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The Cheney/Baker Strategic Energy Plan: History and Illusion

Craig B Hulet? | 30.12.2003 22:31 | Analysis | Anti-militarism | Globalisation | World

We already have the names of nearly everyone Cheney sought advice from for the Strategic Energy Plan! The content of the plan itself is an outrage of Imperial conceit!

By Craig B Hulet?

"In fear and trembling, have they finally
realized of what man is capable-
and this is indeed the precondition
of any modern political thinking.
Such persons will not serve very well as
functionaries of vengeance.
This however, is certain:
Upon them and only upon them, who are filled
with a genuine fear of the inescapable guilt
of the human race, can there be any reliance
when it comes to fighting fearlessly,
uncompromisingly, everywhere against the
incalculable evil that men are
capable of bringing about."
-Hannah Arendt,
“Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility”

Americans are even less interested in the truth of these present findings than they were over a decade ago regarding the findings of this author, and many others, about specific meetings and policy formulations already decided upon long before past President Bush-Senior’s administration sought to bomb Iraq into the stone age. In fact it was outlined and planned to do just that, had Saddam Hussein not gone along with the deal offered him at the time. Boring as it might seem to draw this analogy here, I shall reprint the policy formulations below. It all began with the Arab/Palestinian peace process. To quote directly from the White House, April, 1990 meeting:

The Trilateral countries could assist a possible peace process, as well as helping to reduce the dangers to their own interests deriving from a renewal of inter-State conflict in the Middle East, by pursuing issues of non-proliferation of chemical, 2biological and atomic weapons and of conventional disarmament in the region, as well as of limitation of arms sales to the areas. The extent to which peace in the region is currently endangered by past sales, both legal and illegal, of armaments and of technology cannot be exaggerated. (Task Force Report: The Israeli-Palestinian Issue, The Washington, D.C., Plenary Meeting of the Trilateral Commission, April 1990, p.74. See also the Triangle Paper report itself number 38, p. 32, issued May 1990)

This meeting of the infamous Trilateral Commission (much argued among conspiracy theorists still) did take place; it was hosted by then President George Bush-Senior at the White House. Admitting that “The arms producing countries in the industrial world as well as the Soviet Union, some of its former satellites, and China share responsibility for this,” they hypocritically failed mentioning the presence for decades of American arms sales to many countries in the region by the United States itself, especially to Iraq; this is understandable, as Iraq is singled out in the same text.

In particular, the development both of nuclear weapons and chemical weapons in the region would scarcely have been possible without access to Western materials and technology, and there has been a notable failure to face up to the fact of, and the implications of, these leakages both Israel and to Arab States such as Iraq. Peace and stability in the Middle East will be difficult to ensure without a major international initiative designed to undo this damage-an initiative which may now be more readily achieved by agreement between East and West as a result of greatly improved climate of international relations. (Ibid.)

This was the argument to intervene in the region and set up a permanent military presence to ensure stability in the Persian Gulf in the State of Saudi Arabia; the Soviet Union had collapsed and its presence was no longer a threat to the region. It was no longer a threat to Western and particularly American military hegemony in the region then either. America under Mr. Bush Senior decided American hegemony was the future for the Middle East. Of course, it is common knowledge now that it was precisely this permanent military presence in the two Holy Lands of Saudi Arabia that set Usamah bin Laden into motion after America had trained him and his followers along with the Taliban to stop Soviet expansion in the Central Asian region of Afghanistan. The report goes on to say this:
Accordingly, urgent action should be taken to initiate linked nuclear, chemical and biological disarmament, control and verification measures in the Middle East. This is a matter which might appropriately be considered by the U.N. security Council in view of the serious threat to peace now posed by the proliferation of these weapons. (Ibid.)
Urgent action by the U.N. Security Council and the seemingly (at the time that is) ability of then President George Bush Sr. to simply pick up the phone and form an instantaneous coalition of western powers to attack Iraq after August, 2, 1990, is now easily explained, as I did during the period in question. Bush already had all the respective western powers lined up after Senator Robert Dole’s April 1990 mission to Iraq failed to get resolution on the question of Iraqi disarmament. Saddam Hussein simply said no, he would not disarm unless Israel did so as well. Of course Israel was not asked to disarm. The western powers that made up Bush’s immediate coalition are specifically those European nation-states which make up the Trilateral Commission itself: i.e., all of Western Europe, North America and Japan. (Which is what the word “Trilateral” means in the organization’ name)

It is only in the context of those meetings during April and after Robert Dole’s failed mission to Iraq, that Ambassador to Iraq, Ms April Glaspie, and her remarks to Saddam Hussein during June and July of 1990 make sense. Saddam Hussein asked Ms Glaspie what America’s position was on the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait? It was a long-standing dispute over who owned the strip of land between the two States and the separate very real dispute that Kuwait was “slant drilling” into Iraqi territory using newly developed technology of the Kuwaiti-owned Al Sabah family’s private firm, Santa Fe International. Glaspie’s response to Hussein was “that America would not get involved in Middle Eastern border disputes.” Saddam assumed wrongly that this left him free to resolve the situation with his own means. Many analysts saw these developments as Saddam Hussein having been clearly hoodwinked (“The Green Light” it was called) into invading Kuwait and was duly shocked when President George Bush Sr. declared Hussein a “Hitler.”)

