Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation


Israel's Blitzkrieg to Capture Arab Oil Fields:
Operation Shekhinah

by Joe Vialls

http://geocities.com/operationshekhinah/one.html 30 January 2002
www.globalresearch.ca   30 April 2003

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/VIA304A.html

Editor's note:

This informative three part article first published in Jan-Feb 2002 sheds light on some of the key strategic issues surrounding the post-war agenda for Iraq.


Part One

In early March 2001, a leading European intelligence agency received disturbing news from its most senior and trusted agent in Tel Aviv. Aware of growing international resistance to its ruthless and murderous suppression of the Palestinians, the Israeli Cabinet had met to discuss the limited ways in which it could proceed with its plans to annex the rest of Palestine, with or without the support of principal ally America, or the “International Community”. At the time, the Israeli Cabinet had no idea that the subject matter of its March meeting would later become one of the prime reasons for the September attack on the World Trade Center.

The Israeli Cabinet was seriously worried. Despite effective control of the western media by the Jewish-American lobby, risk assessment conducted in Tel Aviv showed there was still a high probability that continued ruthless Israeli activity in Palestine, would lead in turn to increased sanctions by the western nations. Initially the sanctions would take the form of decreased arms shipments to Israel, followed later by increasingly large cuts in overseas financial “aid”, still provided in the main by unwitting American taxpayers. Sooner or later financial aid might dry up completely, but this was not the worst case scenario.

Eventually, if western public opinion became strident enough, America and Europe might feel compelled to impose a complete oil embargo on Israel. With no natural resources of its own, and only limited strategic oil reserves in the country, Israel’s armed forces would grind to a complete standstill in only a few weeks. Aircraft and battle tanks have an almost insatiable thirst for petroleum products, and when those products run out, the aircraft and tanks are no more use to their owners than chunks of aluminum and steel waiting for the recycling smelters.

Clearly then, the Israeli Cabinet had to find an alternate source of oil, and find it quickly. Moreover, bearing in mind they would no longer be able to pay for the oil because of financial sanctions, the new source would have to be “free”. Back in the sixties, ambitious Israelis had made detailed plans to acquire just such an alternate source of oil by force, but the plans had to be shelved for geopolitical reasons. Those geopolitical restrictions no longer existed in 2001, so the old plans were taken out of storage, dusted off, and renamed Operation Shekhinah.

Stealing oil reserves from another nation is certainly not an original idea. The closest historical precedent for Operation Shekhinah was probably back in 1941, when Roosevelt imposed a total oil embargo on Japan during the first American “War on Terror”. Seeing conflict as inevitable and recognizing its desperate need for an alternate source of oil, the Japanese responded accordingly, acutely aware that in order to reach and utilize the oil reserves in the Dutch East Indies, it would first have to overwhelm the [then] vastly superior US Navy.

It was in this context that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, suggested an air attack on the US Pacific Fleet, which had moved from its usual base at San Diego on the American west coast, to a mid-Pacific location at Pearl Harbor in May 1940. Yamamoto's plan was a development of the traditional Japanese defensive strategy. He gambled on a surprise attack to destroy the American naval capability in the Pacific, including its all-important aircraft carriers, and create enough time, perhaps six months, to enable Japan to complete its territorial conquests.

Simultaneous attacks by the Japanese army on Hong Kong, Malaya, the Philippines, Guam and the Dutch East Indies would capture the strategically important bases and areas rich in raw materials Japan felt was vital for its national survival and would also now be needed to sustain its war with America. The rest, as they say, is history.

Along much the same lines, and for similar strategic reasons in 2001, Israel intended to launch a surprise attack against southern Iraq, capture its southern oil fields, then use the old existing Trans Arabian Pipeline [“Tapline”], to pump the oil back to its own refineries at Haifa. Technical details of the operation will be provided later in this report, and in part two to follow, but first we need to examine the chances of the operation succeeding, and the subsequent reaction of the western nations and Russia.

