by Scott Creighton
“Ruling Yemen is difficult,” he said wearily. “I always say, it is like dancing with snakes.” New York Times 2008
No kidding. Over the past week I have been investigating our new terror target, the people of the nation of Yemen. Let’s not fool ourselves anymore, we aren’t going there to stop “al Qaeda” from lighting up more panty sparklers; we are going there to prop-up a failing corrupt regime who just happens to be “pro-Western”, “pro-business”, and deeply indebted to the World Bank and the IMF. The Yemeni government is in deep trouble from all sides and they need to be bailed-out. With all the money and resources at stake, the debauched Yemeni government is just “too big to fail”. At least, that’s how Washington sees it.
Our leaders in congress and the White House are in the process of trying to convince us that we have to go to the rescue of one of the most unethical and immoral dictators in the modern world, without ever mentioning his name; a man who was probably responsible for at least two violent coups in his country, who has been “president” of Yemen (North Yemen since 1978 and then the unified Yemen (north and south) since 1990) for over 30 years, and who has richly rewarded himself and his family at the cost of the dirt poor people of Yemen. That is who President Obama is determined to support in Yemen; a man who makes Saddam Hussein look like the Dalai Lama.
We are going to Yemen in order to save the snakes from the people they rob from and rule over: a self-appointed lifetime dictator and a massive new eight billion dollar Liquid Natural Gas pipeline that is partially owned by a long time Bush family friend, Ray L. Hunt.
But any examination of the fragile state of Yemen’s union would be completely remiss to ignore one of the biggest and most recent business developments that country has ever seen; the Yemen Liquid Natural Gas (YLNG) pipeline. Called ”largest economic project in the history of modern Yemen.”, this pipeline is an $8 billion dollar investment, which was just brought online on Nov. 7th of this year. Maintaining the security of the pipeline for the myriad of investors is of the up-most importance to the embattled President of Yemen. And apparently, it’s also very important to the White House. A cursory examination of the “investors” page of the YLNG website might explain why.
You see, aside from other prominent LNG companies, the 2nd largest investor in this multi-billion dollar project is none other than Hunt Oil. That’s the same Hunt Oil that got a major no-bid deal, at an estimated value of between $8 and $15 billion dollars, with the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq back in 2007. That deal, when it finally went public, was investigated by officials in the US, but neither Hunt Oil, the Kurdish Regional Government, nor the Bush administration would release any information on the deal at all. It was a lovily little sweetheart deal for Ray Lee Hunt, a longtime family friend of the Bushs, which helped thrust Hunt into the multi billionaire class of criminal. And that doesn’t even mention Hunt’s ties to the CIA… the same CIA that the “underwear bombers” daddy spoke with several times prior to the Christmas Day sparkler attack.
In the company of snakes.
Snake #1 – Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh – Dictator of Yemen for the past 30 years
Mr. Saleh (I can’t bring myself to call him “president”) has ruled Yemen since it’s unification in 1990 and he ruled North Yemen since 1979 when he apparently overthrew the president in one of his many coups. The first presidential “election” in Yemen was held 9 years later and, surprize, Mr. Saleh won the election with 91% of the vote. He immediately started changing the laws of Yemen, kept himself in power for a longer term and created a “111-member, presidentially appointed council of advisors with legislative power” which basically overruled the Yemeni Parliament rubber-stamping whatever Mr. Saleh and his cronies wanted. Then in 2006, after saying he wasn’t going to run again for the office, Mr. Salah changed his mind at the last-minute and “won” the “election”… this time with a slightly more believable 77% of the votes.
Mr. Saleh knows that his grip on the reigns of power in Yemen is slipping. He has known it for quite sometime. Between the rebels fighting in the north and the separatist movement in the south, Saleh’s corrupt government is in dire shape. His creditors at the World Bank and the IMF, as well as his global investors also know it. Years of oppression and vast economic inequality in his country have left many of Yemen’s 23 million citizens angry and ready for “CHANGE”.
This does not make for a stable business environment for their new $8 billion dollar LNG project and steps must be taken to insure the long-term viability of the returns on their investments.
Enter… the underwear bomber.
Even a cursory examination of the geography of Yemen shows the real threat facing the Saleh governement and their assorted investors.
