Tuesday, 1 March 2011
EMPIRE LOOK AT ALGERIA, AFTER LIBYA
A quick note on Oil and Gas in Algeria in the Libyan context
By Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
Last week's British mainstream (right-wing) newspaper Evening Standard, (24 Feb, 2011), business page had a major piece on price of oil. All the calculations were based on - if Algeria follows Libya.
If imperialism wrests control of Libyan & Algerian hydrocarbons (which at present they don't have - joint ventures, exploration rights, profit sharing agreements, etc are not control) - then it is a massive boost to the empire, giving empire life for another century-nearly, which is a strategic set back for the third world revolution.
Specifically for Western Europe, one leg with US & Japan of the tripod of the imperialist world system aka Empire. Western Europe has basically three sources of oil & gas - North Sea; Middle East & North Africa (MENA); Russia & former Soviet republics (CIS). North Sea oil & gas is divided between Britain & Norway. Norway's is quite enough for its domestic needs. Good for Norway.
The UK's is not - and is rapidly being depleted. Maybe there are major new fields but decripit Britsh capitalism does not have the dough to develop them. Regarding CIS, Russia is simply too big to just be a puppet besides which Putin is a patriot. In any case, only the communist party and government collapsed in USSR. The army & the security/intelligence services did not. And they are the main component of state power. The empire set great store on pitting Ukraine against Russia. But the return of Yanukovich is the return of Ukraine to the Russian camp. Kazakhstan & Turkimenistan, the other 2 key CIS oil/gas powers are also increasingly aligned with Russia & China.
Hence MENA grows in importance. And in this smokeless oil/gas war Libya & Algeria (if anything Algeria) have been staunchly aligned with Russia. Not to mention being solid OPEC brothers in the same trench with Venezuela, Iran, etc. Added importance of Libya & Algeria to Europe is geographical proximity. and Libyan oil is sweet crude.
A U.S./NATO supported seizure of power in Libya would undoubtedly be used to place further impediments to any genuine revolutionary movements taking power in Egypt and Tunisia. It would serve as a base against Algeria, another oil and natural gas producing state in North Africa, that is currently undergoing demonstrations that are heavily influenced by neo-liberal and pro-western political forces.
Louisa Hanoune, the general secretary of the Workers Party of Algeria, wrote in an essay entitled “Orange Revolution in Algiers?”, published on Feb. 10 in regard to the situation in neighboring Egypt, that “the revolutionary process in still in search of leadership.” Hanuone, a former presidential candidate in Algeria pointed out that “the illusions in the army in Egypt have weighed heavily in the unfolding revolutionary process. The Egyptian army has been the backbone of the Mubarak regime.” (Fraternite, newspaper of the Workers Party of Algeria)
Another essay published in the Zimbabwe Sunday Mail on Feb. 27 stated that “What we have in Egypt today is a military coup supported by the U.S. and its European allies who continue to keep our country (Zimbabwe) under the sanctions terror with duplicitous claims that our national security sector has militarized politics.”
This article continues by saying that “This is why in Libya the U.S. and the E.U., with treacherous support of one of the worst secretary generals of the UN has ever had, have incredulously redefined ‘peaceful demonstrations’ to include protestors who raid the armories of police stations and military barracks to arm themselves to the teeth and takeover towns and cities with the view to overthrowing a sitting government outside an electoral or constitutional process.”