Israel, Oil and Death: The War for Ossetia
by Matthew Raphael Johnson
In the past year the Georgian economy has reaped praise from the World Bank and other international financial bodies. It is considered a "developing market" that is worth investing in, and Israelis happen to be responsible for a significant percentage of the real estate development in Tbilisi. But the ordinary people do not benefit from that. Experts explain that growth there "has not yet filtered down," or in other words, while six new luxury hotels are being built in Tbilisi, 60 percent of the population has no regular work and the streets are lined mainly with crumbling, abandoned buildings (Ha’aretz, 3/02/08)
South Ossetia is yet another obscure part of the former Soviet Union making it into the headlines of the press, confusing an already over-informed, yet under-intelligent people. But it is precisely in its obscurity that the Regime is able to manipulate the information. Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Belarus: all completely off the radar screens of Americans, yet central to the System, and its foreign policy. In Burma, drugs; Iraq, Israeli interest; Afghanistan, drugs and gas, Belarus, oil, Georgia, oil and Israeli interest. However one slices it, each of these conflicts is about saving the moribund and debt-ridden American economy.
South Ossetia has a history far too obscure for any but the most fanatical specialist, but suffice it to say, racially, the Ossetians are closely related to Persians, speaking a variant of Pashtun, the eponymous language of the Pashtun people of Afghanistan. In short, they are not Georgians. Making matters more complicated, the Ossetian public opinion is rather anti-Georgian, as it is generally seen that Ossetians are considered “third worlders,” while Georgians, though Asiatic in geography, consider themselves Europeans. By “European,” of course, the newly installed Georgian ruling elite is not a matter of geography, but of ideological predilection. But even this is a mystification, for ideological predilection is a smoke screen for something like, making-sure-oil-stock-gets-into-the-hands-of-BP. British Petroleum, a company very close to the pocket book of the Rothschild clan, was the agency assigned to build the pipeline from the Caspian Sea (a major source of the globe’s oil) to the Black Sea. The landmass in between is called Georgia.
Ossetians are roughly 75 percent Russian Orthodox, usually not bothering with the ancient Orthodox Church of Georgia, seen, properly or no, to be a spokesman for Georgian social interests. Islam makes up a small but normally pro-Russian minority. Like Armenia, this small group of people looks to Russia for protection against its larger and more arrogant neighbors, a long standing phenomenon, going back at least to the Mongols, in the rough neighborhood of the Caucuses. Whether against Mongol aggression, British or Turkish, colonialism or Islamic expansionism, smaller countries and peoples of this region have traditionally looked to Russia for protection. Armenia, Ossetia, Abkhazia and, at one time, Georgia herself were in this boat of Christian or moderate Muslim peoples seeking protection from far larger and more vehement opponents. Russia’s interest in this region, therefore, is a matter of seeking to bring order out of chaos, rather than the more traditionally economic rationale for western European colonialism.
Ossetia is a second-rate part of Georgia, and this for a number of reasons. Georgia prospered under the USSR, and used her economic development to “buy” her independence of Moscow. While a part of the USSR, Georgia was known as a basically independent area, one of the few to meet or exceed her yearly quotas, and, as a result, was basically left alone by the authorities. Specializing in transport, fruit and oil, Georgia, like Armenia and Belarus, became indispensable aspects of the Soviet economy. Georgians were disproportionately represented in the central party apparatus, and had a disproportionate percentage of university graduates relative to other Soviet peoples. Partially because of this, the less developed region of Ossetia was considered a region of cheap labor by the Georgian elite, and, as a result, her people developed a sensitive form of nationalism, and, in ever greater strides, sought incorporation into the USSR/Russia as a means of escaping Georgian rapacity. Ossetia was a purely agrarian culture, though her mountains permitted only about 10 percent of her area to be cultivated. Ossetia, then, was caught between dependence on Georgia and dependence on Russia. Time and again, she sought dependence on Russia. This, especially after Georgia’s declaration of independence after the dissolution of the USSR, caused a great degree of friction between the two peoples. In fact, Georgia regularly cut electricity and other necessary services to the tiny Ossetian nation as a means of maintaining them within the Georgian orbit. Ossetia was a place for the elite to take their vacations and enjoy a few prostitutes, not a nation in its own rights.