Back in the sixties, when the operation was first planned by Israel, the British, Russians and Europeans had huge investments in the middle east, so an outraged backlash against Israel would have been immediate, and probably terminal for any ongoing “Jewish State” in Palestine. It was on this basis that the Iraqi plan was shelved and left to gather dust. However, during the years that followed, the entire geopolitical landscape changed. By March 2001, the Israeli Cabinet considered the risks to be minimal, and probably non-existent if Operation Shekhinah was handled correctly. What had changed the odds was the new status of Iraq.

During the late eighties and nineties, the fledgling “New World Order” and the media had spent millions of dollars demonizing President Saddam Hussein, to the point where he was eventually regarded by 95% of the western public as “The Butcher of Baghdad”. Not only was this Iraqi demon allegedly manufacturing weapons of mass destruction almost identical to those stored in America, he was also the tyrant who “gassed his own Kurds at Halabja”.

In fact President Hussein did no such thing. In February 1990 the US Army War College published a report titled “Iraqi Power & US Security in the Middle East”, which proved the Kurds of Halabja died as the direct result of an Iranian Phosgene gas attack. But the western media, firmly in the grip of the Jewish-American lobby, wasn’t going to let the hard truth get in the way of its frantic vilification campaign.

In light of Saddam Hussein’s new demonic status, the Israeli Cabinet reasoned in March 2001 that no one would now object to Israel taking strenuous action against this “known war criminal and killer of babies”. Instead, it was calculated that the action would be seen by the western public as daring. Once again the brave Jews would have taken a stand against a dictator in the sacred name of democracy; and hopefully the western public would not notice the millions of barrels of stolen Iraqi oil flowing back to its refineries in Haifa. And even if they did notice, what could they do about it with Israel already in occupation?

Before Operation Shekhinah could be launched, Israel needed its own “tame” Arabs on the ground in both northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq. Detailed plans of the area had to be drawn up or updated, and airfields and assembly points for incoming Israeli aircraft and ground troops arranged. In order to avoid suspicion or unwanted prying eyes, Israeli agents infiltrated the areas and started offering certain Shi’ite Muslims in the area “free passage” to other countries away from their enemy Saddam Hussein, plus spending money to take with them, in exchange for their ramshackle homes in the area.

Predictably there was no shortage of takers, and by mid April 2001 the preliminary operation was in full swing. Droves of Shi’ite Muslims quietly started departing the area for America, Europe and Australasia at enormous cost to the Israelis. Buying entire people smuggling operations was an incredibly expensive business, to which had to be added the ad hoc payments to the migrants and other significant expenses. Once again America unwittingly came to the rescue, with certain financial institutions in the World Trade Center laundering most of the massive funds needed. This activity was conducted with alacrity, because Israel had offered a dazzling quid pro quo to its financial juggernaut in New York City.

Once firmly established in southern Iraq, the new Israel would be at the crossroads of middle east oil, not only with direct control of the giant southern Iraqi fields, but also within easy striking distance of Kuwait, northern Iran, and the northern Iraqi pipeline routes. From this position of enormous strength, Israel would be able to either control or blackmail the local states into marketing their oil in an “organized way”, rather than allowing any old Tom Dick or Harry to buy the stuff on the Rotterdam Spot Market. Using sophisticated insider trading techniques, OPEC would be neutered, and world oil supplies would come under the exclusive de facto control of NYMEX and the New York Stock Exchange in the World Trade Center.

Concurrent with this activity, the Jewish-American Lobby was frantically urging the White House and US Department of State to step up its enforcement of the illegal “no fly” zones over northern and southern Iraq. The records show that attacks did indeed increase during this period, though the American and British pilots could not have known they were being deliberately used to “blind” the Iraqi air defenses, and ensure they stayed blinded in the run up to Israel’s Operation Shekhinah. When the Israeli surprise attack was finally launched, there would be not the slightest chance of detection by Baghdad until it was too late.