I would be failing to do my job by not pointing out over and over again, as an aside, that the company Sante Fe International, owned 100 percent by the Al Sabah family of Kuwait had on its board of directors former President Gerald Ford (the President that appointed George Bush Senior to Director of the CIA), General Brent Scowcroft (at the time Bush Senior’s National Security Advisor) and Roderich Hills (husband of Carla Hills, Bush Senior’s Trade Representative).

One does not need to see conspiracy where policy formulations stated earlier in the same year, even just weeks or months before-hand laid out the political objectives. That the political objectives laid out earlier are fulfilled using war or conflict as the means is simply a von Clausewitzian understanding of the way the real world works, i.e., war is politics by other means. (See this author’s On Tactics and Strategy, Bush Misunderstands..., year end, 2003)

Strategic Energy Policy 2001: Report of an Independent Task Force
Cosponsored by James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University

But that past task force has not been the only one of note. There was another more recent and more prominent task force assembled to direct the new Bush regime that took power during 2001. After James A. Baker III helped convince the legal apparatus at Bush Junior’s disposal to utilize the Republican dominated U.S. Supreme Court to (some would say illegally) intervene in a one time decision-making effort to secure the White House for Bush Junior, James Baker III went right to work on yet a new task force to advise (some would say dictate) to the new Bush Junior White House their next round of strategic thinking. The task at hand, similar to the one convened conveniently at the Bush Senior White House April, 1990, was convened at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University.

In cooperation with the infamous Council on Foreign Relations which spawned the Trilateral Commission itself during 1973 with Jimmy Carter’s co-founding and help, one might find oneself in serious conspiracy theory territory if one were not too careful. But I cannot simply eliminate using the correct names for organizations because over the past decades other, less reliable authors prone to paranoia which brings on the bouts of conspiracy thinking, have named in the past. It is these three organs which offer the governing bodies of America (sometimes the world bodies) programmatic policy formulations which become acts of law and administrative rulings. That they are non-governmental organizations (NGO) is what makes them unaccountable, without any legal oversight, and often overly secretive and shrouded in mystery, which is their right as NGOs, which makes it so difficult to argue against their influence in the mainstream media (whose elite are often also selected as members of these organs of power).

But as an analyst, I simply cannot avoid naming the organizations and quoting their findings for fear some left-wing self-proclaimed, self-important elitist like Professor Noam Chomsky subtly and ever so quietly puts my name on “the list” of conspiracy theorists. That Chomsky (who has great expertise in “one field,” a specialist that is, his field being “Linguistics” [he is a seated chair at MIT, one of the U.S.’s largest defense contractors] willing goes along with smearing others with the label, is but to see that he has little competition on the progressive left; and it simply makes him rather common as people go). I can only quote one who has studied in depth the public pronouncement’s on political issues of these kinds of “specialists without spirit”:

“[But] if the compartmentalization of competence, and the underlying disunity of the self, are not widely recognized -- and they are not -- a successful academic may be able to use his success (in one isolated field) to reach the general public on matters about which he is an idiot. It doesn’t help that successful people tend to exaggerate their versatility; abnormal self-confidence is a frequent cause and almost invariable effect of great success.” (Source: Richard Posner, Public Intellectuals A Study of Decline, 2001, p.51, emphasis mine)

Thus I must name the organizations, and the men in power, I must, and call them what they are. That little bit of necessary gossip above out of the way, let’s look at what the James A. Baker III Institute found of such import that the Bush Junior White House dominated by former defense and oil monopolistic firms and former CEO, of Halliburton, Dick Cheney and his neo-conservative coterie, implemented as its own Strategic Energy Policy. The arguments and recommendations they made in the report of December 2000 through February 2001, and which was duly adopted by the White House as our United States Strategic Energy Policy makes these important contributions to our understanding of what the Bush regime is doing in the Middle East and Central Asia and why. To wit: ...

