As I watched this little spectacle playing out before me, I felt the strong urge to reflect on some thoughts.
Not far south from where I currently am, the tense political standoff with Iran continues at full throttle… Not too far south from where I am, the Islamo-Turco-Western agenda in Syria has plunged the embattled nation into a bloody civil war… Not too far east from where I am, Central Asia descends once again into chaos… Not far west from where I am, neo-Ottoman forces are on the move once again… Not too far west from where I am, Europe continues to suffer from a historic financial collapse… Not far north from where I am, Western, Georgian, Turkic and Islamic interests continue to collaborate and conspire against Russia and Armenia…
The Caucasus, where I currently am, remains as tense as ever as Baku continuous to test Armenia’s military defenses as well as Yerevan’s patience.
And fearing that its most important ally in the Caucasus is under threat, the Russian Bear has begun to growl in more ways than one. On this morning, the stern growl of the jet engines of the Mig-29s I see silhouetted against Mount Ararat before me gives me hope that Armenia will again survive these troubling times. And again I would like to call on Armenians to come to their good senses and remain as close to the Russian Bear as possible and in doing so properly exploit the historic opportunity the Russian state is providing our small, poor, landlocked and blockaded nation surrounded by enemies in one of the most hostile political environments on earth.
I’d like to take a little detour here and briefly address a very important topic that is inherent to all that is occurring in the region in recent times.
Affordable and/or unhindered access to oil, gas and various other commodities plays a big role in world affairs. The pursuit to manage/exploit natural resources and commodities is one of few core factors lurking behind virtually every single crisis plaguing the world today. At a time when populations across the world are booming and at a time when more-and-more nations are stepping out of the middle ages and into the modern world, man’s perennial fight to control the world’s natural wealth and/or its distribution networks is fast reaching new heights.
Let’s face it, had the Middle East, the Caucasus or Central Asia been free of oil and gas they would not be making news headlines today, and they would not be the perennial battleground they have been for over one hundred years. Oil politics is a major factor in international affairs today, as it has been for well over a century. The fierce competition to acquire new oil and/or gas deposits and the desire to control the distribution of current energy production lurks behind most of the bloodletting we see around the world today. Therefore, when looking at what is occurring in and around the Caucasus today, it would help us to first recognize the core elements that are the driving force behind the scenes.
In the big picture, the region’s ethnic strife and territorial disputes that come along with such strife is not why the Caucasus has attracted so much attention from the global community. Energy politics, also referred to as the Great Game, is the primary reason why the Caucasus has attracted so much international attention. Unbeknownst to many, even to many of us Armenians, the Caucasus region is in fact a very strategic energy corridor linking Central Asia’s enormous energy potential to the rest of the world. As a consequence of the region’s strategic situation, Armenia has come to play a very important role for all interested powers. The potential for impacting, positively or negatively, the region’s energy distribution is one of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s most strategic values for friends and foes alike. Needles to say, the other strategic value Armenia currently has going for itself today is of course being a Russian foothold in the region.
Similarly, although it lacks natural wealth, Syria also sits on territory that is foreseen to host major energy transportation routes. This may be one of the reasons why Ankara, Riyadh and Western powers want to control the political affairs in Syria, the other reason of course being the obvious fact that Syria is one of the strategic gateways to Iran. The energy transit route that is foreseen to pass through Damascus may be seen as an alternative corridor to release some pressure off of the Persian Gulf and lessen the strategic significance of the Strait of Hormuz. Towards the bottom of this page you will find a very interesting Asia Times article titled The Oil Road Through Damascus.
Seeing the writing on the wall, the Russian Federation is forging ahead and reinforcing its naturally wealthy Eurasian fortress and reinstituting its political and economic influence upon much of former Soviet territories. Fortunately, Moscow has more recently become very active in the Middle East as well. Moscow’s political resurgence has been made possible by its natural wealth.
Russia, the world’s largest political entity, continues to control the world’s greatest amount of energy reserves and it has more-or-less monopolized energy transit routes of Central Asia. In fact, even by Western estimates the Russian Federation is by-far the wealthiest nation when it comes to natural wealth, a very distant second is the United States. For more information please see the last three articles at the bottom of this page.