The possibility of military intervention by the United States seemed to trouble the Israeli Foreign Minister, but risk assessment came to the rescue and calmed his fears. Though a few US military aircraft based in Kuwait would probably have to be destroyed, either on the ground or in the air, it was calculated that this would not be a problem in technical or public relations terms.

Technically, the Israeli aircraft had home-grown fire control systems vastly superior to their American equivalents, and could be relied on to shoot down the US jets swiftly and with the minimum of fuss. In public relations terms the Israelis would later claim it was a case of “mistaken identity”, twist a few arms and grease a few palms in Washington, and the whole affair would be swept under the carpet. Once again the Israeli Cabinet had a sound precedent for this, in the form of the USS Liberty.

On 8 June 1967, during the Six Day War between Israel and the Arab States, the unarmed American intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked for 75 minutes by Israeli aircraft and motor torpedo boats. Thirty-four men died and 172 were wounded. Despite the proven fact that the USS Liberty was far offshore in international waters, and flying a bright, clean American flag, Israel insisted it was all a terrible case of mistaken identity, which it most certainly was not. Israel attacked the USS Liberty in an attempt to “blind” the American intelligence ship and prevent it forwarding details of Israel’s pre-emptive strikes to the Pentagon.

The Jewish-American Lobby went to work with a vengeance in Washington, twisting arms and handing out pieces of silver. So effective was the lobbying that the murder of thirty four American sailors on the unarmed USS Liberty went largely unnoticed by the public, and the media was predictably silent on the matter. Though the Liberty’s Captain William Loren McGonagle was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepedity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, it was presented to him quietly at the Washington Navy Yard, rather than the White House as is customary.

American politicians had bent over backwards to avoid embarrassing the murderers of the thirty-four American sailors. The Israeli Cabinet thus knew full well that any American “collateral damage” during Operation Shekhinah could be swept under the carpet in exactly the same way.

By early June 2001 the trickle of Shi’ite “migrants” out of northern Saudi and southern Iraq had swelled to a flood, which came to the attention of at least two more European intelligence agencies. For reasons unknown but presumably acting on orders, the Shi’ites were all woodenly claiming they were Afghans, which was not a good move. Afghans speak Farsi but these people couldn’t speak a word of it, which is hardly surprising. The native language in both northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq is Arabic.

Around this time Russia also became aware of the pending Israeli operation, though it is not yet known whether the information was leaked by a European agency, or provided direct by one of its own agents in Tel Aviv. But what was known by all by this time, was the actual start date for Operation Shekhinah: 2 October 2001, the first day of a seven-day Jewish holiday, and thus a most unlikely period in which expect an attack by Israel.

Things then went very quiet for a few weeks until 12 July, when Pravda, still considered by many as the establishment voice of Russia's old guard communists who control the military and intelligence agencies, printed a story on its page one entitled “Will the Dollar and America Fall Down on August 19? That's the Opinion of Dr. Tatyana Koryagina”. Was Mother Russia using this expert, and deliberately citing the wrong date, in order to distance herself from involvement in the upcoming 11 September attack on the World Trade Center?

Part Two

In order to get a true feel for the importance of oil to Israel, it is necessary to take a stroll back through history, to a time when the sky was continually lit by the flashes of heavy artillery shells and exploding bombs, as nations around the globe struggled with World War Two. But as the two sides struggled with the other, an entirely separate third battle was being fought behind the scenes. While the Americans, the British and their allies fought savagely and died in their thousands for secular democracy, others were fighting a covert quasi-religious war.

Zionists worldwide were actively plotting to overthrow Palestine in order to provide a “haven” for poor dispossessed Jews from around the globe, especially those who had suffered at the hands of the Nazis in Germany. Naturally the Zionists insisted that they had no territorial ambitions, confirmed by Ben Gurion, who stated the easternmost Israeli border would be “the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” So no real problem. Just relocate a few thousand Palestinians to make way for the Jews, and everyone would be happy.

