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ar W al i c e Sp Geo-Politics of 'Afghan War': Great Game of Oil-Rush
The WTC Attack...Caspian Oil-Gas & Pipeline What the US know before September 11 Testimony of Unocal Corp. before the US Govt. Central Asia's Great Game Russia/China & Central Asia: Oil-Rush Iran-India-Bangladesh Natural Gas Pipeline Kabul fall raises India's Stake Energy a Major Factor in Afghan Conflict Bush, Capitalism, And the War Crisis 'US Interest in Caspian Sea & Central Asia' Hidden Agenda behind War on Terror Taliban, US and the Resources of Central Asia Britain: Reports admit this is a War for Oil

e Issu


Voices Against The War Cry

Voices From The USA, Europe, Australia & Asia

In Lieu Of An Introduction
[While we are going to prepare the 7th issue of Update, the Northern Alliance has captured Kabul forcing the Taliban forces to retreat. At this moment, hectic scramble of diplomatic and multilateral processes are going on to bring 'peace', 'order', 'rule of law' in the war-ravaged Afganistan from the part of the USA Govt.the mastermind & perpetrator of genocide & devastation in Afghanistan; from the so-called allies such as the 'leaders' of EU countries, 'once-enemy-now-friend' Russia, the countries neighbouring Afghanistan (even India) and United Nations (UN). It may be clear to us within a few days which formation or alliance has been 'authorised' to rule Afghanistan. It may also be clear within days what more are in store for the Afghan people in the near future. More than 8,000 bombs have been pounded on Afghanistan so far; thousands killed and massacred; rubbles of former wars & clashes turned into ashes; millions rendered homeless adding more people in the refugee camps and so on.... We are told that this is a "war on terrorism"; this bombardment on the civilians is to capture Osama bin Laden, a "dreaded terrorist" who is the "prime suspect" (and still he is just a "suspect", no reliable evidence could be submitted by the USA Govt!) alleged to be behind the destruction of World Trade Centre (WTC) on 11th September; and the 'war' is also against the Talibans who "harbour terrorism". But the motive behind the 'Afghan War' is something more. The declaration of the officials of Bush govt., and the 'mainstream' writers in the media clearly state that the goal of the war is "broader" & "wider". Follow some remarks & excerpts: Bush declared that "there are thousands of these terrorists in more than sixty countries.... Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation in every region that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the US as hostile regime." (Quoted in Monthly Review, November, 2001) Which are these 'rogue states' harbouring terrorism? The Economist (25.10.2001) comments: "(T)he anti-terrorist campaign affords... to shake terrorism loose from state sponsors (by which America means Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba)." 'Secretary of Defence Donald Ramsfeld "warned the nation to prepare for not months, but years, of battle," according to the Times.' (Quoted in 'In, "Give War A Chance" (Philadelphia Inquirer) David Perlmutter warns that if these states do not do Washington's bidding, they must: "Prepare for the systematic destruction of every power plant, every oil refinery, every pipeline, every military base, every government office in the entire country... the complete

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collapse of their economy and government for a generation." (http:// Such are the voices of warmongers of the USA! Hence, the '11th September' gives American ruling class a golden opportunity to unleash attacks/terrors on several states known for their 'stated rivalry' against the USA. In recent past numerous air-raids, 'humanitarian bombing' (!), proxy-war, interventionist warfare had been launched by the USA Govt. over these 'rogue states'from Iraq to East Timor, from Yugoslavia to Libya, from Bosnia to Sudan... It is an open secret now that the US imperialists had financed, armed, trained and 'harboured' the 'now-notorious' Taliban forces (and Laden) to make a proxy-war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the eighties through its covert and murderous agent CIA. It is the rulers of USA, which sponsored the Islamic fundamentalism to take on the 'radical Islam' of Iran, to counter the 'communist scare' of Russia and thereby stimulated its growth. Now the President of the USA calls for "Crusade" "evoking the familiar Christian notion of divine retribution against sinners" and thus concealing their imperialist greed under the religious fanatism. Conversely, this call for crusade creates more breeding ground for the muslim fundamentalism. It is to be noted that strong resentments and protests are going on in the muslim-dominated countries against the atrocities done by the USA in Afghanistan. This is even recognised by many mainstream media that muslims of different countries have legitimate grounds of the feelings of being deceived, oppressed and dispossessed in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and all over in the middle East. It is also to be noted that in absence of real progressive anti-imperialist forces, this agitation tends to incline towards the reactionary muslim fundamentalism. In fact, the 'terrorist' attacks on the WTC on 11th September is undoubtedly the expression of deep-seated grievences of some people brought forth by any of the numerous acts of unbridled state-terrorism or oppression by the US imperialists and this singular act of 'terrorism' is nothing comparable to those in extent of damage and more significantly in content. It is the expression of the oppressed out of hopelessness. Thus, the history shows that the USA and its allies (and also all the 'democratic' states in the world) are the "leading terrorists" in the true sense. They are the mastermind of world-wide state-terrorism against any revolt of the oppressed that could question its empire, its 'world order'. Just remember the voices: "Prepare for systematic destruction... for generation"! Are these the voices of a 'peace-keeping' or 'peace-loving' country? We have to protest and organise ourselves against this terrorist onslaught on Afghanistan masterminded by the imperialist forces led by the USA.

