Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Haifa-Kirkuk Pipeline

Why is Israel so interested in building an oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Haifa? The whole idea sounds preposterous, given the likely reaction from the whole Arab world. The not unreasonable perception would be that the attack on Iraq was just to let Israelis steal Iraqi oil. But the idea just won't go away (see here, and note the last paragraph). As I have already written, it appears likely that Chalabi's fall from grace is because he reneged on his agreement with the neocons to give favorable treatment to Israel in its raping of the resources of Iraq. Chalabi reneged on his agreement presumably because the people of Iraq simply wouldn't stand for the idea of a pipeline to Israel. An oil pipeline would be an obvious target of fundamentalist terrorists, both while it was being built and during the entire time it was operational. It is difficult to see how it could ever be economically viable, given the costs of protecting it and the inevitable sabotage attacks. What could Israel be thinking?

And then it struck me. Israel dosn't want either the pipeline or the oil it would carry. Israel wants to build a pipeline that it knows will be attacked as it is being built. The attacks will thus require the presence of Israeli troops to protect the contractors building the pipeline. The Israeli troops will require a system of roads to move along the pipeline and to communicate with Israel. Small outposts to provide services for the contractors and the troops will have to be built. The outposts themselves will have to be fortified, surrounded by walls, and protected by more troops. Once the pipeline is built, it will require even more protection to prevent sabotage. With each attack, Israel will scream that it is being attacked by 'terrorists'. It will insist on more American military aid, and probably American troops, to help it protect the ever expanding network of pipeline, outposts, and roads. The American Congress will approve this as quickly as it possibly can. The zone around the pipeline will have to be expanded to protect it from 'terrorism', and fortifications will have to be created to protect the zone. Anyone who complains about this will be branded a sympathizer of those who threaten Israel's deepest security interests and thus its very existence. Anyone who even whispers a concern about the pipeline and its zone will be branded an anti-Semite.

Suddenly, there is an armored corridor protected by Israeli and American troops, and inhabited by Israeli 'settlers', stretching from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates. This is the backbone of Greater Israel. All that will be needed to finish the dream is to continue to widen the zone. The genius of the plan is how it follows the Israeli strategy in the Occupied Territories. Theft of the land of the Palestinians and brutality against them creates a reaction which is labeled 'terrorism'. Camps of Israelis are introduced onto Palestinian lands in order to promote Israeli 'security'. The settlers provoke more of a reaction, so Israeli troops are required to protect the settlers. The troops require a system of roads, and more settlers are introduced to increase 'security'. This system of violence and lies has worked so well on the West Bank that the 'facts on the ground' - settlements, outposts of troops, and roads - mean that it will be impossible to separate the land of the West Bank to create any kind of viable Palestinian state (the joke, of course, will be on the Zionists, when the world eventually insists on the majority Palestinian population having a vote). The attempt at creating Greater Israel based on the pipeline will be based on exactly the same strategy of troops, settlers, roads, and American aid, spiced with allegations of 'terrorism' threatening Israel's very existence. They won't get away with it, but how much harm will they do as they try?