Natural Gas: What the War in Syria is Really About


The US President is currently undertaking a massive sales pitch for war. We heard on the radio this morning that President Obama was set to front about six different media outlets today to make his case for war with Syria.

He’ll be out perpetuating the lie that it’s all about chemical weapons and defending the national interest and blah blah blah.

The more plausible story is that it’s about natural gas. A Middle East conflict is always about energy…or religion. But this upcoming war over Syria is about energy. We don’t pretend to know what it’s all about, but we do think you’ll find all this a little more convincing that the West’s ‘do-gooding’ rhetoric about chemical weapons and humanitarianism.

The West (and Saudi Arabia) clearly wants regime change in Syria…probably because Syrian President Assad counts Russia and Iran amongst his mates.

But it’s more than that. As far as we can tell, it’s about the politics of natural gas. And it starts in the largest natural gas reservoir in the world – the South Pars/North Dome field in the Persian Gulf, a resource shared by Qatar and Iran.


Now, Qatar and Iran are hardly allies. Qatar is Sunni and Iran is Shiite. Qatar hosts the US and British military presence in the region.

A few years ago there was talk of a new gas pipeline running through Iran and Iraq to Damascus…and then possibly onto Europe via LNG ports off the Syrian coast. Coincidentally enough, this was around the time when the Syrian civil war started.

Qatar, for one, didn’t like the sound of this. It was more interested in sending its share of the South Pars field into Europe via a gas pipeline through Syria and into Turkey, where it could link up with the major Eastern European gas pipelines. It’s no surprise then to see that Qatar is a major supplier of funds to rebel groups in Syria, reportedly funnelling in US$3 billion to support the overthrow of Assad since the conflict began.

But this doesn’t explain why Saudi Arabia wants Assad out too. The Saudis are not on friendly terms with the Qataris. They rejected a Qatari plan to put a gas pipeline through their territory and they bankrolled the Egyptian’s military’s recent overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Qatar supported.

But we know Russia wouldn’t like the prospect of a gas pipeline linking with Europe, as it supplies over one-third of Europe’s gas needs and draws a great deal of strategic influence via its energy supply dominance. The prospect of suddenly having Persian Gulf gas competing with Russian gas is not appealing for them.

Hence Russian President Putin’s lack of support for a US attack. Interestingly, China seems to be on Russia’s side.

So where does all this leave the US? Why is it so eager to attack Syria and bring down Assad’s regime, opening up the possibility of a power vacuum and destabilising violence in the region?

We can only guess. Once elected, politicians deem certain things too delicate to tell their electors. And the real reason behind war is certainly too delicate to tell the people about.

So we guess that perhaps the US are acting on behalf of long term ally the Saudis, who see this as a real opportunity to consolidate their power in the region.

Having just put the military back in power in Egypt, the Saudis now have a chance to dictate who the next ruler of Syria will be, and perhaps obtain a strategic position in the energy of the 21st century – natural gas.

But we don’t really know. The only thing we can say confidently is that this upcoming war is not about chemical weapons or morality. It’s about politicians taking actions that ‘we the people’ are too simple to understand and too passive to endorse.

That’s why democracy is a farce. We elect ‘smiling faces’, who in the end are just puppets for darker forces to control and manipulate. The upcoming debacle in Syria will confirm just that.

Greg Canavan+
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

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Greg Canavan
Greg Canavan is the Managing Editor of The Daily Reckoning and is the foremost authority for retail investors on value investing in Australia. He is a former head of Australasian Research for an Australian asset-management group and has been a regular guest on CNBC, Sky Business’s The Perrett Report and Lateline Business. Greg is also the editor of Crisis & Opportunity, an investment publication designed to help investors profit from companies and stocks that are undervalued on the market. To follow Greg's financial world view more closely you can subscribe to The Daily Reckoning for free here. If you’re already a Daily Reckoning subscriber, then we recommend you also join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment research, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Daily Reckoning emails. For more on Greg go here.
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  1. #syria iran saudi arabia india key gas pipeline #bandar

    Syria is a key link in both the rival pipeline projects; the one originating in Iran and the one originating in Qatar.

    Whether the Assad regime survives or a change of regime happens there would determine the global gas system in a large way.

    Syria: Colonization Redux
    By Rana Bose 08 September, 2013

    The Great Gas Game over Syria
    Gulshan Dietl September 9, 2013

    The (farcical) emperor is naked
    By Pepe Escobar

    Much would be made to restore ”US credibility” if the Obama administration had the balls to force both the House of Saud and Qatar

    (”300 people and a TV station”, in the epic definition of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar Sultan – aka Bandar Bush)

    to end once and for all their weaponizing of hardcore ”rebels” and ultimately hardcore jihadis, and accept Iran in the negotiating table for a real Geneva II peace process in Syria.

    September 9, 2013
  2. I think everyone wants to belive that there is an evil in the world and all we (us) want to do is cause wars and rob gas and oil. This is how it would be if places like Syria were the super power but the truth is the world is in a very interesting period of time. The stage is now being set for a true one world g-ment and the wars and power struggles going forward are to align and consolidate all the allies on one side and get ride of anyone opposing this one world g-ment.
    We have history to prove that as long as we let these isolated places run wild they soon become powerful enough to link up with other enemies of the state and become a major opponent in which we will end up at war with sooner or later. The latter leading to world wars while the sooner leading to these smaller wars such as would be if we struck Syria. (small then if we did it ten years from now).
    Either way the world has to get to the point where all world g-ments are on the same page and this is key. We need to end opposing militaries and stop wasting so much resources and money on things that hold us back as a global community. IF the world cut back its military spending by 5 percent we would be able to eradicate world hunger, homelessness, and give everyone free medical insurance. Just imagine what we can do if the world joined hands and didn’t need a military. We could have joint efforts on so many important issues such as the ones named above. things like space travel, missions to mars, colonizing the moon, eradication of disease, advancement of technology at a pass never seen before.
    As bad as this war may seem (any war really) it is a necessary evil
    to set the stage for further growth and world peace. There isn’t some evil g-ment sitting down somewhere twisting his mustache just waiting to drop bombs and kill people.

    Peter Azzara
    September 9, 2013
  3. say! is that a reference to The Temptations’
    “Smiling Faces Sometimes”?
    [last verse}
    I’m telling you beware, beware of the handshake
    That hides the snake
    Listen to me now, beware
    Beware of that pat on the back
    It just might hold you back
    Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
    They don’t tell the truth
    Smiling faces, smiling faces
    Tell lies and I got proof
    Your enemy won’t do you no harm
    Cause you’ll know where he’s coming from
    Don’t let the handshake and the smile fool ya
    Take my advice I’m only try’ to school ya

    [Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong for the Motown label; 1971]

    slewie the pi-rat
    September 10, 2013
  4. Nice to see the REAL TRUTH from time to time.


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