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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 07:58 AM
Original message
Prized Pipeline Route TAPI- Afghanistan And The New Great Game
Afghanistan and the new great game:
Prized pipeline route could explain West's stubborn interest in poor, remote land

John Foster
Published On Wed Aug 12 2009


Why is Afghanistan so important?


A glance at a map and a little knowledge of the region suggest that the real reasons for Western military involvement may be largely hidden.



Afghanistan is adjacent to Middle Eastern countries that are rich in oil and natural gas. And though Afghanistan may have little petroleum itself, it borders both Iran and Turkmenistan, countries with the second and third largest natural gas reserves in the world. (Russia is first.)

Turkmenistan is the country nobody talks about. Its huge reserves of natural gas can only get to market through pipelines. Until 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union and its gas flowed only north through Soviet pipelines. Now the Russians plan a new pipeline north. The Chinese are building a new pipeline east. The U.S. is pushing for "multiple oil and gas export routes." High-level Russian, Chinese and American delegations visit Turkmenistan frequently to discuss energy. The U.S. even has a special envoy for Eurasian energy diplomacy.


Rivalry for pipeline routes and energy resources reflects competition for power and control in the region. Pipelines are important today in the same way that railway building was important in the 19th century. They connect trading partners and influence the regional balance of power. Afghanistan is a strategic piece of real estate in the geopolitical struggle for power and dominance in the region.



Since the 1990s, Washington has promoted a natural gas pipeline south through Afghanistan. The route would pass through Kandahar province. In 2007, Richard Boucher, U.S. assistant secretary of state, said: "One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan," and to link South and Central Asia "so that energy can flow to the south." Oil and gas have motivated U.S. involvement in the Middle East for decades. Unwittingly or willingly, Canadian forces are supporting American goals.

The proposed pipeline is called TAPI, after the initials of the four participating countries (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India). Eleven high-level planning meetings have been held during the past seven years, with Asian Development Bank sponsorship and multilateral support (including Canada's). Construction is planned to start next year.



http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/679670#article


The Planned TAPI Pipeline Through Afghanistan: Implications for Canada



2009 August 17


In a previous post I discussed a brief Toronto Star article and much longer report (PDF here) by John Foster, who argues that America plans to turn Afghanistan into an energy bridge by helping to build a natural gas pipeline across it. The pipeline, called TAPI
(Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) would carry Turkmen gas through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India, with all three countries drawing supplies proportionate to their needs.
America likes the idea because the TAPI pipeline would supplant a rival proposal to pipe Iranian gas to Pakistan and India.



But what are the ramifications for Canada? Foster starts off with the observation that Canadians have been curiously oblivious to the whole issue:

The New Great Game in Central Asia is a geopolitical game among the worlds Great Powers for control of energy resources. The geopolitical game is openly analyzed in U.S. think tanks It is well reported in the Asian press. It is hardly visible in Canada.

...

http://canadasworld.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/the-planne...
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nice summary
...But I'd like to know if it's "new info" to anyone?
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. A lot of folks
are in denial.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. aw come on. everybody knows we are there to save the
womenfolk from the taliban and place them in the loving care of Karzai and his Northern Alliance warlords. :crazy:
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. Man. I hadn't seen this nearly eight years. Brings back old memories.
A lot has happened since BushCo invaded Afghanistan. Like ... other countries actually developing pipelines that make this argument irrelevant.

But it makes for great conversation, despite the fact that there's a lot more energy reserves in Iraq, and we're leaving.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Please back up your comment with some references...
Edited on Sun Nov-01-09 08:29 AM by Subdivisions
"other countries actually developing pipelines that make this argument irrelevant." Please qualify that statement. Also, with regard to Iraq, how exactly is it that we're leaving? Are our exiting troops not being replaced by private contractors?
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Did you bother to look? It took me five seconds to find.
Edited on Sun Nov-01-09 09:22 AM by Buzz Clik
Paste this URL into your browser to be able to view the map in reasonable detail:

moinansari.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/worl-existing-and-planned-pipelines-corrected.jpg
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Please shrink or remove the map
You have just ruined the format of the thread. You know that is unacceptable.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. fine


Good luck making out the detail.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Thanks
They are easy to enlarge for detail. Here's another map and keep in mind most of these routes and propositions are in fact being fought for at this time. That's why the US is there. All other rationales are merely propaganda no matter what you "believe." It's pretty simple stuff. Not only follow the routes and the troop placements, mercenary placements but mostly follow the money.



