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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 02:30 AM
Original message
Making the TransAfghanistan Pipeline Safe for Democracy


I dont pretend to know why President Obama is so determined to escalate the war in Afghanistan, the country that drove the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. Maybe he covets the executive privilege that goes with being a war time president. Maybe he is courting the center and center-right in anticipation of the 2012 election. Maybe he does not want to bring too many troops home all at once for fear of worsening the economic recession at home. Maybe he is scared of being called a waffler a flip flopper or some other unpleasant name if he goes back on his word. Maybe he is afraid that terrorists will attack the mainland U.S. again and he will be blamed for ending one of Bushs foreign wars too soon. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

The only thing I know for certain is that the troops will not be back home until after 2014. That is when the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is scheduled to be operational.

I. A Brief History of Greed

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is the reason the Taliban rose to power. In the mid 1990s, Unocol began plans for an oil and a gas pipeline that would run from the Caspian Sea, through Afghanistan and Pakistan and finally to India. You know, the country where they are sending all our jobs. Unocol and the CIA helped to put the Taliban in power, thinking that the new regime would permit them to build the pipeline.

Intelligence "whistleblower" Julie Sirrs claimed that anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud told her he had "proof that Unocal had provided money that helped the Taliban take Kabul ".<9> And French journalist Richard Labeviere said, referring to the later 1990s, "The CIA and Unocal's security forces ... provided military weapons and instructors to several Taleban militias.

Once in power, the Taliban failed to keep its part of the bargain. Since fucking with a U.S. corporation is grounds for death, Unocol petitioned the U.S. Congress to force the Taliban out and replace it with a regime that would uphold the good old fashioned American value of making money.

The only other possible route option is across Afghanistan, which has its own unique challenges.
The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades. The territory across which the pipeline would extend is controlled by the Taliban, an Islamic movement that is not recognized as a government by most other nations. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of our proposed pipeline cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders and our company.
In spite of this, a route through Afghanistan appears to be the best option with the fewest technical obstacles. It is the shortest route to the sea and has relatively favorable terrain for a pipeline. The route through Afghanistan is the one that would bring Central Asian oil closest to Asian markets and thus would be the cheapest in terms of transporting the oil.

As with the proposed Central Asia Oil Pipeline, CentGas cannot begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan government is in place. For the project to advance, it must have international financing, government-to-government agreements and government-to-consortium agreements.

An internationally recognized Afghanistan government is in place was a euphemism for slap down those lying Taliban bitches and put the fear of Uncle Sam into Afghanistan.

No significant action was taken on this request under Bill Clinton. However, the Bush-Cheney administration spent the entire summer of 2001 attempting to persuade the Taliban to change its mind---in a futile effort to avert Enron's bankruptcy.

Brisard claim O'Neill told them that ''the main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it''.

The two claim the U.S. government's main objective in Afghanistan was to consolidate the position of the Taliban regime to obtain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.

They affirm that until August, the U.S. government saw the Taliban regime ''as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia'', from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean.


''At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs','' Brisard said in an interview in Paris.


Naik also claimed that Tom Simons, the U.S. representative at these meetings, openly threatened the Taliban and Pakistan.

''Simons said, 'either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan convinces them to do so, or we will use another option'. The words Simons used were 'a military operation','' Naik claimed

We all know what happened next. The Taliban said Fuck you. Unfortunately for them, Enron , W.s biggest campaign donor desperately needed to build the gas pipeline, since it would help fuel its floundering Dabhol Power Plant, the one in India, a country which was refusing to honor its agreement to pay Enron for doing nothing (imagine that). Enron was on the verge of bankruptcy and it could not wait any longer.

In addition, Enron had invested in natural gas fields and had no way to move its product:

Enron was facing a financial crisis, and the pipeline would make Enron lands in the Caspian Basin very valuable. Enron had just purchased enormous tracts of land in Turkmenistan and gambled that the pipeline would make the acquisitions very profitable. Construction of the TAP would also make it possible to get cheap natural gas to the Dabhol, India, power plant, which was then a huge financial liability for Enron and General Electric.

So, the Bush administration did not attempt to prevent the 9-11 attacks, of which it had been warned. Instead, it drew up the plans for the invasion of Afghanistan, which were ready to go on 9-12.