As historical documents show, and modern Zionists freely admit, this was propaganda intended only for the gullible masses. The true intent of the Zionist elite was a smash and grab raid of staggering proportions, securing territory from the Mediterranean coast and the River Nile in the west, to the River Euphrates in the east, together forming the new Greater Israel.

By the end of the Second World War, the “new” Israel was shaping up as the biggest and most exciting game in town. Control of this vast block of territory would allow its new owners to completely dominate the crossroads of traditional world trading routes, regulate world oil shipping routes including the Suez Canal, and [effectively] control the Persian Gulf.


  For enlarged map, click here

In common with all 20th Century engagements, the battle for Greater Israel would require vast quantities of oil to drive the machines of war: Oil which the British and Iraqis had already piped into the port city of Haifa to serve the British naval and military bases in the Eastern Mediterranean. By 1946 two pipelines fed the refineries and loading terminals at Haifa: the first a ten-inch line running direct from Iraq to Palestine, and the second a sixteen-inch line running from Iraq to Palestine via Jordan. Also on the drawing board that year was a new mammoth thirty-inch line from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to Palestine, nicknamed the “Tapline”.

Thus if the Zionists planned their attacks swiftly and efficiently, they would be able to sweep through Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq, using the existing refineries and pipelines to meet the needs of their war machine. Once the territory had been conquered, the newly created Greater Israel could and would charge the Saudi’s and Bahraini’s vast Tapline royalties, and massive fees for the use of “its” refineries in Haifa. It was heady stuff, but by the time the Jews had finished slashing and burning their way though western Palestine in 1948, unwisely killing British as well as Palestinian citizens on the way, someone somewhere had already blown the whistle on their overall strategic ambitions.

As if by magic, the ten-inch and sixteen-inch lines oil were cut at source, and the Arabs started to fight back. Because the Jews were not exactly the darlings of the western world in 1948, and were strapped for both cash and oil, they had to call a temporary halt in what was to become Israel up until the next aggressive expansionist attempt during 1967. But significantly, in 1948 the Zionists had established a firm “beachhead” for Greater Israel.

The need to sever the pipelines had dealt a severe blow to the Arabs, who were now faced with transporting most of their oil out through the Persian Gulf, a extra distance of more than 5,000 nautical miles on the way to market. True a small pipeline still ran from Iraq through Syria to the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli, but it carried only a tiny fraction of the oil. So in the end the thirty-inch Trans Arabian Pipeline (Tapline) was built, though not without significant difficulty. Syrian parliamentary objections necessitated the CIA-aided 1949 coup in Damascus to secure "right of way" over the Golan Heights. Two CIA agents, one of them Miles Copeland, simply installed a Syrian Government prepared to sign the new right of way agreement, and Tapline was re-routed around the northern tip of Israel to the southern Lebanese port of Sidon.

The psychological impact of Tapline on the Israelis from its opening during 1950, should not be underestimated. Robbed of what they believed to be their historical birthright, by a lack of oil to drive their war machine on to a Greater Israel, they were now forced to watch impotently as that very oil flowed by, tantalizingly close to their border on the Golan Heights. On any single day, when the wind was not blowing and the air was still, they could hear the muted hum and swishing as nearly 500,000 barrels of sweet black crude oil flowed straight past, on its way to Sidon and the export markets.


For enlarged map, click here

Then in 1967 the Israelis launched their “Pearl Harbor” surprise attack on the Arab nations, blitzing the latter’s air forces on the ground, and expanding their own territory to include the Sinai in the south, and the extended Golan Heights in the north. The Israeli’s would have taken more if they thought they could get away with it, but once again international public opinion and limited pressure from America forced a halt. What went almost unnoticed was that for the first time since its opening back in 1950, the Tapline now ran through the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights, rather than through Syria.