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Update is not a propagandist. So, we have restrained ourselves to analyse the present situation in details. Only the ferocity of 'Afghan War' under hypocritical cover and lies provoke us to make a few comments. In fact, this situation has inspired us to work overtime for publishing Update 7 within one and a half months of our sixth issue. Update is not also a news magazine to give details about the 'Afghan War'. Lot of reports/analysis/comments/articles are flooding in the media & magazines elaborating from different angles. Hence, we confine ourselves to study the present 'war' from an angle which is least discussed (probably black-outed by the media). We devote ourselves to find the real motive behind this 'Afghan War': the economic and geo-political basis of it i.e., the hunger of huge oil & gas reserves in the Central Asian countries just above Afghanistan of the giants of giant oil TNCs. We have lot of findings on it, part of which is published in this issue. Also we have noted that waves of protests rocked several countries which are sometimes covered by Indian newspapers but very much onesidedly (i.e, publication of the photos and reports of the protests of muslim population only). Actually the protests occurred transcend religious, racial, colour barriers in many advanced countries (not excepting several developing/third world countries), even in the USA and even from the very first day after 11th September. In this issue of Update we have tried to cover these protests as widely as possible. Update]

America and Britain has imposed on the suffering people of Iraq for more than a decade, causing the deaths of half a million children under the age of five. That's more deaths of infants every month than the number killed in the World Trade Center. According to an internal UN report, covering a five-month period, 41 per cent of the casualties are civilians. In northern Iraq, I met a woman whose husband and four children were among the deaths listed in the report. He was a shepherd, who was tending his sheep with his elderly father and his children when two planes attacked them, each making a sweep. It was an open valley; there were no military targets nearby. "I want to see the pilot who did this," said the widow at the graveside of her entire family. For them, there was no service in St Paul's Cathedral with the Queen in attendance; no rock concert with Paul McCartney. The tragedy of the Iraqis, and the Palestinians, and the Afghanis is a truth that is the very opposite of their caricatures in much of the Western media. Far from being the terrorists of the world, the overwhelming majority of the Islamic peoples of the Middle East and south Asia have been its victims victims largely of the West's exploitation of precious natural resources in or near their countries. [John Pilger, Z Mag]

Geo-politics of Afghan War': Great Game of Oil-Rush

[Afghanistan is a landlocked country bordering Pakistan and Iran. Just above it there are five break-away muslim-dominated countries from former Soviet UnionUzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tazikistan, Kirghiziastan & Kazakstan most of which are full of abundant natural resources such as oil and gas. Afghanistan is also an important gateway to the all-important Caspian Sea which is floating on oil & gas resources. (See map 1) Thus, Afghanistan has immense strategic importance to foreign rulers from time immemorial. In the eighties it was invaded and occupied by the Soviet Union rulers who wanted to reach warm water of the Arabian Sea. After the retreat of Soviet Union and its breaking apart, with all the newly formed Central Asian countries (including new European states: Azarbaizan, Armenia, Goergia on the western flank of the Caspian Sea), Afghanistan occupy immense importance in the eyes of the multinational companies, the oil barons and also their host countries, the USA, Russia, Iran, China, Turkey and a few rich European countries. In the late nineties, the biggest oil TNCs (such as Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, British Petroleum etc.) scrambled to make inroads into the oil exploration and marketing business in the states surrounding Caspian Sea. With them, several oil & construction companies, such as UNOCAL Corporation of the USA made agreements with many of these countries to make pipe-lines for the transportation of oil & gas to the markets of Europe, Asia and the USA. This is a 'Great Game' of oil politics which is shaping the present and future of the Central Asian countries as well as of Afghanistan. Behind the veil of 'War on Terror' there are stories of 'Oil-Rush' which are presented here. At first, we present here excerpt of an article which presents us the oilperspective of the 'Afghan War' Update]

The WTC Attack...Caspian Oil & Gas and the Afghanistan: Pipeline Connection
In the sound and fury of media coverage following the World Trade Center attack, I have yet to see any serious examination of the economic forces working behind the scenes in the Middle East and specifically South Asia and Afghanistan. This in the United States, where every up and down of the stock market makes headlines every day, and we have TV channels devoted exclusively to economic activity. Most of us know that the Middle East is a center of activity for 4

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world oil production. Some of us have heard about the Caspian Sea, and the touted possibilities for great oil resources there. But few would think that rocky, war torn Afghanistan might be part of this energy production picture. Yet it most certainly is. And the information about Afghanistan's role is readily available on the World Wide Web to anyone who wants to investigate. Indeed, much of the information comes from US government sources like the Voice of America. Michael Klare, author of the book "Resource Wars", which has a major focus on the Caspian region, (...) is the Director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies based at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. In his book, Klare argues that it is not only the United States that is preparing for resource conflicts. He contends that all regional powers are focusing increasingly on how to protect or enlarge their access to vital resources over the next generation. Klare tells that vast energy reserves in Central Asia and the Caucasus have made the region a priority for the United States despite the area's generally poor progress in post-communist reforms. "I think in this case this is a national security consideration that's driving all of this. The United States has to get that oil from that region (Central Asia) and will make a deal with whatever governments are there in place that are willing to work with us (that is, the US), like the government(s) in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan that are far from ideal with respect to human rights and democratic procedure. And I think that's a reflection of the view that I write about in my book we (the US) view oil as a security consideration and we have to protect it by any means necessary, regardless of other considerations, other values." I will argue that the current US government focus on Afghanistan is part of the oil security consideration. The following is my attempt to make sense of the Afghan energy connection. The US government Energy Information fact sheet on Afghanistan dated December 2000 says that. "Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographic position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes proposed multi-billion dollar oil and gas export pipelines through Afghanistan, although these plans have now been thrown into serious question..." These pipelines would begin in the former Soviet Republic of Turkemenistan, which may have one of the largest gas deposits in the world. (...) The [Washington] Post [in a 1998 article] goes on to say that "Turkmenistan's potential was enormous. Just inland from the Caspian shore were some of the world's oldest oil fields, and Soviet-era

