to meet a team of negotiators chosen by the Israeli Cabinet to thrash out a 15-year contract. Despite the violence in Gaza, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has insisted that it wants to conclude a deal “as soon as possible”.

It would enable BG Group, the former owner of British Gas, to begin to develop an offshore field that is the Palestine Authority’s only natural resource. The move would mark an unprecedented milestone in Middle East relations. There would be enough gas to provide 10 per cent of Israel’s annual energy requirement, and the Palestinians would receive total royalties of $1 billion. Sources in the Middle East note that the sensitive talks could be derailed at any time by the acute political tension that surrounds the deal.

However, Nigel Shaw, the BG Group vice-president in the region, said: “We are making progress. There are commercial issues to be completed and we also require bilateral agreement between the two governments to get this project across the line. But this is a chance for greater economic prosperity in Palestine and that is only good for peace.”

Go to Source to access the following links:

* Cooking with gas: BG keeps growing

* BG Group to supply Palestinian gas to Israel
* BG Group unveils £1bn share buy back
BG deal provides a basis for peace
Success for BG could signal a new era in the relationship between Palestine and Israel
Related Internet Links
* BG Group company information
* BG Group share price chart
* BG Group forecast

The signing of heads of terms would mark an amazing turnaround, given the political and legal disputes that have dogged the project since BG Group discovered the Gaza Marine field in 2000. It holds one trillion cubic feet of gas, the equivalent of 150 million barrels of oil, equivalent to a large North Sea field.

Six years ago Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, vowed that Israel would never buy gas from its neighbour. The project also was held up by a legal challenge in the Israeli Supreme Court to establish whether the Palestinians had any right to the discovery. Last year BG Group was close to signing a deal to pump the gas to Egypt before Tony Blair intervened and asked the company to give Israel a second chance. Three weeks ago the Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal by Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, to buy gas from the Palestinian Authority. The Cabinet recognised the need for new energy sources to feed Israel’s rapidly growing economy.

Under BG Group’s plans, gas from the field would be transported by an undersea pipeline to the seaport of Ashkelon. Although Israeli insiders are confident of a deal,significant questions remain, not least how payments to the Palestinian Authority will be made. Israeli defence authorities want the Palestinians to be paid in goods and services and insist that no money go to the Hamas-controlled Government.

Comments

i didnt understand why people who commented said israel dictates the terms of the deal. if the gas is palestinian than they can accept or not accept our terms and if they already sold it to a foreign orporation than it is not their gas anymore, isnt it?
anyway what is a billion dollars anyway? the palestinians received billions of dollars from good people around the world and somehow they dont have anything to show for it
even if given money from this deal and not supplies they will probably see nothing of it too.
for example the latest leader of the palestines the late yasser arafat has (more correctly had) a billion dollars in his personal account. lets think for a moment where he got the money from..
although i think some of their claims are fair i do not think they will (or should) receive anything until they dont stop fighting us. by firing at us while they are in their tweinties or thirties they condemn their weaker population the old and the women and the kids for poverty.

ronen, heifa, israel

It is not completely unreasonable for the Israeli defense authorities to not want to give cash to a government controlled by an organization whose aim is the destruction of Israel. A quick history lesson here, the state of Israel was created in the British mandate territory of Palestine by a UN general assembly under the 1947 UN partition plan. I believe that if Palestine is going to be getting only $1bn of the $4bn that the deal is worth, would it not be more beneficial for the Palestinian people to have goods and services e.g. hospitals, schools, roads, houses, food, water and electricity as opposed to the purchase of weapons to fund the continuing struggle which leaves dead on both sides or large Swiss bank accounts for certain government officials. That may be irrational on my part, however I believe that those services would serve the average person better than sitting and starving to death with an AK47 and the idea of killing some “bad” people who just want to live and let live.

S Smith, london,

MN, London; I am really sad that people in the west who are very much anti-muslim and anti-arabs than pro-jewish are doing everything they can to increase the suffering of the Palestinians. I had a discussion in a cafe in Haifa with two British tourists and they were telling me that the British people never forgot Salahuddin victory over Lion’Heart and that the crusade had never ended. They told me that they are very happy to see Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and completely forbidden to the Arabs. I told them that this might make British people happy, but it is going to lead to more hatered between us and the Arabs who are our real neighbours. I am deeply sure that if we are left alone with our muslim cousins, we will find a solution and we will live in peace. That will happen only and only if activist like MN from London stop their anti-arab anti-muslim campaign at the expens of arabs and israeli blood.