Deter and Manage International Supply Shortfalls: Immediate Steps:

Over the past year, Iraq has effectively become a swing producer, turning its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest to do so. Saudi Arabia has proven willing to provide replacement supplies to the market when Iraqi exports have been reduced. This role has been extremely important in avoiding greater market volatility and in countering Iraq’s efforts to take advantage of the oil market’s structure. Saudi Arabia’s role in this needs to be preserved, and should not be taken for granted. There is domestic pressure on the GCC leaders to reject cooperation to cool oil markets during times of a shortfall in Iraqi oil production. These populations are dissatisfied with the “no-fly zone” bombing and the sanctions regime against Iraq, perceived U.S. bias in the Arab-Israeli peace process, and lack of domestic economic pressures. A diplomatic dialogue that emphasizes common U.S.-GCC goals and programs should be pursued at the highest levels to minimize the potential for tension over these other issues. Goodwill efforts such as a U.S. offer to buy oil from spare capacity for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve when market circumstances warrant and a willingness to discuss coordinated response to supply emergencies can be used to offset anti-American sentiment among elite groups in these countries. (Source: Strategic Energy Policy, Challenges For The 21st Century, Report of an Independent Task Force Cosponsored by The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and The Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations Press, December/February 2000-2001, p. 43)

It is important to stress just how much concern there was over Iraq at the time the task force members were deliberating the problems and seeking solutions to the United States’ energy problems. Mostly supply disruptions and price hikes but there was more the members found of great importance and a problematic needing stringent measures to resolve. The final report stressed that

Iraq has been engaged in a clever public relations campaign to intersect these two issues and stir up anti-American sentiment inside and outside the Middle East. The bombing of Iraq by the U.S.-led coalition in February 2001 spurred anti-U.S. demonstrations in support of Iraq in traditional U.S. allies such as Egypt. Moreover, Saddam Hussein is trying to recast himself as the champion of the Palestinian cause to some success among young Palestinians. Any severe violence in the West Bank, Gaza, or southern Lebanon will give Iraq more leverage in its efforts to discredit the United States and U.S. intentions. A focus on the anti-Israeli sympathies of some Arab oil-producing countries diverts attention from the repressive nature of the Iraqi regime. Instead it rewards Iraq in its claim to Arab leadership for “standing up to the United States for ten years.” (Ibid. pp.45-46)

One area the mainstream media will not address which the preemptive invasion and now occupation of Iraq will clearly solve was paramount in the task force members’ arguments. The area is this: with the U.N. sanctions regime in place, which the Bush Senior regime forced the world to accept, was now unacceptable that Saddam Hussein had found ways to export Iraqi oil and remain in power. His ability to produce oil and his threat, primarily to sell oil for Euro-dollars rather than U.S. dollars was the last straw for the western corporate-led elite Empire. This concern at the time was addressed in a special section devoted to Iraq and Saddam Hussein in particular. The real problematic was that the sales of Iraqi oil were controlled by Iraq and Saddam Hussein, and that due to the U.N. imposed sanctions regime, "American private firms" were not allowed to “invest” in the oil production capabilities in Iraq. In other words, Exxon/Mobil/ Chevron/Texaco, Unocal, etc., etc., were not making the money on the sale of Iraqi oil and that was unacceptable. It was put this way:

Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to U.S. allies in the Middle East, as well as to regional and global order, and to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a “Pan-Arab” leader supporting the Palestinians against Israel, and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime. (Source: Ibid., Section titled “e. Review policies toward Iraq with the aim to lowering anti-Americanism in the Middle East and elsewhere, and set the groundwork to eventually ease Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions.” p.46)

The title of the section makes it clear, we need to “set the groundwork to eventually ease Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions.” So American firms can dominate the region’s oil, purportedly in behalf of the poor Iraqi people. Somewhat later in the report after outlining the problematic over Iraq, the solution raises its head.

The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq, including military, energy, economic, and political/diplomatic assessments. The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia and with key countries in the Middle East to restate the goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies. Goals should be designed in a realistic fashion, and they should be clearly and consistently stated and defended to revive U.S. credibility on this issue. (Ibid.)

The policy review that was conducted was obviously more “military” and “political” than either “diplomatic or economic” as we all know by now. That Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair clearly lied over so much of the reasoning behind the justification for a preemptive attack now makes much better sense. That the war was about “energy supplies” and “who” was allowed to enter the lucrative Iraqi oil market, once the “groundwork to eventually ease Iraqi oil-field investment” opportunities was accomplished, is open for the entire world to see. That it was planned all along and outlined in the James A. Baker III task force report, which presaged the White House’s adoption of its recommendations and became policy can only be known now that this office has made the Report public for the first time in this way.