As you can see from the map, several import highways and transport routes run right through the disputed territories north of the capital where the rebels are currently waging their own rebellion. The LNG pipeline runs from the south of the capital up to the north-eastern area where the only LNG refineries are, then down to the south.
Were the south to actually win their independence from Mr. Saleh’s Yemen, virtually all of the oil and LNG production and transportation facilities would no longer be under his control.
Effectively, were Mr. Saleh to lose both of these skirmishes, he would be president of a land-locked, oil and LNG producing state with virtually no means to transport what little natural resources he still controlled. He would be at the mercy of whatever government formed in the south, and so would his investors.
So they can’t allow that to happen. Yet the people of this nation, the United States, are getting sick and tired of waging endless wars for banks and oil-men while we desperately struggle to find a job to pay for our new mandated insurance policies. So how do we get involved without telling the US citizens what we are really doing there?
Well, a Nigerian banker, with direct financial ties to the nation of Yemen, goes to the State Department and then to the CIA and all of a sudden his son goes and lights himself on fire on a plane over Detroit. That little bonfire of the panties then serves as President Obama’s primary justification for engaging the American war machine and all it’s CIA/drone/mercenary powers.
One might think, if one were inclined too think, that perhaps the CIA had something to do with the planning of the “panty bomb”. I mean, after all, without a real detonator, the PETN in Umar’s pants would only provide a pleasant sparkly light show on Christmas Day, and any bomb maker certainly knows that. You couple that with a preplanned Danish film-maker who is ready to leap into action to put out the fire and keep the real passengers from beating the patsy to death, and you got yourself a first-rate false-flag operation with no death-toll, no horrible crash, and all the justification in the world to run down to Yemen and start drone-bombing those darn peasants. You whisk off the panty-bomber never to be seen again, plant all the right stories for the FBI to tell the media he “confessed” too, and you disappear the hapless Danish film-maker after he does one or two interviews, just in case he gets a little greedy.
Simple; clean; and relatively humanitarian… as far as false-flag operations go. All you have to do is connect the CIA to the panty bomber (done via Daddy Warbucks visit and follow-up phone calls) and then to someone heavily invested in Yemen.
Snake #2 - Ray Lee Hunt - Texas Oil Man, Long Time Friend of the Bush Family, and CIA asset
Snake number two got his start in Yemen. Actually, he got his start at birth, being born into the Hunt Oil family fortune but then he moved on to create his own master of the universe pool of wealth in 1984 when he found and developed oil in Yemen. He built a refinery and laid a pipeline in Yemen which increased his wealth from an estimated $200 million to about $4 or 5 billion or so.
Ray Hunt is certainly one of those quiet powers running behind the scenes in DC. Not only was he a life-long friend of the Bush family but he also sat on the board of directors of Cheney’s Halliburton company, yet another no-bid beneficiary of the war on terror.
With respect to government service, in October 2001 and again in January 2006, Hunt was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. Hunt was also appointed to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in 1998 and served as its chairman for four years until rotating off of the board on December 31, 2006. Additionally, he is currently a member of the National Petroleum Council (an industry advisory organization to the Secretary of Energy) and served as its chairman from June 1991 to July 1994. Hunt Oil website
While serving on the Presidents Foreign Intelligence advisory Board in 2007, Ray Hunt was able to parley that insider connection to a mega-deal in northern Iraq for control of the Kurdish oil fields. Now he finds that not only is his oil refinery and pipeline in danger in Yemen, but also his new 17% investment in the YLNG deal. Eight billion dollars invested and the potential of $30 to $40 billion in returns in the next few years alone. And all that investment sits in the southern part of a nation in turmoil which looks more and more each day like it might completely implode.
Texas’ Hunt Oil Co. and Kurdistan’s regional government said they have signed a production-sharing contract for petroleum exploration in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, the first such deal since the Kurds passed their own oil and gas law in August.
A Hunt subsidiary, Hunt Oil Co. of the Kurdistan Region, will begin geological survey and seismic work by the end of 2007 and hopes to drill an exploration well in 2008, the parties said in a news release Saturday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. CBS 2007
It’s not suprising that Hunt just happened to squeak out a pretty deal for this new Kurdish oil cash-cow under the Bush administration… after all, George H. W. Bush actually presided over the refinery inauguration of Hunt’s Yemeni plant in 1986 while he was vice president.