This incredibly important new strategic reality seemed to escape the attention of everyone, including the premier American Military Academy at West Point. Nowadays the maps in the West Point Reference Library show lots of interesting tidbits about Israeli advances, roads and other mundane geographical features in and around the Golan, but not a glimpse of Tapline. For sample map, click here. Clearly where American military strategy is concerned, a pair of cleverly-sited Israeli machine gun nests on a hill in the Golan facing Syria, are more important that an oil pipeline large enough to fuel Israel’s entire army on its journey to the River Euphrates in Iraq.

Due to the failed Syrian attempt to take back the Golan Heights in 1973, and a host of other destabilizing factors including Israeli pipeline sabotage and problems in the Lebanon, all oil transportation in the western [Syrian and Lebanese] portions of the line ceased in 1976. That portion of the line was evacuated of all crude oil and the installations in Lebanon were handed over to the Lebanese government in 1983, after the Israeli invasion of that country.

The western section of the Tapline was not destroyed, and currently sits idle, still capable of transporting up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day. Until 1991 the eastern section of the Tapline was used to supply Jordan, but Saudi Arabia terminated this arrangement to display displeasure with Jordanian support for Iraq during the Gulf War. Tapline was and remains a central feature of Israel’s strategic plans to take Greater Israel by force, despite western objections, and despite threatened western sanctions designed to moderate its behavior.

Much of the detailed current planning for Operation Shekhinah will be covered in Part Three of this report, because we first need to look at new geopolitical alliances in the area. After all, logic dictates that if the Israelis reasoned they could use Tapline back in 1967, why did they not do so then? The simple answer is that on top of the lethal problem of Iraq, they would have faced fierce resistance from just about every Arab nation in the Middle East, and from Iran. A spectacular defeat would have been inevitable.

But then along came the very convenient Gulf War and everything changed. Though the demonization of Saddam Hussein is known to every western television viewer, the more subtle aspects of Middle East politics are not. Because they felt threatened, three Arab states in particular were forced embrace America and American troops. Kuwait was obviously the first because its territory was occupied by Iraq, but was followed swiftly by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, who rapidly found themselves overwhelmed by thousands of disrespectful British and American soldiers dropping empty Coco Cola cans and other assorted trash all over the sacred religious routes to Mecca.

The soldiers were supposed to go home after the Gulf War of course, but as we all know, the Americans and Brits like to “hang out” in their colonies for a little while after hostilities cease, normally for about fifty years. This quaint Anglo Saxon tradition swiftly led to tensions in the area so great, that by the mid 1990s the two smaller partners, Kuwait and Bahrain, were seriously worried about being left out in the cold.

If, as seemed likely, the Saudi’s were eventually obliged to remove the American soldiers from their sovereign territory, Kuwait and Bahrain might be forced to do the same under sustained pressure from their local populations. Huge problem: If you send the Americans and Brits home, then who will protect you from big bad Saddam Hussein? Certainly not Saudi Arabia, which has barely enough weapons to protect itself.

On hearing about this delicate problem, Israel held a series of secret talks with senior officials from Kuwait and Bahrain during late 1997, aimed at finding a mutually agreeable solution. It was agreed that both Emirates would be prepared to pump oil to Israel, provided the Israelis provided a defensive barrier between them and Iraq. Discreetly of course, because neither Emirate could possibly allow Israelis on its own territory.

Limited tactical requirements were discussed, including the expensive relocation of Shi’ite Muslims out of northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq, a process which as we already know continued to accelerate until a few days before the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York.

A year after the secret tripartite meetings, in what seemed at first to be an unconnected incident, the Jordanian Government found to its horror that a corrupt official had quietly dug up and sold more than fifty kilometers of disused sixteen-inch oil pipeline, originally used to pump oil between Iraq and Palestine. It transpired that this pipe was in perfect order, and carefully inspected as such by the mystery cash buyer. When interrogated, the official admitted his guilt but had no idea who the end user might be. Checks established the buyer was not Syrian, Saudi, Egyptian or Palestinian. So who?

Now this is a difficult one. Let me see… The buyer was secretive, meaning he did not wish to attract attention or arouse suspicion on the open market. In order to arouse suspicion on the open market in the first place, the buyer must have come from a country with no oil reserves of its own. Somebody jog my memory here: How far is it from the Golan Heights down to the refinery at Haifa?