There was certain amount of sanctimony in the report. Disingenuous language like this: “Actions and policies to promote these goals should endeavor to enhance the well-being of the Iraqi people. Sanctions that are not effective should be phased out and replaced with highly focused and enforced sanctions that target the regime’s ability to maintain and acquire weapons of mass destruction.” But post 9/11 nobody was about to miss the opportunity to throw the sanctions out with Saddam. They, instead went right to the crux of the latter and recommended “A new plan of action [should] be developed to use diplomatic and other means to support U.N. Security Council efforts to build a strong arms-control regime to stem the flow of arms and controlled substances into Iraq. Policy should rebuild coalition cooperation on this issue, while emphasizing the common interest in security. This issue of arms sales to Iraq should be brought near the top of the agenda for dialogue with China and Russia.” Nobody in the new American-led regime, the Empire itself, cared to use diplomacy any longer and used threats and ultimately the violation of international law and international relations norms which had been negotiated for almost three hundred years. It was then, and now, all about gaining investment opportunities in Iraq. This is no supposition on this analyst’s part; they state it with some enthusiasm: “Once an arms-control program is in place, the United States could consider reducing restrictions on oil investments inside Iraq.” Justification is all that was needed:

Like it or not, Iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade. However, such a policy will be quite costly as this trade-off will encourage Saddam Hussein to boast of his “victory” against the United States, fuel his ambitions, and potentially strengthen his regime. Once so encouraged and if his access to oil revenues were to be increased by adjustments in oil sanctions, Saddam Hussein could be a greater threat to U.S. allies in the region if weapons of mass destruction (WMD) sanctions, weapons regimes, and the coalition against him are not strengthened. (Ibid. p.47)

It was Saddam Hussein’s lock on the Iraqi economy that was at issue, not his threat to U.S. allies in the region, as he had threatened no one in the region at all for over a decade! Nevertheless the report argued “Still, the maintenance of continued oil sanctions is becoming increasingly difficult to implement. Moreover, Saddam Hussein has many means of gaining revenues, and the sanctions regime helps perpetuate his lock on the country’s economy.” (Ibid.)

The sanctions regime Bush Senior had put it place with the Un's help, was now seen as giving Saddam Hussein a lock on his own nation's economy! And allowing Iraq to become another major oil producer gets in the way of all sorts of plans for the Empire’s imperial future. China and Russia must be kept happy and part of the growing control obsessed World Trade Organization (WTO) family of non-governmental organizations (NGO) known as economic “regimes.” This too was addressed:

Another problem with easing restrictions on the Iraqi oil industry to allow greater investment is that GCC allies of the United States will not like to see Iraq gain larger market share in international oil markets. In fact, even Russia could lose from having sanctions eased on Iraq, because Russian companies now benefit from exclusive contracts and Iraqi export capacity is restrained, supporting the price of oil and raising the value of Russian oil exports. If sanctions covering Iraqi’s oil sector were eased and Iraq benefited from infrastructure improvements, Russia might lose its competitive position inside Iraq, and also oil prices might fall over time, hurting the Russian economy. These issues will have to be discussed in bilateral exchanges. (Ibid. p.47)

They cannot, you see, allow Iraq to gain a “market share” in oil production and reserve capabilities! It couldn’t be clearer. The same policies drove the White House to secure the Caspian region in Central Asia. In a section devoted to that region it was made abundantly clear what needed to be done. With the strategic shortfall their greatest concern and future market absorption of existing oil production, especially the needs of China and Russia as they become more import driven than export driven, the case is made for finding and developing oil reserves known to exist but are landlocked. One region like Afghanistan? “However, the exports from some oil discoveries in the Caspian Basin could be hastened if a secure, economical export route could be identified swiftly. It is unclear how much oil could be thereby released: estimates range from a relatively insignificant 10,000 b/d to well over 100,000 b/d. To this end, the administration should review policies toward this region. The option exists to downplay diplomatic activities that dictate certain geopolitical goals for specific transportation routes for Caspian oil in favor of immediate commercial solutions that may be sought by individual oil companies for short-term exports of “early” oil, including exports through Iran. These geopolitical goals can later be articulated for longer-term pipeline routing questions into the next decade.”(Ibid. p.61) The Afghanistan pipeline deal was signed and delivered with the Asian Development Banks financial assistance though Americans never heard of the deal unless they were wired to the foreign press through the Internet. (See also The Hydra of Carnage, Hulet, 2001)

The only thing that remained during February 2001, when the task force was about to close out its inquiry was the actual recommendation to set the policy in motion. That required an official governmental organization to be implemented, and put in place. The James A. Baker III task force knew well who ought to head such a new policy-making governmental agency. Under the section titled Develop Mechanisms for a New National Approach to Energy Policy, it was outlined in some detail. First what’s wrong with existing policy forums, then the solution.

If the energy policy goals of the country are to be articulated coherently and implemented effectively, steps need to be taken to build as wide a consensus politically as possible, especially if the tradeoffs among conflicting internal objectives of policy are to be successfully worked out. This means that constituencies must be brought together at several levels: within the federal government administration, between the administration and Congress, between the federal government and state governments, and between the federal government and the public at large. In order to further this end, a series of steps should be considered: (Ibid. p.60)

“Create an appropriate interagency process to articulate and promote energy security policy and integrate energy policy with overall economic, environmental, and foreign policy. For energy policy to be integrated with overall economic policy, environmental policy, and foreign policy, it needs to be vetted and articulated through a “permanent” interagency process that brings those responsible for these areas together.” And those responsible are those that matter, about issues that matter. In other words, predictably:

"The Bush administration has moved rapidly in this direction through the creation of the White House Energy Policy Development Group headed by Vice President Dick Cheney." (Ibid. p.61)

“For example, the fact that land management for resource exploitation is managed by the Department of the Interior rather than the Department of Energy has created inefficiency in government decision-making that should be reevaluated. The White House Energy Policy Development Group should, in the process of its work, review such discrepancies in authority and make recommendations for streamlining them.” (Ibid.)