7 update 7 geological surveys indicated that the prospect for offshore finds was good. In the trackless Garagum Desert, away from a thin line of irrigated valleys, geologists had discovered one gas field after another beginning in the 1960s. By 1990, Dauletabad and the adjoining Sovietabad field were producing 1.6 trillion cubic feet a year, rivaling the gigantic gas fields of Siberia. Almost all of this gas was pumped north across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan into a Russian pipeline and on to markets in Europe and the former Soviet republics. Niyazov [Saparmurad Niyazov, the President of Turkmenistan Update] said he "smelled old Soviet ambitions" in Russia's use of its pipeline monopoly to keep Turkmenistan's gas from competing with Russian gas in European markets." [In August 1997, Niyazov halted gas deliveries to the Russian-controlled pipeline systemUpdate] Advising Niayzov during the early nineties? None other than former NATO commander and US Secretary of State Alexander Haig. In 1993 Haig actually formed a consortium to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan through Iran. Haig's project did not involve U.S. companies; Haig's pipeline enterprise was registered in the British Virgin Islands. The idea foundered on the opposition of the Clinton administration. But the idea of new routes for the Turkemenistan oil and gas did not end with the Haig plan. In an article dated 11/25/97, Voice of America [VOA] reporter Joan Beecher writes that top government officials and oil company executives from the United States, Turkey, Great Britain, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Central Asia met to discuss an issue of great mutual concern: Pipeline routes for Caspian oil and gas. The Washington Post in 1998 reported that "The initial enthusiast for the Afghan route was not an American, however, but Carlos Bulgheroni, the short, workaholic chairman of the Bridas Group, an Argentine company. In 1993, a Bridas joint venture with Turkmenistan had begun laying more than 2,000 miles of seismic lines to map the geology of a potential gas field in eastern Turkmenistan. Two test wells confirmed a huge gas deposit 150 miles from the Afghan border. In the spring of 1995, Turkmenistan and Pakistan commissioned Bulgheroni's company to study the Afghan route. But that summer, a rival entered the game. John Imle, president of California-based Unocal Corp., wooed Niyazov and Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister of Pakistan, throughout July with a vision of a Unocal pipeline following roughly the same route as the one proposed by Bridas." By early 1998 a Unocal led consortium had made a deal with the Taliban to construct an Afghanistan pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. On the question of the Afghanistan route VOA's Beecher says that... "the most obvious drawback of a proposed pipeline from

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Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan, to Pakistan and down to the Arabian Sea is that there is still a civil war going on in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, all factions in the civil war have signed agreements supporting the proposed pipeline, according to Bob Todor, executive vice president of Unocal, the company that is leading an international consortium to construct the central Asian pipeline through Afghanistan. Speaking to the international conference, Mr. Todor argued that the basic problem with the existing and proposed western routes, across northern Russia, or to ports on the Black Sea, or under the Caspian and down to Turkey, is that they all lead to European markets: "Western Europe is a tough market. It is characterized by high prices for oil products, an aging population, and increasing competition from natural gas. Furthermore, the region is fiercely competitive. It is now being serviced by fields of course in the Middle East, the North Sea, Scandinavia, and Russia... Although there is room for Central Asia's oil, on the whole, it (western Europe) is not a very attractive market, because substantial infrastructure will have to be developed to bring that oil from the Caspian to the Western European market, and that market is very competitive." Much the same is true of Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union, according to Mr. Todor. But Asia is a completely different story. Many speakers, not just Mr. Todor, argued that Asia will be the fastest growing market for Caspian oil, even if the region's present financial crisis should lead to a prolonged economic slowdown. Three routes to Asian markets have been proposed: Through China, through Iran, and through Afghanistan to Pakistan. In Mr. Todor's view, the proposed China route is too long, and will probably prove to be prohibitively expensive. The major argument against the Iran route is, quite simply, that the US government opposes it. Among the many advantages of the Afghanistan route, according to Mr. Todor, is that it would terminate in the Arabian Sea, which is much closer than the Persian Gulf or northern China to key Asian markets: "There is tremendous international and regional political will behind the pipeline. The pipeline is beneficial to Central Asian countries because it would allow them to sell their oil in expanding and highly prospective Asian markets. The pipeline is beneficial to Afghanistan, which would receive revenues from transport tariffs... On a regional level, the pipeline will promote stability and encourage trade and economic development between South Asia and Central Asia. Finally, because of the combination of short pipeline distance and the relatively low cost of tankerage, this southern route will result in the most competitive export route to the Asia/Pacific market. Yet construction of this promising route can only begin if and when an