Have you ever heard of the Silk Road Strategy Act of 1999?

Welcome to Pipelineistan. Take the time to read this:

Liquid War
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.

All geopolitical junkies need a fix. Since the second half of the 1990s, I've been hooked on pipelines. I've crossed the Caspian in an Azeri cargo ship just to follow the $4 billion Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, better known in this chess game by its acronym, BTC, through the Caucasus. (Oh, by the way, the map of Pipelineistan is chicken-scratched with acronyms, so get used to them!)

I've also trekked various of the overlapping modern Silk Roads, or perhaps Silk Pipelines, of possible future energy flows from Shanghai to Istanbul, annotating my own DIY routes for LNG (liquefied natural gas). I used to avidly follow the adventures of that once-but-not-future Sun-King of Central Asia, the now deceased Turkmenbashi or "leader of the Turkmen," Saparmurat Niyazov, head of the immensely gas-rich Republic of Turkmenistan, as if he were a Conradian hero.

In Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan (before it was moved to Astana, in the middle of the middle of nowhere) the locals were puzzled when I expressed an overwhelming urge to drive to that country's oil boomtown Aktau. ("Why? There's nothing there.") Entering the Space Odyssey-style map room at the Russian energy giant Gazprom's headquarters in Moscow -- which digitally details every single pipeline in Eurasia -- or the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)'s corporate HQ in Tehran, with its neat rows of female experts in full chador, was my equivalent of entering Aladdin's cave. And never reading the words "Afghanistan" and "oil" in the same sentence is still a source of endless amusement for me.

...

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175050
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
24. You continued arguing your point despite being providing evidence of its irrelevance.
Why is that?
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Larry Wilkerson on the AfPak pipelines...
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Who's leaving?
The US has zero interest in leaving Iraq. The occupation is only being re-branded and re-configured.

You are living in a fantasy of sorts as it has been made crystal clear that a US presence shall remain along with mercenaries and a propped up US puppet government.

As for your falsehood about other countries developing this or that in Afghanistan what is happening is that various interests are fighting for the routes and the US is aggressively doing business as usual.

"Proposals" do not count as contracts. This is why the US is going to add more troops and is already adding more mercenaries as well as bribing local warlords. More business as usual.

But I suppose you think the fairy tales of "fighting al-Qaeda" or "rooting out the terrorists" or "hunting down Bin Laden" are how it works in the world of realpolitik?
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. This started before Bush invaded Afghanistan and you know it
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.0...

48119 CC
1998
U.S. INTERESTS IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICS

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

FEBRUARY 12, 1998

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

1998 February 12th - John Maresca, a UNOCAL executive, clarified the situation when he told the House Sub-Committee on Asia and the Pacific, construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company. In other words, a stable government, uniting all of Afghanistan, was seen as crucial to protecting their investments.

The second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious route south would cross Iran, but this is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route is across Afghanistan, which has of course its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades, and is still divided by civil war. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company.

Mr. Chairman, as you know, we have worked very closely with the University of Nebraska at Omaha in developing a training program for Afghanistan which will be open to both men and women, and which will operate in both parts of the country, the north and south.

Unocal foresees a pipeline which would become part of a regional system that will gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The 1,040-mile long oil pipeline would extend south through Afghanistan to an export terminal that would be constructed on the Pakistan coast.

This 42-inch diameter pipeline will have a shipping capacity of one million barrels of oil per day. The estimated cost of the project, which is similar in scope to the trans-Alaska pipeline, is about $2.5 billion.