The press made a big issue of the Cheney-led “Energy Policy Development Group,” especially in the aftermath of the invasion of Afghanistan and the eminent preemptive attack on Iraq, demanding Dick Cheney give up the names of the corporate people he consulted when setting up the Strategic Energy Policy through the newly mandated organ noted above. He stonewalled the press and Congressional enquires claiming executive privilege (which went some way for understanding who really was president and who vice-president?). The debate and lawsuits are an ongoing media campaign by the left Democrats and specific progressive groups. In fact the subject is topical even today as I write:
On Monday, the Supreme Court offered Vice President Dick Cheney a possible out from the great energy task force imbroglio. The high court agreed to hear an appeal from Cheney, who for more than a year has been defying a federal judge’s order to pony up documents about his infamous 2001 task force. Those behind the lawsuit against the veep are certain the documents will reveal that the White House was canoodling with industrial interests behind closed doors as it worked to establish national energy policy. (Source: Task Force Majeure By Amanda Griscom, December 19, 2003; See also: "

The background and history on these lawsuits and the issue itself are herein spelled out from the same recent article for the reader who might not have read of this. Here is some of the history:

The legal saga began in December 2001, when a funny bipartisan duo, the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, a D.C.-based conservative ethics watchdog group, teamed up to file a lawsuit against the White House. The goal of the suit: to find out if Cheney’s clandestine task force negotiations were illegally influenced by energy industry kingpins from companies like Enron, The Southern Company, and Cheney’s own pride and joy, Halliburton. Cheney’s Justice Department lawyers, who declined to speak with Muckraker, have repeatedly insisted that Cheney is immune to the court order to release the papers on grounds of a constitutional separation of powers....What exactly does that mean? Not much, according to Sierra Club lawyer David Bookbinder. “The White House is claiming that simply by virtue of his executive status, the vice president is fundamentally immune from having to appear in front of any federal court and give any information or account of his activities. Period. It’s that preposterous,” he said. Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch is equally appalled: “This is a completely unprecedented attempt to overextend executive privilege,” he said. “It calls into question the integrity of the court system in this country - particularly because we’re 3-and-0 right now.” In other words, first the U.S. District Court for D.C., where the lawsuit was originally filed, ordered Cheney to release the documents; second, he appealed the case to a federal appellate court three-judge panel, which again ordered the vice president to show his cards; and third, he steamrolled on to the full nine-judge appellate court, which refused to even reconsider the matter. With this track record, it’s difficult to understand why the Supreme Court would agree to hear the case. (Ibid.)

For some, it’s an ominous sign. “We’re totally screwed,” said one lawyer close to the case against Cheney who asked to remain anonymous. “The Supreme Court took the case to kill it. They did not take the case for any other reason then to drive a big spike through it.” The lawyer went on to explain that if the Supreme Court agrees to take a case, it means that at least four of the justices believe that the original D.C. circuit court got its ruling wrong. “The outcome of this case is all but predetermined,” said the lawyer.

Fitton is more hopeful, calling the Supreme Court’s consent to hear the case a professional courtesy: “There is traditionally deference to the executive branch when the high court is asked to take on cases like this.” Moreover, there are several Supreme Court rulings that suggest that the kind of executive immunity Cheney is requesting is flat-out unconstitutional - among them, United States vs. Nixon and Clinton vs. [Paula] Jones, which respectively forced presidents Nixon and Clinton to be treated in the judicial system like any other American. “If the Supreme Court upholds the letter of the law,” said Fitton, “then we will very clearly win.” And if the Supreme Court forces Cheney to come clean, it’s almost a given that the evidence would be damning: The media has already reported that Kenneth Lay and other energy honchos not only met with Cheney on task force-related matters but also, in the case of Lay, submitted an eight-item wish list for the administration’s new energy policy. But in the end it may not matter that much, because the Bush team will likely get exactly what it is looking for: extra time.” (Ibid.)

I have placed the names of the members and observers to the original Task Force at the James A. Baker III Institute that gave us the United States Strategic Energy Policy Bush and Cheney adopted immediately upon taking office (within less than two months of taking office!). The names are in Appendix Two below for the readers edification. And yes Kenneth Lay of Enron is there.

