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COLUMN SEVENTY-TWO, JUNE 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
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THIS WAR IS ABOUT OIL, NOT TERRORISM
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 15:48:07 -0800 (PST)
From: portsideMod <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: ps <email@example.com>
on Monday, March 18, 2002 in the Chicago
Politics Taint U.S. War
ongoing source of frustration and anger for many Americans is the lack of
support the war on terrorism has received abroad. Other nations are considerably
less enthusiastic about our use of "daisy cutter" and "thermobaric"
bombs than we think they should be. Why is that?
reason is their media. Stories alleging imperial and commercial motives for the
war on terrorism are rife.
this country, there is a widespread belief that U.S. military deployments in
Central Asia mostly are about oil.
article in the Guardian of London headlined, "A pro-western regime in Kabul
should give the U.S. an Afghan route for Caspian oil," foreshadowed the
kind of skeptical coverage the U.S. war now receives in many countries.
invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a campaign against terrorism," wrote
author George Monbiot in the Oct. 22, 2001, piece, "but it may also be a
late colonial adventure."
wrote that the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp. had been negotiating with the
Taliban since 1995 to build "oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan,
who has reported on Afghan wars for more than 20 years as a correspondent for
the Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph, carefully documents in his
book how the U.S. and Pakistan helped install the Taliban in hopes of bringing
stability to the war-ravaged region and making it safer for the pipeline
project. Unocal pulled out of the deal after the 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S.
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were linked to terrorists based in Afghanistan.
war against terrorism is a fraud," exclaimed John Pilger in an Oct. 29
commentary in the British-based Mirror. Pilger, the publication's former chief
foreign correspondent, wrote, "Bush's concealed agenda is to exploit the
oil and gas reserves in the Caspian basin, the greatest source of untapped
fossil fuel on earth."
harsh assessments are not just those of embittered ideologues. They are common
fare. "Just as the Gulf War in 1991 was about oil, the new conflict in
popular French book titled "Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth," 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 economic aid, is guiding much of the recent European coverage.
by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the book adds another plank to
the argument that America's major objective was to gain access to the region's
oil and gas reserves.
to the book, the Bush administration began to negotiate with the Taliban
immediately after coming into power. The parties talked for many months before
reaching an impasse in August 2001.
terrorist acts of Sept. 11, though tragic, provided the Bush administration a
legitimate reason to invade Afghanistan, oust the recalcitrant Taliban and,
coincidentally, smooth the way for the pipeline.
make things even smoother, the U.S. engineered the rise to power of two former
Unocal employees: Hamid Karzai, the new interim president of Afghanistan, and
Zalmay Khalizad, the Bush administration's Afghanistan envoy.
bin Laden did not comprehend that his actions serve American interests,"
writes Uri Averny, in a Feb. 14 column in the daily Ma'ariv in Israel. Averny, a
former member of the Israeli Knesset and a noted peace activist, added, "If
I were a believer in conspiracy theory, I would think that bin Laden is an
American agent. Not being one I can only wonder at the coincidence."
argues that the war on terrorism provides a perfect pretext for America's
imperial interests. "If one looks at the map of the big American bases
created for the war, one is struck by the fact that they are completely
identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean."
Asia Times reported in January that the U.S. is developing "a network of
multiple Caspian pipelines," and that people close to the Bush
administration stand to benefit.
example, the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, linking Azerbaijan through Georgia
to Turkey, is represented by the law firm Baker & Botts. The principal
attorney is James Baker, former secretary of state and chief spokesman for the
Bush campaign in the Florida vote controversy.
1997, the now disgraced Enron Corp. conducted the feasibility study for the $2.5
billion Trans-Caspian pipeline being built under a joint venture between
are many other connections, too numerous to recount here. No wonder the rest of
the world is a bit skeptical about our war on evildoers.
Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor at In These Times
Copyright © 2002, Chicago Tribune ##
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