The 24/7 Wall Street article titled “The World’s Most Resource-Rich Countries” is a brief look at the natural wealth of nations and it is enough to help one understand the core motivation of international relations and the very basis of geostrategy. Natural wealth is what makes the political world tick. Having said that, the estimated wealth officially attributed to the Russian Federation is grossly underestimated in my opinion. There are vast tracts of land throughout Russia’s vast and yet untouched eastern reaches that have not even been thoroughly studied, and there is of course the vast Arctic region within which Russia has the largest stake in.
Russian land has been the envy of Western powers for centuries. Back in the mid-1990s Madeline Albright is said to have made the infamous claim that it is unfair for one nation, i.e. Russia, to control so much natural wealth (see article at the bottom of this page). Their fear and envy for centuries has essentially been this:
If Russia, geographically the largest and the most resource rich nation on earth who is also happens to be a major nuclear military power ever gets its act together, that is if it becomes stable enough to develop an efficient national infrastructure and system of governance, it can dominate the political and economic life of the world for generations to come. As a result of this simple yet profound realization, the political West will do everything and anything in its power to try to contain Moscow and to undermine Russia’s development. This in fact may explain Western policies vis-à-vis Russia for well over a century.
Remember the adage of the Anglo-Americans establishment: Keep America in, Russia out and Germany down!
Moscow’s control of vast tracts of resource rich lands and its control of energy distribution networks throughout Eurasia’s heartland gives the Russian Federation immense economic and political potential in the 21th century. In fact, in recent years various experts in the United States and Europe, as well as senior policymakers in various Western capitols have been forecasting a future dependence on Russia’s natural resources. Needless to say, dependence of any sort means political subservience. Needless to say, the financial/political elite of the Western world is not about to give up the wealth and power it has accumulated for centuries. This may explain why strategic thinkers in the Western world have felt compelled to maintain a strong military presence in the Middle East and Central Asia. The aforementioned threat emanating out of Russia may be the main factor in their geostrategic formulations.
The following two maps–[EDITOR'S NOTE: Download from original article to view very large maps.]– will give you a general look at the energy distribution picture of the Eurasia as of the last ten years -
The New “Great Game”: Oil Politics in the Caucasus and Central Asia:http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2010/11/some-see-expulsion-of-washingtonian.html
This is ultimately what the Whore of Babylon was concerned about when serious border skirmishes broke-out between Azerbaijan and Armenia while she was visiting Yerevan last month. Simply put, the fear is that a war in the region may see Armenian/Russian forces forever severing the flow of energy in the south Caucasus. Knowing that a Russia-backed Armenia possess the military might to defeat their Azeri client state in an armed confrontation, the Anglo-American-Zionist global order does not yet want to see the resumption of major hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Saakashvili’s historic blunder in 2008 was bad enough for them. The following blog pages about regional political affairs might as well have been written yesterday for much of the geostrategic factors found within them remains unchanged -
Nevertheless, Moscow has made it unmistakeably clear that it will go to war over Armenia.
The last twenty years have ruined Russian-Georgian relations for the foreseeable future. Russians and Turks have been natural competitors for centuries and it is no different today. Moreover, Islam as well as pan-Turkism poses a significant threat to the Russian Federation. In light of all this, Armenia is the only political entity in the region that guarantees Russia’s long-term presence in the strategic south Caucasus. Russia-friendly and Christian, Armenia is the only nation-state in the region that is a reliable and a natural buffer against Turkic and Islamic expansion. Therefore, it is quite easy to see why Moscow will be willing go to war simply to ensure that the pro-Armenian status-quo in the region remains intact. And this is ultimately why Moscow has massed troops on Azerbaijan’s northern borders, increased the frequency of its military exercises throughout the region and has begun to beef-up its military presence in Armenia. This is all being done by Moscow to discourage Baku from going to war.
More importantly, this state of affairs is providing the Armenian republic with a historic opportunity that it has not seen in a very long time, in fact a historic opportunity that it has not enjoyed in perhaps nearly one thousand years.