The Black Gold Spies

Book: Les espions de l’or noir (The Black Gold Spies), Gilles Munier (Editions Koutoubia – Groupe Alphée-Editplus)

Is oil ‘the master of this world’ ? It is, but how did this happen? From rivalries for the control of the route to India to the emergence of the United States as a world power, Britain and America succeeded in expanding their influence over the whole of Central Asia, Caucasus and the Middle East. In doing so, they seized control of the world’s major oil-fields.

By returning to the origins of the ‘Great Game’ and the oil rush, Gilles Munier tells the story of the ‘black gold’ spies and the curse that fell upon the countries possessing oil wealth. He describes the secret agents working for the various powers involved – Napoleon I, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Adolph Hitler, the irregular troops of the Stern Gang (Mossad’s predecessors) and the CIA, whose activities either preceded or accompanied the greatest massacres of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Among the cast, we find the famous: Lawrence of Arabia, Gertrude Bell, St. John Philby and Kermit Roosevelt. But we also discover lesser known characters such as Sidney Reilly, William Shakespear, Wilhelm Wassmus, Marguerite d’Andurain, John Eppler and Conrad Kilian. Going futher back in time, we discover Lady Stanhope, the Knight of Lascaris, William Palgrave, Arthur Conolly and David Urquhart.

“They say money has no smell, but oil is here to remind us that it does”, wrote Pierre MacOrlan. Gilles Munier adds that “in the Middle East and in the Caucasus, it smells of blood”.

Munier, who has witnessed first-hand various Middle Eastern conflicts, shows that these tragedies have very little to do with the introduction of democracy and the protection of human rights. As with the war in Afghanistan and the future wars in Iran or in Darfur, these armed struggles are the result of covert operations to control the oil fields.

Translated from French



A Note to all ‘Charlies’ : Wars Feed on Fear and Ignorance

If outrage was the most immediate reaction to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris, the question now, one month after the event, is whether the French really want to understand what is currently happening before their very eyes.

After the crowds of demonstrators eager to defend their ‘freedom of speech’, Søren Kierkegaard’s words remind us that  “people demand freedom of expression to compensate for the freedom of thought which they prefer to avoid”.

The ease with which people can be manipulated by the skilful use of emotion is, however, nothing new, since it is the root of all dictatorships: “Terrorism is the best political weapon because nothing drives people harder as the fear of a sudden death” (A. Hitler).

So the 3.7 millions ‘Charlies’ should not forget the following point :  wars feed on ignorance, and this is just as true in France as it is elsewhere in the world.

Do we remember what happened 12 years ago? The Americans were easily whipped up when ‘freedom fries’ replaced ‘French fries’ and French wine was poured down the drains of Manhattan. On the grounds of international law, the miscreant French had said no to a war in Iraq. We had understood, it seemed, that grotesquely exaggerated information is suspicious.

But what about today? The fear-inducing media onslaught against Islamic extremism cannot make us forget that, since 2011, France has been lending militarily support to Syrian and Libyan fighters, who are not known for their humanist values. So when Laurent Fabius, minister for foreign affairs, claimed to be pleased with the results in Syria, he was effectively condoning jihadi fighters.

The result of this? The Islamic State has threatened further attacks against France. Worst still, with the death of King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, there is now a real risk that war could spread to the entire Middle East, as perfectly illustrated by President Hollande’s speech made on the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier as it set sail for operations.

But what’s the motive? This war is based on a lie which deliberately equates Islam with Wahhabism, whose only credo is violence. But who knows the true origins of Wahabbism? Today the media succeed in portraying Wahhabism as Islam, but in fact it is a total forgery of true Islam!

There is, however, a book which is remarkably clear and concise that every ‘Charlie’ should read in order to be able better direct his anger. In surprisingly few pages, it conveys the essential point: that Wahhabism is a total distortion of Islam and its expansion is historically linked to the Anglo-American control of oil.

The book shows how Wahhabism has replaced the Communist threat in the global ‘strategy of tension’; a very useful tool for destroying recalcitrant nations, according to the whims of an unnatural alliance with the world’s only two official Wahabbist states– Saudi Arabia and Qatar- both of which are great allies to the jihadists.

The author, Jean-Michel Vernochet, a former foreign correspondent for Le Figaro Magazine, has the courage to ask the right questions. Now that the forces of destruction have been carelessly unleashed, will we be able to contain them in the future? Crucially, what price are we in the West prepared to pay for our individual freedoms?

The book has everything to clarify a topic that has been wilfully confused. After reading this historical essay, we can no longer say that we “didn’t know”…

11 February 2015

Article translated from French

The original authors were Jean-Maxime Corneille and Jan Varoujan, both journalists at Le Huffington Post

Source: Le Huffington Post