Escalation / Destabilization Conflict

Global Arctic wars already started

 Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina.

  Published time: December 19, 2013 11:02                                                

RIA Novosti / Anna Yudina
RIA Novosti / Anna Yudina

Today’s globalized geopolitical grand chessboard often plays out in interestingly complex and roundabout ways. Such is the case of the on-going tug of war between the US, UK and EU on the one hand, and Russia and its allies on the other.

Pieces are moved; sometimes a pawn from one square to the next,  at other times a rook or bishop straight across the chessboard;  even a knight in its more crooked way… Such is the game of the  looming “Arctic War” which is starting to unfold, in  which seemingly unconnected events begin to make sense when we  start joining the right dots correctly.

  Round one in Syria: Putin: 1 / Obama: 0

Last September, US President Barack Obama suffered a crushing  diplomatic and political defeat at the hands of Russian President  Vladimir Putin over the Syrian crisis with its tragic civil war  that is claiming hundreds of thousands of lives.

Together with Iraq, Libya and Iran, Syria forms part of the  staunch Anti-Zionist front of Muslim countries in the Middle East  (and further afield, if we include Malaysia).

Allowing itself to be dragged (yet again!) by Israel’s own  selfish national interests and powerful Israeli lobbying at home  led by AIPAC – American Israeli Public Affairs Committee – the  White House got itself into a dangerous diplomatic row with  Russia and its allies, this time over Syria.

In 2013 this was reflected by Obama’s   “all-options-are-on-the-table” sabre rattling on behalf  of America’s increasingly embarrassing Israeli ally, which forced  him to stick his head too far out the window; particularly when  the so-called “Syrian Freedom Fighters” showed their  extreme brutality, mass-murder tactics, terrorist Al-Qaeda links,  and suspect use of Saudi-Israeli chemical weapons against  civilian populations in Damascus.

When things were on the verge of getting badly out of hand during  September’s G20 meeting in Russia (of all places!), reality  finally forced the US to stand down. That was when Russia’s and  Putin’s prestige peaked and Obama dropped one further notch into  becoming another lame-duck US president.

  Round two: Setting up a trap against Russia?

So, when right smack in the middle of the Syrian affair and with  the US declaring defeat at the G20 Summit, how timely it was for  the “environmental NGO” Greenpeace’s vessel Arctic Sunrise show  to “just happen” to take place… in Russia!

The crew of that Greenpeace ship, led by its US-born captain  Peter Willcox, staged the irksome storming of the “Priraslomnaja”   oil and gas rig owned and operated by Russia’s giant  state-controlled Gazprom company, just off Russia’s Arctic coast  inside its exclusive economic zone.

Video images of half a dozen of its 30-odd “environmental  warrior” crew from 18 different nations hanging like a SWAT  team from the Russian oil rig hit the global media headlines big  time.

Given that Greenpeace is no innocent environmental organization  but rather an NGO that systematically cosies up to UK (and by  extension, US) geopolitical interests, one is tempted to insert  many of its actions into the “grand chessboard” logic.  Could its environmental zeal often play as a front for MI6, NSA,  CIA spook activities?

A handout photo taken by Greenpeace on September 18, 2013, shows a camouflage clad mask wearing officer of Russian Coast Guard (C) pointing a knife at a Greenpeace International activist (L) during an environmentalists' attempt to climb Gazprom’s ‘Prirazlomnaya’ Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea. (AFP Photo / Greenpeace / DenisSINYAKOV)
A handout photo taken by Greenpeace on September 18, 2013, shows a camouflage clad mask wearing officer of Russian Coast Guard (C) pointing a knife at a Greenpeace International activist (L) during an environmentalists’ attempt to climb Gazprom’s ‘Prirazlomnaya’ Arctic oil platform somewhere off Russia north-eastern coast in the Pechora Sea. (AFP Photo / Greenpeace / DenisSINYAKOV)

Isn’t it odd that whilst Greenpeace makes lots of noise against  potential Russian environmental damage (by the way, no oil  contamination of any sort came from the Priraslomnaja drilling  rig), it never carries out high-media profile protests by trying  to storm, say, some BP, Exxon or Chevron rig these days?

This is particularly suspicious considering that these Western  oil giants have a simply horrific pollution track record as BP’s   “Deepwater Horizon” rig Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010;  the “Exxon Valdez” in Alaska in 1989; or Chevron’s three  decades of mass pollution in Ecuador have proven time and again?

Greenpeace also kept thunderously silent when London’s “The  Guardian” newspaper reported in December 2003 that the UK  Ministry of Defence “refused to say whether any nuclear depth  charges were on board (British war ship) HMS Sheffield, which was  sunk during the Falklands/Malvinas War” by Argentine forces  during its 1982 war against Britain.

So whilst suspiciously quiet regarding US and UK polluters,  Greenpeace has a history of very noisy militancy when it involves  countries whose leaders do things counter to UK/US global  geopolitical interests.

The world remembers, for example, how the Greenpeace ship   “Rainbow Warrior” tried to stop French nuclear tests in  the Pacific Mururoa Atoll in 1985. They failed after France’s  General Foreign Security Directorate covertly sank that ship  before it could interfere with the French military. And, – oh  surprise! – US Captain Peter Willcox was also at the helm of the   “Rainbow Warrior” as its skipper. Are we seeing a  pattern here?

