Natural Gas: What the War in Syria is Really About

The US President is currently undertaking a massive sales pitch for war. We heard on the radio this morning that President Obama was set to front about six different media outlets today to make his case for war with Syria.

He'll be out perpetuating the lie that it's all about chemical weapons and defending the national interest and blah blah blah.

The more plausible story is that it's about natural gas. A Middle East conflict is always about energy...or religion. But this upcoming war over Syria is about energy. We don't pretend to know what it's all about, but we do think you'll find all this a little more convincing that the West's 'do-gooding' rhetoric about chemical weapons and humanitarianism.

The West (and Saudi Arabia) clearly wants regime change in Syria...probably because Syrian President Assad counts Russia and Iran amongst his mates.

But it's more than that. As far as we can tell, it's about the politics of natural gas. And it starts in the largest natural gas reservoir in the world - the South Pars/North Dome field in the Persian Gulf, a resource shared by Qatar and Iran.

Now, Qatar and Iran are hardly allies. Qatar is Sunni and Iran is Shiite. Qatar hosts the US and British military presence in the region.

A few years ago there was talk of a new gas pipeline running through Iran and Iraq to Damascus...and then possibly onto Europe via LNG ports off the Syrian coast. Coincidentally enough, this was around the time when the Syrian civil war started.

Qatar, for one, didn't like the sound of this. It was more interested in sending its share of the South Pars field into Europe via a gas pipeline through Syria and into Turkey, where it could link up with the major Eastern European gas pipelines. It's no surprise then to see that Qatar is a major supplier of funds to rebel groups in Syria, reportedly funnelling in US$3 billion to support the overthrow of Assad since the conflict began.

But this doesn't explain why Saudi Arabia wants Assad out too. The Saudis are not on friendly terms with the Qataris. They rejected a Qatari plan to put a gas pipeline through their territory and they bankrolled the Egyptian's military's recent overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Qatar supported.

But we know Russia wouldn't like the prospect of a gas pipeline linking with Europe, as it supplies over one-third of Europe's gas needs and draws a great deal of strategic influence via its energy supply dominance. The prospect of suddenly having Persian Gulf gas competing with Russian gas is not appealing for them.

Hence Russian President Putin's lack of support for a US attack. Interestingly, China seems to be on Russia's side.

So where does all this leave the US? Why is it so eager to attack Syria and bring down Assad's regime, opening up the possibility of a power vacuum and destabilising violence in the region?

We can only guess. Once elected, politicians deem certain things too delicate to tell their electors. And the real reason behind war is certainly too delicate to tell the people about.

So we guess that perhaps the US are acting on behalf of long term ally the Saudis, who see this as a real opportunity to consolidate their power in the region.

Having just put the military back in power in Egypt, the Saudis now have a chance to dictate who the next ruler of Syria will be, and perhaps obtain a strategic position in the energy of the 21st century - natural gas.

But we don't really know. The only thing we can say confidently is that this upcoming war is not about chemical weapons or morality. It's about politicians taking actions that 'we the people' are too simple to understand and too passive to endorse.

That's why democracy is a farce. We elect 'smiling faces', who in the end are just puppets for darker forces to control and manipulate. The upcoming debacle in Syria will confirm just that.Regards,

Greg Canavan+for The Daily Reckoning Australia

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