That Mr. Cheney met with others no doubt matters but no more than the fact that a non-governmental organization with ties to past White House elite matters, and at least as much. The attempt to pin conflict of interest charges on Cheney about who he met with serves little more than to give the left Democrats and specifically the impotent progressive left over at Pacifica radio something else to talk about. It remains redundant at best and irrelevant at the margins. One needs to look more at the fundamental content of the Strategic Energy Policy itself; the who’s who, while always important historically, means little at this point in U.S. history: we already know who owns every White House including the past Democratic ones. Nevertheless it will be pursued endlessly about a subject we all understand, or should. As an aside, exactly who would Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club have the Vice President and head of the newly designated task force meet with to confer on energy policy? Jay Leno? Again, the who on “this topic alone” is relatively unimportant but I give you the original names in any case, as it is the content of policy that really matters and that matters a great deal.

Syria: There is one more item we must look at as it seems the future has it spelled out while most of us were asleep at the wheel. To encircle Iran, which I believe is of more strategic importance than anyone has admitted as yet, by control of Afghanistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Armenia (the Caspian Basin) to the North and East, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to the South, along with a terrified Pakistan Mr. Bush has cowed and bribed, the only last loophole needing to be closed is that of Syria to the Northwest of Iraq and Iran. The circle is then complete when Syria falls. Iran will be fully surrounded and can then be easily isolated and squeezed into compliance. That is the theory at least, but likely it will go down less easily than V.P. Dick Cheney, Mr. James A. Baker III and their oil and gas proxy Mr. George Bush Junior, imagine. That they are already in hot pursuit of this design is clear. (See Appendix One below)

Appendix One
United States slaps sanctions on Syria
The Daily Times, December 15, 2003
* Syria accuses Israeli lobby in US, wants talks

WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush signed legislation Friday December 12, 2003 that aims to punish Syria for alleged ties to terrorists, tacit support for insurgents in Iraq, and efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

“Today, I have signed into law HR 1828, the ‘Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003,’” Bush said in a statement released by the White House. The bill demands that Syria end support for terrorism; halt the development of
chemical and biological arms as well as medium-and long-range missiles; and withdraw the roughly 20,000 troops it has deployed in Lebanon. It also calls on the governments of Lebanon and Syria to “enter into serious unconditional bilateral negotiations” with Israel in order to secure “a full and permanent peace.” And it says Syria must close its borders to any military equipment and anti-US militants bound for Iraq, where US-led forces have weathered deadly attacks since ousting Saddam Hussein in April.

The legislation directs the president to prohibit US exports to Syria of weaponry and so-called “dual-use” technology with both civilian and military applications and to pick two from a range of sanctions....They include restricting US exports and business investment, downgrading US-Syrian diplomatic ties, imposing travel restrictions on Syrian diplomats in the United States, freezing Syria’s assets in the United States, and restricting overflight rights for Syrian aircraft inside US airspace. Bush’s statement included traditional language indicating he construed the law’s requirements as tools, not directives limiting the White House’s historical prerogatives in shaping foreign policy.

“My approval of the Act does not constitute my adoption of the various statements of policy in the Act as US foreign policy,” Bush added. The measure cleared both chambers of the US Congress by overwhelming margins, and Bush ended two years of quiet opposition to the measure in early October after lawmakers granted him the power to waive the sanctions. Syria said Saturday that US sanctions on the country was the work of Israel’s friends in Congress. “The partisans of Israel in the American Congress worked actively for the adoption of this law,” the official SANA news agency said. Syria said it wanted a frank and constructive dialogue with the United States. The official news agency said President Bashar al-Assad’s talked with a US Homeland Security Committee delegation led by California Republican Christopher Cox dealt with combating terrorism and the Arab-Israeli peace process.


Appendix Two

Task Force Members and Observers:
Strategic Energy Policy 2001
Report of an Independent Task Force
Cosponsored by James A. Baker III
Institute for Public Policy of Rice University
and the Council on Foreign Relations


ODEH ABURDENE is managing partner of Capital Trust S.A. He was a manager in the international division of the American Security Bank in Washington D.C., and served as a Vice President with the First National Bank of Chicago.

GRAHAM ALLISON is Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Douglas 12/21/03ilon Professor of Government. In the first term of the Clinton administration, he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans.

JOSEPH C. BELL is a Partner with Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P. He was previously U.S. Designated Representative for the International Energy Agency, Dispute Settlement Center, Assistant General Counsel of International Affairs for the Federal Energy Administration (1974-77); and the Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Controls (1969).

PARTRICK CLAWSON is Director for Research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and was previously a Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the National Defense University. He has written or edited twelve books about the Middle East.

FRANCES D.COOK heads the Ballard Group LLC, a business facilitation service in Washington. She is a three-time former ambassador, including twice to energy-exporting countries. She twice served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, where her speciality was political-military affairs.

JACK L.COPELAND is Chairman of Copeland Consulting International, an investment and geopolitical advisory firm.

