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Kevin Phillips (political commentator)
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kevin Price Phillips (born November 30, 1940) is an American writer and commentator on politics, economics, and history. Formerly aRepublican Party strategist before becoming an Independent, Phillips became disaffected with the party from the 1990s, and became a critic. He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Magazine, and National Public Radio, and was a political analyst on PBS‘ NOW with Bill Moyers.
Phillips was a strategist on voting patterns for Richard Nixon‘s 1968 campaign, which was the basis for a book, The Emerging Republican Majority, which predicted a conservative realignment in national politics, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential recent works in political science. His predictions regarding shifting voting patterns in presidential elections proved accurate, though they did not extend “down ballot” to Congress until the Republican revolution of 1994. Phillips also was partly responsible for the design of the Republican “Southern strategy” of the 1970s and 1980s.
The author of fourteen books, he lives in Goshen, Connecticut.
Phillips was educated at the Bronx High School of Science, Colgate University, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Law School. After his stint as a senior strategist for the Nixon presidential campaign, he served a year, starting in 1969, as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, but left after a year to become a columnist. In 1971, he became president of theAmerican Political Research Corporation and editor-publisher of the American Political Report (through 1998).
In 1982, the Wall Street Journal described him as “the leading conservative electoral analyst — the man who invented the term “Sun Belt” [a phrase also attributed to legendary Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Sam Rayburn, named the New Right, and prophesied ‘The Emerging Republican Majority’ in 1969.”
Later, he became a critic of Republicans from the south and west, the area he had identified as the “Heartland”, the future core of Republican votes. He had also identified the “Yankee Northeast” as the future Democratic stronghold, foreshadowing the current split between Red States and Blue States. More than 30 years before the 2004 election, Phillips foresaw such previously Democratic states as Texas and West Virginia swinging to the Republicans and Vermont and Maine becoming Democratic states.
Phillips worked for Richard Nixon‘s presidential campaign in 1968, and wrote a book on what has come to be known as the “Southern strategy” of the Republican Party. The book was entitled The Emerging Republican Majority and argued that the southern states of the US would keep the Republicans winning Presidential Elections and more than offset the Northeast states, based on racial politics. As he stated to the New York Times Magazine in 1970,
“All the talk about Republicans making inroads into the Negro vote is persiflage. Even ‘Jake the Snake’ [Senator Jacob Javits of New York] only gets 20 percent. From now on, Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote, and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”
American Theocracy (2006)
Allen Dwight Callahan states the book’s theme is that the Republican Party (GOP), religious fundamentalism, petroleum, and borrowed money are an “Unholy Alliance.” The last chapter, in a nod to his first major work, is titled “The Erring Republican Majority.” American Theocracy “presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness.”
The New York Times wrote:
He identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration’s policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country’s immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future.
Phillips uses the term financialization to describe how the U.S. economy has been radically restructured from a focus on production, manufacturing and wages, to a focus on speculation, debt, and profits. Since the 1980s, Phillips argues in American Theocracy,
the underlying Washington strategy… was less to give ordinary Americans direct sums than to create a low-interest-rate boom in real estate, thereby raising the percentage of American home ownership, ballooning the prices of homes, and allowing householders to take out some of that increase through low-cost refinancing. This triple play created new wealth to take the place of that destroyed in the 2000-2002 stock-market crash and simultaneously raised consumer confidence.
Nothing similar had ever been engineered before. Instead of a recovery orchestrated by Congress and the White House and aimed at the middle- and bottom-income segments, this one was directed by an appointed central banker, a man whose principal responsibility was to the banking system. His relief, targeted on financial assets and real estate, was principally achieved by monetary stimulus. This in itself confirmed the massive realignment of preferences and priorities within the American system….
Likewise, huge and indisputable but almost never discussed, were the powerful political economics lurking behind the stimulus: the massive rate-cut-driven post-2000 bailout of the FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector, with its ever-climbing share of GDP and proximity to power. No longer would Washington concentrate stimulus on wages or public-works employment. The Fed’s policies, however shrewd, were not rooted in an abstraction of the national interest but in pursuit of its statutory mandate to protect the U.S. banking and payments system, now inseparable from the broadly defined financial-services sector.
American Theocracy was reviewed widely. The New York Times Book Review wrote “It is not without polemic, but unlike many of the more glib and strident political commentaries of recent years, it is extensively researched and frighteningly persuasive…” The Chicago Sun-Times wrote “Overall, Phillips’ book is a thoughtful and somber jeremiad, written throughout with a graceful wryness… a capstone to his life’s work.”
Bad Money (2008)
Kevin Phillips examines America’s great shift from manufacturing to financial services. He also discusses America’s petroleum policies and the tying of the dollar to the price of oil. Phillips suggests that the Euro and the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi are favorites to take the dollar’s place in countries hostile towards America, like Iran. He then tackles the lack of regulatory oversight employed in the housing market and how the housing boom was allowed to run free under Alan Greenspan. The book concludes with the proposal that America is employing bad capitalism and extends Gresham’s Law of currency to suggest that our good capitalism will be driven out by the bad.
- The Emerging Republican Majority (1969)
- Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age (1974) ISBN 0-385-04945-5
- Electoral Reform and Voter Participation (with Paul H. Blackman, 1975)
- Post-Conservative America: People, Politics, and Ideology in a Time of Crisis (1982) ISBN 0-394-52212-5
- Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy (1984) ISBN 0-394-53744-0
- The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath (1990) ISBN 0-394-55954-1
- Boiling Point: Democrats, Republicans, and the Decline of Middle Class Prosperity (1993) ISBN 0-679-40461-9
- Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street and the Frustration of American Politics (1994) ISBN 0-316-70618-3
- The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-America (1998) ISBN 0-465-01369-4
- William McKinley (2003) ISBN 0-805-06953-4
- Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002) ISBN 0-767-90533-4
- American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (2004) ISBN 0-670-03264-6
- American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century (2006) ISBN 0-670-03486-X
- Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism (2008) ISBN 0-670-01907-0
- 1775: A Good Year for Revolution (2012) ISBN 978-0-670-02512-1
- ^ Jump up to:a b Boyd, James (May 17, 1970). “Nixon’s Southern strategy ‘It’s All In the Charts'” (PDF). The New York Times.
- Jump up^ Rev. Dr. Allen Dwight Callahan’s page at Brown University Archived April 4, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Jump up^ Callahan, Allen Dwight, “Unholy Alliance” Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, No. 1008, October 25, 2006.
- Jump up^ N.Y.Times review on 3/19/2006.
- Jump up^ Alan Brinkley, The New York Times Book Review, March 19, 2006
- Jump up^ William O’Rourke, The Chicago Sun-Times, March 12, 2006
- Jump up^ Bad Money, 2008
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Story 2: Tea Party Traitor and Neoconservative Republican Poster Boy Marco Rubio Running For President in 2016 and For Government Intervention In The Middle East — Courts Mitt Romney Endorsement — Kiss of Death — Video
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Rubio jumps into White House race with jab at Hillary Clinton
By Ben Kamisar
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Monday entered the race for the White House, telling donors on a conference call that he is “uniquely qualified” to lead the Republican Party into battle against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“I feel uniquely qualified to not just make that argument, but to outline the policies that we need to have in order to achieve it,” Rubio told the donors, according to The Associated Press.
Portraying Clinton as a candidate of the past, Rubio, 43, talked about the opportunity awaiting the GOP as it seeks to recapture the White House after eight years out of power.
“The Republican Party, for the first time in a long time, has a chance in this election to be the party of the future,” Rubio said on the call.
“Just yesterday, we heard from a leader from yesterday who wants to take us back to yesterday, but I feel that this country has always been about tomorrow.”
Rubio is expected to officially launch his candidacy Monday evening in Miami against the backdrop of the Freedom Tower, a setting that will give him a chance to tout his heritage as the son of Cuban parents who fled to America in the 1950s.
The Florida senator, who is serving in only his first term, is entering an increasingly crowded GOP field that already includes Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.). A host of other candidates are waiting in the wings, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
It had long been thought that Rubio would not run for the White House against Bush, given their personal history and shared base of support in the Florida Republican Party.