Hunt Oil is one of the world’s largest privately held independent oil and gas companies, with a strong domestic and international presence. Hunt’s 1984 oil and gas discovery in Yemen has generated over 1 billion barrels of oil exports to date. The hydrocarbon reserves discovered by Hunt contain sufficient quantities of natural gas to underpin the Yemen LNG project. Some US$2 billion have been invested in drilling wells and developing infrastructure to produce, process and export the reserves. Most of the infrastructure will also be utilised for the LNG project, with only relatively modest investments necessary to produce and deliver the gas for liquefaction. Yemen LNG Pipeline website
Two major investments in troubled regions for a politically well-connected billionaire oil man. What are the odds, huh? What are the odds that just as Yemen is losing control over their impoverished population, along comes the underwear bomber to provide just the right political cover for our escalation in Yemen… and without so much as hurting a hair on anyone’s head? Perfect timing you might say.
Hunt’s connections to the CIA go back a little ways. The Nov. 2006 flights to Camp Peary landing strip, a CIA base, are only part of the connection. The other is Poppy Bush himself. George H. W. Bush ran the CIA for several years so it is certainly reasonable to assume a connection there.
Of Dictators and Oil Men
So off we go to continue the Global War on Terror in yet another Middle Eastern country.
President Obama has announced that they are currently trying to pin-point the exact al Qaeda connections in Yemen who made the “sparkler bomb” while other unnamed officials are reporting that they and the Yemeni government (read as the Dictator) are carefully picking out “al Qaeda” targets to launch retaliatory attacks against using US cruise missiles and various drones. And all this they would have us believe, is because of the fizzly underpants of a lonely college kid.
No ladies and gentlemen, this is a much more complicated and dangerous snake pit we are about to jump into. It’s not “al Qaeda” that we are fighting over there, it’s the general population in the north and the south. The general population who wants to rid themselves of one of the worst snakes in modern history; their president.
And our president waves his silly Nobel Peace Prize and pledges to attack “the terrorists” half a world away for “freedom and democracy and all things Obama” in the world. Our president lies through his teeth and fails to remember that lovely speech he gave in Egypt just a little while ago. He launches off yet another war for dictators, bankers, and oil men while hoping against all hope that it takes a decade or two for the general population of this country to find out what is really behind it all.
There is only one way to ensure you won’t get bit while dancing with snakes… and that too be a snake yourself. Meet Snake #3…
Snake #3 - President Barak Obama - Neoliberal, DLC Manchurian Candidate of the Democratic Party
Dancing with Snakes is the 3rd Part of my “Understanding the Panty Bomber Mythology” series
Part 3 – Dancing With Snakes
Follow up notes:
Nov. 7, 2009 - Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, joined the international club of gas exporters Saturday with pumping starting at a newly built liquefied natural gas plant in the Gulf of Aden.
In a hillside ceremony overlooking the coast, President Ali Abdullah Saleh inaugurated exports by pushing a button giving the order to start pumping LNG from the terminal to a vessel anchored offshore.
… At the opening ceremony, speakers took turns to emphasise the importance of the achievement described by Oil Minister Amir al-Aydarus as the “largest economic project in the history of modern Yemen.”
… Addressing the ceremony, the Yemeni president spoke of the tough situation his government is facing with Shiite rebels in the north and violent protests in the south, as well as attacks by the Al-Qaeda terror network.
“This is an important strategic project and it is good this project has not been disrupted,” Saleh said in reference to inhabitants of the provinces and Shabwa and Maarib where gas is being extracted and processed. JAVNO
“So, as president, I’ve made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government — training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence and working with them to strike al-Qaida terrorists,” he said. MSNBC
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration was discussing nearly tripling its military and counterterrorism aid to Yemen in the coming year. US aid jumped from $4.6 million in 2006 to $67 million this year, and would rise to as much as $190 million in 2010, according to “a senior military official.”
Reuters, citing unnamed “defense and counterterrorism officials,” reported that “the Obama administration was exploring ways to accelerate and expand US assistance to Yemeni forces to root out the Al Qaeda leadership in the country, while keeping the role of the US military and intelligence agencies as behind the scenes as possible.” WSWS