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Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Geopolítica e Política

Lusa - Lusística - Mundial

Oil, Zionism, Gas & Money

12.11.23 | De Situ Orbis

1923 map by Ray Stannard Baker, who was Woodrow Wilson’s press secretary during the Paris Peace Conference

Sykes–Picot Agreement




Palestine: The Geopolitics Of Energy

Following stipulations of Rhodes’ Will, his collaborators sparked WWI to dismantle a threatening Germany, carve up Europe, secure + expand colonial holdings by acquiring much of Ottoman Empire, giving them its oil holdings + secure Palestine as military buffer to Suez Canal.

Mark Wauck • Meaning In History • November 10, 2023


At a commenter’s recommendation—and I’ve forgotten who it was, so speak up in the comments—I’ve been reading Charlotte Dennet’s Follow the Pipelines: Uncovering the Mystery of a Lost Spy and the Deadly Politics of the Great Game for Oil.

Follow the Pipelines: Uncovering the Mystery of a Lost Spy and the Deadly Politics of the Great Game for Oil


As warned, the author is sometimes annoying and the mix of personal interests with geopolitics is frustrating at times, but it has proved a worthwhile slog through the history and geopolitics of the Middle East from the standpoint of Western neocolonial schemes. The scheming continues to the present, in constantly shifting shapes. What I’ll offer here is a summary of Chapter 8: The Hidden History of Pipeline Politics in Palestine and Israel. The details are convoluted, so I’ll keep it general.

The background is in the energy shift from coal to oil—for purposes of making war. England’s fleet was a key to maintaining its global empire, and the efficiencies of oil over coal meant that it was necessary to transition the fleet from coal to oil to keep up with and ahead of the rest of the world’s naval powers. In addition, oil was needed for the as a source of toluene—necessary for the production of TNT. England, in common with all Western European nations lacked local sources of oil, so it needed to go global to obtain it. And, of course, the ability to control the sources of oil and exclude access to oil by other nations became a major concern.

England had, by 1907, obtained access to rich oil fields in Iran (Persia). However, those oil fields were in close proximity to the Ottoman Empire’s provinces in what is now Iraq—which posed a threat to the security of the British controlled pipelines. In addition, the British were eager to secure additional sources of oil, in Iraq. Wikipedia sketches out the situation before WW1, in Mesopotamian campaign:

Persia had previously been divided by the British and Russian Empires into spheres of influence in 1907, with these oil fields under British influence. The oil pipeline to transport the Persian petroleum ran alongside the Karun River into the Shatt al-Arab waterway, with refineries based on Abadan Island in the area. However, much of the Shatt al-Arab also flowed through Ottoman-owned Mesopotamia, making this pipeline vulnerable to invasion. The petroleum in this region was vital for Britain's new line of oil-fired turbine based dreadnoughts as well as toluol for the production of explosives. In addition to oil, Britain wanted to retain its dominance of the Persian Gulf, show support for local Arabs, and demonstrate power to the Ottomans, … In addition to these factors, growing German influence in the region caused by the creation of the Berlin-Baghdad railway was of concern to London.

Pretty classic “Great Game” stuff.

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