But much like Obama in 2008, Rubio appears willing to gamble his political future on the notion that his party will be looking for a fresh face, particularly given the GOP’s difficulty in attracting minority voters in the last two presidential elections.
If elected, Rubio would become the first Hispanic president in American history.
Rubio told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday that he believes he’s “absolutely” the best candidate for the Oval Office.
“I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction,” he said.
Rubio is trying to generate buzz for his presidential campaign the day after Clinton jumped into the race with an online video where she declared her desire to be the “champion” of “everyday Americans.”
While Clinton’s rollout could overshadow Rubio’s, it could also play to his advantage by allowing him to draw a contrast with the former secretary of State, who has been a presence on the national stage for nearly three decades.
Thus far in the race, Rubio is polling outside the top tier of Republicans hopefuls.
But Rubio, a staunch conservative who was deemed a rising star after his election victory in 2010, is very well liked among Republican voters. Recent numbers from Democratic Public Policy Polling found that 55 percent had a favorable view of him, the highest of any potential GOP candidate.
Still, in order to win the nomination, Rubio will have to assure conservatives who were turned off by his involvement in the Senate’s failed immigration reform effort in 2013.
Rubio helped write a bill with Democrats that passed the Senate but died in the House after an outpouring of conservative opposition.
He has tried to make amends for his role crafting that bill, telling activists in February that he’s “learned” from the experience that securing the border must come first.
“You can’t just tell people you’re going to secure the border. … You have to do that, they have to see it, they have to see it working, and then they’re going to have a reasonable conversation with you about the other parts, but they’re not going to even want to talk about that until that’s done first,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Rubio is expected to make foreign policy one of the centerpieces of his campaign, and has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Obama’s move to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Following his campaign launch, Rubio will return to Washington for Senate business, including a high-profile Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran.
On Friday, he’ll head to New Hampshire for a full day of campaigning in the critical primary state.
Mitt Romney warms to Marco Rubio as young senator cultivates relationship
By Robert Costa and Philip Rucker
Sen. Marco Rubio has been cultivating a relationship with Mitt Romney and his intimates, landing some of the 2012 Republican nominee’s top advisers and donors and persistently courting others as he readies an expected 2016 presidential campaign.
In a crowded field of contenders, the imprimatur of Romney could help clear Rubio’s path into the top tier. Since Romney announced in January that he would not run for the White House again, he and Rubio have had at least two lengthy phone calls in which Romney encouraged and mentored the 43-year-old Florida senator about the political landscape, according to a Romney associate.
[ Rubio is the ‘upside’ candidate of 2016 ]
Rubio and Romney have built a warm and trusting rapport, in contrast to the frostiness that exists between Romney and the two current GOP front-runners, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. When Romney said in January that it was time to turn to the “next generation of Republican leaders,” it was widely interpreted as a swipe at Bush and a boost to a fresher face, such as Rubio.
In one-on-one meetings and communications with members of Romney’s inner circle, Rubio has impressed them with what they see as his compelling personal story, his depth and positions on policies, and his respect for Romney and his legacy in the Republican Party.
For Rubio, winning over key elements of the Romney coalition could give him a stronger foundation for a competitive campaign. But the support from Romney’s team alone would not guarantee Rubio success against Bush’s well-funded juggernaut or Walker’s grass-roots appeal.
Rubio has signed up two prominent former Romney officials in recent weeks. Rich Beeson, Romney’s 2012 national political director, has been tapped as Rubio’s likely deputy campaign manager, while Jim Merrill, Romney’s longtime New Hampshire strategist, is on board to play the same role for Rubio.
“For me, his substance, his skill and his story really stuck out,” Merrill said. “I always said if Mitt had decided to run again, I’d be with him. But when he decided not to go, I took a careful look at the field, and Marco represents the next generation of Republican leadership.”
Rubio’s courtship has been particularly intense with Spencer Zwick, who served as national finance chairman of Romney’s $1 billion campaign and is seen as the keeper of the Romney flame. Zwick said in an interview that the senator solicits advice from him regularly in phone calls, e-mails and text messages.
Rubio asks Zwick about how to assemble a campaign infrastructure and win the nomination, about lessons learned from Romney’s 2012 loss. Both fathers of young children, the two men talk about their families, too.
Zwick said he remains unaffiliated in the 2016 sweepstakes, but heaped praise on Rubio.
“Have you watched him speak?” Zwick asked. “This guy gives a message about the American dream that is compelling. People can say, ‘Oh, it’s the same speech every time,’ but you know what? Ronald Reagan did that, too, and it happened to work.”
Zwick called Rubio “an astute politician and a genuine person,” saying he “is universally well-liked by donors.”
Still, Bush has established himself early as the 2016 field’s fundraising dynamo, signing up many of Romney’s biggest bundlers, especially in New York and Florida, where he threatens to squeeze Rubio out.
A handful of former senior Romney aides and advisers have fanned out to work for an array of likely candidates besides Rubio, including Bush, Walker, former Texas governor Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The biggest Romney fundraiser helping Rubio is Wayne Berman, a fixture in GOP fundraising circles and a co-chairman of Romney’s 2012 national finance committee. Many Romney loyalists — including friends and associates from Bain Capital, the Mormon Church or the Salt Lake City Olympics — have stayed unaffiliated and are looking for signals of Romney’s preference.
Romney is unlikely to endorse a candidate anytime soon and has invited most of the GOP 2016 field to his annual policy summit with top donors and business leaders in June in Park City, Utah, where Romney has a home.
Rubio also has roots in the Mountain West. Although he was born into the Catholic Church, Rubio lived for several years of his childhood in Las Vegas and, during that time, was baptized in the Mormon Church. In his teen years, he and his family returned to Florida and rejoined the Catholic Church, although many of Rubio’s cousins remain affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Some Romney loyalists harbor bad feelings about several candidates. Privately, they say Bush was not as active in his support as they expected in 2012 and that they think he tried to muscle Romney out of the 2016 race in January.
They hold a grudge against Walker for sharply criticizing Romney in his 2013 book, “Unintimidated,” for doing “a lousy job” connecting with voters. And many Romney insiders were steamed at Christie for his high-profile embrace of President Obama, after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore in the final week of the campaign.
By contrast, Romney’s allies almost universally praise Rubio, who was vetted as a possible vice-presidential pick and worked on Romney’s behalf during the campaign. They singled out his prime-time speech — introducing Romney — at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
“He was an exceptional surrogate,” said Matt Waldrip, a former Romney finance aide and Zwick associate. “When he went to events, people showed up. He packed the house, whether fundraising or otherwise. He did whatever we asked him to,
clearly interested in helping the cause and helping the ticket.”
On Tuesday, Rubio met at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington for an hour with Lanhee Chen, Romney’s former policy director, who remains an adviser and friend. Chen said he was impressed by Rubio’s preparation for the meeting, which focused on foreign and domestic policy, as well as his depth on the issues.
“Senator Rubio has spent the last several years developing thoughtful conservative policy solutions, and he has a personal story that makes those solutions even more compelling,” Chen said.
Rubio’s camp has been in touch with other Romney associates, includingPeter Flaherty, a former Boston prosecutor who for years was Romney’s chief liaison to conservative movement leaders. Those talks have been informal, and Flaherty, like Chen and Zwick, remains uncommitted to a 2016 candidate.
“It’s elbow grease,” said one Romney confidant who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Rubio’s outreach. “Marco’s actually picking up the phone and calling people, saying, ‘Listen, I want to introduce myself and tell you who I am and what I stand for.’ It’s good politics.”
Terry Sullivan — who ran Romney’s South Carolina primary campaign in 2008 and for years has been a top Rubio adviser — has been helping him facilitate his outreach into Romney’s world. Sullivan is executive director of Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC and is his likely campaign manager. Rubio’s Senate chief of staff, Alberto Martinez, was a Florida-based adviser to Romney’s campaign in 2012.
Rubio is expected to formally launch his presidential bid next month, although aides stressed this week that no final decision has been made on the timing or venue. His advisers are preparing for a long and steady race, with a focus on laying the groundwork in the early-voting states.
Although he has been overshadowed recently by Bush and Walker, Rubio has generated some buzz among Republican insiders. His speeches at recent donor conclaves, including at the Club for Growth last month in Palm Beach, Fla., drew rave reviews.