On Dec. 22, 2001

The US-backed interim government headed by Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul, Afghanistan (44a). (Hamid Karzai had formerly functioned as a Unocal Corporation consultant)

Almost immediately, talks resumed about the planned Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline.

The new deal on the pipeline was signed on 27 December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2005, the Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of a feasibility study designed by British company Penspen. Since the United States military overthrew the Taliban government, the project has essentially stalled; construction of the Turkmen part was supposed to start in 2006, but the overall feasibility is questionable since the southern part of the Afghan section runs through territory which continues to be under de facto Taliban control.

So, in order to build that pipeline, the U.S. would need to subdue the Taliban. However, Bush and Cheney had turned their attention to the oil fields of Iraq, in an effort to realize the NeoCon dream of world domination through control of third world oil supplies (or, at least, oil company profits through control of third world oil supplies). They did not have the man power to fight two full scale wars on two fronts. And with Enron bankrupt, Dabhol and the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline had to take a backseat to the needs of Chevron (Condies old company).

II. Theres a New Sheriff in Town

A change of administrations provides big business with lots of opportunities. If your company was snubbed by one partys president, maybe the other party will be more obliging.

During his campaign, Barack Obama talked often of withdrawing troops from Iraq (the unpopular war) to shift them to Afghanistan (the good war). No doubt, many progressives thought that he was engaging in political posturing. This stance allowed him to be whatever the voters wanted him to be. For those who wanted peace, he was the man who would get us out of Iraq. For those who wanted their new president to be part John Wayne, he was the president who would furnish a more satisfying war somewhere else. A war about which America could feel good, since the Taliban was responsible for 9/11.

However, somewhere between the debates and election day, George W. Bush and the banksters of America wrecked the economy. Unemployment began to rise. Suddenly the center, which was losing its jobs, no longer cared to spend its money kicking third world ass. It wanted jobs and unemployment benefits and health care.

Surprisingly, the newly elected President Obama continued to insist that he wanted to escalate the fighting in Afghanistan, even though this was now an unpopular position with all but the most idiotic members of the right wing, people who would never vote for Obama in a million years. Why?

Whenever something does not make sense in the United States, I follow this simple rule. Look for the money. Keep in mind that it takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run for president in this country, and no one raises that kind of cash from the nickels and dimes people extract from their piggy banks.

III. Dollars and Sense

More on the proposed pipeline:

The 1,680 kilometres (1,040 mi) pipeline will run from the Dauletabad gas field to Afghanistan. From there TAPI will be constructed alongside the highway running from Herat to Kandahar, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan. The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India.

The pipeline will be 1,420 millimetres (56 in) in diameter with a working pressure of 100 atm. The initial capacity will be 27 billion cubic meter (bcm) of natural gas annually of which 2 bcm will be provided to Afghanistan and 12.5 bcm to both Pakistan and India. Later the capacity will increase to 33 bcm. Six compressor stations are to be constructed along the pipeline. The pipeline is expected to be operational by 2014.

The cost of the pipeline is estimated cost at US$7.6 billion. The project is to be financed by the Asian Development Bank.

The United States is one of the main members of the Asian Development Bank.

Now, why should we give a rats ass if Caspian Sea natural gas can be transported to Pakistan and then to India? If we are employees of General Electric or if we are indebted to GE for months of favorable coverage on its news program MSNBC and in its magazine Newsweek we would care. Because GE is still up to its neck in Enrons old Dabhol Power Plantwhich needs natural gas to run.

GE Energy has signed an eight-year agreement with Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd ((RGPPL) for equipment supply and rehabilitation of

machines for the Dabhol power plant, the complete revival of which will ensure reliable electricity supply to energy-starved Maharashtra.


Of the six turbines at Dabhol, only three are working, each having a capacity of 310 MW.

GE and RGPPL have inked a Comprehensive Service Agreement
and Rehabilitation Agreement, whose total deal value is understood to be around $130 million.

$130 million. Almost enough to run for president of the United States. However, the plant has run into problems due to lack of natural gas. The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline should solve those problems once and for all.

Who will build this $6 billion (plus cost over runs) pipeline? I dont know. Maybe Halliburton will bid. I can be pretty sure that the company that wins the contract is going to be very, very pleased to have U.S. troops in the country to help protect its investment.

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

Major General Smedley D. Butler

One final word about GE. Recall how the company and its news networks and magazine turned on George W. Bush back in 2005. GE became very down on the war in Iraq, way before the other members of the corporate media. Is it possible that the company was not against war? Maybe they just wanted to war moved back up to Afghanistan, so that the stalled pipeline project could be resumed.

