[S]ome might not want this sort of freedom which reeks of oil and is splattered with blood.” – Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko, a Soviet-style dictator
Condi, who has scorned Belarus as “the last true dictatorship in Europe,” met with opposition groups from Belarus during a NATO summit in neighboring Lithuania.
In what the press is speculating “could be the beginning stages of a future US-backed attempt at regime change” Rice told the dissidents there will be “a road to democracy in Belarus.” A Belarus deputy minister condemned the meeting as a “return to the times of the Cold War”.
Today, reports the BBC, “presidents of Russia and Belarus are meeting in Moscow a day after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for political change in Minsk.”
Belarus and Russia have accused Rice of interfering in the country’s internal affairs. Belarus is an “important defense partner to Russia and a vital part of its gas export pipeline network.”
Why? F. William Engdahl of Asia Times — in “The oil factor in Bush’s ‘war on tyranny'” — says, “A new ‘war on tyranny’ is being groomed to replace the outmoded ‘war on terror’.” More below:
In his January 20 inaugural speech, Engdahl writes, Bush declared that “It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.”
About Belarus specifically, Engdahl writes:
Belarus is also no champion of human rights [PHOTO from BBC: “Prominent political rivals of Mr Lukashenko have disappeared”], but from Washington’s standpoint, the fact that its government is tightly bound to Moscow makes it the obvious candidate for a Ukraine-style “Orange Revolution” regime-change effort. That would complete the US encirclement of Russia on the west and of Russia’s export pipelines to Europe, were it to succeed. Some 81% of all Russian oil exports today go to Western European markets. Such a Belarus regime change now would limit the potential for a nuclear-armed Russia to form a bond with France, Germany and the EU as potential counterweight against the power of the United States sole superpower, a highest priority for Washington Eurasia geopolitics.
Engdahl lays out the global “tyranny” strategy:
The use of tyranny as justification for US military intervention marks a dramatic new step in Washington’s quest for global domination. “Washington”, of course, today is shorthand for the policy domination by a private group of military and energy conglomerates
, from Halliburton to McDonnell Douglas, from Bechtel to ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, not unlike that foreseen in president Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 speech warning of excessive control of government by a military-industrial complex.
Rice [PHOTO: Speaking at NATO summit on April 21] dropped a hint in her Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony two days prior to the Bush inauguration. The White House, of course, cleared her speech first.
Target some tyrannies, nurture others
Rice hinted at Washington’s target list of tyrants amid an otherwise bland statement in her Senate testimony. She declared, “in our world there remain outposts of tyranny … in Cuba, and Burma and North Korea, and Iran and Belarus, and Zimbabwe”. Aside from the fact that the designated secretary of state did not bother to refer to “Burma” under its present name, Myanmar, the list is an indication of the next phase in Washington’s strategy of preemptive wars for its global domination strategy.
As reckless as this seems given the Iraq quagmire, the fact that little open debate on such a broadened war has yet taken place indicates how extensive the consensus is within the Washington establishment for the war policy. According to the January 24 New Yorker report from Seymour Hersh, Washington already approved a war plan for the coming four years of Bush II, which targets 10 countries from the Middle East to East Asia. The Rice statement gives a clue to six of the 10. She also suggested Venezuela is high on the non-public target list.
According also to former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official Vince Cannistraro, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s new war agenda includes a list of 10 priority countries. In addition to Iran, it includes Syria, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen and Malaysia. According to a report in the January 23 Washington Post, General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), also has a list of what the Pentagon calls “emerging targets” for preemptive war, which includes Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, the Philippines and Georgia, a list he has sent to Rumsfeld.
While Georgia may now be considered under de facto North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or US control since the election of President Mikheil Saakashvili, the other states are highly suggestive of the overall US agenda for the new “war on tyranny”. If we add Syria, Sudan, Algeria and Malaysia, as well as Rice’s list of Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar and Zimbabwe, to the JCS list of Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia and the Philippines, we have some 12 potential targets for either Pentagon covert destabilization or direct military intervention, surgical or broader. And, of course, North Korea, which seems to serve as a useful permanent friction point to justify US military presence in the strategic region between China and Japan. Whether it is 10 or 12 targets, the direction is clear.
The list of emerging targets in a new “war on tyranny” is clearly fluid, provisional, and adaptable as developments change. It is clear that a breathtaking array of future military and economic offensives is in the works at the highest policy levels to transform the world. A world oil price of US$150 a barrel or more in the next few years would be joined by chokepoint control of the supply by one power if Washington has its way.
About the Conoco connection, briefly:
Conoco Phillips – the strategic ally of Chevron, on whose board Condoleezza Rice sat for many years – has recently announced a “strategic alliance” with Lukoil, the second largest private oil company in the world, and Conoco Phillips is said to want a controlling stake in the Russian company.
On January 21, 2005, a BBC analyst wrote:
Analysis: Belarus defies West
By Leonid Ragozin, BBCRussian.com
President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s regime in Belarus has long been a target of US criticism – and the Bush administration clearly has it on its radar.
The new US “outposts of tyranny” list presented by the incoming US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, mentions just one European country – Belarus.
President Lukashenko, who maintains an iron Soviet-style grip on Belarus, hit back on Friday, saying “some might not want this sort of freedom which reeks of oil and is splattered with blood“.
And what is it that you and I — world-weary and highly wary veterans of the Bush administration — could tell President Lukashenko about his defiance?