Rubio has said he can raise the funds needed to mount a serious presidential bid. Norman Braman, a billionaire South Florida auto dealer, is expected to donate as much as $10 million to Rubio and his anticipated super PAC.
Rubio has his own national donor network, which he began cultivating in his upstart 2010 Senate campaign. The group includes donors who participate in the political network organized by industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose California meeting Rubio addressed in January.
But Rubio is making inroads elsewhere, too. He dined alone last week in Washington with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Romney in 2012.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who was Romney’s liaison on Capitol Hill in 2012, recently explained why so many Republican insiders find Rubio appealing.
“I often have a vision of Marco in the cloakroom of the Senate, when not much is going on, trying to watch his son’s football games on his smartphone,” he said.
Blunt then used a descriptor that few would have applied to Romney: “humanizing.”
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Story 1: Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos
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The European Union may impose further sanctions if a ceasefire deal sealed in Minsk between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels is not fully implemented, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said after an EU summit in Brussels tonight.
Fresh from brokering a deal in Minsk between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ms Merkel told a news conference that EU leaders had asked the European Commission to prepare further sanctions in case the ceasefire did not hold.
“We hold open the possibility, if these new agreements are not implemented, that we must take further measures,” she said, adding that existing sanctions could only be lifted when the grounds that led to them are removed.The leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia had committed to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a joint declaration distributed by the Kremlin.
“The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire,” Mr Poroshenko told journalists.
Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande had joined Mr Poroshenko and Mr Putin for a marathon negotiating session that began early on yesterday evening and continued into this morning. As the fighting escalated, the US began openly talking of arming Ukraine to defend itself from “Russian aggression”, raising the prospect of a proxy war in the heart of Europe between Cold War foes.
US President Barack Obama said he has yet to make up his mind on the question of sending weapons.
He spoke by phone to Mr Putin on Tuesday, and the White House said he warned the Russian leader that the costs would rise if Russia kept aiding the separatists.
The White House released a statement today welcoming the ceasefire, saying that the move represents a “potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty”.
As the French and German leaders’ peace initiative was announced, pro-Russian rebels appeared determined to drive home their advantage ahead of a deal.
Armoured columns of Russian-speaking soldiers with no insignia have been advancing for days around Debaltseve, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.
On the Russian side of the border, Russia has begun military exercises in 12 regions involving more than 30 missile regiments, RIA news agency reported this morning, citing a Defence Ministry official.
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Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine
Published on Jan 19, 2015
Europe plunged into energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine Gas prices rise in London Bulgaria reaches ‘crisis’ point
Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.
This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.
Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.
Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.
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Published on Oct 31, 2014
Moscow and Kiev have sealed a gas agreement after several hours of tense talks in Brussels. Previous rounds in recent weeks had failed. The deal on supplies and transit to Europe has allayed EU fears of staying in the cold this winter. Geopolitical analyst William Enghdal says the deal won’t solve anything in the longterm.
Marathon talks produce Ukraine peace deal; cease-fire Sunday
The peace deal reached Thursday for Ukraine, if it holds, would be a partial win for both Moscow and Kiev: Ukraine retains the separatist eastern regions and regains control of its border with Russia, while Russia holds strong leverage to keep Ukraine from ever becoming part of NATO.
But neither side came away from the marathon talks unscathed.
There’s no sign Russia will soon escape the Western sanctions that have driven its economy down sharply, and Kiev’s price for regaining control of the border with Russia is to grant significant new power to the east.
But the complicated calculus of whether any side came out truly ahead can’t be determined unless a single, straightforward term is fulfilled: halting the shooting and artillery salvos that have killed more than 5,300 people since April. That is supposed to happen on Sunday, at one minute after midnight.
A cease-fire called in September never fully took hold and fighting escalated sharply in the past month. Questions remain about whether either side possesses the will or discipline to ensure a truce this time.
The cease-fire is to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer mission in Ukraine.
But that “will probably go nowhere if there isn’t a huge political will to beef up the OSCE, pull in many more monitors, give them clear support,” said analyst Judy Dempsey, an associate of the Carnegie Europe think-tank.
The OSCE mission head, Ertugrul Apakan, said Thursday that he expected it would expand by the end of the month to about 500 observers, up from about 310 currently, the Interfax news agency reported.
Under the terms of the deal reached after 16 hours of talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the next step is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 30-85 miles (50-140 kilometers) wide, depending on the weapon caliber.
Then come the knotty and volatile political questions.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters the deal envisages special status for Ukraine’s separatist regions, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, maintained there was no consensus on any sort of autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine.
In addition, the agreement foresees the regions being able to form their own police forces and to trade freely with Russia, both of which would bring a degree of division and uncertainty within Ukraine that could be leverage to keep the country out of NATO.
Those measures would require constitutional reform, certain to be a highly fraught process.
“Anything that has to go through the Ukrainian parliament has a huge question mark attached to it,” said Eugene Rumer of the Carnegie center. “It is going to be the subject of a huge and very fierce debate in Kiev.”
Only after such reform is passed would Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia be restored, according to the pact.
Aside from the political resolution of the east’s status, Ukraine also faces severe challenges with its troubled economy, which is close to bankruptcy. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to give Ukraine a new bailout deal worth $17.5 billion (15.5 billion euros). The World Bank, meanwhile, announced it was ready to commit up to $2 billion to help Ukraine with reforms, to fight corruption and for other purposes.
Despite the uncertainties, the agreement’s initiators saw it as a step forward.
“We now have a glimmer of hope,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk together with French President Francois Hollande.
“But the concrete steps, of course, have to be taken. And we will still face major obstacles. But, on balance, I can say what we have achieved gives significantly more hope than if we had achieved nothing.”
As for Putin, he told reporters: “It was not the best night of my life.”
“But the morning, I think, is good, because we have managed to agree on the main things despite all the difficulties of the negotiations,” the Russian leader said.
Battles continued Thursday even as the talks went on, and Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russia sent 50 tanks and a dozen heavy weapons overnight into Ukraine.
In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, residents who have seen their city pounded daily by artillery since late May were skeptical of the deal.
“We will see whether there will be a cease-fire or not,” said resident Tatyana Griedzheva. “You have seen it with your own eyes, the kind of cease-fire that we have already had.”
A previous cease-fire in September was violated repeatedly as Ukrainian forces and the rebels both tried to gain more ground.
Poroshenko stressed that the pact contains “a clear commitment to withdraw all foreign troops, all mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” a reference to the Russian soldiers and weapons that Ukraine and the West say Russia has sent into eastern Ukraine to back the rebels.
Moscow has denied the accusations, saying any Russian fighters were volunteers, but the sheer number of sophisticated heavy weapons in the rebels’ possession belies that.
Still, Merkel said, in the end, Putin exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.
“I have no illusions. We have no illusions. A great, great deal of work is still necessary. But there is a real chance to make things better,” she said.
In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk said the test of the Minsk agreement will be whether the weekend cease-fire holds in eastern Ukraine.
The French-German diplomatic offensive came as President Barack Obama considered sending U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that European nations feared would only widen the hostilities.
“The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
The urgency felt by all sides was underlined by the extraordinary length of the talks, which began Wednesday evening and continued uninterrupted through the night as crowds of reporters waited anxiously in a marble-floored, chandeliered convention hall in Minsk.
While the four leaders hailed the agreement, Russia and Ukraine still disagreed on how to end the fighting around Debaltseve, a key transport hub between the rebels’ two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin said the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces there surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine says its troops have not been blocked.
Russia–Ukraine gas disputes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
||Parts of this article (those related to the 31 Oct 2014 settlement) are outdated. (October 2014)
Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe
The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from Russian suppliers, which are transported through Ukraine. Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.
A serious dispute began in March 2005 over the price of natural gas supplied and the cost of transit. During this conflict, Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, but diverting that which was intended to be exported to the EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the accusation, but later Naftohaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs. The dispute reached a crescendo on 1 January 2006, when Russia cut off all gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory. On 4 January 2006, a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, and the supply was restored. The situation calmed until October 2007 when new disputes began over Ukrainian gas debts. This led to reduction of gas supplies in March 2008. During the last months of 2008, relations once again became tense when Ukraine and Russia could not agree on the debts owed by Ukraine.