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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 02:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. You are right.
It will not end by 2011. 2014 sounds more like what will actually happen.
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avaistheone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. It will end when the money runs out and our country collapses.
The escalation is totally and completely insane.

We don't have much time left.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Yep, call it the Soviet Exit Strategy.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. +1
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yep nt
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 04:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. Wow! An excellent overview of the whole picture and "how things work."
This is the kind of post that makes reading DU, or anything on the web, worthwhile. One minor suggestion is that the pipeline map does not show the branch that goes into India, which you accurately described as a part of the whole scheme which uses the acronym TAPI to describe the intended route.

No better map here, but the Wiki is current on the status of the deals being done:
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Joanne98 posted a really good video about the pipeline
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I had missed it and watched. Thank you. (nt)
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xiamiam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. thank you ...i missed it..just watched all 9 parts..its important..nt
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
8. primary in 2012 for the promise breaker?
Edited on Sat Dec-05-09 08:38 AM by placton
we elected this supposedly antiwar president - why? to continue and enlarge on Bush? And spare me the "he said he would do this" - like everything else he does, this benefits the rich, Wall St. and the mIC.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
9. "Who will build this $6 billion (plus cost over runs) pipeline? I dont know."-Neither do I.
Who would spend $6 billion to build anything in Afghanistan given its history? If anyone was going to build the pipeline, they should start it while there are 10's of thousands of American troops there to protect the effort.

Who is his or her right mind thinks that the Taliban, when they return to power, or Karzai, even if he hangs on to power for a while after foreign troops leave he doesn't control most of the country, are going to protect a $6 billion investment that is so easy to blow up?

Enron wanted the TAP to make its Turkmenistan holdings more valuable. Obviously, what Enron wanted is not particularly relevant anymore. Construction of the TAP would also make it possible to get cheap natural gas to the Dabhol, India, power plant, which was then a huge financial liability for Enron and General Electric."

That would have made sense, selfishly, at the time, but GE doesn't have any ownership interest in the Dabhol Power Company anymore. As I understand it, GE's interest now is an 8-year contract "for equipment supply and rehabilitation of machines for the Dabhol power plant" "whose total deal value is understood to be around $130 million".

It's easy for me to believe that Enron and GE, when they had huge financial interests in the region, told Bush what his policy towards Afghanistan would be. It's harder for me to buy into Obama escalating a war for the sake of a $130 million GE contract. To GE that much money is chump change and not worth bribing any politicians.

Or for the sake of some unknown company which can build a pipeline that will promptly be blown up, if it is ever finished at all. With our luck the company wouldn't even be an American one. In Iraq their government auctions off oil contracts to every nationality but American companies with one exception.

I buy into the Afghanistan War-pipeline connection under Bush up until Enron went belly up and GE sold its interest in the Dabhol Power Company. I just don't see it now.
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SandWalker1984 Donating Member (533 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. Unocal took up where Enron left off - with a little help from BP-Amoco

Pipeline-Istan: Everything you need to know about oil, gas, Russia, China, Iran Afghanistan & Obama

TAPI's (Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - Iran Pipeline) roller-coaster history actually begins in the mid-1990s, the Clinton era, when the Taliban were dined (but not wined) by the California-based energy company Unocal and the Clinton machine. In 1995, Unocal first came up with the pipeline idea, even then a product of Washington's fatal urge to bypass both Iran and Russia. Next, Unocal talked to the Turkmenbashi, then to the Taliban, and so launched a classic New Great Game gambit that has yet to end and without which you can't understand the Afghan war Obama has inherited.

A Taliban delegation, thanks to Unocal, enjoyed Houston's hospitality in early 1997 and then Washington's in December of that year. When it came to energy negotiations, the Taliban's leadership was anything but medieval. They were tough bargainers, also cannily courting the Argentinean private oil company Bridas, which had secured the right to explore and exploit oil reserves in eastern Turkmenistan.

