The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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The unexpected alliance between Turkey and Libya is a geopolitical earthquake that changes the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and across the Middle East. Turkey's audacious move has enraged its rivals in the region and cleared the way for a dramatic escalation in the 9 year-long Libyan civil war. It has also forced... Read More
How Gazan Natural Gas Became the Epicenter of An International Power Struggle
Guess what? Almost all the current wars, uprisings, and other conflicts in the Middle East are connected by a single thread, which is also a threat: these conflicts are part of an increasingly frenzied competition to find, extract, and market fossil fuels whose future consumption is guaranteed to lead to a set of cataclysmic environmental... Read More
So the EU “defeated” Putin by forcing him to cancel the South Stream pipeline. Thus ruled Western corporate media. Nonsense. Facts on the ground spell otherwise. This “Pipelineistan” gambit will continue to send massive geopolitical shockwaves all across Eurasia for quite some time. In a nutshell, a few years ago Russia devised Nord Stream –... Read More
Bets are off on which is the great story of 2011. Is it the Arab Spring(s)? Is it the Arab counter-revolution, unleashed by the House of Saud? Is it the "birth pangs" of the Greater Middle East remixed as serial regime changes? Is it R2P ("responsibility to protect") legitimizing "humanitarian" bombing? Is it the freeze... Read More
Once again this week the Arab Gas Pipeline had to be shut down - with no gas flowing to Israel and Jordan. An "unknown armed gang" bombed the al-Sabil gas terminal near the coastal city of el-Arish, less than 350 kilometers northeast of Cairo in the Sinai Peninsula. On March 27, an "unknown armed gang"... Read More
I have an article up at Asia Times on Iran’s natural gas diplomacy entitled Iran aims for an energy breakout. Iran is having good success in enticing Chinese and Indian energy companies to take blocks (known as “phases”) of the offshore South Pars gas fields. Just as Secretary Clinton was jawboning the Saudis to give... Read More
BRUSSELS - Oil and natural gas prices may be relatively low right now, but don't be fooled. The new great game of the 21st century is always over energy and it's taking place on an immense chessboard called Eurasia. Its squares are defined by the networks of pipelines being laid across the oil heartlands of... Read More
Iran and the Pipelineistan Opera
Back before email, a world traveler who wanted to keep in touch and couldn't just pop into the nearest Internet café, might drop you a series of postcards from one exotic locale after another. Pepe Escobar, that edgy, peripatetic globe-trotting reporter for one of my favorite on-line publications, Asia Times, has been doing just that... Read More
Pipelineistan in Conflict
Back in March, Pepe Escobar, that itchy, edgy global reporter for one of my favorite on-line publications, Asia Times, began laying out the great, ongoing energy struggle across Eurasia, or what he likes to call Pipelinestan for its web of oil and natural gas pipelines. In his first report, he dealt with the embattled energy... Read More
There's a Central Asian energy revolution going on. In the key arena of gas geopolitics, it's no secret Russia favors the creation of a gas "OPEC" - to the despair of the George W Bush administration. But Alexei Miler, the powerful head of Russia's Gazprom, was in for a rude shock this Tuesday when the... Read More
While Washington, facing European Union discomfort and frank opposition from Russia and China, remains obsessed with another round of United Nations sanctions against Iran, the facts on the ground spell an overwhelming "expansion of mutual cooperation" in the energy sector between Iran and Russia. Iran holds the world's second-largest proven natural gas reserves, behind only... Read More
DOHA and DAMASCUS - Four years after the fall of Baghdad - which for the neo-cons would signal the advent of the US as "the new OPEC" - a meeting in the tiny Gulf emirate of Qatar may be signaling the birth of a new cartel: a "gas OPEC", grouping countries controlling 73% of the... Read More
SAO PAULO - Move over the "axis of evil". The time is ripe for the "axis of gas". Meet the Gran Gasoduto del Sur (the Great Gas Pipeline of the South) - the South American entry into Pipelineistan, soon to join networks from Siberia to both Europe and Asia as well as the American-inspired Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan... Read More
TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki may have captured all the headlines when he announced that Iran would not use the oil weapon in the event it was slapped with sanctions by the UN Security Council. But in the world of Pipelineistan, the nuclear row waged by the US, the EU-3 (Britain, France and... Read More