In January 2009, this disagreement resulted in supply disruptions in many European nations, with eighteen European countries reporting major drops in or complete cut-offs of their gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia. In September 2009 officials from both countries stated they felt the situation was under control and that there would be no more conflicts over the topic, at least until the Ukrainian 2010 presidential elections. However, in October 2009, another disagreement arose about the amount of gas Ukraine would import from Russia in 2010. Ukraine intended to import less gas in 2010 as a result of reduced industry needs because of its economic recession; however, Gazprom insisted that Ukraine fulfill its contractual obligations and purchase the previously agreed upon quantities of gas.
On June 8, 2010, a Stockholm court of arbitration ruled Naftohaz of Ukraine must return 12.1 billion cubic metres (430 billion cubic feet) of gas to RosUkrEnergo, aSwiss-based company in which Gazprom controls a 50% stake. Russia accused Ukrainian side of siphoning gas from pipelines passing through Ukraine in 2009. Several high-ranking Ukrainian officials stated the return “would not be quick”.
Russia plans to completely abandon gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine after 2018.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, oil import prices to Ukraine reached world market levels in 1993. However, gas import prices and transit fees remained below European levels for Russian exports to Europe through pipelines in Ukraine; these were set in bilateral negotiations. At the same time Ukraine remained the main transit corridor for Russia’s gas export. In 2004–2005, 80% of Russian gas exports to the European Union were made through Ukrainian Territory.Two-thirds of Gazprom’s revenue comes from the sale of gas that crosses Ukraine.
Ukraine’s own annual gas consumption in 2004–2005 was around 80 billion cubic metres (2.8 trillion cubic feet), of which around 20 billion cubic metres (710 billion cubic feet) were produced domestically, 36 billion cubic metres (1.3 trillion cubic feet) were bought from Turkmenistan, and 17 billion cubic metres (600 billion cubic feet) were received from Russia in exchange for transport of Russian natural gas. The remaining 8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) were purchased from Russia. The gas trading system differed substantially from the gas sale to the European Union and caused problems in the form of large-scale deliveries of relatively cheap Russian gas causing an increase of energy-intensive industries and supporting Ukraine’s status as one of the world’s least energy-efficientcountries and largest gas importers, the accumulation of Ukrainian debts and non-payment of same, unsanctioned diversion of gas and alleged theft from the transit system, and Russian pressure on Ukraine to hand over infrastructure in return for relief of debts accumulated over natural gas transactions.
Gas trading was conducted under a framework of bilateral intergovernmental agreements which provided for sales, transit volumes, gas prices, gas storage, and other issues such as the establishment of production joint ventures. Commercial agreements and trade relations have been non-transparent and trade has been conducted via intermediaries such as Itera, EuralTransGaz, and RosUkrEnergo. RosUkrEnergo’s involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian gas trade has been controversial. There are allegations that the company is controlled by Semion Mogilevich and its beneficiaries include strategically placed officials in the Russian and Ukrainian gas industries and governmental structures related to the energy sector. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made accusations that RosUkrEnergo is owned by a business ally of Ukraine’s ex-president, Viktor Yushchenko. The Ukrainian investigation into RosUkrEnergo, during Yulia Tymoshenko‘s first term as Prime Minister, was closed after she was fired by Yushchenko in September 2005.
Commercial agreements were negotiated between the relevant companies within the guidelines and dictates of that framework and supplemented by annual agreements specifying exact prices and volumes for the following year. Gas sales prices and transit tariffs were determined in relationship to each other.
According to a contract between Gazprom and Naftohaz signed on 21 June 2002, payment for the transfer of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian pipelinesystem had been made in exchange for no more than 15% of the gas pumped through Ukrainian territory to be taken in lieu of cash. This contract was supposed to be valid until the end of 2013. On 9 August 2004, the two companies signed an addendum to the contract, according to which the amount of gas given as a payment was calculated based on a tariff of US$1.09 for the transportation of 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas over a distance of 100 kilometres (62 mi); the addendum further stated the price of the natural gas supplied to Ukraine was to be $50 per 1,000 cubic meters (approximately $1.40 per million Btu).This price was constant notwithstanding the gas prices in the European markets. According to the addendum the price was not subject to change until the end of 2009. Gazprom argued that this addendum was only applicable provided that the two countries sign an annual intergovernmental protocol that has higher legal status for specifying the terms of gas transit. According to Gazprom, the addendum becomes void as the annual protocol had not been signed for 2006 under the required terms. Russia claimed that Gazprom’s subsidies to the Ukrainian economy amounted to billions of dollars.
According to the agreement of 2006, RosUkrEnergo was to receive no more than 20 percent of the total delivered gas, which in 2007 was 15 billion cubic metres (530 billion cubic feet) of 73 billion cubic metres (2.6 trillion cubic feet).
Disputes of the 1990s
Initial disputes concerning gas debts and non-payment appeared immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In September 1993, at a summit conference in Massandra, Crimea, Russian President Boris Yeltsin offered to Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to forgive Ukrainian debts in return for control of the Black Sea Fleet and Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal.After a strong negative reaction from politicians in Kiev, the idea was abandoned. An intergovernmental agreement was drafted on gas issues, including a clause stating Ukraine would permit Gazprom to participate in the privatization of Ukrainian enterprises in gas and other sectors. In March 1994, a Ukrainian deputy prime minister agreed with Russia that Gazprom could acquire a 51% stake in the pipeline system. In early 1995, Russia and Ukraine agreed to create a joint company, Gaztransit, to operate Ukraine’s natural gas transit infrastructure in exchange for the cancellation of a substantial portion of Ukraine’s debts to Russia. These agreements were never implemented, and in November 1995, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, adopted a law prohibiting the privatization of oil and gas assets.
As a result of disputes over non-payments by Ukraine, Russia suspended natural gas exports several times between 1992 and 1994. This led to the illicit diversion of Russian natural gas exports from transit pipelines by Ukrainian companies and institutions in September 1993 and November 1994. The siphoning of gas was acknowledged by Ukraine, while accusations of other diversions were disputed.
In 1998, Gazprom and Naftohaz made a contract under which Gazprom would pay for the transit of volumes of gas, which established a link between gas prices and transit tariffs, In 1998, Gazprom alleged that Ukraine had illegally diverted gas meant for export to other European countries and suspended exports of oil and electricity to Ukraine in 1999. Gazprom also claimed that Ukraine’s gas debt had reached $2.8 billion. In 2001, Deputy Prime Minister Oleh Dubyna acknowledged that in 2000 alone 8–7 billion cubic metres (280–250 billion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas had been siphoned off from export pipelines. The debt issue was settled on 4 October 2001, by the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on Additional Measures Regarding the Provision of Transit of Russian Natural Gas on the Territory of Ukraine (the 2001 Transit Agreement).
but this contract did not resolve the issue of already incurred gas debts.
Dispute of 2005–2006
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)
In 2005, negotiations over gas prices for 2006 started. Gazprom insisted on a new price of $160 per 1,000 cubic meters.Government of Ukraine agreed, with the stipulation that price increases were to be gradual, in return for increased gas transit fees and changing the method of payment for transit from payment in kind to cash. In May 2005, it was revealed that 7.8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) of gas which Gazprom had deposited in Ukrainian storage reservoirs during the previous winter had not been made available to the company. It remained unclear if the gas was missing, had disappeared due to technical problems, or had been stolen. This issue was resolved in July 2005 by agreement between Gazprom, Naftohaz and RosUkrEnergo, according to which Naftohaz received 2.55 billion cubic metres (90 billion cubic feet) of gas as partial settlement of the Russian gas transit over 2005 services and 5.25 billion cubic metres (185 billion cubic feet) was sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo who has to receive it from Naftohaz. However, the negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz over gas prices and a new gas supply agreement failed. On 1 January 2006, Gazprom started reducing the pressure in the pipelines from Russia to Ukraine.
