By David J. Jonsson
January 10, 2006
Prior to the recent events in Latin America, I believed that we could develop a plan with Latin America. In the recent months since, I think we have a problem. Latin America is infinitely more strategic than Iraq, but we seem to have lost it. We may have even lost the initiative in Asia. The strategies for the global Islamization, power and dominance include control of currency, oil resources, free trade zones, transportation, media and financial markets.
The incorporation of Venezuela into the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) is a historic step in the economic integration of Latin America. Venezuela was upgraded from associate to full member at Mercosur’s 29th summit meeting, held on Dec. 8-9, 2005 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Mercosur’s four founding members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its associate members include Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
The inclusion of Venezuela comes one month after its president, Hugo Chávez, brought a shovel to the Third Summit of the Americas at Mar del Plata, Argentina, to symbolically bury the U.S.-proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). The representatives of Mercosur and Cuba in a vote that defeated this attempt to extend imperialist trade agreements to the whole Western Hemisphere joined Chávez.
In the “global offensive” Chávez is carrying out, Venezuela made overtures to Russia, Spain and China this year, purchasing two billion dollars in weapons and agreeing to supply up to 300,000 barrels a day of oil to Beijing. In addition, Venezuela backed Iran's insistence on its right to develop a nuclear power industry.
While Mercosur is growing in strength, another grouping is also underway, the G3 countries bringing together Brazil, India and South Africa. Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has come out with a concept of adding China and Russia to the existing G3 trade bloc in order to counter US and EU dominance. Mercosur also has on the horizon new non-traditional commercial allies - Morocco and Egypt - and has had preliminary negotiations with China and South Korea. The objective for 2006 is the reconstruction of Mercosur and the realization of Mercosur’s original aspirations. In addition to creating an alternative trade bloc, the G3 also aims at creating permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council for developing nations. The UN Security Council has five permanent members - the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France.
On May 10, 2005, the first South American-Arab summit took place in Brasilia, Brazil with the aim of forming a new alliance to counterweight Washington dominance and open up new trade markets. Mercosur was to sign a framework agreement with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council on starting negotiations aimed at achieving free trade. The draft agreement urges respect of “the unity, sovereignty and independence of Iraq and of not interfering in its internal affairs.”
It also calls for sweeping cooperation between the two regions on the economic front, including promoting reforms in the international financial system to better serve the needs of the developing countries.
On December 14, 2005 a new form, the East Asian Community was formed. In Kuala Lumpur Malaysia leaders of 16 nations from India to New Zealand inaugurated a new forum on Wednesday in ambitious efforts to chart a pan-Asian community - a distant goal given rivalries festering among powers such as China and Japan. The first East Asia Summit was the culmination of three days of meetings among the region’s leaders in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The 10 ASEAN leaders joined with counterparts from Japan, China, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Russia attended as an observer, but there was no decision on its aspirations to be a full member. The Malaysia host, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said the leaders agreed that an “East Asia Community will be a reality in future as cooperation becomes stronger.” ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
It remains significant that the United States, as the region’s security guarantor for decades and as its biggest market, is not welcome. The summit is clearly emerging as an important building block in the new economic, security and political structure of Asia that is evolving, and for obvious reasons this structure is heavily influenced by China’s explosive economic growth, the new reality to which the whole of Asia is learning to adapt.
Before he was president, before his government gutted Russia's largest oil firm Yukos and sent the company's billionaire owner--Mikhail Khodorkovsky to a Siberian prison, Vladimir Putin laid out his views on his country's energy sector in a 1999 edition of an obscure St. Petersburg mining journal. Russia's vast oil and natural-gas resources should remain under the wing of the state, he wrote. And they should be the means with which Russia regains its geopolitical might. In late 2005, it has become increasingly clear that the Kremlin will look to the country's natural-gas monopoly, Gazprom, as the engine behind that policy. Over the past two years, Putin has methodically returned Russia's energy sector back under the fold of the state.
In the past, Russia used its military to project influence internationally. Now the agenda has changed. Energy has become the way Russia projects its power.
The Ukraine, which provides Gazprom with a key gas transit route to Western Europe, gets cut-rate prices for gas--$50 per 1,000 cubic meters--and wants to keep it that way. In December 2005, when Ukraine rejected Gazprom's proposed price increase to $160, Gazprom fired back by demanding up to $230 and threatening to halt delivery to Ukraine if Kiev did not give in. Ukrainian and Russian officials are expected to continue talks aimed at resolving the dispute. Many believe the Kremlin is turning the screws on Viktor Yushchenko's post-Orange Revolution government, which has set the country on a westward course. Belarus, one of the Kremlin's staunchest allies, will pay Gazprom just $46 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2006. (1000 cubic meters equals 35,314 cubic feet; one barrel of oil equivalent equals 5,487 cubic feet of natural gas)
Approximately one third of natural gas consumed in Europe comes from Russia and other members of the SCO. In addition a major portion comes from North Africa and Nigeria. Disruption of supplies from either source would be extremely serious for Western Europe. Europe lacks adequate gas storage capacity to sustain any extended disruption.
Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and natural gas exports, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in world oil prices. Typically, a $1 per barrel change in oil prices will result in a $1.4 billion change in Russian revenues in the same direction--a fact that underlines the influence of oil on Russia's fiscal position and its vulnerability to oil market volatility. The government's stabilization fund, a rainy-day storage facility for windfall oil receipts that came into effect on January 1, 2004, is designed to help offset oil market volatility. Even before oil prices reached near-record levels, the fund was expected to be worth almost $52 billion by the end of 2005, or about 7 percent of the country’s GDP. Raw materials, such as oil, natural gas, and metals, dominate exports and account for over two-thirds of all Russian export revenues.
As Russia’s stabilization fund grows, using it to solve social problems or to buy other assets outside of Russia may become more likely. Although estimates vary widely, the World Bank has suggested that Russia's oil and gas sector may have accounted for up to 25% of GDP in 2003 while employing less than 1% of the population. The Russian government has made decoupling economic growth from commodity exports a priority. But, nationalizing parts of the energy sector has come at the expense of Russian oil and natural gas producers, who are seeking to grow in a more liberalized marketplace, as well as Russia's external trading partners, who are pressuring the country to synchronize its policies with those in Western Europe and North America. Key to these efforts will be breaking up the monopolies that control the natural gas and electricity industries.
Kremlin policy makers continue to exhibit an inclination to advance the state's influence in the energy sector, not to reduce it. Taxes on oil exports have been raised significantly and private oil companies complain that the higher export taxes are hindering efficient allocation of profits into exploration and development. State-owned export facilities have grown at breakneck pace, while private projects have progressed more slowly or have been met with roadblocks by state-owned companies Gazprom and Transneft; Rosneft, the state-owned oil company has obtained the 1-million-bbl/d Yukos unit of Yuganskneftegaz; and leading industry figures have come under criminal investigation by Russia's Procuracy General.
Gazprom, Russia's state-run natural gas monopoly holds nearly one-third of the world’s natural gas reserves, produces nearly 90% of Russia’s natural gas, and operates the country’s natural gas pipeline network. Gazprom is also Russia’s largest earner of hard currency, and the company’s tax payments accounting for around 25% of federal tax revenues.
Gazprom is acting as an agent of Moscow to pursue Russia's political interests. President Vladimir Putin's international economic policy and Gazprom's policy are marching together. The Russian president is now in control of the energy giant, guaranteeing that he will remain a key player, at least indirectly, even if he fails to be re-elected in 2008.
His main international strategy is to give Russia the status of a great power in a new multipolar world order in which Russia, China and India will be the main Eurasian powers. The nations along with Iran and Pakistan make up the Shanghai cooperation Council, essentially a new “Warsaw Pact.”
Could these events be the first skirmish of Word War lll as some have commented?
The plan is unfolding as you read this.
On January 1, 2005, Mexico’s Zapatista rebel movement, led by the ski-mask wearing Subcomandante Marcos, kicked off a nationwide campaign--“The Other Campaign”--today aimed at uniting Mexican groups that support worker and indigenous rights under a single banner. This movement was launched on January 1, 1994. This movement through their advocacy network was the first ever organization to utilize the Internet to build a worldwide following. The organization has led to the Leftist revolution in Latin America from Chavez in Venezuela to Morales in Bolivia and probably the next Leftist president of Mexico.
The Turkish political weekly, Tempo, along with some major Turkish daily newspapers including Milliyet, Aksam and Cumhuriyet, reported that the Islamist Turkish terrorist organization, Great East Islamic Raiders Front (IBDA-C), has begun publishing a new weekly, Kaide (Al-Qaeda in Turkish), which openly praises its namesake and idolizes Osama bin Laden. Kaide, which looks like an Al-Qaeda bulletin and includes all Al-Qaeda announcements, is published legally in Istanbul and sold at newsstands across Turkey. It is worth noting that according to Aksam, Kaide is distributed by Yay-Sat, which is Turkey’s largest magazine-newspaper marketing and distribution network. Yay-Sat is owned by the Dogan Media Group, which includes mainstream media outlets in Turkey such as Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Turkish Daily News, Dunya, and Tempo, as well as TV channels such as CNNTurk and Kanal-D.1
The Turkish weekly Tempo interviewed Kaide executive Ali Osman Zor in Kaide’s offices in the Kasimpasa neighborhood of Istanbul. Following are excerpts.
Tempo: Kaide magazine claims that Marcos, the leader of the Mexican Zapatistas, has converted to Islam. What is the basis of your claim?
Ali Osman Zor: We have much evidence about Marcos becoming a Muslim. In the coming days, we will make this known. Let me say just this: Marcos is a professor of linguistics. Upon his request, our friends have provided him with some books by Salih Mirzabeyoglu. We are in contact with Marcos. The public must prepare for surprising developments regarding Marcos, the brave commander of the Zapatistas, after Carlos the Jackal. [Carlos the Jackal is the well-known Venezuelan terrorist associated with the Bader-Meinhof gang--Red Army Faction.]
It should be noted that in the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, one of clauses included is:
And we want to say to our Mapuche brothers and sisters in Chile that we see and we learn from your struggles.