Part Three

Click here for big maps

Before we start wallowing around in crude oil and pipelines, we need to briefly revisit the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Though it is obvious to most readers that the attack was driven at least in part by concern over control of the Middle East, it is not yet entirely clear whether this was the primary motivation, and if we reasonably exclude Arabs living in Afghan caves, we do not yet have the real villain. The coordination and precision of the attacks on New York and Washington, point to the direct involvement of one or more first-world government agencies. The resulting chaos was unquestionably as strategic as it was deadly.

The global impact of Operation Shekhinah cannot be overstated. Allowing Israel to position itself in southern Iraq, steal the oil and thereby place itself beyond sanction, would be grossly irresponsible. Not only would the “new” Israel directly threaten the remaining Arab States, it would indirectly also threaten Britain, Europe, Russia, Japan and China. We know that information about Operation Shekhinah was received by at least some of these countries by late March 2001, but we do not know how many. Operation Shekhinah could easily turn the global strategic balance upside down, a reality that one or more of the countries listed above might not be prepared to allow.

As noted in part one of this series, the only visible peripheral clue we have to the possibility of direct first-world involvement is the outspoken Dr. Tatyana Koryagina, who Pravda quoted on 12 July in its page-one article “Will the Dollar and America Fall Down on August 19?”. In fact this article was based on an earlier meeting at the Russian Duma on 29 June, attended by leading figures including American presidential hopeful Lyndon Larouche, a self-styled economic “expert” who for years has advocated a complete change in the global economic structure.

All the participants at the Duma that day, agreed America was a huge financial pyramid due to crash soon, but some vigorously challenged Dr Koryagina on the method, i.e. how could this be done without a war, without missiles, or bomb strikes?

Tatyana Koryagina, known to be close to President Vladimir Putin, responded in a cryptic manner: “Besides bombs and missiles, there are other kinds of weaponry, much more destructive ones”. She went on to explain further: “The U.S. has been chosen as the object of financial attack because the financial center of the planet is located there. The effect will be maximal. The strike waves of economic crisis will spread over the planet instantly and will remind us of the blast of a huge nuclear bomb.” End quote. The US has been “chosen”? What an interesting Freudian choice of words, Tatyana!

Conspiracy or coincidence? Despite the curiosity value, on balance we are forced to settle for coincidence because we have no hard proof of guilt. Certainly in the aftermath of 9/11 Dr Koryagina has been proved unerringly correct, because massive economic shock waves are still spreading outwards across the planet, five months later. But direct involvement? To use this minimal information to claim the Russians were directly involved in the WTC attack, is as ridiculous as pointing the finger at Great Britain on the flimsy grounds that British-owned Barclays Capital, was the only company known to have closed its office in 1 WTC and moved its employees to 222 Broadway, shortly before the attack took place. Stirring stuff, but it was all part of larger relocation plan. On 5 September 2001, Barclays plc announced it would be moving all of its staff from the City and the West End of London, to Canary Wharf in Docklands, many miles to the east.

Put simply, we cannot really tell from pointing fingers at different people and different companies whether there is any tangible connection between the WTC attack and Shekhinah. All we know for sure is that the resulting chaos slowed the operation down drastically. Quite apart from funding the huge bill for moving vast numbers of Shi’ite Arabs out of northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq, sympathetic financiers located in the World Trade Center were also funding and coordinating another critical part of the project, massive quantities of specialist lightweight pipeline.

By looking at the Tapline maps shown in parts 1 and 2 of this series, it is easy to see that the main prize of Operation Shekhinah, the 30/31 inch Aramco Tapline, runs primarily over Saudi territory, and obviously does not touch either Iraq in the east or Israel in the west. In the long term after the invasion, it will obviously be possible to construct proper 30/31” extensions of this large pipeline, but not in the short term with half the world likely calling for economic and oil sanctions against the Jewish State. Though Israel had significant stockpiles of smaller bore pipe, it was of the variety than has to be laid manually, and was extremely heavy. What was needed for use during the first few weeks or months after the pre-emptive strike on Iraq, was lightweight pipeline that could be laid in days.