Although Russia cut off supplies only to Ukraine, a number of European countries saw a drop in their supplies as well. TheEuropean Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and several affected member states warned that blocking of gas deliveries was unacceptable. Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, expressed the opinion that all Post-Soviet states should pay market prices for their energy needs in order to improve the efficiency of their economies.
The supply was restored on 4 January 2006, after the preliminary agreement between Ukraine and Gazprom was settled. The five-year contract was signed, although with prices set for only six months. According to the contract, the gas was sold not directly to Naftohaz, but to the intermediary Russian-Swiss company RosUkrEnergo. The price of natural gas sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo rose to $230 per 1,000 cubic metres, which, after mixing it in a proportion of one-third Russian gas to two-thirds cheaper supplies from Central Asia, was resold to Ukraine at a price of $95 per 1,000 cubic metres. The parties also agreed to raise the tariff for transit from US$1.09 to US$1.60 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 km; this applied not only to the transit of Russian gas to Europe, but also Turkmen gas through Russia to Ukraine. On 11 January 2006, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko confirmed that the conflict had been concluded.
One possible reason for this conflict is the more pro-NATO and European Union-style approach of the new “orange” government of Ukraine. Russia disagreed, stating they did not want to subsidize former Soviet republics.
Dispute of 2007–2008
On 2 October 2007, Gazprom threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid debt of $1.3 billion. This dispute appeared to be settled on 8 October 2007. On 5 January 2008, Gazprom warned Ukraine that it would reduce its gas supplies on 11 January if $1.5 billion in gas debts were not paid. Presidents Putin and Yushchenko announced on 12 February 2008, an agreement on the gas issue. Ukraine would begin paying off its debts for natural gas consumed in November–December 2007 and the price of $179.5 would be preserved in 2008. The presidents also decided to replace RosUkrEnergo and UkrGazEnergo with two new intermediaries, creating them as joint ventures of Gazprom and Naftohaz.
At the end of February 2008, Gazprom threatened to reduce the supply of natural gas to Ukraine beginning on 3 March 2008, unless the pre-payment for 2008 was paid. The Ukrainian government said it paid for the natural gas which was consumed in 2007, but refused to pay the bill for 2008. A Gazprom spokesman claimed that the bill for 1.9 billion cubic metres (67 billion cubic feet) of gas deliveries to Ukraine valued around $600 million remained unpaid. Ukraine disagreed as that debt accumulated in recent months when Russia used its own gas to make up for a shortfall in less expensive Central Asian gas. On 3 March, Gazprom cut its shipments to Ukraine by 25% and an additional 25% the next day, claiming that the $1.5 billion debt still was not paid, although Ukrainian officials stated it had indeed been paid. Gas supplies were restored on 5 March after Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Naftohaz CEO Oleh Dubyna agreed during negotiations by phone on a settlement. On 6 March, the Ukrainian cabinet refused to execute the gas agreements made by presidents Yushchenko and Putin. The Ukrainian cabinet did not want to pay in advance for 2008, and it opposed the creation of a Naftohaz–Gazprom venture that would sell gas in Ukraine. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stated that Ukraine did not need any additional joint ventures, and as of 1 March 2008, UkrGazEnergo is no longer operating in Ukraine’s domestic gas market.
Dispute of 2008–2009
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko (12 February 2008)
The gas crisis of 2009 began with a failure to reach an agreement on gas prices and supplies for 2009. Ukraine owed a debt of $2.4 billion to Gazprom for gas already consumed, and Gazprom requested payment before the commencement of a new supply contract. In December 2008, despite Ukraine’s repayment of more than $1 billion of its debt, Gazprom maintained its position, intending to cut the supply of natural gas to Ukraine on 1 January 2009, if Ukraine did not fully repay the remainder of $1.67 billion debt in natural gas supplies and an additional $450 million in fines levied by Gazprom. On 30 December, Naftohaz paid $1.522 billion, of the outstanding debt, but the two parties were not able to agree on the price for 2009. Ukraine proposed a price of $201, and later increased their proposed price to $235, while Gazprom demanded $250 per 1,000 cubic meters. Negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz were interrupted on 31 December.
On 1 January 2009, exports to Ukraine of 90 million cubic meters of natural gas per day were halted completely at 10:00 MSK. Exports intended for transhipment to the EU continued at a volume of 300 million cubic meters per day. President Yushchenko requested that the European Union become involved in the settlement of this dispute in a letter to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. A Ukrainian delegation including Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Yeliseyev, the President’s Representative for Energy Issues Bohdan Sokolovsky, and Deputy Head of Naftohaz Vadym Chuprun visited the Czech Republic as the first stop on a tour of a number EU member states to hold consultations on the gas crisis.
On 2 January 2009, Hungary, Romania, and Poland reported that pressure in their pipelines had dropped. Bulgaria also reported that their natural gas supply was dropping, affecting the shipment of natural gas to Turkey, Greece, andMacedonia. Furthermore, the United Kingdom Government announced that it was preparing to enter its gas reserves after gas pressure had dropped from the continent. On 4 January 2009, both RosUkrEnergo and Gazprom filed lawsuits against Ukraine and Naftohaz respectively with the Stockholm Tribunal of the Arbitration Institute. Ukraine also filed lawsuits with the tribunal. According to Naftohaz, RosUkrEnergo owes the company $40 million for services in transportation of natural gas. On 5 January 2009, Kiev’s economic court banned Naftohaz from transshipping Russian natural gas in 2009 at the price of $1.60 per 1,600 cubic meters per 100 kilometers. The court declared contracts made by Naftohaz for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine void because the contracts were signed by Naftohaz without authorization from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. On 30 March 2010, the Stockholm tribunal ordered Naftohaz to pay RosUkrEnergo around $200 million as a penalty for various breaches of supply, transit, and storage contracts. On 8 June 2010, the tribunal ordered Naftohaz to return 11 billion cubic metres (390 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to RosUkrEnergo. The tribunal further ordered that RosUkrEnergo would receive from Naftohaz a further 1.1 billion cubic metres (39 billion cubic feet) of natural gas in lieu of RosUkrEnergo’s damages for breach of contract.
On 5 January 2009 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to reduce natural gas exports to Europe via transshipment through Ukraine by quantities equivalent to the amounts of gas which Ukraine had allegedly siphoned from the pipelines since deliveries ended on 1 January 2009. On 7 January, all Russian natural gas exports via Ukraine were halted amid accusations between the two parties. Several countries reported a major fall in supplies of Russian gas starting on 7 January; Bulgaria, Moldova, and Slovakia were among the most affected by these supply drops.
Talks between Naftohaz and Gazprom resumed overnight on 8 January 2009. Ukraine agreed to guarantee the unfettered transport of natural gas on the condition that Gazprom would guarantee and supply technical gas for Ukraine’s gas transit system to function; this was denied by Russia. The supplies to Europe were not restored although the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia agreed to the deployment of an international monitoring group to the gas metering stations between Russia and Ukraine. Naftohaz blocked the transit of gas, blaming a lack of pressure in the pipeline system and saying the design of the Soviet-built pipeline meant it could not ship gas entering through the Sudzha metering station governing gas leaving through the Orlivka metering station without cutting off the Donetsk region, Luhansk region, and portions of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine. Naftohaz suggested a technically more feasible alternative through the Valuyki and Pisarevka metering stations but was refused.
On 17 January 2009, Russia held an international gas conference in Moscow. The EU was represented by the Presidency, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Říman, and the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, so that the European Union could speak with one voice. Ukraine was represented by the Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The conference did not achieve any solution to the crisis, and the negotiations continued bilaterally between Prime Ministers Putin and Tymoshenko. Early on 18 January 2009, after five hours of talks, Putin and Tymoshenko reached a deal to restore gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine. Both parties agreed that Ukraine would start paying European prices for its natural gas, less a 20% discount for 2009, and that Ukraine would pay the full European market price starting in 2010. In return for the discounts for 2009, Ukraine agreed to keep its transit fee for Russian gas unchanged in 2009. The two sides also agreed not to use intermediaries. On 19 January 2009,Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and the head of Naftohaz Oleh Dubyna signed an agreement on natural gas supply to Ukraine for the period of 2009-2019. Gas supplies restarted on 20 January 2009, and were fully restored on 21 January.