Emir Katsaf, Tel Aviv, Israel

The Palestinians should sell the gas to Egypt who will at least not withhold payment on a whim or some made-up excuse. Also, is it ever possible to criticize Israel without being tarred with the anti-semite brush (despite the fact that all Middle Eastern Arabs, Muslims and Christians are Semitic peoples, but a lot of European Jewish immigrants (Ashkenazi) are not, as they converted to the faith). The Palestinian people are not immigrants but indigenous to Palestine!

Rod, Scunthorpe, UK

Emir Katsaf: Firstly it is not me who has raised anti-Semitism, it is you. To be a critic of Israel does not necessarily make one an anti-Semite – though it helps – but to approach every news item – in this case a moderately positive one – relating to Israel and the Palestinians by demagogic criticism of Israel certainly suggests bigotry, ie. the Israeli Arab Muslims I know who, presumably unlike you, are ardent supporters of Israel, were being criticised as much as the Israeli Jews. As for my credentials to speak, rest assured I am more than qualified to comment on such matters, regardless of the location where I write.

MN, London, UK

A J Sheffield should read the history of the region before he comments. The Israelis shout’God’ because they believe He gave it to them 3500 years ago after they ethnically cleansed the place of the indigenous inhabitants, the Amorites et al. The Israelis left the country 2000 years ago.

After Palestine was freed from the Ottoman Empire in about 1918 the indigenous inhabitants, 90% Arabs, were held down under the British mandate until in 1948 the United Nations allowed Israel to be installed on 52% of the land without the consent of the indigenous people, the Palestinians.

If half of Britain was given away without our consent would not A J Sheffield maintain that it was ‘OURS’?

William Garrett, Harrow,

Farhana,

Once again you make this a political divide. This has nothing to do with anybody “stealing”. People ARE starving, as yousay, and at least with goods and services those who most need it would receive something tangible. Who knows where money chanelled through the government would go? Ever thought to consider that maybe the Israeli government thinks this too?
Look around the world- any country that has oil/other supplies and receives money, you only see those in power getting richer while the poorest continue to suffer

LG, Edgware,

There is a danger that the Palestinians would use the proceeds to buy weapons rather than improve the lot of the people in the Gaza Strip who desperately need the services and housing that this money could buy. Up till now Hamas and Fatah have been using their resources to buy weapons to fight each other and the Israelis. It seems to me sensible that the Israelis insist that the funds go directly to improving the lot of the Palestinian people rather than on more weaponry.

Stephen Franklin, London, UK

Mother of divine God! Is this not a good thing? Is it not economic progress which might take these people out of the political and economic morass they find themselves in? The only solution to the problems in that neck of the woods is a Federal Israeli/Arab state one which co-operates on social and economic issues and defines itself as secular and not religious.

ken, dublin , ireland

Farhana,

As you say, people ARE starving and at least good and services mean those who most need it would receive something tangible. Who knows where money chanelled through the government would go?

LG, Edgware,

Frank suggests that Israel is the cause of all problems in the Middle East. He should understand the implications of what he is saying for he is in effect advocating the “Final Solution” for the Jews. The fate of the Jews of Arab Lands alone (when almost one million Jews were ethnically cleansed from Iraq, Egypt, Syria etc. and only survived, unlike their European brothers, because they could flee to Israel), demonstrates that it was the Arabs themselves, and their treatment of their Jewish population throughout the ages (from Medina in the 7th century to Baghdad in the 20th), that made Israel’s existence such a necessity.

MN, London, UK

As a Palestinian I would like to say that if such an agreement is made then all the Palestinian political system will explode, as people are completely unwilling to sacrifice their wealth, life and land in favour of a handfull of political corrupted ministers and members of the regime, at the same time, God has nothing to do with such a natural wealth, it does not matter here the chosen or the neglected people, it is a political issue and an economic one, so let All religions aside and Let My People Live in His Land.

