Review of F. William Engdahl’s book
Published on Global Research.ca, by Stephen Lendman, June 22, 2009.
For over 30 years, F. William Engdahl has been a leading researcher, economist, and analyst of the New World Order with extensive writing to his credit on energy, politics, and economics. He contributes regularly to business and other publications, is a frequent speaker on geopolitical, economic and energy issues, and is a distinguished Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization …
… Weaponizing Human Rights – From Darfur to Myanmar to Tibet
In targeting China, Washington’s human rights/democracy offensive focused on Myanmar, Tibet, and oil-rich Darfur. Called the “Saffron Revolution” in Myanmar (formerly Burma), it featured Western media images of saffron-robed Buddhist Monks on Yangon (formerly Rangoon) streets calling for more democracy. “Behind the scenes, however, was a battle of major geopolitical consequence” with Myanmar’s people mere props for a Washington-hatched scheme – employing Eurasian Color Revolution tactics:
- “hit-and-run swarming” mobs of monks;
- connecting protest groups through internet blogs and mobile text-messaging links; and
- having command-and-control over protest cells, dispersed and re-formed as ordered with no idea who pulled the strings or why – a hidden sinister objective targeting China for greater geopolitical control and destabilizing Myanmar to do it.
Also at stake is control of vital sea lanes from the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea with the Myanmar coastline “providing shipping and naval access to one of the world’s most strategic waterways, the Strait of Malacca, the narrow ship passage between Malaysia and Indonesia.”
Since 9/11, the Pentagon tried but failed to militarize the region except for an airbase on Indonesia’s northernmost tip. Myanmar rejected similar overtures – hence its being targeted for its strategic importance. “The Strait of Malacca, linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans, (is) the shortest sea route between the Persian Gulf and China. (It’s) the key chokepoint in Asia” so controlling it is key. China has close ties to Myanmar. It’s provided billions in military assistance and developed the infrastructure. The country is also oil-rich, on its territory and offshore.
China is the world’s fastest growing energy market. Over 80% of its oil imports pass through the Strait. Controlling it keeps a chokehold over China’s life-line, and if it’s ever closed, about half the world’s tanker fleet would have thousands of extra miles to travel at far higher freight costs.
In summer 2007, Myanmar and PetroChina signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding – to supply China with substantial natural gas from its Shwe gas field in the Bay of Bengal. India was the main loser after China offered to invest billions for a strategic China-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline across the country to China’s Yunnan Province. The same pipeline could give China access to Middle East and African oil by bypassing the Malacca Strait. “Myanmar would become China’s ‘bridge’ linking Bangladesh and countries westward to the China mainland” trumping Washington should it succeed in controlling the Strait – a potential geopolitical disaster America had to prevent, hence the 2007 “Saffron Revolution” that failed.
India’s Dangerous Alliance Shift
From 2005, India was “pushed into a strategic alliance with Washington” to counter China’s growing influence in Asia and to have a “capable partner who can take on more responsibility for low-end operations” – directed at China and to provide bases and access to project US power in the region. To sweeten the deal, the Bush administration offered to sell (nuclear outlaw) India advanced nuclear technology. At the same time, it bashed Iran for its legitimate commercial operations, and now Obama threatens hardened sanctions and perhaps war without year end 2009 compliance with clearly outrageous demands. (Full long text).
Part II will continue Engdahl’s important analysis to conclusion.
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