Edvard Shevardnadze, longtime dissident and President of Georgia, had substantial dealings with the main western-owned oil company in the country, Frontier Oil. In fact, Shevardnadze was one of the main investors in this company, and, so long as he maintained a pro-American front, the US showered him with aid, and importantly, positive publicity. However, in the early part of this decade, the erstwhile president began selling off his stock in Frontier, selling many shares to investors connected to LUKOil, once cleansed of Zionist influence by Putin in the “Khordokovskii” affair. The selling of Frontier stock to “foreigners” was too much for the US, and, overnight, Shevardnadze, went from “heroic dissident” to “tyrant.” Money from the US and George Soros dried up, and a new player, an Americanized Georgian named Michael Saakashvili (graduate of American universities) was placed in power. But oil was first and foremost. Nino Burjanadze, acting president after the overthrow of Scheverdnaze, made her first act of state to contact BP, saying it was now OK to go ahead with the pipeline. As it turns out, Shevardnadze was iffy about a purely Rothschild project in Georgia, fearing it would make the country too dependent on British and Israeli capital. Burjanadze then met with Ed Johnson, BP’s man for Georgia, and he laid out state policy from then on.
An Irish journalist, writing under the condition of anonymity, writes, “What is certain is that despite the western nature of the former Georgian President Edvard Shevardnadze, his slight inclination towards Russia in the year 2003 including the conclusion of the 25-year accord with Moscow on the transfer and purchase of gas made the US and the Soros Foundation [eager] to eliminate him.”
The Hindu newspaper from India (1/22/04) says,
According to the former head of Russia's Federal Security Service, Nikolai Kovalyov, Georgia's young opposition leaders, including Mr. Saakashvili, had been trained in U.S.-funded camps in Serbia along with representatives from Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and a few other former Soviet republics. They studied the Yugoslav experience of removing the president, Slobodan Milosevic, with the help of massive public protests organized by Serbia's student movement Otpor.
Mark McKinnon, from the British World and Mail, (11/26/06) writes,
That month, funds from his Open Society Institute sent a 31-year-old Tbilisi activist named Giga Bokeria to Serbia to meet with members of the Otpor (Resistance) movement and learn how they used street demonstrations to topple dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Then, in the summer, Mr. Soros's foundation paid for a return trip to Georgia by Otpor activists, who ran three-day courses teaching more than 1,000 students how to stage a peaceful revolution... .
In Tbilisi, the Otpor link is seen as just one of several instances in which Mr. Soros gave the anti-Shevardnadze movement a considerable nudge: He also funded a popular opposition television station that was crucial in mobilizing support for this week's "velvet revolution," and he reportedly gave financial support to a youth group that led the street protests.
He also has a warm relationship with Mr. Shevardnadze's chief opponent, Mikhail Saakashvili, a New York-educated lawyer who is expected to win the presidency in an election scheduled for Jan. 4. Last year, Mr. Soros personally presented Mr. Saakashvili with the foundation's Open Society Award.
‘It's generally accepted public opinion here that Mr. Soros is the person who planned Shevardnadze's overthrow,’ said Zaza Gachechiladze, editor-in-chief of The Georgian Messenger, an English-language daily based in the capital.
The British Helsinki Human Rights Group recently compared Saakashvili's regime to that of Shevardnadze, noting that “Saakashvili has unleashed a wave of arrests against real and imagined opponents, and, like Shevardnadze when he first came to power, his new regime has targeted any media outlet which steps out of line.” The report said, “Since Saakashvili won the grotesque presidential election in January 2004, when he was awarded an even higher percentage of the vote than Shevardnadze granted himself in 1992, waves of arrests and media closures have hit Georgia” (Foundation for Defense of Democracies).
What is particularly in intriguing about the Georgia-Soros connection is the question of oil stock and the central role of the now infamous Caryle Group, an investment firm that brings together surface enemies and makes them friends. It was this group that was helping to finance BP’s pipeline through Georgia. Eric Lesser, writing for Le Monde, has written substantially on this group. It remains the largest single investment firm in the world, and also doubles as a “think tank” for the world’s elites, many of them are allegedly enemies. It’s current membership list includes Soros, George Bush Sr., Tony Blair, the Rothschilds, Colin Powell, Madeline Albright, the Saudi Royal family and the bin Ladens. As it turns out, the Caryle group remains the Pentagon’s chief supplier of capital and retains the position as the main arms dealer through the world. It remains not listed on the stock market.
Hence, with the Carlyle group, all the interests of global power are represented: oil, finance and military, and today, all have converged on Georgia and her oil. Nevertheless, as far as Georgia is concerned, the question pivots on the interests of Russia, the new Georgian state, the Rochschilds and their BP organization, as well as their many Israeli and American investors. Keeping Ossetia away from Russia then became the Rochschild’s top priority. The Americans promised to eliminate Georgia’s $1.8 billion debt if she invaded the tiny nation (as she had done in Egypt to buy her support against Iraq). Workers on the pipeline throughout the earlier part of this decade were not being paid, and construction was plagued by strikes. Hence, the US/BP obsession with state power and the tight control over the population.
The Israeli interest in this is rather obvious, since the Rothschilds created the state of Israel to provide a point from which western arms can come to control the oil not merely in the Middle east, but in Central Asia and the Caucuses as well. Ha’aretz writes:
Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili [a former Israeli citizen] yesterday praised Israel for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might.
"Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers," Yakobashvili, who is Jewish, told Army Radio in Hebrew. He was referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired. Yakobashvili, Georgia's minister of reintegration, said this training enabled Georgia to defend itself against Russian forces in the warfare that erupted last week in the separatist region of South Ossetia, Georgia.
"The whole world is starting to understand that what is happening here will determine the future of this region, the future price of crude oil, the future of central Asia, and the future of NATO," the Georgian minister added. "Every bomb that falls over our heads is an attack on democracy, on the European Union and on America." (8/11/08)
And Y-Net News, an Israeli news source wrote:
The Israeli-Georgia connection is estimated to be worth $1 billion, according to a former Georgian ambassador to Israel. The Jewish state and private investors have provided military assistance and advisors to Georgia, where pipelines pump oil destined for Israel. A new pipeline is being built to bypass Russian territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Israeli companies in Georgia have begun evacuating their staff and that Israeli tourists are leaving for home. . . . Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became business people. . . .
Roni Milo conducted business in Georgia for Elbit Systems and the Military Industries, and with his help Israel's defense industries managed to sell to Georgia remote-piloted vehicles (RPVs), automatic turrets for armored vehicles, antiaircraft systems, communication systems, shells and rockets.
According to Israeli sources, Gal Hirsch gave the Georgian army advice on the establishment of elite units such as Sayeret Matkal and on rearmament, and gave various courses in the fields of combat intelligence and fighting in built-up areas. (8/10/08)
And further, the Israeli News Agency DEBKAFile writes:
Georgian tanks and infantry, aided by Israeli military advisers, captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, early Friday, Aug. 8, bringing the Georgian-Russian conflict over the province to a military climax. . . . The Russians may just bear with the pro-US Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili’s ambition to bring his country into NATO. But they draw a heavy line against his plans and those of Western oil companies, including Israeli firms, to route the oil routes from Azerbaijan and the gas lines from Turkmenistan, which transit Georgia, through Turkey instead of hooking them up to Russian pipelines.
Jerusalem owns a strong interest in Caspian oil and gas pipelines reach the Turkish terminal port of Ceyhan, rather than the Russian network. Intense negotiations are afoot between Israel Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Azarbaijan for pipelines to reach Turkey and thence to Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon and on to its Red Sea port of Eilat. From there, supertankers can carry the gas and oil to the Far East through the Indian Ocean.
Aware of Moscow’s sensitivity on the oil question, Israel offered Russia a stake in the project but was rejected.
Last year, the Georgian president commissioned from private Israeli security firms several hundred military advisers, estimated at up to 1,000, to train the Georgian armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. They also offer instruction on military intelligence and security for the central regime. Tbilisi also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.
Back in March of this year, Ha’aretz wrote, concerning the Georgian president:
In the face of Moscow's hostility, the Georgians turned to Washington. The members of the Jewish delegation repeatedly heard about the "common values" that Georgia, the U.S. and Israel share, and about the war against terror, in which Georgia plays an active role Saakashvili told his guests, "When Israel is harmed, Georgia is harmed as well," and swore, "The only place in the world where I feel at home is Israel.” (3/2/08)
In addition, the Russian Interfax New Agency reports that Russian FSB agents on the ground have charged that Mossad and NATO entities are leading the Georgian assault on South Ossetia, and have provided the Georgians with intelligence on Russian military strength, etc. Of course, this makes sense when one considers that the Georgian economy is struggling and cannot afford this kind of military assault without substantial outside help. In fact, just last year, the prestigious International Institution of Strategic Studies estimated Georgian infantry strength at about 20,000. Therefore, one must assume that substantial Israeli and American infantry are involved in this assault. Furthermore, according to a Russia Today video presentation, many of the knocked out tanks were crewed by Ukrainians (RT, Aug, 10). Russians have also produced for photographers black corpses, either black-Americans or Englishmen. The Jersusalem Post reports that US planes are heavily involved at least with troop deployment, as American cargo planes have been bringing Georgian troops from Iraq into the combat zone.
Russian journalist Andrei Areshev writing for the prestigious Strategic Culture Foundation says,
One item from the timeline preceding the aggression deserves particular attention – the Georgian-US Immediate Response 2008 military exercise, during which the US instructors trained the Georgian forces to carry out “anti-terrorist cleansings” in residential areas was completed on July 31. The exercise included such activities as cleansing terrorists from villages (allegedly in the framework of the preparation of the Georgian military for the operations in Iraq) and ensuring the security of the civilian population. The atrocities perpetrated by the Georgian guerillas in Tskhinvali had been taught by the Western instructors under the cynical disguise of “the struggle against terrorism”. The actual objectives are of course completely different. Former Georgian Foreign Minister Salomé Zourabichvili, who is certainly a very well-informed person, said the US presence in Georgia comprises a broad range of activities including the training of the Georgian armed forces and the monitoring of the strategically important corridor passing across the Caucasus. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is a part of the latter. Zourabichvili opineds that the main purpose of the current conflict with Russia is to strengthen the loyalty of Georgia to the US and Great Britain and to guarantee that they will have control over the country and, consequently, over the South Caucasus.
Now, as far as direct Mossad involvement with the Georgian offensive is, as always, rather difficult to come by. But there is evidence that Mossad is in Georgia, following a rather common and well-known pattern. The Turkish news agency AXIS writes the following about Mossad involvement in another oil-sensitive race in Chechnya:
The first time the official representative of then independent Chechnya was informed about the Mossad's activity in the republic was in June 1997. Abusupian Movsaev, who headed the National Security Service (SNB), in an interview to the Russian Profi newspaper, made this announcement. Later, in 1999 – 2001, the Chechen mass media published several reports on the arrest of Israeli agents in the territory of the republic. In December 2001 the head of the Security Council of the Russian Parliament, Viktor Iliuhin, implicitly confirmed this claim. Without revealing the sources of his information, he said that the Mossad is engaged in human intelligence in Chechnya.
Although Tel-Aviv and Moscow never confirmed this information, it is known that since the second half of the 1990s, the Mossad has been showing a growing interest in the situation in the Caucasus. (AXIS, Turkish Analysis of Politics, 27.3.06).
The conclusion here is rather simple, the American and English media can afford to manipulate the news because it is dealing with an area known to only a few specialists. Because of this, the elite can behave in a more or less above board sort of way, wherein elsewhere, such as in America, their involvement is more hidden. In Georgia, the BP/Rothschild connection is well known, while in America, the fact that BP is a Rothschild asset is completely unknown. That Georgia is that landmass lying in the globally strategic region between the Caspian and Black Seas is also unknown, and hence, the major media can report what they see fit.
Nevertheless, it does illustrate a major proposition publicized by such writers as Michel Chossudovsky and myself, that American foreign policy is guided by the obsession for cheap sources of fuel, and this because the American economy is delicate, overburdened with debt and bereft of any sort of manufacturing base. Continued spikes in fuel can upset this economic house of cards. Chossudovsky writes in his brilliant War and Globalization:
War and globalization go hand in hand. The powers of the Wall Street financial elite, the Anglo-America oil giants and the US-UK defense contractors are undeniably behind this process, which consists of extending the frontiers of the global market system. Ultimately, the purpose of ‘America’s New War’ is to transform sovereign nations into open territories (or ‘free trade areas’), both through military means as well as though the imposition of deadly ‘free market’ reforms.’
And concerning Georgia specifically, Joseph Joffi, writing in 1999 in a Woodrow Wilson Case Study (#1) at Princeton, says,
The US must play an increasingly active role in conflict resolution in the region [Georgia]. The boundaries of the Soviet republics were intentionally drawn to prevent secession by various national communities of the former USSR and not with an eye to possible independence. . . . Neither Europe, nor our allies in East Asia can defend our [US] mutual interests in these regions. If we fail to take the lead in heading off the kinds of conflicts and crises that are already looming there, that will eventually exacerbate our relations with Europe and possible Northeast Asia. It will encourage the worst kind of political developments in Russia. This linkage, or interconnectedness, gives the Transcaucasus and Central Asia a strategic importance to the United States and its allies that we overlook at huge risk. To put it another way, the fruits accruing from ending the Cold War are far from fully harvested. To ignore the Transcaucasus and Central Asia could mean that large parts of that harvest will never be gathered. (Quoted in Chossudovsky, pg. 115).
By “harvest,” it can only mean the manipulation of global oil and natural gas supplies, central to the American economy and, importantly central to that of China and India, both almost completely bereft of those substances. The interests are clear; cheap fuel is central to the US economy, already heavily burdened with overspending and debt. For Israel, to control possible a large, already manifestly anti-Zionist power, Russia, is central. The pipeline is central to both the Rothschilds, BP, Israeli and American investors in the region. As Chossudovsky maintains, and this writer along with him, globalization means perpetual war and perpetual corruption.
Matthew Raphael Johnson’s website is The Orthodox Medievalist.
This article appears in the October 2008 issue of Culture Wars.