Russia, however, contrary to the French in 1985, kept a very cool  head last September. Instead, they arrested the “Arctic  Sunrise”, forcibly towed it to Murmansk Port in the Arctic,  and promptly threw its environmentally inspired crew in jail for  a couple of months.

Now, think what a media circus would have been staged by the  US-UK if Russia, following France’s bad example, had ordered the  sinking of Greenpeace’s intruder as the French did back then…

Oh, what a hullabaloo! One can almost imagine the headlines:   “Authoritarian and environmentally incorrect Russia ignores  basic human rights of a group of nice peaceful Greenpeace  environmentalists from 18 countries”.

The Western media would have relished in giving Putin one great  big “Zero” to tarnish growing Russian prestige. But, no:  Russia just ordered vessel and crew arrested for piracy on the  high seas. Again, US/UK: 0 / Russia: 1.

Ever since, Greenpeace has been licking its wounds with outright  lies. For instance, since two of the “Arctic Sunrise”   crew were Argentine nationals – Camila Speziale and Miguel Pérez  Orsi – Argentina has been simply plastered with a very costly  propaganda campaign which includes TV ads and giant posters  showing these two young adults’ faces with the legend,   “Prison for trying to avoid an oil spill? Outrageous!”.

The truth, however, is that there was no imminent oil spill;  there was no danger of pollution. Again, shouldn’t  Canadian-founded, Holland-based. US/UK-funded Greenpeace look  more at their own dirty and filthy polluting oil companies at  home rather than poking their noses in the Arctic?

  Round Three: Run to the Pole?

No, I’m not talking about NATO’s Anti-Russian Missile   “defence” installations authorized by the Poles in their  native Poland. I mean, the North Pole!

For in recently months, the cat’s been scratching and biting its  way out of the proverbial bag, ever since simply huge oil and gas  resources have been discovered under the Arctic Ocean. Estimates  run as high as 90 billion barrels of oil (20% of global reserves;  13% of world supply), 1.67 trillion cubic meters of natural gas  (30% of world reserves), plus 30% of natural gas, plus platinum,  gold, tin, plus…

One of the most aggressive countries claiming  territorial sovereignty over all this wealth is Canada, which  more than an actual country is but an offshoot of the British  Crown and an American beachhead into the Arctic. One can clearly  sense Uncle Sam’s breathe behind Canada’s forceful territorial  claims.

A Russian NTV channel grab taken 03 August 2007 shows a manipulator of the Mir-1 mini-submarine as it places a Russian state flag at the seabed of Arctic ocean at a depth of 4,261 meters (13,980 feet), 02 August 2007. (AFP Photo / NTV) A Russian NTV channel grab taken 03 August 2007 shows a manipulator of the Mir-1 mini-submarine as it places a Russian state flag at the seabed of Arctic ocean at a depth of 4,261 meters (13,980 feet), 02 August 2007. (AFP Photo / NTV)

Then there’s also NATO-ally Denmark filing its claims through  Greenland territorial projection, weak ally Norway and, of  course, there’s Superpower Russia which in 2007 actually planted  its flag on the Arctic sea bed right on the North Pole. Canada  too claims that the North Pole is hers. Alas! Poor Santa Claus,  let’s just hope he’s not evicted before Christmas…

As history has shown time and again, the only language that the  US-UK Alliance really understands is the language of force or the  threat thereof.

So President Putin has very prudently ordered his military  starting 2014 to beef up Russia’s presence and defence over its  entire huge Arctic sphere of interest: a “top government  priority to protect its security and national interest” in   his own words.

In recent months, Russia has started creating new Arctic military  units, reinstating its military bases in the Novosibirsk  Archipelago and Franz Josef Land that had been abandoned after  the demise of the former Soviet Union, and began restoring key  airfields in the region including those on Kotelny Island which  includes making ready the towns of Tiksi, Naryan-Mar, and Anadyr  for increased military personnel and logistical needs.

10 Russian warships and nuclear powered icebreakers are now  operative in that region overseeing key shipping lanes joining  the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, including ports like Murmansk  (where the “Arctic Sunrise” lies peacefully anchored).

Clearly, the Arctic is very much on the global grand chessboard’s  radar screen. What happens there over the next few years will  have immense significance considering that the manoeuvring and  relative positioning achieved by the powers in conflict will also  help to consolidate their respective presences in the region and  worldwide.

For when it comes to oil and gas, the US and UK have clearly  decided to militarize oil exploration, exploitation and shipping  lanes. Just as they have done in the South Atlantic with the UK’s  Falkland/Malvinas nuclear military base and the US’s powerful  Fourth South Atlantic Fleet with its rosary of military bases  discretely spread into Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and  other countries in the region.

For there lies another even vaster and richer region: the  Antarctic which is not just a sea but an entire continent centred  on the South Pole.

Indeed, in our complex world what happens in the scorched deserts  of Arabia, Libya and Iraq; in the infinite steppes of Asia; in  the steaming jungles of Africa; or in the windswept pampas of  South America has an impact – albeit, indirect – on this new  front which we could described as the coming polar wars.

Wars involving superpower nations, their allied countries,  environmental NGO’s fronting for the global power elites, oil,  gas and mining giants, and of course the bankers pulling the  strings from above; way above 10 Downing, way above the White  House, the Palais D’Elysee and Greenpeace’s HQ in Amsterdam.

Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and  radio/TV commentator in Argentina.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.