Is the undoubtedly deliberate damage to communications throughout the Middle East and Asia a warning, or something even more deadly?
The cutting of multiple undersea cables in several different locations hundreds of miles apart continues to arouse suspicion and stir speculation.
It seems that the activity represents, at the very least, a warning shot across the bows of certain Middle Eastern and Asian nations, and may even signify the imminence of a major geopolitical event.
In the space four days the Middle East and Asia has experienced unprecedented mass Internet outages after no less than four undersea Internet cables were cut without explanation.
Internet blackouts were reported in large tracts of Asia, the Middle East and North Africa after the cable connections were severed. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan and India, all experienced severe problems.
Reports in the press in the United Arab Emirates have since claimed that the total number of cables now cut is five.
Some questioned whether Iran has been completely cut off from the net. Although the internet traffic report shows the main routers as off, Iran and surrounding countries have satellite links and access to older power lines they used to use, before optical fibre cables were introduced.
Most large tech firms, particularly in India, that do outsourced programming and data entry for U.S. and European insurance, banking and medical companies have not been seriously disrupted because they have used such alternate connections.
However, undersea cables carry about 95 percent of the world's telephone and Internet traffic, according to the International Cable Protection Committee, an 86-member group that works with fishing, mining and drilling companies to curb damage to submarine cables.
The media and bloggers alike have questioned the plausibility of up to five cables being cut by accident, affecting most of the Middle East in such a short space of time. The cables are laid deep underwater and are extremely durable. The odds of five of these being damaged within 3 days are astronomical.
In December 2006, seven of the eight Internet cables connected to Taiwan were damaged by an earthquake, disrupting Internet communications in much of Asia for weeks. However the five cables in question are hundreds of miles apart and no earthquake activity has been reported in any of the affected areas.
Suspicions were further aroused when United Arab Emirates' second largest telecom company reported that the cables off of Egypt in the Mediterranean, were cut due to ships dragging their anchors, a practice that ships rarely engage in.
The location of the cables are on shown on nautical charts, they are also placed within maritime exclusion zones. Egypt has video cameras that watches the stretch of ocean where the cables are located, and it has since been confirmed by the government there that there were no ships in the area when the cables were cut. So whatever happened occurred entirely beneath the surface of the Mediterranean sea.
Two of the damaged cables, the Flag Europe-Asia cable and Falcon, are owned by Flag Telecom, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group. Flag Telecom has since stated that it has never had two cables down at the same time in the region.
Flag Telecom's network is also one of the "newest in existence" so it would be unlikely that the cables would break because of wear and tear or age.
The cables are the communication, commerce and technology lifelines for the afore mentioned nations. Government operations, trading and the financial markets are totally dependent upon the internet.
Most notably, Israel and Iraq have been unaffected by the outage, leading some to predict that the mysterious cable sabotage could portend another imperial Neo-Con crusade in the works.
There is a historical precedent for this kind of sabotage, at the beginning of world war two, one of the first British actions against Germany was to cut their under water communications cables.
Recently, a document entitled Information Operation Roadmap was declassified by the Pentagon due to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
One portion of the document states:
"Information, always important in warfare, is now critical to military success and will only become more so in the foreseeable future..... Information operations should be centralized under the Office of the Secretary of Defence and made a core military competency."
"Objective: IO [information operations] becomes a core competency. The importance of dominating the information spectrum explains the objective of transforming IO into a core military competency on a par with air, ground, maritime and special operations. The charge to the IO Roadmap oversight panel was to develop as concrete a set of action recommendations as possible to make IO a core competency, which in turn required identifying the essential prerequisites to become a core military competency."
The importance of information warfare is clearly laid out in this document_ Brent Jessop, a regular contributor to Infowars has exhaustively documented the phenomenon of "Full Spectrum Information Warfare"
Mark Glenn of the American Free Press explains why the cutting of communications may indeed be a prelude to aggression or a warning:
The countries most affected are all major players in the current goings-on in the Middle East where the US and the Jewish state are up to their eyeballs in skullduggery. The gulf countries were recently visited by George Bush who tried–unsuccessfully–to rally them around support for renewed pressure on a recalcitrant Iran, only to be laughed out of the region. In addition, when asked recently by the US to increase oil output in order to lighten the effects of a downward-spiraling economy, the OPEC nations (some of whom were affected by the cable cut) refused.
The Gulf countries in particular are heavily involved with Iran in banking issues at a time when Israel and America are trying through sanctions and other pressures to isolate and economically strangulate the Islamic republic by preventing other nations from doing business with her. The Gulf countries are getting nervous about a steadily-declining dollar to which their own economies are directly linked and are now openly talking about following other nations that have linked their own currencies to something less troublesome such as the Euro. Pakistan–the only nuclear-armed Muslim country, recently gave a resounding 'Hell-no' to the prospect of US troops operating on its soil.
In short, the deliberate cutting of the internet cables can easily be seen as a shot across the bow by the US/Israeli hydra, a form of low-intensity/covert warfare aimed at destabilizing them and making things uncomfortable, as well as reminding them that if they don't play ball according to the dictates of the New World Order that 'accidents' can happen.
Others have also speculated that the actions may be related to Iran opening its oil bourse on the 12th of February. The bourse is considered a direct threat to the continued global dominance of the dollar because it will require that Iranian oil, petrochemicals and gas be traded in non-dollar currencies.
As Online Journal contributorMike Whitney comments:
"If the dollar is de-linked from oil; it will no longer serve as the de facto international currency and the US will be forced to reduce its massive trade deficits, rebuild its manufacturing capacity, and become an export nation again."
The real danger is that the oil bourse will accelerate the downward pressure on the dollar that has been facilitated by rampant overspending by the US government and printing of money out of thin air by the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is already dropping hints that if Iran succeeds in getting their oil bourse up and running, they too will start taking Euros for their oil. Without foreign demand for the dollar as an oil exchange currency, the US economy is in real danger of slipping into recession with the dollar take a battering.
Repair ships have now reached at least three of the cables, where full functionality is scheduled to be restored within the week. The owners of the cables have not yet issued any statements as to their findings and have refused to speculate on the cause of the cuts.