CHARLES B. CURTIS is Senior Advisor to the United Nations Foundation and the President of NTI, a newly formed foundation organized to reduce the contemporary threat from weapons of mass destruction. he has previously served as the Deputy Secretary and the Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Chairman of the Federal Regulatroy Commission, and the Chief Energy Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.

TOBY T. GATI is Senior International Advisor at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Field, L.L.P. She served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine, and the Eurasian States at the National Security Council in 1993, and then as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research until May 1997.

LUIS GIUSTI currently serves as Non-Executive Director of “Shell” Transport and Trading, and as Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Formerly, he was Chairman and CEO of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.

DAVID L.GOLDWYN is the principal of Goldwyn International Strategies, L.L.C., an international consulting firm. He served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs and Counselor to the Secretary of Energy, Senior Adviser to the Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Chief of Staff for the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton.

MICHEL T. HALBOUTY is an internationally renowned earth scientist and engineer whose career and accomplishments in the fields of geology and petroleum engineering have earned him the recognition as one of the world’s outstanding geo-scientists.

AMY MYERS-JAFFE is the senior energy advisor at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and president of AMJ Energy Consulting. Formerly she was the senior economist and Middle East Analyst for Petroleum Intelligence Weekly. Jaffe is the author of numerous articles on oil geopolitics, the Middle East, and the Caspian basin region.

MELANIE A. KENDERDINE is the Vice President of the Gas Technology Institute. Previously she was Director of Policy and the Department of Energy for oil and gas, Deputy Assistant Secretary at Department of Energy, and Cheif of Staff to Congressman Bill Richardson (D-N.M.)

JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II is Chairman and President of Citizens Energy Corporation, a nonprofit firm he founded in 1979 to provide low-cost heating oil to the poor and the elderly. He left Citizens in 1986 to serve six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and returned to Citizens Energy full-time in 1999 and serves on boards of companies in the health care, telecommunications, and energy industries.

MARIE-JOSEE KRAVIS is an Economist and Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. She specializes in trade and international finance-related issues and serves on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. She also sits on the boards of Ford Motor Company, Vivendi Universal, U.S.A. Networks, Hasbro Inc.,Hollinger International, and the CIBC.

KENNETH LAY is Chairman and CEO of Enron Corporation. Lay also was CEO of Enron from 1985 until February 2001.

JOHN H. LICHTBLAU is Chairman and CEO of Petroleum Industry Research Foundation, Inc. (PIRINC). He has been a member of the National Petroleum Council (Advisory Council to the Secretary of Energy) since 1968 and is also a member of the International Associates of Energy Economics.

JOHN A. MANZONI is Regional President for British Petroleum in the eastern United States. Formerly he was Group Vice President for the Refining and Marketing business, and before that he headed up the BP side of the BP/Amoco merger directorate.

THOMAS F. McLARTY III is Vice Chairman of Kissinger McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm. He was President Bill Clinton’s first Chief of Staff and also served as Counselor to the President and Special Envoy for the Americas. Prior to joining the Clinton administration, McLarty was Chairman and CEO of Arkla, Inc.

ERIC D. MELBY is a Senior Fellow with the Forum for International Policy and a principal in the Scowcroft Group. He handled economic and energy issues on the National Security Council staff from 1987-93 and was Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency from 1981-85. He also worked in the Department of State and Agency for International development.

SARAH MILLER is Editorial Vice President and Group Editor of the Energy Intelligence Group. She was European Director of McGraw-Hill News and London bureau chief and energy correspondent for McGraw-Hill World News.

ERNEST J.MONIZ is a Professor of Physics and former Head of the Department of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President (1995-97) and as Undersecretary for Energy, Science, and Environment in the Department of Energy (197-2001). At the Department of Energy, he also served as the Secretary’s Special Negotiator for Russian Programs.

EDWARD L.MORSE is Executive Advisor at Hess Energy Trading Co., L.L.C. he joined HETCO in April 1999 after more than a decade as Publisher of Petroleum Intelligence Weekly. From 1978 to 1981 Morse was at the Department of State, where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for international energy policy. A frequent commentator on oil market trends, both in writing and for broadcast media, Morse is the author or co-author of four books on politics, finance, energy, and international affairs.

SHIRLEY NEFF is an Economist for the Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Prior to joining the committee staff, she was an economist for a state public utility commission and for an oil and gas company and an electricity utility.

DAVID O’REILLY is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chevron-Texaco. Earlier, O’Reilly was one of the company’s two Vice Chairmen, responsible for Chevron’s worldwide exploration and production and corporate human relations.

KENNETH RANDOLPH is General Counsel and Secretary of Dynegy, Inc., responsible for all of Dynegy’s legal and regulatory activities. Prior to joining Dynegy, he served as an energy attorney for the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Field in Washington, D.C.