According to the EU Commission and Presidency, the Russia–Ukraine gas disputes caused irreparable and irreversible damage to customers’ confidence in Russia and Ukraine, causing Russia and Ukraine to no longer be regarded as reliable partners. According to reports, due to the gas crisis Gazprom lost more than $1.1 billion in revenue for the unsupplied gas. Ukraine also incurred losses as a result of the temporary closure of its steel and chemical industries due to the lack of gas. Ukraine also lost $100 million of potential revenue in transit fees from natural gas.
There were also accusations of illegal siphoning of natural gas by Ukraine; however, these accusations were not confirmed. The issue of technical gas used to fuel compressor stations and to maintain gas pressure in the pipeline network remained unclear. Some sources asserted that the responsibility for providing the technical gas falls to Ukraine, while others say that this is the responsibility of Gazprom.
There were several theories as to alleged political motives behind the gas disputes, including Russia exerting pressure on Ukrainian politicians or attempting to subvert EU and NATO expansions to include Ukraine. Others suggested that Ukraine’s actions were being orchestrated by the United States. Both sides tried to win sympathy for their arguments fighting a PR war.
In August 2009, it was agreed that loans worth $1.7 billion would be given to Ukraine to help it provide stable supplies of Russian gas to Europe by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in return for reforms in Ukraine’s gas sector.
On 28 December 2009, the Slovakian government announced that Russia warned it would stop oil supplies to Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic over a transit price dispute with Ukraine. However, the next day, Ukraine’s Naftohaz issued a statement confirming that Russia agreed to a 30% increase in the transit fees through Ukraine. The alleged rise in the tariff would be from $7.8 to $9.50 (or €6.6) per tonne of oil going through Ukraine in 2010. Additionally, unlike previous payments, new payments would be made in Euros as this was one of Ukraine’s demands. Russia and Ukraine also agreed on the volume of oil to be transported through Ukraine. The overall amount of oil to be transported to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary through Ukraine in 2010 will be 15 million tonnes—a decrease from 17.1 million tonnes in 2008.
2010 natural gas agreement
After meeting her Russian counterpart Putin, Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko declared on 3 September 2009, “Both sides, Russia and Ukraine, have agreed that at Christmas, there won’t be [any halt in gas supplies], as usually happens when there are crises in the gas sector. Everything will be quite calm on the basis of the current agreements”. Tymoshenko also said that the Ukrainian and Russian premiers had agreed that sanctions would not be imposed on Ukraine for the country buying less gas than expected and that the price of Russian gas transit across Ukraine may grow 65% till 70% in 2010. A week before Gazprom had said it expected gas transit fees via Ukraine to rise by up to 59% in 2010.
On 8 October 2009 Tymoshenko announced that Ukrainian 2010 natural gas imports will be significantly less than in previous years “because we have less need for natural gas”. Because of its economic recession the industries require far less gas. In response to Tymoshenko Gazprom Chief Executive Alexey Miller stated that Ukraine should stick to the January (2009) contract for 2010.
On 16 November 2009 Commissioner for Energy at the European Commission Andris Piebalgs stated that Russia and the European Union do not expect another gas conflict with Ukraine. According to him there were no gas price negotiations or questions other than that of gas payments.
On 20 November 2009, the gas deal of 18 January 2009, was altered after a meeting between Tymoshenko and Putin in Yalta; meaning Ukraine would not be fined for buying less gas then the old contract stipulated, this was done in view of the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis. On 24 November 2009 Gazprom and Naftohaz signed these supplements to the contract of 19 January 2009 on the purchase and sale of natural gas; according to the supplements, the annual contracted amount of gas to be supplied to Ukraine in 2010 has been set at 33.75 billion cubic metres (1.192 trillion cubic feet), instead of the 52 billion cubic metres (1.8 trillion cubic feet) contracted earlier. The documents signed by the sides also stipulated that there will be no fines related to the amount of gas consumed by Naftohaz in 2009. Over the first ten months of 2009 Naftohaz has purchased 18.85 billion cubic metres (666 billion cubic feet) of gas with the contracted volume being 31.7 billion cubic metres (1.12 trillion cubic feet).
On 15 December 2009, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko stated he expects no problems with Ukraine over gas supplies at New Year.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko were in Moscow late March 2010 to negotiate lower gas prices; neither clearly explained what Ukraine was prepared to offer in return. Following these talks Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was prepared to discuss the revision of the price for natural gas it sells to Ukraine.
On 21 April 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement in which Russia agreed to a 30 percent drop in the price of natural gas sold to Ukraine. Russia agreed to this in exchange for permission to extend Russia’s lease of a major naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port ofSevastopol for an additional 25 years with an additional five-year renewal option (to 2042-47). As of June 2010 Ukraine pays Gazprom around $234/mcm (thousand cubic meter).
This agreement was subject to approval by both the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments. They did ratify the agreement on 27 April 2010. The Ukrainian parliament ratified it after several eggs were thrown towards thespeaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn, by deputies and other incidents. Opposition members in Ukraine and Russia expressed doubts the agreement would be fulfilled by the Ukrainian side.
Yanukovych has defended the agreement as a tool to help stabilise the state budget. Opposition members in Ukraine described the agreement as a sell out of national interests.
Dispute of 2013–2014
In February 2014, Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz sued Chornomornaftogaz for delayed debt payments of 11.614 billion UAH (almost €1 billion) in the Economic Court of the Crimean Autonomous Republic.
In March 2014, Crimean authorities announced that they would nationalize the company. Crimean deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev said that Russia’sGazprom would be its new owner. A group of Gazprom representatives, including its head of business development, has been working at the Chornomornaftogaz head office since mid-March 2014. On April 1, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak said that Gazprom would finance an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea.
On 11 April 2014 the U.S. Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it had added Chornomornaftagaz to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List as part of the third round of U.S. sanctions. Reuters quoted an anonymous U.S. official who explained that the United States wanted to make it impossible for Gazprom to “have dealings with Chornomorneftegaz”, and if that were to happen, Gazprom itself could face sanctions.
The European Union followed suit on May 13, 2014, the first time its sanctions list has included a company (in addition to Chornomorneftegaz, a Crimean oil supplier called Feodosia was also included).
June 2014 gas supplies to Ukraine cut off
In an attempt at energy independence, Naftogaz signed a pipeline access deal with Slovakia‘s Eustream on April 28, 2014. Eustream and its Ukrainian counterpart Ukrtransgaz, owned by Naftogaz, agreed to allow Ukraine to use a never used (but aging, at 20 years old) pipeline on Slovakia’s eastern border with Uzhhorod inwestern Ukraine. The deal would provide Ukraine with 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas beginning in autumn of 2014 with the aim of increasing that amount to 10 billion cubic meters in 2015.
On 1 April 2014 Gazprom cancelled Ukraine’s natural gas discount as agreed in the 17 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan because its debt to the company had risen to $1.7 billion since 2013. Later that month the price “automatically” jumped to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters because the Russian government annulled an export-duty exemption for Gazprom in place since the 2010 Kharkiv Pact (this agreement was denounced by Russia on 31 March 2014). On 16 June 2014 Gazprom stated that Ukraine’s debt to the company was $4.5 billion. On 30 May 2014 Ukraine paid $786 million to Gazprom.
After intermediary (that had started in May 2014) trilateral talks between EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Ukraine and Russia failed on 15 June 2014 the latter halted (after a deadline of 10 a.m. Moscow time passed without it receiving payment) its natural gas supplies to Ukraine the next day.Unilaterally Gazprom decided that Ukraine had to pay upfront for its natural gas. The company assured that its supplies to other European countries would continue. Ukraine vowed to “provide reliable supply of gas to consumers in Ukraine and we will provide reliable transit to the European Union”. At the time about 15 percent of European Union’s demand depended on Russian natural gas piped through Ukraine.
After trilateral months of talks between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia a deal was reached on 30 October 2014 in which Ukraine agreed to pay (in advance) $378 per 1,000 cubic metres to the end of 2014, and $365 in the first quarter (ending on 31 March) of 2015. Of its debts to Gazprom Ukraine agreed to pay of $1.45bn immediately, and $1.65bn by the end of 2014. It was agreed that the European Union will be acting as guarantor for Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia and would help to meet outstanding debts (using funds from existing accords with the European Union and IMF). The total package was worth $4.6bn. According to European Union officials the deal secured that there would be no natural gas supply disruptions in other European countries.