9 update 7 internationally recognized government is formed in Afghanistan..." Todor's arguement for the Afghanistan pipeline was also made before the US Congress in 1998, by John J. Maresca, Vice President, International Relations of the Unocal Corporation in testimony to the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, February 12, 1998. [see later the Testimony of the UNOCAL Update] Maresca concluded his Congressional testimony with this peroration. "Developing cost-effective, profitable and efficient export routes for Central Asia resources is a formidable, but not impossible, task. It has been accomplished before. A commercial corridor, a "new" Silk Road, can link the Central Asia supply with the demand-once again making Central Asia the crossroads between Europe and Asia." The Unocal led Centgas consortium consisted of the following companies: Unocal Corporation (US), 46.5 percent; Delta Oil Company Limited (Saudi Arabia), 15 percent; The Government of Turkmenistan, 7 percent; Indonesia Petroleum, LTD. (INPEX) (Japan), 6.5 percent; ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. (CIECO) (Japan), 6.5 percent; Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (Korea), 5 percent; The Crescent Group (Pakistan), 3.5 percent. The 48-inch diameter pipeline was to extend 790 miles (1,271 kilometers) from the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border, generally follow the Herat-to-Kandahar Road through Afghanistan, cross the Pakistan border in the vicinity of Quetta, and terminate in Multan, Pakistan, where it would tie into an existing pipeline system. Turkmenistan was to construct a pipeline that will link with the CentGas line at the border and stretch approximately 105 miles (169 kilometers) to the Dauletabad Field. A potential 400-mile (644-kilometer) extension from Multan to New Delhi also was under consideration. The Unocal-led initiative foundered in 1998, after the US cruise missile retaliation against Bin Laden's Afghan camps for the bombings of its African embassies. Brown University's William O. Beeman wrote in 1998 that... "From the US standpoint, the only way to deny Iran everything is for the anti-Iranian Taliban to win in Afghanistan and to agree to the pipeline through their territory. The Pakistanis, who would also benefit from this arrangement, are willing to defy the Iranians for a share of the pot." Beeman continues, "Enter Osama bin Laden, a sworn enemy of the United States living in Afghanistan. His forces could see that the Taliban would eventually end up in the American camp if things proceeded as they had been. His (Bin Laden) bombing of US embassies in East Africa (since there were none in Afghanistan) was accompanied by a message for Americans to get out of "Islamic countries." By this, he meant specifically Afghanistan. The American response was to bomb bin Laden's outposts while carefully noting that his forces were "not supported by any state." This latter statement was


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an attempt to rescue the Taliban relationship, while at the same time giving the Taliban leaders the message that they must ditch bin Laden. For good measure, American missiles also took out a factory in Sudan a smokescreen for the real target of their action..." (William O. Beeman is a Brown University anthropologist specializing in the Middle East. The piece first ran in The Providence Journal and was distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. Aug 1998.) At the same time Unocal came under fire from international women's organizations for its courting of the Taliban, despite their notorious repression of women's rights. The women's rights issue, more than the embassy bombings, were used as an excuse to end the Unocal led consortium's deal with the Taliban. UNOCAL had entered a one million dollar contract with the University of Nebraska to train workers in Afghanistan specifically for pipeline construction. Women's organizations focused on this arrangement for protests. Unocal's defection did not end pipeline plans. According to the VOA's Sarah Horner "But the pipeline dreams have surfaced again. In May 2000 there were reports of discussions of the issue involving Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. And the Taliban newspaper, the Kabul Times, recently reported that the mine and industries minister, Mullah Mohammed Isa Akhond, met representatives of the Central Asia-based US company, Central Asia Oil and Gas Industry. The newspaper quoted company representative, Rafiq Yadgar as saying: "Central Asia Oil and Gas Industry is ready to invest in Afghanistan in the field of oil and gas extraction and meanwhile is willing to build an gas and oil refinery in Afghanistan." He added that Turkmen authorities are ready to cooperate with his company. But any plans still ran afoul of the civil war in Afghanistan. According to Horner, "Should any pipeline actually get off the ground it will be a prime target for sabotage the United Front whose leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, excels at guerrilla tactics." A few days before the WTC attack, Massoud was killed by suicide bombers posing as journalists. So as matters stood before the "election" of George W. Bush, plans for Afghanistan's role in world energy production were at an impasse. As most of us know, the Bush-Cheney team that took control of the US Government in January, 2001, was heavily influenced by the oil industry. Bush himself is a veteran of a number of mostly failed oil enterprises. Cheney was the CEO of Halliburton, a major player in the downstream oil industry. Cheney described Halliburton's role in a 1998 speech at the aptly named "Collateral Damage Conference" of the Cato Institute, a conservative Washington think tank. According to Cato "This all-day conference explored the current and potential conflicts between US

11 update 7 foreign policy and the liberty and well-being of American citizens. The conference focused on the ways that US foreign policy infringes on the freedom of Americans to trade, invest and communicate with the rest of the world." [In fact, Chenny lobbied for lifting of several sanctions and prohibition on Iran, Libya, Iraq etc.Update] Cheney said in his speech that "Halliburton (...) [will] be the largest private employer in Texas and operate in over 130 countries all over the globe. About 70 to 75 percent of our business is energy related, serving customers like Unocal, Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and many other major oil companies around the world. As a result, we oftentimes find ourselves operating in some very difficult places. The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But, we go where the business is." (...) The current hot spot for "where the business is" happens to be the Caspian. In a column dated Thursday, August 10, 2000 in the Chicago Tribune, Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego writes... "Because of the instability in the Persian Gulf, Cheney and his fellow oilmen have zeroed in on the world's other major source of oil the Caspian Sea. Its rich oil and gas resources are estimated at $4 trillion by US News and World Report. The Washington-based American Petroleum Institute, voice of the major US oil companies, called the Caspian region, "the area of greatest resource potential outside of the Middle East." Cheney told a gaggle of oil industry executives in 1998, "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." Halliburton's Caspian investments include Turkmenistan. (...) On October 27, 1997, the same time period in which the Unocal pipeline plan was in the works, a Halliburton press release announced that "Halliburton has received a Letter of Intent from Petronas Carigali (Turkmenistan) SDN BHD to provide integrated drilling services for an exploration and appraisal program in the Caspian Sea beginning in late 1997. Halliburton, in conjunction with alliance partners, Dresser Industries and Western Atlas, will provide a combination of 10 services. Halliburton will be the lead contractor and project manager in addition to providing technical services. The value of the award is estimated to be U.S. $30 million for the total project. "This major new award will expand and solidify the HES presence in the Eastern Caspian and position the company well for both upstream and downstream projects which are rapidly developing in this emerging market," said Zeke Zeringue, president, Halliburton Energy Services. Halliburton Energy Services has been providing a variety of services in Turkmenistan for the past five years."