And to the Venezuelan people, that we watch very carefully your way of defending your sovereignty and your right to be a nation and to decide where you will go.
And to the indigenous brothers and sisters of Ecuador and Bolivia, we say to you that you are giving an excellent history lesson to all of Latin America because right now you are putting a stop to neoliberal globalization.
And to the piqueteros and the youth of Argentina, we want to say that we love you.
And to those in Uruguay who want a better country, we admire you.
And to the landless of Brazil, we respect you.
And to all the youths of Latin America, it’s so great that you are doing what you are doing and you give us great hope.
The sixth comes before the seventh and after the fifth. What was the Fifth Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle? Few remember, but the history of the Zapatistas is written through the declarations that the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) has released, beginning with the first: the declaration of war. The second: a call to civil society. The third: a call for the creation of a National Liberation Movement. The fourth: the formation of the Zapatista National Liberation Front. The fifth: the Consulta Nacional, the great dialog with all Mexicans except the government. And now, the Sixth, the initiation of the “Other Campaign,” the political struggle that exists outside the electoral farce.
In the words of Subcomandante Marcos, “Together, we’re going to shake this country up from below, lift it up, and stand it on its head.”
Mexico’s geographic shape resembles a
cornucopia, the mythological “Horn of Plenty,” but in reverse; the horn’s fruits
tumble out toward the United States of America, toward the gringos. It is a
funnel shape, the top wide and the bottom thin. Chiapas is the country’s “last
frontier,” the north being its “first” one. But on the other hand, Chiapas forms
the crown of Central America, the beginning of the great nation; Chiapas is a
strategic point for North American business.
The Sixth Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle proposes realizing a national campaign for the building of another way of doing politics, for a program of national leftwing struggle, and for a new Constitution.
In order to understand what this will entail, one must review the Sixth Declaration’s twelve pages, which narrate briefly the history of the EZLN, its sufferings, its achievements, its hopes and its dreams. Later, they relate the state of the insurgent army’s structure, which has divided itself into three parts. First, most of the Zapatistas will guard, support and defend the autonomy of the Zapatista villages. This is the General Command of the CCRI, (Revolutionary Indigenous Clandestine Committee). Second, another part of the CCRI will be the “Intergalactic Commission,” which will take charge of the international aspects of the campaign, while a third will take charge of the national aspects. This third group has been named the “Sixth Commission of the EZLN,” and it is Subcomandante Marcos who, starting July 13, has led this fraction of the EZLN.
How will they carry out this “Other Campaign?” Principally, by listening. That essential part of the six preparatory meetings in the Lacandon Jungle will continue throughout the country. The Sixth Commission will listen, and in that way it will learn and value the real situation in the country. Contrary to what partisan candidates do — hauling out a load of people; buying them off with promises so that they listen to the candidates’ speeches and, of course, cast their vote next July 2; piling on the demagogic rhetoric — Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos will just listen. That is a different way of doing politics.
Later, in the same Declaration, the Zapatistas say: “What we are going to do is ask you how your lives are going, your fight, your thoughts about how our country is doing and about what we can do so that they don’t defeat us. What we are going to do is listen to your thoughts, those of the simple and humble people, and maybe we will find there the same love that we have for our country.”
Later, the document relates, simply, what they are going to do. It demonstrates with examples how they will evoke solidarity, true solidarity, with their resistance all around the world and in this way begin listening, finding points of agreement, and building a “national program of struggle” that they will follow through on.
And nearly at the end of the Sixth Declaration, the Zapatistas proclaim, “No to trying to resolve from above the problems of our Nation, but, rather, they must construct FROM BELOW AND FOR BELOW an alternative to neoliberal destruction, an alternative of the left for Mexico.”
Finally, they propose brotherhood, support for resistance struggles, mutual respect, and an exchange of experiences, stories, ideas, and dreams…
The EZLN is a part of a movement which is anti-Semitic, anti-capitalist, anti-America and is part of the goal to establish a New World totalitarian order that stretches across the globe. In fact in today's news from Teheran News service they gave glowing support to the movement.
Most interesting is what organizations in the advocacy network were leaders in making this movement possible.
Can you guess?
The advocacy network includes the Rainforest Action Network, which includes some 250 RAGs located around the country, the Global Exchange, CODEPINK and the Tides Foundation, which is funded by Teresa Heinz Kerry. The Advocacy Network, utilizing the Internet, starting with the support of Subcomandante Marcos and the handle of “Social Justice,” has led the fall of most of Latin America and the current global movement.
1. Kaide (Al-Qaeda) magazine, published openly in Turkey, MEMRI Special Dispatch Series - no. 951 August 7, 2005. http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP95105 (August 26, 2005).
David J. Jonsson is the author of Clash of Ideologies —The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds, Xulon Press 2005. His new book: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance (Salem Communications (May 30, 2006). He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics. He worked for major corporations in the United States and Japan and with multilateral agencies that brought him to more that fifteen countries with significant or majority populations who are Muslim. These exposures provided insight into the basic tenants of Islam as a political, economic and religious system. He became proficient in Islamic law (Shariah) through contract negotiation and personal encounter. David can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
BACK to America At War - Salem The Soldier's Homepage