Oil Pipeline in Israel Suggests a Twist to Georgian, Russian Tiff

December 5, 2012

CNN went to work spinning the whole thing as Russian aggression. Ordinary Russians were offended that once again, the Western media that had been a beacon of truth and light during the darkest Soviet times was – in the post Soviet period – behaving again like a government propaganda ministry. The US White House fumed. France and Germany thanked God they’d blocked Georgia’s admission to NATO (which would have required an allied response and might have sparked WWIII.) Georgia tried it’s best to hide itself behind the American flag.
And humiliation of all humiliations for the West, the Russian army kept coming, crossing the border into Georgia and maneuvering around the port of Poti. It was like watching a male cat mark it’s territory. Had they had wanted to march on Tblisi they could have. But they stopped. The point of the exercise, in my opinion, was to prove that they could, if they wanted to. And shortly thereafter, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev becomes a champion of the new prime time PR talk show, “Who’s a Bigger Democrat”, by declaring Russian support for an independent Ossentia.
My Russian friends said it was about “territory”, a centuries old dispute. You know the old story. Two otherwise normal 21st century adults (who saw man walk on the moon) look at each other say, “Your great, great, great, great, great grandfather, called my great, great, great great grandfather an old goat, so now I have to kill you.”
Sorry, I’m from Chicago and in Chicago old editors always tell young journalists that if they want to really understand something, just follow the money. Or, if you’re talking Central Asia and the Caucuses, follow the pipelines. And guess what, if you turn off CNN, cruise the Internet, talk to some people and really think between the lines, you’ll find your answer.
First, let’s go back to the start of this year. On Jan. 17,  2008, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz ( www.haaretz.com) published an article by Avi Bar-Eli, headlined “Israel proposes crude pipeline from Georgia to Eastern Asia.” For the most part, I’d like to just quote from it.
“Israel may be on its way to becoming a crude oil transport bridge to the Far East. The Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) is leading an international initiative to channel crude oil from Ceyhan in southeast Turkey to eastern Asia, using its infrastructure in Israel. A consortium of energy firms and international shipping companies will manage the initiative, and a memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed within three months.
“The oil would be pumped in Georgia and Azerbaijan, and be brought to Turkey by pipeline. From Turkey it will be shipped by tanker to Ashkelon, whence it would be transported by pipeline to Eilat. In Eilat, the oil will be loaded onto a new set of tankers for transportation to eastern Asia.
“The Ashkelon-Eilat Pipeline Company is a privately owned firm, owned jointly by Israel and the government of Iran. Tehran is currently