Sami Ahmed, ya’bad, Palestinian Territories

To MN from London. It is really sad to see pro-zionist from all around the world complicating our lives here in Israel. I am a Jewish and I am living in Tel Aviv, and I can see that Palestenians are being raped off on a daily basis. And you are sitting there in London and accusing everybody who criticise my government of hatered and antisimistism. The biggest danger to my country is people like you who are so blinded by an ideology that was created in 1874 and that has absolutely no relevance today.

Emir Katsaf, Tel Aviv, Israel

After all the destruction Is-real(?) has done already, there is more room to please ‘God’?

Religion…

Joe, Oxford,

I am an Israeli, We are not disappointed at all.. its great to help the globe by using natural gas and help the Palestinians at the same time. for sure money is not an option as we know for too many years, palestinians use money for weapon for bombs or for 3-4 leaders (in their privete bank accounts) money never arrive to the people of Gaza by their leaders.

Shirin, Golan, ISRAEL

chances are pipeline will be blown up

howard jones, swansea, uk

Hardly surprising that they don’t want to pay- they stole the land and have got by with stealing everything . I hope that the Isrealis cough up and pay for the gas for a change. Palestinians are starving and in a living hell because Israelis choose to practice apartheid. How handy that “divine decree” told them to take anothers homeland.

Farhana A, London,

Hardly surprising that they don’t want to pay for the gas, they’ve got by on stealing everything . Hope they cough up and not try and offload goods as payment. Palestininans are starving they desperately need funds to survive.

Farhana A, London,

Why is it always the case whenever Israel/Palestine issues come forward, there are always fanatics on both sides showing up shouting ‘GOD!’ and ‘OURS!’? Give it a rest for once…maybe progress would be made.

A.J, Sheffield, United Kingdom

ASM, your god being the malevolent psychopath from the old testament? No wonder the world tears itself apart if THAT is the best we can to worship as an idol!

Heathen_and_Proud, London, UK

I think the Palestinians should sell thier gas to Egypt otherwise Israel will simply keep a hold of the money as it currently does with the tax it collects on behalf of the Palestinian authority. This way at least the Palestian government will always have access to some funds.

Joseph Kellie, Edinburgh, Scotland

Rather than blindly slagging off Israel (Frank, Halifax and Jim, Winnipeg), wouldn’t a more reasonable response be to welcome this possible deal – both Israel and the Palestinians could benefit and more cooperation may even help to bring about peace. It’s a shame when Israel-bashers fail to recognise when something positive happens in the Middle East.

Gaby, Tokyo, Japan

Whatever one might think of the rights and wrongs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it seems amazing that in this contract the buyer (Israel) has the right to dictate when, how or even whether or not to pay the seller (the Palestinians) for their goods.

I think this alone very neatly sums up the inequalities inherent in the conflict.

Jonathan, London, UK

An independent Palestine is essential for peace.

No land belongs to anyone by divine decree. This mindset only prolongs occupation. Keep your Jew and Arab gods out of it and get back to humanity.

Aaron.Goldberg, N.Y.,

It again shows that the Palestine people are being exploited, first it was their land in 1948, then decades of war, suffering and loss of what land they took refuge. Many started new business only to be cut off from their markets such as STRAWBERRIES exports. Their funding cut off by holding back their taxes collected by Isreal, now Israel want their oil and pay only in goods and services. Looks like the Palestine People will be kept under more control. When will the world step in and tell Israel to stop its actions against these poor people. This will not be looked upon by Canadians as fair to the people of Palestine. As a former UNEF who served in Gaza in 1966 I got to know the Palestine People, Lets give them their HUMAN RIGHTS

Joe Bonnevie (lived in Palestine 1966/67), Moncton, Canada

So the Palestiian Authority only get’s $1 billion out of $4 billion. I wish the article would explain how that works.

I am pleased that finally Israel is paying for something too, but it would be interesting to see how Fatah and Hamas deal with their new-found revenue.

ayla, London,

Those who are opposing Israel are just showing their complete ignorance of history – Israel BELONGS to the Jewish nation – it was given to them by GOD – but of course you are all atheists or agnostics who are all going to face your judgement day before that very same – and only ONE – God!!
You have no clue of the fight Israel has on her hands just to retain that small piece of land that is rightfully theirs! But it was given by the One who even created you ignorant fools!
Israel will stand as will those who stand with her. And those who oppose her will face the judgement of God!