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T E Lawrence and Arabia. BBC documentary pt 1 of 7
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Scott Anderson on Lawrence in Arabia
Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities.
Lawrence was born illegitimate in Tremadog, Wales, in August 1888 to Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner, a governess who was herself illegitimate. Chapman had left his wife and first family in Ireland to live with Sarah Junner, and they called themselves Mr and Mrs Lawrence. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to Oxford, where in 1907–10 young Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, graduating with First Class Honours. He became a practising archaeologist in the Middle East, working at various excavations with David George Hogarth and Leonard Woolley. In 1908 he joined the Oxford University Officer Training Corps, undergoing a two-year training course. In January 1914, before the outbreak of World War I, Lawrence was co-opted by the British Army to undertake a military survey of the Negev Desertwhile doing archaeological research.
Lawrence’s public image resulted in part from the sensationalised reportage of the revolt by an American journalist, Lowell Thomas, as well as from Lawrence’s autobiographical account, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922). In 1935, he was fatally injured in a motorbike crash in Dorset.
T. E. Lawrence’s birthplace, Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge.
Lawrence was born on 16 August 1888 in Tremadog, Caernarfonshire (nowGwynedd), Wales, in a house named Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge.His Anglo-Irish father, Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, who in 1914 inherited the title of Westmeath in Ireland as seventh Baronet, had left his wife Edith for his daughters’governess Sarah Junner. Junner’s mother, Elizabeth Junner, had named as Sarah’s father a “John Junner — shipwright journeyman”, though she had been living as an unmarried servant in the household of a John Lawrence, ship’s carpenter, just four months earlier.
Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner did not marry, but were known as Mr and Mrs Lawrence. They had five sons, of whom Thomas Edward was the second eldest. From Wales the family moved to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, then Dinard in Brittany, then to Jersey. In 1894–96 the family lived at Langley Lodge (now demolished), set in private woods between the eastern borders of the New Forest and Southampton Water in Hampshire. Mr Lawrence sailed and took the boys to watch yacht racing in the Solent off Lepe beach. By the time they left, the eight-year-old Ned (as Lawrence became known) had developed a taste for the countryside and outdoor activities.
In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to 2 Polstead Road in Oxford, where, until 1921, they lived under the names of Mr and Mrs Lawrence. Lawrence attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys, where one of the four houses was later named “Lawrence” in his honour; the school closed in 1966. As a schoolboy, one of his favourite pastimes was to cycle to country churches and make brass rubbings. Lawrence and one of his brothers became commissioned officers in the Church Lads’ Brigade at St Aldate’s Church.
Lawrence claimed that in about 1905, he ran away from home and served for a few weeks as a boy soldier with the Royal Garrison Artillery at St Mawes Castle in Cornwall, from which he was bought out. No evidence of this can be found in army records.
Middle East archaeology
At the age of 15 Lawrence and his schoolfriend Cyril Beeson bicycled around Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, visited almost every village’s parish church, studied their monuments and antiquities and made rubbings of their monumental brasses. Lawrence and Beeson monitored building sites in Oxford and presented their finds to the Ashmolean Museum. The Ashmolean’s Annual Report for 1906 said that the two teenage boys “by incessant watchfulness secured everything of antiquarian value which has been found”. In the summers of 1906 and 1907 Lawrence and Beeson toured France by bicycle, collecting photographs, drawings and measurements of medieval castles.
From 1907 to 1910 Lawrence studied history at Jesus College, Oxford. In the summer of 1909 Lawrence set out alone on a three-month walking tour of crusader castles inOttoman Syria, in which he travelled 1,000 mi (1,600 km) on foot. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours after submitting a thesis entitled The influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture—to the end of the 12th century based on his field research with Beeson in France, notably in Châlus, and his solo research in the Middle East.
On completing his degree in 1910, Lawrence commenced postgraduate research in medieval pottery with a Senior Demy, a form of scholarship, at Magdalen College, Oxford, which he abandoned after he was offered the opportunity to become a practising archaeologist in the Middle East. Lawrence was a polyglot whose published work demonstrates competence in French, Ancient Greek, and Arabic.
In December 1910 he sailed for Beirut, and on arrival went to Jbail (Byblos), where he studiedArabic. He then went to work on the excavations at Carchemish, near Jerablus in northern Syria, where he worked under D. G. Hogarth and R. Campbell Thompson of the British Museum. He would later state that everything that he had accomplished, he owed to Hogarth. As the site lay near an important crossing on the Baghdad Railway, knowledge gathered there was of considerable importance to the military. While excavating ancientMesopotamian sites, Lawrence met Gertrude Bell, who was to influence him during his time in the Middle East.
In late 1911, Lawrence returned to England for a brief sojourn. By November he was en route to Beirut for a second season at Carchemish, where he was to work with Leonard Woolley. Before resuming work there, however, he briefly worked with Flinders Petrie at Kafr Ammar inEgypt.
Lawrence continued making trips to the Middle East as a field archaeologist until the outbreak of the First World War. In January 1914, Woolley and Lawrence were co-opted by the British military as an archaeological smokescreen for a British military survey of the Negev Desert. They were funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund to search for an area referred to in the Bible as the “Wilderness of Zin“; along the way, they undertook an archaeological survey of the Negev Desert. The Negev was of strategic importance, as it would have to be crossed by any Ottoman army attacking Egypt in the event of war. Woolley and Lawrence subsequently published a report of the expedition’s archaeological findings, but a more important result was an updated mapping of the area, with special attention to features of military relevance such as water sources. Lawrence also visited Aqaba and Petra.
From March to May 1914, Lawrence worked again at Carchemish. Following the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914, Lawrence did not immediately enlist in the British Army; on the advice of S.F. Newcombe he held back until October, when he was commissioned on the General List; and immediately posted to the intelligence staff in Cairo.
At the outbreak of the First World War Lawrence was a university post-graduate researcher who had for years travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire provinces of the Levant (Transjordan and Palestine) and Mesopotamia (Syria and Iraq) under his own name. As such he had become known to the Ottoman Interior Ministry authorities and their German technical advisers, travelling on the German-designed, built, and financed railways during the course of his research.
The Arab Bureau of Britain’s Foreign Office conceived a campaign of internal insurgency against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The Arab Bureau had long felt it likely that a campaign instigated and financed by outside powers, supporting the breakaway-minded tribes and regional challengers to the Turkish government’s centralised rule of their empire, would pay great dividends in the diversion of effort that would be needed to meet such a challenge. The Arab Bureau had recognised the strategic value of what is today called the “asymmetry” of such conflict. The Ottoman authorities would have to devote from a hundred to a thousand times the resources to contain the threat of such an internal rebellion compared to the Allies’ cost of sponsoring it.
With his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia (not to mention having already worked as a part-time civilian army intelligence officer), on his formal enlistment in 1914 Lawrence was posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC Middle East.The British government in Egypt sent Lawrence to work with the Hashemite forces in the Arabian Hejaz in October 1916.
During the war, Lawrence fought with Arab irregular troops under the command of Emir Faisal, a son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca, in extended guerrilla operations against the armed forces of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence obtained assistance from the Royal Navy to turn back an Ottoman attack on Yenbu in December 1916. Lawrence’s major contribution to the revolt was convincing the Arab leaders (Faisal and Abdullah) to co-ordinate their actions in support of British strategy. He persuaded the Arabs not to make a frontal assault on the Ottoman stronghold in Medina but allow the Turkish army to tie up troops in the city garrison. The Arabs were then free to direct most of their attention to the Turks’ weak point, the Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This vastly expanded the battlefield and tied up even more Ottoman troops, who were then forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage. Lawrence developed a close relationship with Faisal, whose Arab Northern Army was to become the main beneficiary of British aid.