At the time of the attack on the World Trade Center, financiers within were in the final phases of ordering this special lightweight pipeline, needed in the short term to “link” with the existing big-bore Aramco Tapline in Jordan, and pump a limited quantity of oil across the Israeli border to the refinery at Haifa. The lightweight pipeline was also needed for the eastern end, to connect pipelines in southern Iraq to the Tapline in northern Saudi Arabia..

Israel needed [and still needs] a total of more than 250 MILES of this special lightweight pipeline, carefully ordered in small lots through front companies from a variety of manufacturers, to avoid obvious questions being asked. The cost was so incredibly high that discreet major banking involvement was deemed essential. Moving the Shi’ites Muslims out of the immediate area was desirable though not essential to the operation, but the high pressure pipeline certainly was. Without the special pipeline Shekhinah might be terminally compromised, a problem the Israelis were desperately trying to rectify as recently as last week.

Selecting the correct type of pipe had been a long and difficult process. After much research into pipelines of every type, the Israeli planners settled on a modern, lighter, and larger bore version of “Pluto”, a top secret continuous pipeline laid across the English Channel by the Allies in the closing stages of World War II. Because the Allied planners knew nothing about the oil industry, they approached Mr. AC Hartley, a born problem-solver and Anglo-Iranian Oil’s chief Engineer. Hartley’s innovative proposal was, since you can’t assemble the pipe at sea, why not manufacture it in one continuous length, and deploy it rapidly off the back of a ship, in the way submarine telegraph cables had been laid.

The pipeline had to be of small diameter, to keep size and weight manageable. Hartley remembered that a difficult pumping problem in Iran’s hills had been solved using a three-inch diameter pipe carrying fluid at 1,500 psi, which brought 100,000 gallons per day 40 miles between pumping stations. Finally, under Hartley’s direction, the British company Siemens developed the Hais (short for Hartley-Anglo-Iranian-Siemens) cable: a lead pipe swathed in insulation, reinforced by steel wire, and coated in tar and yarn. Before the war was over, several pipelines were laid across the English Channel, pumping a combined total of 1.35 million gallons per day. Though little known to members of the public, “Pluto” played a critical part in oiling the Allied war machine in western Europe.

Continuous pipe technology has come a very long way since World War II, so the pipe ordered by the Israelis is quite different to that used by the Allies. Remember also that there is no requirement for sub sea work in the eastern and western “extensions” of the Tapline. The Israeli pipe can be laid straight onto the ground, supported where necessary by special air bags originally designed for underwater work in the North Sea. To generate the required high pressure in the western pipeline, three prefabricated diesel-powered pumping stations have been ordered, with a fourth as backup. Planners are confident that pumping equipment for the eastern extension of the Tapline can be “borrowed” or “requisitioned” from the Iraqis.

With Kuwait and Bahrain tacitly in tow, and the Saudis sidelined, the main threats to Operation Shekhinah should theoretically be Jordan and Syria. After all, this plan calls for a large chunk of Jordanian territory to be “annexed”, a favorite Jewish pastime, but not one likely to meet with the approval of the Jordanian people. Obviously the main threat to Israel on Jordanian territory will come from the Jordanian military, which has been given some very strange orders these past few months after spending decades fiercely guarding its border with Israel. King Abdullah has now quietly confirmed he no longer regards Israel as a threat, and is ordering major units of the Jordanian Army to relocate south, in order to face possible threats from the largely fictional “Al Qaeda Network”.