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P.V. Vivekanand, chief editor of The Gulf Today in the United Arab Emirates sums up the pipeline picture in the Caspian/Central Asia region in this way... "There are dozens of oil and gas pipeline projects in Central Asia, some estimated to cost billions of dollars and almost all sparking transborder disputes and controversies. Most of the projects have been discussed for decades as the oil giants wait for the right political conditions to move in. (...)" So where are we in the post WTC disaster period? The BushCheney administration has taken full advantage of the shock and horror aroused in the US populace by this disastrous attack. On every front they are moving to implement a draconian conservative agenda. Whether passing anti-democratic domestic laws in the name of fighting terrorism, or to mobilizing the military to fight "terrorism" abroad, they move full speed ahead with their political program. (...) But Bin Laden and the Taliban get the scapegoat's tail. Is this based on a real case, with hard evidence? Or is it simply because Bin Laden et al open the way for the full military might of the US armed forces to be committed to make the Caspian and Central Asian region safe for the US led oil and gas pipelines? I think the evidence is overwhelming. The Bush administration plans to use the WTC attack as an opportunity to use the US military as pipeline police, with the current goal of splitting the government of Pakistan and the Taliban from the Islamic militants led by Bin Laden. If they can accomplish this, the way might be cleared for the Afghanistan pipeline project, and the basis for further penetration into the oil rich former Soviet republics established. [Source: By Jon Flanders, 6.10.01, marxismlist:]
[The above excerpt summarises the motive behind the 'Afghan War'. In fact, It was in 1998, the US oil co. UNOCAL suspended the construction of pipeline project from Turkmenistan to Pakistan (an extension of which to India was also under consideration). Above excerpt points out two major obstacles to the pipeline project: i) Taliban gave shelter to Osama Bin Laden (OSB) who is 'accused' by the US Govt. to have hands in terrorist attacks on the US embassies; ii) and the ongoing civil war in Afghanistan which was not favourable to massive investment in building pipeline project. Hence, the UNOCAL (and all the 'partners' & 'friends' of it) "wait(s) for the right political conditions to move in." Thus the invasion of Afghanisthan to install a 'pro-West' ('proUNOCAL') Govt. in Afghanistan was a (hidden) agenda of the US Govt. since 1998. Now follow the excerpt written by a US geologist. Update]
"In this new kind [of] war...there are no neutral states or geographical confines. Us or them. You are either with us or against us." [R.W. Apple, Jr. in the 'Washington Post' (14/9/2001)]

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Map 1 : Eurasia

What the US knew before September 11

(...) To understand the oil business you must understand that oil companies plan on a 50-year horizon. The oil you use today was discovered by my dad and his friends in the 30's. The US oil industry is very interested in the oil of Central Asia. This is no secret. Russia is opposed to our being involved again no secret. This week Condoleesa Rice [US national security adviser Update] gave a speech in Russia assuring them that our goal in Afghanistan is not related to our oil interests. I have met Condoleesa I believe in her honesty. No doubt she believes what she said. However in my opinion she is nave. Sooner or later the US will move on that oil perhaps years after she has left Washington. If forced to, the US may split the bounty with Russia. The Congress of the US has discussed the desirability of getting this oil out of the control of the Russians. It has been stated as the policy of the US. Here I quote from "U.S. Interests In The Central Asian Republics/Hearing Before The Subcommittee On Asia And The Pacific/ Of The Ccommittee On International Relations/House Of Representatives/One Hundred Fifth Congress, Second Session, February 12, 1998" "Stated U.S. policy goals regarding energy resources in this region include fostering the independence of the States and their ties to the West; breaking Russia's monopoly over oil and gas transport routes; promoting Western energy security through diversified suppliers; encouraging the construction of east-west pipelines that do not transit Iran; and denying Iran dangerous leverage over the Central Asian economies." [Text of the testimony follows this excerpt Update] While at the moment we are awash in oil, industry analysts predict that the fields of Central Asia probably will be the world's major source of oil in 2050. The only pipelines that come out of this area go through Russian controlled territory. The better routes are through Iran to the Persian Gulf or through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Iran will not give permission for US companies to build a pipeline there although I believe a French company is doing so. The other route out is through China long distance through difficult terrain. The route through Afghanistan/Pakistan is short. It goes through the western part of Pakistan, which is pretty well controlled by the General/Dictator in Pakistan. It is the preferred economic option. The problem is Afghanistan. Unocal has a plan to build that pipeline but says they have to wait until there is a government in Afghanistan that is stable and friendly to US business interests. The Muslim hardliners in Afghanistan have to go before that pipeline can be built. (...) 13

15 update 7 I am personally convinced to the point of total certainty that the plan to attack Afghanistan was set in motion one or two years ago. Understand that the serious policy planning of the US government does not come and go with individual presidents and is not a response to chance events. I've seen the following quote attributed to George Kennan mastermind of the US Cold War strategy "...we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population ...Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity... To do so, we will have to dispense with sentimentality... We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the rising of living standards, and democratization". Somebody make me feel bettertell me he didn't say this. (...) What preparations did we make? Over the past 2 years we built a military circle around Afghanistan and positioned troops in the major areas that would be destabilized when we went in. We got Uzbekistan to allow our military there. We have a large military presence in Saudi Arabia one of bin Ladens major gripes. We have major NATO operations going on in Egypt (78,000 troops) and Turkey. Coincidentally we had extra aircraft carriers close to the Persian Gulf. Is all this bad? It sure is bad for the civilians who live in Afghanistan. I also believe it is bad for the common folk of the US since in the modern interdependent world you can't afford to be a monster without paying the price. It also is difficult if you are interested in morality rather than realpolitik. It is not clear to me whether bin Laden ordered this deed but it is clear that he is a danger not only to the power structure of the US but also to the people of the US. His grievances are just but no matter what, I don't condone killing innocents. Not here not there. I personally believe we should stop this military action and start a massive ground food delivery to Afghanistan. At the same time accept the offer of the Taliban to put bin Laden on trial in a neutral country. I personally believe we should phase our military out of Arabia, giving the royal family time to take their money and run, and giving the people of Arabia the option to decide for themselves what kind of government they want. Some might think that the option of having a king who chops off heads is an anachronism. Contrary to popular propaganda we would not be hurt by this. The house of Saud would be hurt and Aramco (Chevron/Texaco) would be hurt. The interests of the US man on the street would not be hurt. As someone pointed out, the world is awash in oil. The Saudis do not set the price. I also believe that we should support Israel in some very different way, a way that provides equal support for the Palestinians. (...) [Source: Richard Knox; Courtsy to Rainbow Publishers, New Delhi]


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[Thus, a US geologist thinks quite differently to the USA Govt. (or the ruling classes) and mainstream media. This sort of different thinking is observed in the several 'anti-war' protests/demonstrations launched in different parts of the USA which will be dealt later. Now, we go through the slightly abridged version of the (in)famous "Testimony of the Vice President of UNOCAL before the US Congress" which outlines the design and motive behind the present Afghanistan-aggression. See also the Map 2 & 3. Update]

Unocal pleads before the US Congress.....

Testimony By John J. Maresca, Vice President, International Relations, UNOCAL CORPORATION To House Committee On International Relations Subcommittee On Asia And The Pacific, February 12, 1998, Washington D.C. Mr. Chairman, I am John Maresca, Vice President, International Relations, of Unocal Corporation. Unocal is one of the world's leading energy resource and project development companies. Our activities are focused on three major regions Asia, Latin America and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. In Asia and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, we are a major oil and gas producer. I appreciate your invitation to speak here today. I believe these hearings are important and timely, and I congratulate you for focusing on Central Asia oil and gas reserves and the role they play in shaping U.S. policy. Today we would like to focus on three issues concerning this region, its resources and U.S. policy: The need for multiple pipeline routes for Central Asian oil and gas. The need for U.S. support for international and regional efforts to achieve balanced and lasting political settlements within Russia, other newly independent states and in Afghanistan. The need for structured assistance to encourage economic reforms and the development of appropriate investment climates in the region. In this regard, we specifically support repeal or removal of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. For more than 2,000 years, Central Asia has been a meeting ground between Europe and Asia, the site of ancient east-west trade routes collectively called the Silk Road and, at various points in history, a cradle of scholarship, culture and power. It is also a region of truly enormous natural resources, which are revitalizing cross-border trade, creating positive political interaction and stimulating regional cooperation. These resources have the potential to recharge the economies of neighboring countries and put entire regions on the road to prosperity. About 100 years ago, the international oil industry was born in the

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Map 2: Pipeline/Caspian
Caspian/Central Asian region with the discovery of oil. In the intervening years, under Soviet rule, the existence of the region's oil and gas resources was generally known, but only partially or poorly developed. As we near the end of the 20th century, history brings us full circle. With political barriers falling, Central Asia and the Caspian are once again attracting people from around the globe who are seeking ways to develop and deliver its bountiful energy resources to the markets of the world. The Caspian region contains tremendous untapped hydrocarbon


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reserves, much of them located in the Caspian Sea basin itself. Proven natural gas reserves within Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan equal more than 236 trillion cubic feet. The region's total oil reserves may reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil enough to service Europe's oil needs for 11 years. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels. In 1995, the region was producing only 870,000 barrels per day (44 million tons per year [Mt/y]). By 2010, Western companies could increase production to about 4.5 million barrels a day (Mb/d) an increase of more than 500 percent in only 15 years. If this occurs, the region would represent about five percent of the world's total oil production, and almost 20 percent of oil produced among non-OPEC countries. One major problem has yet to be resolved: how to get the region's vast energy resources to the markets where they are needed. There are few, if any, other areas of the world where there can be such a dramatic increase in the supply of oil and gas to the world market. The solution seems simple: build a "new" Silk Road. Implementing this solution, however, is far from simple. The risks are high, but so are the rewards.

Finding and Building Routes to World Markets

One of the main problems is that Central Asia is isolated. The region is bounded on the north by the Arctic Circle, on the east and west by vast land distances, and on the south by a series of natural obstacles mountains and seas as well as political obstacles, such as conflict zones or sanctioned countries. This means that the area's natural resources are landlocked, both geographically and politically. Each of the countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia faces difficult political challenges. Some have unsettled wars or latent conflicts. Others have evolving systems where the laws and even the courts are dynamic and changing. Business commitments can be rescinded without warning, or they can be displaced by new geopolitical realities. In addition, a chief technical obstacle we face in transporting oil is the region's existing pipeline infrastructure. Because the region's pipelines were constructed during the Moscow-centered Soviet period, they tend to head north and west toward Russia. There are no connections to the south and east. Depending wholly on this infrastructure to export Central Asia oil is not practical. Russia currently is unlikely to absorb large new quantities of "foreign" oil, is unlikely to be a significant market for energy in the next decade, and lacks the capacity to deliver it to other markets. Certainly there is no easy way out of Central Asia. If there are to be other routes, in other directions, they must be built. Two major energy infrastructure projects are seeking to meet this challenge. One, under the aegis of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium,

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Map 3: Pipeline/Central Asia

or CPC, plans to build a pipeline west from the Northern Caspian to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossisk. From Novorossisk, oil from this line would be transported by tanker through the Bosphorus to the Mediterranean and world markets. The other project is sponsored by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), a consortium of 11 foreign oil companies including four American companies Unocal, Amoco, Exxon and Pennzoil. It will follow one or both of two routes west from Baku. One line will angle north and cross the North Caucasus to Novorossisk. The other route would cross Georgia and extend to a shipping terminal on the Black Sea port of Supsa. This second route may be extended west and south across Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. [Building of this pipeline is now in progressUpdate] But even if both pipelines were built, they would not have enough total capacity to transport all the oil expected to flow from the region in the future; nor would they have the capability to move it to the right markets. Other export pipelines must be built. Unocal believes that the central factor in planning these pipelines should be the location of the future energy markets that are most likely to need these new supplies. Just as Central Asia was the meeting ground between Europe and Asia in centuries past, it is again in a unique position to potentially service markets in both of these regions if export routes to these markets can be built. Let's take a look at some of the potential markets.


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Western Europe
Western Europe is a tough market. It is characterized by high prices for oil products, an aging population, and increasing competition from natural gas. Between 1995 and 2010, we estimate that demand for oil will increase (...) [by] an average growth rate of only 0.5 percent annually. (...) [T]he Western European market is unlikely to be able to absorb all of the production from the Caspian region.

Central and Eastern Europe

Central and Eastern Europe markets do not look any better. Although there is increased demand for oil in the region's transport sector, natural gas is gaining strength as a competitor. (...) Like Western Europe, this market is also very competitive. (...)

The Domestic NIS Market

The growth in demand for oil also will be weak in the Newly Independent States (NIS). (...)

In stark contrast to the other three markets, the Asia/Pacific region has a rapidly increasing demand for oil and an expected significant increase in population. Prior to the recent turbulence in the various Asian/Pacific economies, we anticipated that this region's demand for oil would almost double by 2010. Although the short-term increase in demand will probably not meet these expectations, Unocal stands behind its long-term estimates. Energy demand growth will remain strong for one key reason: the region's population is expected to grow by 700 million people by 2010. It is in everyone's interests that there be adequate supplies for Asia's increasing energy requirements. If Asia's energy needs are not satisfied, they will simply put pressure on all world markets, driving prices upwards everywhere. The key question is how the energy resources of Central Asia can be made available to satisfy the energy needs of nearby Asian markets. There are two possible solutions with several variations.

Export Routes:
East to China: Prohibitively Long?
One option is to go east across China. But this would mean constructing a pipeline of more than 3,000 kilometers to central China as well as a 2,000-kilometer connection to reach the main population centers along the coast. Even with these formidable challenges, China National Petroleum Corporation is considering building a pipeline east from Kazakhstan to Chinese markets. Unocal had a team in Beijing just last week for consultations with the Chinese. Given China's long-range outlook and its ability to

21 update 7 concentrate resources to meet its own needs, China is almost certain to build such a line. The question is what will the costs of transporting oil through this pipeline be and what netback will the producers receive.

South to the Indian Ocean: A Shorter Distance to Growing Markets

A second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious potential route south would be across Iran. However, this option is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. 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
"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." Unocal Corporation

closest to Asian markets and thus would be the cheapest in terms of transporting the oil. Unocal envisions the creation of a Central Asian Oil Pipeline Consortium. The pipeline would become an integral part of a regional oil pipeline system that will utilize and gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The 1,040-mile-long oil pipeline would begin near the town of Chardzhou, in northern Turkmenistan, and extend southeasterly through Afghanistan to an export terminal that would be constructed on the Pakistan coast on the Arabian Sea. Only about 440 miles of the pipeline would be in Afghanistan. This 42-inch-diameter pipeline will have a shipping capacity of one


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million barrels of oil per day. Estimated cost of the project which is similar in scope to the Trans Alaska Pipelineis about US$2.5 billion. There is considerable international and regional political interest in this pipeline. Asian crude oil importers, particularly from Japan, are looking to Central Asia and the Caspian as a new strategic source of supply to satisfy their desire for resource diversity. The pipeline benefits Central Asian countries because it would allow them to sell their oil in expanding and highly prospective hard currency markets. The pipeline would benefit Afghanistan, which would receive revenues from transport tariffs, and would promote stability and encourage trade and economic development. Although Unocal has not negotiated with any one group, and does not favor any group, we have had contacts with and briefings for all of them. We know that the different factions in Afghanistan understand the importance of the pipeline project for their country, and have expressed their support of it. (...)

Natural Gas Export

(...) Last October, the Central Asia Pipeline, Ltd. (CentGas) consortium, in which Unocal holds an interest, was formed to develop a gas pipeline that will link Turkmenistan's vast natural gas reserves in the Dauletabad Field with markets in Pakistan and possibly India. An independent evaluation shows that the field's resources are adequate for the project's needs, assuming production rates rising over time to 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day for 30 years or more. In production since 1983, the Dauletabad Field's natural gas has been delivered north via Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia to markets in the Caspian and Black Sea areas. The proposed 790-mile pipeline will open up new markets for this gas, travelling from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Multan, Pakistan. A proposed extension would link with the existing Sui pipeline system, moving gas to near New Delhi, where it would connect with the existing HBJ pipeline. By serving these additional volumes, the extension would enhance the economics of the project, leading to overall reductions in delivered natural gas costs for all users and better margins. As currently planned, the CentGas pipeline would cost approximately $2 billion. A 400-mile extension into India could add $600 million to the overall project cost. 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.