In August 1997, financially unstable Bridas sold 60% of its stock to Amoco, which merged the next year with British Petroleum. A key Amoco consultant happened to be that ubiquitous Eurasian player, former national security advisor Zbig Brzezinski (aka Obama advisor), while another such luminary, Henry Kissinger, just happened to be a consultant for Unocal. BP-Amoco, already developing the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, now became the major player in what had already been dubbed the Trans-Afghan Pipeline or TAP. Inevitably, Unocal and BP-Amoco went to war and let the lawyers settle things in a Texas court, where, in October 1998 as the Clinton years drew to an end, BP-Amoco seemed to emerge with the upper hand.

Under newly elected president George W. Bush, however, Unocal snuck back into the game and, as early as January 2001, was cozying up to the Taliban yet again, this time supported by a star-studded governmental cast of characters, including Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage, himself a former Unocal lobbyist. The Taliban were duly invited back to Washington in March 2001 via Rahmatullah Hashimi, a top aide to "The Shadow," the movement's leader Mullah Omar.

Negotiations eventually broke down because of those pesky transit fees the Taliban demanded. Beware the Empire's fury. At a Group of Eight summit meeting in Genoa in July 2001, Western diplomats indicated that the Bush administration had decided to take the Taliban down before year's end. (Pakistani diplomats in Islamabad would later confirm this to me.)

The attacks of September 11, 2001 just slightly accelerated the schedule. Nicknamed "the kebab seller" in Kabul, Hamid Karzai, a former CIA asset and Unocal representative, who had entertained visiting Taliban members at barbecues in Houston, was soon forced down Afghan throats as the country's new leader.

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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. Agree. If there was money to be made in AfPak the Republicans would not
have given up on the venture years ago.

The hard lessons learned from the BTC pipeline have been absorbed by the money men.

Pipelines like the BTC and AfPak are nearly impossible to defend. However, multiple collector pipelines to tanker terminals defended by a 'high tech' navy . . .

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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. Further - the Caspian Region prospects are greatly changed from what was thought
in 2000.

Older post follows.


Caspian Region. The Oil Isnt There

Following is a post by 'Petrodollar' in the following thread at This poster seems to know what he is talking about (has written a book), and what I have previously read about the situation 'plots' with his summary.

I am reproducing the post here because it provides excellent factual information for the coming attacks (when TSHTF next year) on why the Clinton Administration did nothing regarding energy independence.

On the one hand I can understand your desire to "blame" Gore for not publicly discussing Peak Oil until recently, but you must put history in context before you draw condemnations. Indeed, a lot more is known today than what was known just 8 to 10 years ago.

The first "authoritative" and analytical report on global peak oil that I am aware of was Petroconsultant's 1995 report The Worlds Oil Supply (19302050) - which predicted that peak oil production would occur in the decade following 2000. (written in part by Dr. Colin Campbell). It is rumored the CIA is or was the largest client of Petroconsultants (now IHS Energy), but it is unknown if this report was well received as far as the veracity of the data - but it is a good question for historians....

Anyhow, the one big caveat in that report I suspect were all the estimates from the mid-1990s until late 2001 that the Caspian Sea region could have up to 200 billion barrels of untapped oil, making it the oil find of the century" - and push back Peak Oil for 12 to 15 years. I think Enron was "banking" on cheap natural gas from the Caspian and a trans-Afghanistan pipeline to save their company re their huge investment in India...

{For that famous quote about the "oil find of the century" see: Stephen Kinzer, Pipe Dreams: A Perilous New Contest for the Next Oil Prize, New York Times, September 24, 1997, IV-1}

Indeed, from 1997-1998 the US government and Taliban were negotiating over a trans-Afghanistan pipeline, but these talks were interrupted when two US Embassies in East Africa were bombed during August 1998. These terrorists attacks were attributed to Osama bin Laden, who was a guest of the Taliban regime. Former president Clinton subsequently launched a cruise missile attack against targets associated with bin Laden, ordered the negotiations with the Taliban called off, and imposed sanctions against the rogue regime. Any exploration and worthwhile extraction of the Caspian oil would have to wait until the landscape in central Asia become more conducive to oil pipelines, etc.

{FYI: According to Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie in the French book, The Forbidden Truth, the Bush administration ignored the UN sanctions that had been imposed upon the Taliban and entered into secret negotiations with this supposedly rogue regime from February 2, 2001, to August 6, 2001. The Taliban were not cooperative, according to the statements of Mr. Naik, Pakistans former ambassador. He reported that the US threatened a military option if the Taliban did not acquiesce to Washingtons demands about a proposed pipeline route that had to traverse Afghanistan. But I digress...}

I suspect in the late 1990s and perhaps even as the Bush administration entered office in 2001 that the US government may have deducted that the "vast and untapped" Caspian oil would push Peak Oil somewhat into the future. Here's a sampling of the euphoria that surrounded the Caspian in the late 1990s...

