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Underlying Reasons for the Raging Syrian War: Competing Natural Gas Pipelines

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middle east pipelines by richgibson.com

In every crisis situation such as the one taking place in Syria as we speak it's often quite difficult to determine the main underlying cause(s) which triggered it. And that's certainly true in this country in which at least 8 nations and numerous terrorist groups are, in one way or another, engaged in the proliferation of that country's raging war.

It's no secret that the U.S. and some of its allies are doing everything in their power to remove Syria's Assad regime. But why do they and their leaders feel so strongly that it is must be done, why is it so important to them? Why does President Obama continue to insist that Assad must go and why does he believe that he has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of that country? The standard answer to these questions is that it's a part of the process to hunt down and destroy ISIS terrorists who have infiltrated that country and are causing great havoc within it.

It appears that Mr. Obama's agenda is very similar to that of Bush/Cheney when they decided that Saddam Hussein had to go. They invaded, occupied and literally destroyed that country, sending many Iraqis to their deaths and millions into exile. One thing is certain; where there is an issue involving gas or oil anywhere in the Middle East you can bet that the chances of some conflict erupting are very great and you will find the U.S. government right in the middle of the action.

This situation is very complex and there is much confusion over who initiated this civil war; who is the most responsible and the most guilty, and how and it will ever be resolved. We must not just accept the usual explanations that are offered up by the controlled national media but, instead, think deeper about the most plausible underlying causes.

With that in mind let's turn our attention to the vast oil and natural gas reserves and the transit systems that are used to deliver these resources to other countries. When we speak of pipelines it should be understood that a tremendous competition currently exists for delivery of natural gas to many of the European nations.

The country of Qatar has substantial reserves of gas which it badly wants to sell to these European countries, to take the business away from Russia, the current major supplier, and prevent Iran from doing the same in the future. The favored, most expeditious route for the Qatar gas pipeline is via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, to Turkey and then to Europe. The problem is that Assad, who initially signed off on the routing this pipeline through Syria, did an about face and backed out of the deal.

Quite likely Assad did it because he decided to align himself with the planned development of the competing Iran,-Iraq-Syria pipeline. That move on his part is why many geopolitical experts say that this clash between Syria and Iran (with Russia in the background) on the one side and Qatar/Saudi Arabia and the U.S. on the other, was the main reason why this conflict erupted.

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Is it logical to think that competition over a pipeline route could actually cause such a massive war and crisis? Well, many past wars were started over much less important issues; and in this situation the European gas market represents mega-billions of business for whoever is the major supplier and controls the method of delivery.

This proposed Qatar pipeline has been in the planning stages for some time. World energy observers are very familiar with it and how it would be a threat to other competing pipelines. But that knowledge is not present here in America where the vast majority of people don't know a thing about it or why it may well be a major reason for this escalating conflict. And the reason they don't is that the U.S. government and the corporate-controlled media don't want them to know anything about it. They want to keep insisting that this is a part of the War on Terror.

Now as this war rages on we see Putin of Russia suggesting that the major powers involved sit down at the negotiating table and try to work out this tenuous situation. Putin also has been moving a good deal of Russian weaponry into Syria to support the Assad government. So what is becoming obvious is that, while he is pursuing a settlement of some kind, if that suggestion is totally rejected by the U.S. and its allies, then Syria will be reinforced with the power to stand its ground.

If Mr. Obama thinks this offer through very carefully he will do the right thing and agree to high level negotiations in order to bring the situation under control and stop the devastation of that country and its people. But if he rejects it and thinks that he can overpower the combination of Russia, Syria and Iran then he will be making a terrible miscalculation.

It's no secret that Saudi Arabia, because of its wealth and power, is deeply involved with all important issues, including the funding of many terrorist groups that develop in the Middle East. It's also a fact that Saudi Arabia, whose government has no love for either Syria or Assad, is closely aligned with Qatar in the development of this pipeline.

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The situation is so complex that it's difficult to determine, who is fighting whom. Here is an article that indicates that Israel and Saudi Arabia are actually supporting ISIS and al-Nusra, sworn enemies of the U.S., to bring down the regime of Assad, as the article states, "even if it means these terrorist groups end up in control of the Syrian government." And as crazy as that sounds, there are signs that the U.S. government may be doing the same thing in order to facilitate regime change.

We need to watch what happens as this crisis deepens. Will the U.S. finally realize that bombing Syria is an exercise in futility that will only escalate the conflict and will Mr. Obama agree to take part in negotiations with Russia and the major powers to resolve it? Hopefully he will. Will we see more meddling by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Israel? Hopefully not.

If Assad is driven out of power then it's highly probable that Qatar will, at some time in the future, have that pipeline constructed in Syria and then become a major supplier of gas to Europe. But if Assad remains in power by holding off all those who want to destroy his regime, then Iran and Russia will remain as the chief sources of natural gas, fully in control of the pipelines transiting that important and very lucrative resource to Europe.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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