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U.S. Bases In Afghanistan Situated Alongside Projected Oil Pipeline Route

Pipeline politics taint U.S. warfare
March 18, 2002 | By Salim Muwakkil. Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor at In These Times.

An ongoing supply of frustration and anger for many Individuals is the lack of assist the struggle on terrorism has received abroad. Other nations are significantly less enthusiastic about our use of “daisy cutter” and “thermobaric” bombs than we predict they should be. Why is that

One reason is their media. Tales alleging imperial and industrial motives for the battle on terrorism are rife.

Outdoors this country, there’s a widespread belief that U.S. military deployments in Central Asia largely are about oil.

An article within the Guardian of London headlined, “A professional-western regime in Kabul should give the petroleum refinery manufacturers zoo U.S. an Afghan route for Caspian oil,” foreshadowed the form of skeptical coverage the U.S. war now receives in many countries.

“The invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a marketing campaign in opposition to terrorism,” wrote author George Monbiot within the Oct. 22, 2001, piece, “but it could also be a late colonial adventure.”

He wrote that the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp. had been negotiating with the Taliban since 1995 to construct “oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, via Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea.” He cited Ahmed Rashid’s authoritative e-book “Taliban, Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia” as a supply for this info.

Rashid, who has reported on Afghan wars for more than 20 years as a correspondent for the Japanese Financial Evaluation and the Each day Telegraph, carefully documents in his e book how the U.S. and Pakistan helped set up the Taliban in hopes of bringing stability to the conflict- ravaged area and making it safer for the pipeline mission. Unocal pulled out of the deal after the 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were linked to terrorists based mostly in Afghanistan.

“The battle towards terrorism is a fraud,” exclaimed John Pilger in an Oct. 29 commentary within the British-based Mirror. Pilger, the publication’s former chief foreign correspondent, wrote, “Bush’s hid agenda is to exploit the oil and gas reserves within the Caspian basin, the best source of untapped fossil gas on earth.”

These harsh assessments usually are not just these of embittered ideologues. They’re frequent fare. “Just because the Gulf War in 1991 was about oil, the new battle in South and Central Asia isn’t any much less about entry to the region’s considerable petroleum resources,” writes Ranjit Devraj within the Hong Kong-based mostly Asia Instances, a enterprise- oriented publication.

A well-liked French guide titled “Bin Laden, the Forbidden Reality,” which alleges that the Bush administration blocked investigations of Osama bin Laden while it bargained for him with the Taliban in exchange for political recognition and financial assist, is guiding much of the latest European coverage.

Written by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the e book provides one other plank to the argument that America’s major objective was to gain entry to the region’s oil and gas reserves.

In line with the e book, the Bush administration started to negotiate with the Taliban instantly after coming into power. The parties talked for a lot of months earlier than reaching an impasse in August 2001.

The terrorist acts of Sept. Eleven, though tragic, provided the Bush administration a authentic reason to invade Afghanistan, oust the recalcitrant Taliban and, coincidentally, clean the way in which for the pipeline.

To make things even smoother, the U.S. engineered the rise to energy of two former Unocal employees: Hamid Karzai, the brand new interim president of Afghanistan, and Zalmay Khalizad, the Bush administration’s Afghanistan envoy.

“Osama bin Laden didn’t comprehend that his actions serve American interests,” writes Uri Averny, in a Feb. 14 column within the daily Ma’ariv in Israel. Averny, a former member of the Israeli Knesset and a famous peace activist, added, “If I had been a believer in conspiracy idea, I’d think that bin Laden is an American agent. Not being one I can solely wonder at the coincidence.”

Averny argues that the conflict on terrorism supplies a perfect pretext for America’s imperial interests. “If one seems to be on the map of the massive American bases created for the war, one is struck by the truth that they are utterly similar to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.”

The Asia Times reported in January that the U.S. is developing “a community of a number of Caspian pipelines,” and that individuals near the Bush administration stand to learn.

For example, the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, linking Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, is represented by the regulation firm Baker & Botts. The principal lawyer is James Baker, former secretary of state and chief spokesman for the Bush campaign within the Florida vote controversy.

In 1997, the now disgraced Enron Corp. conducted the feasibility examine for the $2.5 billion Trans-Caspian pipeline being constructed underneath a joint venture between Turkmenistan, Bechtel Corp. and Basic Electric, the article noted.

There are lots of different connections, too numerous to recount right here. No surprise the rest of the world is a bit skeptical about our conflict on evildoers. We are making such material accessible in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice points, and so forth. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Part 107, the fabric on this site is distributed without profit to these who’ve expressed a prior curiosity in receiving the included information for analysis and educational functions. For more information go to: http://www.regulation.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.

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