I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.

Former CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney, 1998

However, in December 2001, just after US troops took over the capital of Afghanistan, British Petroleum (BP) announced disappointing Caspian drilling results. According to Dale Allen Pfeiffer, an oil industry analyst and former researcher for Michael Rupperts website, after three exploratory wells were analyzed, it was reported that the Caspian region contains much less oil than originally reported, although there are vast amounts of natural gas. Also, it was discovered that Caspian oil is of poor quality, with up to 20 percent sulfur content, which makes it expensive to refine and creates huge volumes of environmentally damaging waste products.

In 2002 the consulting group PetroStrategies published a study estimating that the Caspian Basin contained only 8 to 39.4 bb of oil. Shortly after this report was discussed in the petroleum news sources, BP and other Western oil companies began reducing their investment plans in the region...and at that point I think the reality of Peak Oil began to creep into consciousness...

Despite exaggerated claims of the oil find of the century and predictions of a 'new Saudi Arabia' outside the Middle East, the State Department announced in November 2002 that Caspian oil represents 4% of world reserves. It will never dominate the worlds markets.

Unfortunately, this unexpected realization about the Caspian Sea region had serious implications for the US, India, China, Asia, and Europe, since the estimated amount of available hydrocarbons for industrialized and developing nations was now significantly decreased - by 20% in fact if you believed the 200 b/bl estimate. For me, the arguments regarding PO became more valid and convincing after that point, but it was only 4 years ago that the "Caspian myth" was essentially de-bunked

Bottomline: I seem to recall a much more optimistic assessment of global energy supplies (both oil & gas) up thru 2000 when Clinton & Gore left office. Oil was only $10 a barrel in 1998, and talk of Peak Oil would have labeled Gore or whomever an "alarmist" at the very least, and certainly not helped in any future election based on what happened in 1980. (more on that in a moment)

Did the data in the mid to late 1990s support that Peak Oil was imminent? It's hard to tell until relevant CIA and/or DOE documents are released - at which point you will likely be in your 30s or 40s - assuming such documents will ever be released.

The only US President to really address the issue was Jimmy Carter - and every US politician believes that he lost his re-election bid to Reagan in part due to his "pessimistic" (honest) views on global energy supplies, along with that embarrassing incident re American hostages in Tehran during 1979 and the disastrous/failed rescue mission in 1980 didn't help either. Indeed, 30 years ago Carter stated something that no US politician has dared stated until March 2005 when Rep Roscoe Bartlett began his PO crusade in Congress.

We are grossly wasting our energy resources as though their supply was infinite. We must even face the prospect of changing our basic ways of living. This change will either be made on our own initiative in a planned and rational way, or forced on us with chaos and suffering by the inexorable laws of nature.

Jimmy Carter, 1976

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
xiamiam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. one is going to say its about the pipeline...thats the point..
but it is..and if you think its about the war on terror...well, you've been duped...
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
13. Just passing through while I make a "permalink". K&R
It's always good advice to follow the money when nothing else seems to make much sense. Thank-you!

Liberate the oil and natural gas. Create new roads and bridges from which it can travel in peace. Let nothing, not one rock, mountain, sand dune, man nor beast stand in the way of freedom. Oh holy fossil fuel and invisible combustible vapors, how we worship thee and will kill or be killed for thee.

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
15. War is a racket. And, the racketeers are in charge. K&R
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pjt7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thanks for posting this
I believe at least 5 miltary bases are literally under this proposed pipeline.

