The World Bank Between the “Arab” Gas Pipeline and the Aswan High Dam
A previous article by the Kassioun Research Unit, entitled: Operation Alpha, Version II, Why “Normalization with the Regime” and Why “Normalization”, dealt with a range of current Syrian issues within the framework of a historical comparison between the American-created Operation Alpha (in which the Brits participated, and which targeted Egypt, to try dragging it towards “peace” with “Israel” in 1955) and what is currently taking place under the name of the “Arab” gas pipeline, and other terms like “changing the regime’s behavior” and “normalization with the regime”.
The aforementioned article touched quickly on the role of the World Bank in the matter, to which we dedicate additional space in this article due to its importance and connotations.
The World Bank, briefly
In 1944 the Second World War had come to its inevitable and clear end. That was the year in which negotiations began among the victors – whether political or economic – over the shape of the post-war world.
If the Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences were the political and military side of the victors’ negotiations, the Bretton Woods conference was its economic side. Bretton Woods is the conference in which arose the trinity that became the basis on which primarily the US relied, with Britain in the second place and then the rest of the Western camp, for the gradual transition from colonialism in its old or direct military form, to colonialism in its new form: economic.
The root of this trinity was the post-war balance, specifically among the victors. Although the Soviet Union was the biggest winner in the military-political sense, it was the biggest loser in the human and economic sense. On the other hand, the US, which spent the least costs in the war, and by virtue of its geographical location in particular, turned out to be the absolute biggest victor. This was through the migration of European capital towards it, and the major arms deals and debts that entrapped its allies, leading to estimates that by the end of WWII it produced about 50% of the Western world’s GDP, and more than 30% of the global GDP, a figure that was further strengthened by the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe.
The Bretton Woods trinity
The Bretton Woods conference had a number of results, the most important of which was the abovementioned trinity, the elements of which are:
1- Making the dollar a global reserve currency and a global payment currency alongside gold, without any reference to the exemption of the dollar from covering itself with gold. This loophole, in parallel with the expansion of the global market in which the dollar entered as the currency of exchange, was the one which the owners of the dollar exploited to print dollars in astronomical quantities and without coverage for decades. This process, which is still ongoing, is among the largest plundering operations in contemporary history (the cost of printing a $100 bill is 14,3 cents, and its price is 100 dollars, meaning that the profit rate from printing the dollar are nearly 70,000%). In the early 1970s, Washington announced explicitly that it prints its dollars without gold coverage. That was after the US guaranteed the pricing of oil and its basic raw materials in dollars, and protected that pricing with military force and military bases around the world.
2- The Washington-based World Bank, whose stated primary role is to lend devastated countries for the reconstruction of what was destroyed, as well as to lend “developing” countries to launch major projects for which they do not have funding.
3- The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose stated role is to maintain a global currency balance by controlling the system of payments and the balance of currency exchange rates.
This same trinity turned into the “legal” basis for what we referred to as the largest plundering operation known to mankind from the periphery countries around the world and towards the center. This plundering operation was summed up in the union between: a- The continued printing of the dollar without credit and as a global currency, by using it to price oil and raw materials and protecting that with military force; and b- Mechanisms of modern economic colonialism: technological dependency, loans, price cutting, and brain drain.
The World Bank and the Aswan High Dam
The World Bank officially began operating in 1946, and attempts were made to portray it since then as an “international” institution, affiliated in some way with the UN, and that in this sense it is independent of member states and works on the basis of their collective interest and on the basis of balances among them.
In this article we are not tasked with exposing the subordination of the World Bank to Washington and its work in accordance with the American agenda since its inception until now. This is a task that has been accomplished by a plethora of studies. Rather, we approach its role here through the historical comparison between the Aswan High Dam and the “Arab” gas pipeline.
Nevertheless, it does not hurt to recall the archive of the 34th US President Dwight Eisenhower, which was declassified about 15 years ago. The archive includes his deliberations with then-World Bank President Eugene Black on the subject of the Aswan High Dam, which include explicit directives from Eisenhower to Black to manage the Bank’s negotiations with Abdel Nasser, as they fall within the framework of the implementation of Operation Alpha. In summary, what was required was dragging Egypt towards “peace” with “Israel”, through temptations to finance the Dam, some aid, and the possibility of an arms deal, and through threats including destroying the Egyptian cotton trade, which constituted 80% of Egypt’s exports at the time.
From Alpha α to Omega Ω
The matter ended up with John Foster Dulles, then US Secretary of State, announcing in July 1956 that the US refused to finance the Aswan High Dam through the World Bank. This in itself was an early indication of who is the real power holder in the World Bank’s decisions.
The announced rejection was a second stage within the plan that followed Alpha, which was called Omega comprising three stages, after Abdel Nasser’s firm rejection of the Alpha plan, though he was not aware of its existence at the time, but its main clause was clear to him, i.e. the issue of “making peace”, which was paired with letting go of rights and the Palestinian cause altogether. Things ended, as is well known, with the Soviet Union financing the Dam project, without any political conditions, and with great accommodations in the financial sense.