Given the plentiful natural gas supplies of Central Asia, our aim is to link gas resources with the nearest viable markets. This is basic for the commercial viability of any gas project. But these projects also face geopolitical challenges. Unocal and the Turkish company Koc Holding are interested in bringing competitive gas supplies to Turkey. The proposed Eurasia natural gas pipeline would transport gas from Turkmenistan directly across the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey. Of course the demarcation of the Caspian remains an issue.

Last October, the Central Asia Gas Pipeline Consortium, called CentGas, in which Unocal holds an interest, was formed to develop a gas pipeline which will link Turkmenistan's vast Dauletabad gas field with markets in Pakistan and possibly India. The proposed 790-mile pipeline will open up new markets for this gas, traveling from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Multan in Pakistan. The proposed extension would move gas on to New Delhi, where it would connect with an existing pipeline. As with the proposed Central Asia oil pipeline, CentGas can not begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan Government is in place.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. Yes, I do know that. But, no one cared until we invaded post 9/11.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
12. It's so startleingly clear what is going on over there that it confounds
me to no end that the general population in this country has absolutely no clue and is sold into the myths set up for them by their own government.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. What's amazing is the way in which those who know what they're doing
Edited on Sun Nov-01-09 09:51 AM by malaise
continue to deceive the citizens of the world. Anyone who actually reads what's going on knows that there is no war on terror - there is a war for pipelines and the neo-cons and oil interests don't care who they kill as long as they control the routes.

The fools don't realize there will never be secure pipelines in any of these regions - the people aren't that stupid.

reword heading.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Exactly. And I'm just as amazed that even here on DU it seems as if
people are willing to discard or ignore what's really going on in favor of, perhaps subconciously, perpetuating the overall geo-political myths that have been fabricated for us. Anyone who seriously uses the term "War on Terror" or speaks as if they believe in the Al Quaeda boogey-man are illustrating that they are either duped, clueless, or ignorant about what is really going on.

Gee, I wonder why all the scrambling by so many factions over the fossil fuel resources of this relatively small geographic region... Where are the other resource conflicts on the planet comparable to the Middle East and southwest Asia?
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. Yeah. Al Qaeda was never headquartered in Afghanistan?
Continued strikes against Pakistan are not originating out of Afghanistan?

The myth is that these pipelines are strategically more important than the regional instability being created by the continued terrorist activities.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
15. knr - "...and to protect our interests." How many times have we heard ...
those words, exactly what are interests are should be explained.




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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
16. Dueling Pipelines - American-backed Afghanistan route (TAPI) vs. Iran's "Pipeline of Peace" (IPI)?
by DU'er Dover...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"This is only the latest chapter in what is a very long, dark and convoluted story that is as rocky and treacherous as the terrain these pipelines are meant to cross. But it should be known that the 'pipelines issue' and the gas/oil they are meant to carry are still very much part of the impetus for war, geo-politics, our national energy policy and of course private interests. Some things just don't change..."
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. MORE BACKGROUND: Gwadar Port is 'essential node' in ongoing 'Pipelineistan war'
BACKGROUND: Gwadar Port is 'essential node' in ongoing 'Pipelineistan war' (Pepe Escobar)
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 00:44 Henry Adams and Donna Quexada


All the noise is about Pakistan, but according to Pepe Escobar of Asia Times Online writing on Saturday, the real prize is Balochistan, the "immense desert comprising almost 48% of Pakistan's area, rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil, and producing more than one-third of Pakistan's natural gas," though it "accounts for less than 4% of Pakistan's 173 million citizens."<1> -- The port of Gwadar, built by the Chinese and operational since 2008, is "the essential node in the crucial, ongoing, and still virtual Pipelineistan war between . . . the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline . . . the perennially troubled, U.S.-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline." -- "hoever 'wins' Balochistan incorporates Pakistan as a key transit corridor to either Iranian gas from the monster South Pars field or a great deal of the Caspian wealth of 'gas republic' Turkmenistan," said the Brazilian Escobar, who has followed the struggle for Central Asian energy for about two decades....

http://www.ufppc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=...