ASM, Perth, Western Australia

I’m surprised at this development. As ‘God’s Chosen
People’ surely they are entitled to this gas for free – pretty much like the mannah was free in the desert? No wonder some in Israel wish to
pay for it in goods. I wonder if they are thinking
of a few beads, iron pots and mirrors, or maybe some
coloured cloth.

Tony Volpe, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Jim MacDonald is clearly living in fantasy land. There is no state as Palestine and the Israeli’s have every right to negotiate commercial contracts on behalf of their citizens.

Brian Mahew, Basingstoke,

How come that 4 billion worth of Palestinian gas pays the Palestinians only 1 billion? I image the proportions should be reversed, i.e. $3 bn to Palestinians and $1bn to BG.

Jeff, Jaffa, Israel

Jim MacDonald’s comment seems to epitomise the bigoted racist response of some to anything that has to do with Israel and the Palestinians. Instead of welcoming an area of cooperation, of which there are others that exist and which in truth are probably the best hope for finding a solution, he prefers simply to throw demagogic insults at Israel. A neat demonstration that it is not love for Palestinians that drives people such as MacDonald but just hatred of Israel.

MN, London, UK

Really? And what exactly it would be? Land which belongs to us by divine decree? We wanted nothing from Palestinians – and whatever they have, we gave them. Jobs, electricity, running water, higher education – you name it, they’ve got it from us, almost free of charge. Too bad they’ve chosen to bite our giving hand and squandered most of what they had.

Arik Elman, Jerusalem, Israel

the funny part of it is at the end, the Israelis want to set to terms for the sale of something that is not theirs! How typically Israeli, utterly deluded.

Akram, London,

Now that Israelis are paying for something, they should be made to pay for taking Israel itself so that the entire Middle East problem is solved. Is there any doubt that all the problems connected with Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Palestine, Saudi Arabia are not caused by the creation of Isreal?

Frank, Halifax , UK

I guess Israel must be disappointed, it is so used to getting
whatever it wants from the remnants of Palestine for nothing that actually having to pay for something is an unheard of experience.

Jim MacDonald, Winnipeg, Manitoba

I find it veryyyyyyy interesting that no one is talking about the oil fields under Gaza……why is that? Why the hell do you think the Zionists insist in taking Gaza away from the Palestinians?

No one is talking about the pink elephant in the living room.

Ponce, Grants Pass, Oregon, USA

* Read all 36 comments

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Things I read today – Jan 8, 2009

January 8, 2009

Two main topics today: the ‘cut-off’ of gas to Europe by Russia, and Internet surveillance. The other side of the headline. Or, The blogs we post today may not be allowed tomorrow.

Russia Halts Gas Supplies To European Nations

Russia, Ukraine resume talks on gas dispute
MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz resumed talks early on Thursday to resolve the current crisis around gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine, Gazprom’s spokesman said.

Gazprom CEO arrives in Brussels for talks with EU officials
There is the other side of the story (as you might suspect). Ukraine won’t pay Russia so Russia cuts off supplies. Because pipeline to Europe is through the Ukraine, Ukraine decides to steal from the pipeline. Russia cuts off pipeline to the Ukraine. A little bit different than mainstream interpretations, eh?

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More Evidence of Pentagon War Against the Internet
Further evidence has emerged revealing how the Pentagon is in the business of responding to blog posts critical of the U.S. government. Noah Shachtman, writing for Wired, posts an Air Force flowchart used for “counter-blogging” purposes. (See source for chart close-up)


Barack Obama’s ‘Black Widow’ : The Super Spy Computer
‘The NSA’s colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the ‘Black Widow,’ scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. . . . The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages.’

Vets Sue MK-ULTRA CIA Over Mind Control Tests
For two decades or more, the CIA and the military allegedly plied the unwitting with acid, weed, and dozens of psychoactive drugs, in a series of zany (and sometimes dangerous) mind-control experiments. Now, the Vietnam Veterans of America are suing the agency and the Pentagon for perceived abuses suffered under the so-called “MK-ULTRA” and other projects.