Alpha α is the first letter in the Greek alphabet that consists of 24 letters. The symbolism of naming the first plan towards Abdel Nasser’s Egypt with this name, meant among other things that it was the first US approach in dealing with the new regime in Egypt. As we mentioned previously, the plan was a mixture of limited threats and limited temptations while keeping in place the door to dealing with this regime.
On the other hand, the symbolism of choosing the name of the Omega Ω plan (the last letter of the Greek alphabet), which entered into force in mid-1956, is that the door had been closed to the possibilities of dealing with this new regime, and that the task has become to finish off Abdel Nasser, especially starting from the second and third phases of the plan. French and British documents reveal that both of these countries were contemplating at the same time orchestrating the assassination of Abdel Nasser, including a French plan for a group of commandos to cross the Nile from the French embassy to Abdel Nasser’s headquarters to assassinate him.
From tragedy to comedy
What is noteworthy in Eugene Black’s documents and his conversations about the Aswan High Dam project (which are also available), are two main things:
First: His conviction that Egypt was able to pay in full the dues and interests of the supposed loan and within a period not exceeding ten years, thanks to its cotton production and the important balances it had abroad, as well as the properties confiscated from the late royalty.
Second: His conviction that the Dam can bring about a major renaissance in Egypt and push it giant steps forward in its agricultural production, and then the industrial.
What is currently being called the “Arab” gas pipeline, is to Syria and its economy and situation, with the meager size of the project as a whole, and with the ludicrous percentage that Syria is supposed to get from passing “Arab” gas and “Arab” electricity through its territory, is immeasurably inferior to the level of importance of the Aswan High Dam project for Egypt. However, this is how history goes, if it repeats itself, it repeats itself as a mockery.
Herein we summarize the main objectives of what we call the Syria-specific Alpha Plan version II, which we talked about at length in the article referred to in the beginning of this article. We believe that the “Arab” gas pipeline is one of the tools of the plan, just as the temptation to finance the Aswan High Dam by the World Bank was one of the tools of the Egypt-specific Alpha Plan:
First: Working to integrate “Israel” into the region by linking it through energy, economically, and politically with all the countries of the region.
Second: Using the weapon of sanctions and blockade, between lifting and tightening (for example, relieving the gas pipeline from the Caesar Act), as a tool to pass the pipeline through as well as the broader agreement.
Third: Maintaining the situation in Syria within its current de facto division state, particularly by preventing a political solution and through “normalizing” the situation, that is, by maintaining the areas of control as is, and those who control them also as they are.
Fourth: Using normalizing states, led by the UAE, as well as Jordan and Egypt, as mediators and fronts for the project. In parallel with that, also working to accelerate pushing Saudi Arabia towards full and declared normalization with “Israel”, to complete the “Arab NATO”, and cut off the path of Saudi Arabia’s drifting eastward through the prospects of pacification with Iran, and through constantly strengthening relations with China and Russia.
Fifth: Using this process in its entirety within a broader vision to build an integrated polarization in our region between East and West, in which the Arabs and “Israel” will be within a Western alliance hostile to Turkey and Iran and behind them Russia and China, so that the void that will result from the American retreat and the forced withdrawal from the US from the region, will be filled with a series of conflicts and wars between everyone and against everyone.
Back to the World Bank and alternatives
If the “Arab” gas pipeline had received promises from the World Bank, when talk about it started about two months ago, that it would receive the necessary financing, it is not known now what the actual status of those promises is, after there being more signs that the operation is faltering.
It should be noted that it has been publicly declared, albeit a journalistic-intelligence statement from the “Israeli” Channel 12, that the gas will be “Israeli”. Generally, it is the custom of secret plans that their objectives are not announced before they are attained, unless they have actually failed. (See Kassioun editorial 1039: They Have Confessed!).
Nevertheless, the comparative historical approach we present here, opens the door to serious and responsible pondering of three crucial points:
First: When the Egypt-specific Alpha plan failed, it was immediately followed by the Omega plan with its three phases, which, after the assassination of Abdel Nasser, achieved what the first plan wanted. Meaning that the conflict still exists and continues, and the Alpha Plan version II still exists in terms of objectives. Although we have witnessed a change in tools, we must watch the conflict and guess it ahead of time.
Second: The final blow to Alpha, which transformed the direction of historical development in the entire region, was Egypt’s obtaining a real alternative, whether through arms deals with the Soviet Union, then standing within the alignment of the Non-Aligned Movement countries, and obtaining funding for the Aswan High Dam from the Soviet Union. As Syrians, we must now search for our political and international alternatives that are consistent with the interests of our country and people, and they are clear alternatives, primarily China and Russia.
Third: At the time that Alpha was finished off in Egypt, Egypt was united and under the leadership of Abdel Nasser. In order for Syria to be able to finish off Alpha version II, it needs to be united, and all Syrians need to be represented in a real manner that responds to the necessities of reality. A matter like this has no other entrance except a comprehensive political solution based on UNSC Resolution 2254, which necessarily must, especially in light of the clear Western-“Israeli” intentions and actions, move towards implementation via a vehicle capable of pushing it the end. This vehicle is also a clear political alignment within the existing international conflict, and is without any opportunistic ambiguities, evasions, tactics, and cleverness: Astana + China (see Kassioun Editorial 1044: Astana + China, a Vehicle for 2254).
The American announcement of refusing to finance the High Dam