Rebranding the Long War, Part 2

BALOCHISTAN IS THE ULTIMATE PRIZE
By Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online
May 9, 2009

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KE09Df03.html

PART 1: OBAMA DOES HIS BUSH IMPRESSION

It's a classic case of calm before the storm. The AfPak chapter of Obama's brand new OCO ("Overseas Contingency Operations"), formerly GWOT ("global war on terror") does not imply only a surge in the Pashtun Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). A surge in Balochistan as well may be virtually inevitable.

Balochistan is totally under the radar of Western corporate media. But not the Pentagon's. An immense desert comprising almost 48% of Pakistan's area, rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil, and producing more than one-third of Pakistan's natural gas, it accounts for less than 4% of Pakistan's 173 million citizens. Balochs are the majority, followed by Pashtuns. Quetta, the provincial capital, is considered Taliban Central by the Pentagon, which for all its high-tech wizardry mysteriously has not been able to locate Quetta resident "The Shadow," historic Taliban emir Mullah Omar himself.

Strategically, Balochistan is mouth-watering: east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.

Gwadar -- a port built by China -- is the absolute key. It is the essential node in the crucial, ongoing, and still virtual Pipelineistan war between IPI and TAPI. IPI is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline," which is planned to cross from Iranian to Pakistani Balochistan -- an anathema to Washington. TAPI is the perennially troubled, U.S.-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline, which is planned to cross western Afghanistan via Herat and branch out to Kandahar and Gwadar.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Thanks for those links, most of this is not discussed in the US media....
difficult to keep abreast of all the various issues.

:crazy:

U.S. Senators discuss Balochistan with Pres. Zadari in Islamabad

http://outofcentralasianow.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/u-s... /

"Why are the U.S. Senators, led by Senator Carl Levin discussing Balochistan with President Zadari? Theres been talk of the U.S. in favor of Balochistan breaking off of Pakistan. This is the area that is needed for an oil or gas (or both) pipeline from the Caspian Sea, to Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and directly through Balochistan to the Gulf of Oman. Pakistan wants this pipleline to go across their Balochistan and their Pakistan lands to India. Watch Balochistan carefully. Balochistan has many mineral and gas deposits within their ancestorial lands..."


We need to keep an eye on what is taking place in the background, not what is being promoted by the media...thank you!

:)



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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
19. Bump
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-01-09 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
20. After 9/11, Why Afghanistan? (Youtube video)

Investment Banker Karl Schwartz lays it out

1. The Caspian Sea Basin (Kazakstan, Turkmenistan etc.) holds between 11 and 12 TRILLION dollars in oil and gas resources

2. There are only three ways to get it out:

- East to China

- West through Iran, Russia, and Turkey to Europe

- South through Afghanistan and Pakistan

3. The Taliban who controlled Afghanistan before 9/11 made pipeline deals with non-US companies and refused to change them to give control of the region's resources to the US.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA_mu9v9iJs
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Number 3 is an excellent point, but no longer relevant.
You are arguing a point that threw skepticism against Bush's choice to invade Afghanistan, but subsequent events and information has demonstrated conclusively that our activities in Afghanistan go far beyond a pipeline or two in the region.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. "demonstrated conclusively"???????
How? where?

That's like saying that because I earn a few bucks in yard sales, it's demonstrated conclusively that I no longer need my job.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Do you ever read international news?
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Do you ever post a cogent argument?
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Excellent question. The answer is "yes".
You simply don't like my arguments.

This nonsense has been defeated and now resides in the realm of tinfoil.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. One normally has to post an argument to win an argument....
Edited on Mon Nov-02-09 11:13 AM by Junkdrawer
I'm still waiting to read yours...
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. You are now simply disagreeing for the sake of disagreement.
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. You post a specious claim that the fight for pipeline supremacy is over...
Edited on Mon Nov-02-09 11:38 AM by Junkdrawer
Then post a map that omits ANY Afghanistan or Pakistan pipelines actual or planned...

And then you claim victory and relegate all counter arguments, no matter how well sourced, as tinfoil.

I'm sorry, I need a little more to convince me.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
26. kick
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Kick
:kick:
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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-02-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. Another Kick
:kick:
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