PETER ROSENTHAL is Chief Correspondent on energy and commodities for Bridge News.

GARY N. ROSS is Chief Executive Officer of the PIRA Energy Group, a New York-based international energy consultancy retained by some three hundred companies in more than thirty countries.

ED ROTHSCHILD is Principal at the consulting firm of Podesta/Mattoon in Washington, D.C. Formerly the Energy Policy Director of Citizen Action and consumer advocate on energy matters from 1971-97, he is also the author of numerous reports and studies on natural gas and oil pricing issues, competition, and concentration in the petroleum industry.

JEFFERSON B. SEABRIGHT is Vice President of Policy Planning for Texaco, Inc. He was formerly the Executive Director of the White House Task Force on Climate Change, Director of the Office of Energy, Environment & Technology, and U.S. Agency for International Development.

ADAM SIEMINSKI is the Director and Global Energy Strategist at Deutsche Banc Alex Brown. From 1988-97, he was a Senior Equity analyst for NatWest Securities. covering the major U.S.-based international oil companies.

MATTHEW SIMMONS is a president of Simmons & Company International, a specialized energy investment bank. He is a Member of the National Petroleum Council and Bush-Cheney Energy Transition Advisory Committee.

RONALD SOLIGO is Professor of Economics as Rice University with a specialty in development and energy economics. He has authored a number of studies on energy-related topics for the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice Univeristy.

MICHAEL D. TUSIANI has been Chairman and CEO of Poten & Partners since 1983. Prior to joining Porten in 1973, he was employed by Zapata Naess Shipping Company. He has written two books: The Petroleum Shipping Industry - A Non-Technical Overview and The Petroleum Shipping Industry - Operations and practices.

PHILLIP K. VERLEGER JR. is president of PK Verleger LLC and a Principal with the Brattle Group. He served as an energy advisor in the Ford and Carter administrations and advised President Ronald Regan on energy issues. he is the author of two books and numerous articles on the causes of energy price volatility.

ENZO VISCUSI is Group Senior Vice President and Representative for the Americas of Eni, the Italian-based integrated energy company, where he also serves as Chairman of Agip Petroleum Co. inc.

CHUCK WATSON is the Chairman and CEO of Houston Dynegy Inc., a leading provider of energy and communications solutions. he established NGC Corp, Dynegy’s predecessor, in 1985 and served as President until becoming Chairman and CEO in 1989.

WILLIAM H. WHITE is President of the Wedge Group Inc., a diversified investment firm with subsidiaries in the oil services, engineering, hotel, and real estate business. He is Chairman of the Houston World Affairs Council and served as deputy secretary and CEO of the U.S. Department of Energy from 1993 to 1995.

DANIEL YERGEN is Chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates. He is author of The Prize, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, co-author of The Commanding Heights, and recipient of the U.S. Energy Award.

MINE YUCEL is a Senior Economist and Assistant Vice President, federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is a member of the U.S. Association of Energy Economics and the author of numerous articles on energy and economy.


PAUL W.CHELLGREM is chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ashland, inc. He is Director/Trustee at PNC Financial services Group, Medtronic, Inc., the University of Kentucky, center College, and American Petroleum Institute.

RICHARD N.COOPER is Maurits C. Boas Professor of International economics at Harvard University. He was formerlyChairman of the National Intelligence Council, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs. He is the author of The Economics of Interdependence and other works.

CHARLES DUNCAN JR. serves on the boards of Newfield Exploration Company Inc., and The Welch Foundation. he is Treasurer and Director of Methodist Health Care System, and Chairman of its subsidiary, Methodist Care, Inc. he was former Secretary of the Department of Energy from August 1979 until January 1981, and former President of Coca-Cola Comapny.

WILLIAM E. HENDERSON III is manger, Joint Venture Coordination, Ashland, Inc.

JUDITH KIPPER is Director of the Council on Foreign relations Middle East Forum and the Director of the Middle East Studies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

ROBERT A. MANNING is the C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of several books, including The Asian Energy Factor:Myths and Dilemmas of Energy. From 1989 until1993, he was a Policy Adviser to the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State.

RICHARD MURPHY is Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations. He held successive appointments as Ambassador to Mauritania, Syria, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. He served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.

STEPHEN OXMAN is a Senior Adviser, Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter, for Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs; and former partner with James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated..

MICHAEL L. TELSON has been Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Energy since October of 1997. He was Senior Analyst of the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, served as the Staff Economist if the House Ad Hoc Committee on Energy, and on the governing council of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).

End 01/01/2004
c Copyright 2004 Craig B Hulet and The Artful Nuance

(Craig B Hulet? was Special Assistant for Special Projects to Congressman Jack Metcalf (Ret.) and is periodically consultant to ATF&E Justice Dept. Homeland Security. He is author of "The Hydra of Carnage: Bush's Imperial War-making and the Rule of Law," 2002)

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