Though no details are to hand, it is understood that a secret meeting has already taken place between Israeli and Jordanian government officials, intended to discreetly force King Abdullah’s hand in return for a “consideration”, namely oil. He may have little choice in the matter. Jordan is an exceedingly poor country with about $6 billion in external debt, and about half a million Palestinian refugees to care for. Until 1990 Saudi Arabia provided “grace and favor” oil to Jordan along the Aramco Tapline, but swiftly shut down the pumps in 1991 when King Hussein voiced support for President Hussein of Iraq. They were never turned back on.

After the Gulf War, Iraq started supplying Jordan with its critical oil, but what will happen post-Shekhinah when Israel has control of southern Iraq? It is understood that Israel has offered to continue Jordan’s oil supply provided it agrees not to “interfere” with Israeli operations in the north of the country. Because of recent inexplicable Jordanian military movements to the south, this information is considered reliable.

Syria will not be so easy to hold in check, because it has a history of fighting Israel at every twist and turn, and furthermore has a border in close proximity to the “hijacked” western end of the Tapline. To beef up this particular border and minimize the risk, Israel intends to extend some existing border minefields far to the east, in a bid to keep out the Syrian armor. Beyond that, Israeli air superiority will have to suffice. It should be noted very carefully though, that in every sense Syria is the wild card in the pack. If Israel seriously underestimates Syrian military equipment, skill and determination, that country can and will terminate not only Operation Shekhinah, but also the Jewish State. The same will apply if Israel sends too large an occupation force to southern Iraq, thereby leaving itself wide open to an attack on what it fondly regards as its “Home Land”, i.e. Palestine.

Saudi Arabia, the unwitting and unwilling host to Operation Shekhinah, is steadily being publicly and very deliberately undermined. By the time the Israeli strike aircraft hit their first targets in southern Iraq, Saudi Arabia will be so frightened of losing control of all its oilfields, no defensive action will be taken in the north of the country. The discreet threats always use the fictional Saudi “Al Qaeda” connection as an excuse, illustrated in this instance by the Wall Street Journal, the most powerful newspaper in New York, and possibly the world. On Friday 4 January 2002, Ralph Peters wrote:

“Since Sept. 11, the Saudis have mounted a well-funded campaign to convince Americans that they bear no blame for anything. But they're worried. It long has been a Saudi assumption that they could buy whatever influence they needed in America, and they have, indeed, had many an influential American on their payroll, from lawyers and lobbyists to businessmen and out-of-work politicians. They joke about us as they would about prostitutes, and regard us as no better, if more enduringly useful. Their strategy worked as long as the rest of America slept. But the Saudis learned, after the attacks on New York and Washington, that the American people as a whole cannot be bought. Not even with cheap oil.

“The same voices that cautioned us to do nothing meaningful against terrorism now warn that any alternative to the current Saudi regime might be even worse. That is a coward's argument. The Saudi cancer will continue to metastasize if we shy away from treating it, and any new government on the Arabian peninsula is likelier to be scrutinized and contained than the checkbook terrorists of the royal family. Why not give change a chance, instead of supporting the most repressive and vicious monarchy remaining on this earth?

“We must begin by confronting the Saudis and giving them the clear choice President Bush offered the rest of the world: Either you are with us in the fight against terror, or you are against us. There can be no middle ground--especially not for terrorism's most enduring sponsors. We must work against the Saudis' campaign of religious hatred and subversion around the world. And we must begin looking for other regional partners, from a liberated Iraq to a future Iran.

“Finally, we must be prepared to seize the Saudi oil fields and administer them for the greater good. Imagine if, instead of funding corruption and intolerance, those oil revenues built clinics, secular schools and sewage systems throughout the Middle East. Far from being indispensable to our security, the Saudis are a greater menace to it than any other state, including China.

“Terrorism is not going to disappear, no matter how successful our military, diplomatic and economic efforts. Those efforts can, however, greatly reduce the appeal of terrorism to prospective acolytes and diminish dramatically its power and reach, while denying hard-core terrorists safe havens. Our efforts are off to a superb beginning, and there is much reason for optimism, so long as the strength of will of this and future administrations does not waver. ... “

 Copyright Joe Vialls  2003.  For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .