Posted on January 3, 2015
by Jerry Alatalo
on’t know how he keeps his sense of humor. Talking about global geopolitics journalist Pepe Escobar. Perhaps Mr. Escobar is simply happy to talk with other journalists instead of spending the hours alone researching various news events around the world. Whatever the cause for his ability to keep smiling and laughing, Pepe Escobar is one of the independent media’s well-known journalist/writers.
His articles are often sprinkled with somewhat flamboyant phrases, yet many appreciate his ways of artfully delivering points that paint accurate descriptions and analysis of world events. He talks to Sean Stone, son of Academy Award winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, for close to an hour about current events. The interview pays particular attention to the tremendous role of gas/oil industry market competition as it relates to important new and worrying developments in international relations.
The interview begins with Pepe Escobar giving essentially the same historical account that documentary filmmaker Michael Moore did in his 2004 film critical of the George W. Bush administration: “Fahrenheit 9/11”. In Afghanistan, the reason suggested by both Moore and Escobar for sending the military in was to secure a pipeline passing from the rich energy fields of Turkmenistan through the west part of Afghanistan and through Pakistan.
When America invaded Afghanistan, the Bush-Cheney administration thought the ruling Taliban would go along with a pipeline agreement in return for monetary considerations, but the Taliban had different ideas. Bush and Cheney were looking to control the region’s energy pipelines, routes and infrastructure. Pepe Escobar asserts that there was already a plan to build this and other pipelines 2 months before September 11, 2001 occurred, bringing more questions about what really happened on 9/11 plus further reasons to consider a new/real investigation. Many feel the government’s official 9/11 Commission Report fell short on a large number of either unasked or unanswered questions.
The Bush-Cheney plan, which was planned and believed as coming to pass in a straightforward manner, became obstructed when Afghanis proved more difficult to deal with than the Bush administration had imagined. The Taliban would come to control 50-60% of western Afghanistan, where the pipeline had been planned to pass. The Afghanistan War became America’s longest war – thirteen years and, in the minds of many, still going.
During this time Iran, rich in natural gas from one of the world’s largest gas deposits shared with Qatar, proposed a pipeline to Pakistan and India, a project which the Bush administration wanted cancelled by any and all means. According to Escobar, the Iran project stalled. Iran’s huge natural gas resources may help explain the sanctions against that nation, as contrasted to Iran’s so-called “nuclear ambitions”. The nations of Iran and Qatar share an immense natural gas field, as mentioned, and both countries proposed multi-billion dollar pipelines pass over and through Syria. Qatar’s proposal became turned down by the Syrian government in favor of an $11 billion pipeline project agreement directing Iran’s natural gas across Iraq and Syria to the lucrative European markets.
It was shortly after that pipeline agreement was first announced in 2011 that war in Syria – still ongoing today after more than 200,000 have died and over a million people have become displaced – began. The humanitarian crisis which has come about because of the ongoing war in Syria is widely acknowledged as the world’s largest. Perhaps the timing of major pipeline contracts and war in Syria was a coincidence, or perhaps it was not.
Mr. Escobar describes the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an army of mercenaries, made up of young, disgruntled, and many times unemployed men from many countries and regions – most of whom are looking for paychecks from ISIS, or whichever mercenary army is paying the best. Escobar adds that terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria have also formed because of “blowback” against America for past military actions, especially the Iraq War begun in 2003. As in the case of pipeline deals and Syria, the Iraq War became initiated in large part due to what some frankly call lies from George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Dick Cheney and others about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and connection to al Qaeda and 9/11.
As the interview between Pepe Escobar and Sean Stone proceeds, other energy related geopolitical news events become discussed, including the possibility that Saudi Arabia and the United States have planned the recent drastic reductions in oil prices to hurt the economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela among other nations. Escobar suggests that events in Ukraine over the past year are also related to energy market competition, as Russia has tremendous oil/natural gas reserves.
Pepe Escobar thinks efforts to mend fences by America with Iran through the ongoing nuclear negotiations are being carried out to prevent Iran’s turning toward China and Russia for trade/energy deals due to frustration with western powers’ economic sanctions – Americans trying to find ways to invest in Iran with its 80 million population. Escobar admits he is uncertain how global events and situations will turn out. With respect to Iran, he can’t predict whether it will become courted by the U.S., China and Russia, or if Iran will turn away from the U.S. and toward China, Russia, India and the other BRICS group of nations.
Both Stone and Escobar seem in agreement that the world is experiencing major geopolitical changes, and that the threat of wars has made it important for large groups of average citizens from around the world to act together to prevent potentially catastrophic escalation of military confrontations.
Finally, Pepe Escobar shares with Sean Stone his current outlook: “We are all looking forward to a better 2015, but with the intellectual level of politicians running the world these days – be careful everybody”.
(Thank you to TheLip TV at YouTube)