Postcard from Pipelineistan
By Pepe Escobar

What happens on the immense battlefield for the control of Eurasia will provide the ultimate plot line in the tumultuous rush towards a new, polycentric world order, also known as the New Great Game.

Our good ol’ friend the nonsensical “Global War on Terror,” which the Pentagon has slyly rebranded “the Long War,” sports a far more important, if half-hidden, twin—a global energy war. I like to think of it as the Liquid War, because its bloodstream is the pipelines that crisscross the potential imperial battlefields of the planet. Put another way, if its crucial embattled frontier these days is the Caspian Basin, the whole of Eurasia is its chessboard. Think of it, geographically, as Pipelineistan.

Read the rest of Pepe Escobar’s article, with an introduction by Tom Engelhardt, in Mother Jones. Thanks to Chris Lunn for the link.

Engelhardt’s introduction refers to Escobar’s “long, typically vigorous essay just published in book form, Obama Does Globalistan,” which makes me wonder about the fate of long, vigorous essays, now that so many magazines and newspapers are drying up and blowing away.


1 Comment so far

  1. Edward Hasbrouck on March 29, 2009 4:08 pm

    “Long, vigorous essays” have rarely beena way to make a living. They are written mainly by people with something they want to say, not primarily for money.

    Historically, essays have mostly either been either self-published, published by (or at the expense of) wealthier patrons sympathetic with their message, or — least often — published by a tiny handful of often fleeting journals with limited distribution and severe financial and practical limits on word count.

    Even if one heard about a thought-provoking essay, it could be difficult and/or expensive to track down a copy. Most people wouldn’t bother.

    One can argue about the state of news reporting (both writing and publishing), but I think it beyond argument that the state of the essay — including news analysis — has never been better.

    Anyone anywhere in the world can self-publish an essay of any length online, for almost negligible cost. And it is only a click away from anyone who wants to blog about it or refer to it anywhere.

    Many people are responding by writing and self-publishing online essays, some of book length, that (1) would otherwise have reached only a much smaller readership, (2) that would have been deemed unpublishable, and/or (3) that, becuase unpublishable or unlikely to reach and influence their target audience, would nevefr have been written.

    Money is an issue, but for people writing essays as other than a ful-time job (at which hardly anyone has ever made a living), the main financial issue hasn’t been pay for writing time, but the cost of publishing and making the essay available and known to those who might be interested.

    My own Web site, for example, contains a high proportion of news analysis and essays that I would have found it hard to get published in newspapers or magazines or anywhere else, and therefore wouldn’t have bothered to write.

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