I wish our media would look into this, in more detail.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. Would that be the media like NBC and
MSNBC and CNBC? The ones owned by GE?
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
17. This is an excellent summary of the action and players
but there is another player waiting in the wings, kept off stage momentarily. In the middle of 2005, when the US was losing its grip on Iraq, the UNOCAL corporation, which is the possessor of pipeline rights in Afghanistan and coincidently? the former employer of Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, came up for sale. The high bidder for UNOCAL wasn't ExxonMobil or ConocoPhillips or Sunoco, but a name unfamiliar to most Americans: the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). CNOOC is 70% owned by the Chinese government. Washington fairly exploded in protest. In the face of a certain blockage of the sale, CNOOC withdrew its $18.5 billion bid and UNOCAL was married off to US based Chevron instead.
Cnooc drops $18.5 bn Unocal bid

Of course, if the present US puppet govt. of Afghanistan should fall to forces with grievances against America, those pipeline rights contracts now owned by Chevron may be voided, and the new govt may draw up a new lease arrangement with new parties, much as the new govt of Iraq shredded oil drilling contracts inked by the old Saddam Hussein govt. If the US fails to carry off the imperial nation and pipeline building project in Afghanistan it knows who is most likely to try next. China, which has a border with Afghanistan thanks to a slender strip of land just wide enough for a pipeline may get access to Central Asian natural gas after all.

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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
19. K&R. //nt
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BeHereNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
22. k/r n/t
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
23. knr n/t
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
26. k & R & B
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
27. kick for perpetual war....n/t
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 11:29 PM
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28. K&R
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Delphinus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 06:53 AM
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29. Thanks for this -
I've got to spend some time coming to understand this. Someone recently told me that it was oil and poppy - this will help clear things up.
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 11:27 AM
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30. Thank you for all your work putting this information together...
I tried to raise awareness of this issue several days ago. I watched John Foster's 9 part presentation and then retrieved the CCPA (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) report, here:

This document is a worthwhile read. I wonder about those who seem to be at pains to MINIMIZE the importance of the whole pipeline issue in terms of our so-called "mission" in Afghanistan/Pakistan. IMO, the above is the singular reason why we're willing to sacrifice blood and treasure in the region.

I recommend reading the report. It contains numerous maps, as well as a table detailing "Pipeline Projects for Natural Gas from Central Asia". Yes, the report is written from the point of view of Canadian interests in the region, but is no less instructive in terms of the American geopolitical actions.

Of note in Mr. Foster's 9 part presentation: He states that wars for resources are a VIOLATION OF THE UN CHARTER. Is this, perhaps, the reason why Pres. Obama relies on increasingly silly reasons to explain our presence in Afghanistan/Pakistan?

I'm sure he doesn't want to open that can of worms. I'm waiting (probably in vain) for some courageous reporter to utter the word "pipelines" during a press conference.

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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:39 PM
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31. Kicking this because
I think it's important that discussion focus on the pipeline issue instead of specious reasons like winning hearts & minds, bringing Democracy to the people, helping girls go to school, blah blah...
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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:55 PM
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32. Wow, Brilliantly complete regarding Afghanistan. I'll just add a note about the Iranian Oil Bourse.
Here's a story link from

It talks about another side of the importance of the pipelines: the need to keep the oil selling only in US dollars. The economics esoterica is beyond my capability to explain, but the article has a convncing argument that the real concern with Iran is about the possibility that they might use a bourse (market) that they're building to sell oil in Euros, and cut the US and the UK out of the loop, allowing themselves and Russia (and anyone else that wants to cut the US and the UK out of the loop) to sell directly to the likes of China, India... and so on. Apparently, the resulting decline in global demand for US dollars is liable to cause an implosion of the US economy.

I'm not sure that the two stories are even completely related, but something tells me that they are, as the point of the pipelines seems largely to have a route to bring Caspian oil to the East/ports while going around Iran and Russia (and such potentially fragile ex-Soviet republics as Georgia, which was recently invaded by Russia). Of course, the conclusion that declining demand for the US dollar would cause a US economic collapse is something I'm only half-accepting as truth, as I have nothing but faith in the accuracy of the article to base my judgement on.

Needless to say, I merely throw this link out for further consideration & wider perspective...
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Thanks for posting n/t
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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. My pleasure. I'm actually hoping someone has the secret for the link between the two articles.
I suspect that it is something about having a secure secondary route to transport Caspian crude around both Iran and Russia... but that there must also be some idea in the works for stymying both Iranian and Russian production. Or at least something to be sure they don't sell in Euros (or the "new World Currency" that I've caught glimpses of China proposing). Is it a preparation (or just contingency) for hostilities with Iran? With Russia? Is that just paranoid conspiritorial horseshit? I really don't know.

If nothing else... I'll feel better if others have these possibilities percolating in their back-brains, too.
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 08:50 AM
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35. Kicking for possible answers to LooseWilly's questions.
Edited on Mon Dec-07-09 08:51 AM by nc4bo
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