Capture of Aqaba
In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action with the Arab irregulars and forces including Auda Abu Tayi (until then in the employ of the Ottomans) against the strategically located but lightly defended town of Aqaba. On 6 July, after a surprise overland attack, Aqaba fell to Lawrence and the Arab forces. After Aqaba, Lawrence was promoted to major, and the new commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby, agreed to his strategy for the revolt, stating after the war:
“I gave him a free hand. His cooperation was marked by the utmost loyalty, and I never had anything but praise for his work, which, indeed, was invaluable throughout the campaign. He was the mainspring of the Arab movement and knew their language, their manners and their mentality.”
Lawrence now held a powerful position, as an adviser to Faisal and a person who had Allenby’s confidence.
Battle of Tafileh
In January 1918, the battle of Tafileh, an important region southeast of the Dead Sea, was fought using Arab regulars under the command of Jafar Pasha al-Askari. The battle was a defensive engagement that turned into an offensive rout, and was described in the official history of the war as a “brilliant feat of arms”.Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership at Tafileh, and was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
By the summer of 1918, the Turks were offering a substantial reward for Lawrence’s capture, with one officer writing in his notes; “Though a price of £15,000 has been put on his head by the Turks, no Arab has, as yet, attempted to betray him. The Sharif of Mecca [King of the Hedjaz] has given him the status of one of his sons, and he is just the finely tempered steel that supports the whole structure of our influence in Arabia. He is a very inspiring gentleman adventurer.”
Fall of Damascus
Lawrence was involved in the build-up to the capture of Damascus in the final weeks of the war. Much to his disappointment, and contrary to instructions he had issued, he was not present at the city’s formal surrender, arriving several hours after the city had fallen. Lawrence entered Damascus around 9am on 1 October 1918, but was only the third arrival of the day, the first being the 10th Australian Light Horse Brigade, led by Major A.C.N. ‘Harry’ Olden who formally accepted the surrender of the city from acting Governor Emir Said. In newly liberated Damascus—which he had envisaged as the capital of an Arab state—Lawrence was instrumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Faisal. Faisal’s rule as king, however, came to an abrupt end in 1920, after the battle of Maysaloun, when the French Forces of General Gouraud, under the command of General Mariano Goybet, entered Damascus, destroying Lawrence’s dream of an independent Arabia.
During the closing years of the war he sought, with mixed success, to convince his superiors in the British government that Arab independence was in their interests. The secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Britain contradicted the promises of independence he had made to the Arabs and frustrated his work.
In 1918 he co-operated with war correspondent Lowell Thomas for a short period. During this time Thomas and his cameraman Harry Chase shot a great deal of film and many photographs, which Thomas used in a highly lucrative film that toured the world after the war.
[Lowell Thomas] went to Jerusalem where he met Lawrence, whose enigmatic figure in Arab uniform fired his imagination. With Allenby’s permission he linked up with Lawrence for a brief couple of weeks … Returning to America, Thomas, early in 1919, started his lectures, supported by moving pictures of veiled women, Arabs in their picturesque robes, camels and dashing Bedouin cavalry, which took the nation by storm, after running at Madison Square Gardens in New York. On being asked to come to England, he made the condition he would do so if asked by the King and given Drury Lane or Covent Garden … He opened at Covent Garden on 14 August 1919 … And so followed a series of some hundreds of lecture–film shows, attended by the highest in the land …”
Map presented by TE Lawrence to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet in November 1918
Lawrence returned to the United Kingdom a full Colonel. Immediately after the war, Lawrence worked for the Foreign Office, attending the Paris Peace Conference between January and May as a member of Faisal’s delegation. He served for much of 1921 as an advisor to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office.
On 17 May 1919 the Handley Page Type O carrying Lawrence on a flight to Egypt crashed at the airport of Roma-Centocelle. The pilot and co-pilot were killed; Lawrence survived with a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs. During his brief hospitalisation, he was visited by King Victor Emanuel III.
In August 1919 Lowell Thomas launched a colourful photo show in London entitled With Allenby in Palestine which included a lecture, dancing, and music. Initially, Lawrence played only a supporting role in the show, but when Thomas realised that it was the photos of Lawrence dressed as a Bedouin that had captured the public’s imagination, he photographed him again, in London, in Arab dress.With the new photos, Thomas re-launched his show as With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia in early 1920; it was extremely popular. Thomas’ shows made the previously-obscure Lawrence into a household name.
In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross. At the RAF recruiting centre in Covent Garden, London, he was interviewed by a recruiting officer – Flying Officer W. E. Johns, later to be well known as the author of the Biggles series of novels. Johns rejected Lawrence’s application as he correctly believed “Ross” was a false name. Lawence admitted this was so and the documents he provided were false and left. But he returned some time later with an RAF Messenger, carrying a written order for Johns to accept Lawrence.
However, Lawrence was forced out of the RAF in February 1923 after being exposed. He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally readmitted him in August 1925. A fresh burst of publicity after the publication of Revolt in the Desert (see below) resulted in his assignment to a remote base in British India in late 1926, where he remained until the end of 1928. At that time he was forced to return to Britain after rumours began to circulate that he was involved in espionage activities.
He purchased several small plots of land in Chingford, built a hut and swimming pool there, and visited frequently. This was removed in 1930 when the Chingford Urban District Councilacquired the land and passed it to the City of London Corporation, but re-erected the hut in the grounds of The Warren, Loughton, where it remains, neglected, today. Lawrence’s tenure of the Chingford land has now been commemorated by a plaque fixed on the sighting obelisk on Pole Hill.
He continued serving in the RAF based at Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.
Lawrence was a keen motorcyclist, and, at different times, had owned seven Brough Superior motorcycles. His seventh motorcycle is on display at the Imperial War Museum. Among the books Lawrence is known to have carried with him on his military campaigns isThomas Malory‘s Morte D’Arthur. Accounts of the 1934 discovery of the Winchester Manuscript of the Morte include a report that Lawrence followed Eugene Vinaver—a Malory scholar—by motorcycle from Manchester to Winchester upon reading of the discovery inThe Times.
At the age of 46, two months after leaving military service, Lawrence was fatally injured in an accident on his Brough Superior SS100motorcycle in Dorset, close to his cottage, Clouds Hill, near Wareham. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control, and was thrown over the handlebars. He died six days later on 19 May 1935. The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road.
One of the doctors attending him was the neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns, who consequently began a long study of what he saw as the unnecessary loss of life by motorcycle dispatch riders through head injuries. His research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists.
Moreton estate, which borders Bovington Camp, was owned by Lawrence’s cousins, the Frampton family. Lawrence had rented and later bought Clouds Hill from the Framptons. He had been a frequent visitor to their home, Okers Wood House, and had for years corresponded with Louisa Frampton. With his body wrapped in the Union Flag, Lawrence’s mother arranged with the Framptons for him to be buried in their family plot at Moreton. His coffin was transported on the Frampton estate’s bier. Mourners included Winston and Clementine Churchill, E. M. Forster and Lawrence’s youngest brother, Arnold.
A bust of Lawrence was placed in the crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral, London and a stone effigy by Eric Kennington remains in the Anglo-Saxon church of St Martin, Wareham in Dorset.
Throughout his life, Lawrence was a prolific writer. A large portion of his output was epistolary; he often sent several letters a day. Several collections of his letters have been published. He corresponded with many notable figures, including George Bernard Shaw, Edward Elgar,Winston Churchill, Robert Graves, Noël Coward, E. M. Forster, Siegfried Sassoon, John Buchan, Augustus John and Henry Williamson. He met Joseph Conrad and commented perceptively on his works. The many letters that he sent to Shaw’s wife, Charlotte, are revealing as to his character.
In his lifetime, Lawrence published three major texts. The most significant was his account of the Arab Revolt, Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Two were translations: Homer‘s Odyssey, and The Forest Giant — the latter an otherwise forgotten work of French fiction. He received a flat fee for the second translation, and negotiated a generous fee plus royalties for the first.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
14 Barton Street, London S.W.1, where Lawrence lived while writing Seven Pillars.
Lawrence’s major work is Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an account of his war experiences. In 1919 he had been elected to a seven-year research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, providing him with support while he worked on the book. In addition to being a memoir of his experiences during the war, certain parts also serve as essays on military strategy, Arabian culture and geography, and other topics. Lawrence re-wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom three times; once “blind” after he lost the