The Central Asia and Caspian region is blessed with abundant oil and gas that can enhance the lives of the region's residents and provide

23 update 7 energy for growth for Europe and Asia. The impact of these resources on U.S. commercial interests and U.S. foreign policy is also significant and intertwined. Without peaceful settlement of conflicts within the region, cross-border oil and gas pipelines are not likely to be built. We urge the Administration and the Congress to give strong support to the United Nations-led peace process in Afghanistan. U.S. assistance in developing these new economies will be crucial to business' success. We encourage strong technical assistance programs throughout the region. We also urge repeal or removal of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. This section unfairly restricts U.S. government assistance to the government of Azerbaijan and limits U.S. influence in the region. Developing cost-effective, profitable and efficient export routes for Central Asia resources is a formidable, but not impossible, task. It has been accomplished before. A commercial corridor, a "new" Silk Road, can link the Central Asia supply with the demand once again making Central Asia the crossroads between Europe and Asia. Thank you. [Source:]
[Thus, the UNOCAL Corporation, a US company chartered the path of invasion of Afghanistan early in 1998 to install a govt. there, which "has the confidence of.... company". Many writers/analysts now believe (as the US geologist said earlier) that the terrorist attack on WTC on 11th September has given the US Govt. a splendid excuse to attack Afghanistan. Recent moves by 6+2 countries (six neighbouring countries are: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kajakstan, China, Iran, Pakistan and the other two are the 'big bosses' US & Russia) and UN to set up a govt. in Kabul (having the 'confidence' of oil companies!) clearly justify that they are in hurry to install a Govt. 'favourable' for their interests. Now we have to deal more excerpts on this subject of 'Great Game' of oil politics behind the 'Afghan War'. Since the breaking up of Soviet Union, this 'Great Game' had started. Even India has interests in this 'Game'! Follow the next excerpt which predicts that the "'Great Game'.... likely to intensify.... in coming years". Update]

Central Asia's Great Game

(...) It was Rudyard Kipling who first popularised the phrase, 'great game' in his famous novel "Kim" to describe the 19th century rivalry between Russia and Britain over the territory lying between India and Russia. But the new 'great game' being played in Central Asia, particularly in the Caspian Sea region, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan is different from the old one in so far as it does not aim at the physical subjugation of this region. Its main objective is to


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gain control over the oil and gas reserves in the Central Asian and Caspian Sea region estimated to be the largest untapped oil and natural gas deposits in the world. An important aspect of the new game in that the great powers, USA, and Russia, and the regional players, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the late starter India, are likely to bring in the region their respective strategic priorities which may not be of great significance to the Central Asian states. For instance, the IranianTurkish rivalry or the Saudi-Iranian rivalry or the Pakistan-India rivalry has not been of much concern to the Central Asian states. But as some recent developments indicate, which ever of these regional powers gains diplomatic upper hand, this is likely to have some impact on the strategic priorities of one or more of the Central Asian states. At present both the big powers the US and Russia and regional players like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and even India are promoting their respective agendas relating to the pipelines routes carrying Central Asian oil and gas for foreign markets. It may be relevant to quote here a report of Times of India dated May 31, 1997 about Mr. Kissenger's visit to New Delhi in April 1997. According to this report, Mr. Kissenger was very interested in the formation of an international consortium for the exploitation of Central Asian oil and gas involving as disparate and large a group of nations as the United States, Japan, China, India, Pakistan and the Central Asian states. The Clinton administration's effort to marry its economic and foreign policy interests is perhaps most apparent in its energy policy which seeks to secure oil and gas reserves, build new security relationships and buttress the shaky foundations of the Central Asian states. As a corollary of this energy policy, the US effort has been to keep Russia and Iran as far away as possible from the oil and gas riches of Central Asia and the Caspian region. (...) Pakistan's geopolitical and geoeconomic interests received a serious setback about a year and a half ago when the US energy giant Unocal decided to withdraw from a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. The flimsy reasons cited by Unocal for withdrawing from the project were political uncertainties in Afghanistan and low prices of oil and gas. The facts are that the Taliban are firmly in control of Afghanistan's 90% percent territory where complete peace prevails and the oil and gas prices have touched their peak. The real reasons seemed to be Pakistan's support for the Taliban government and the straining of relations between the US and the Taliban on the question of expulsion of Usama bin Laden. With the southern routes to the Indian Ocean through Iran blocked by American political and strategic considerations, a land route for Turkmenistan, oil and gas through

25 update 7 Afghanistan and Pakistan was an extremely viable proposition. It could have been extended to India which has already emerged as one of the world's largest markets for natural gas. It is significant that shortly after Unocal's withdrawal from the project, Washington did not take long in extending its support for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline (TCP) which seeks to provide Turkmenistan an-other viable option for carrying its gas to Turkey for onward despatch to Europe. (...) India also is trying to get a foothold in Central Asia by exploiting the obsessions of Central Asian Presidents (all ex-communist party leaders) with the rise of Islamic parties and "terrorist" groups in their republics. New Delhi is also playing on the American and Russian sensitivities relating to what they say the spread of Islamic "fundamentalism" in the region. India seems to have gained some ground in Uzbekistan whose President Karimov recently paid an official visit to New Delhi and expressed solidarity with India in fighting "terrorism". India and Uzbekistan are also reportedly trying to develop some defence collaboration with each other. It is interesting that in her address at Tashkent's University of World Economy and Diplomacy on April 17, Secretary of State Madeline Albright said that her trip to Central Asia "is more than a fascinating cultural experience; it expresses important interests for United States foreign policy". Continuing her address, Albright significantly remarked: "The Central Asian nations can also have an impact on Afghanistan, and thus on Pakistan and India.... So while you are geographically distant from the United States, you are very closely connected to some of our most vital interests". The new 'Great Game' in Central Asia is likely to intensify as the world-wide demand for oil and gas increases in the coming years. Unlike the 19th century great game of acquiring physical or political domination over the region lying between Russia and India, the new game revolves round the routes of gas and oil pipelines which will carry the 'black gold' from Central Asia and the Caucasus to international markets. Besides the Chief rivals, Russia and the USA, the regional players including Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have their own agendas to promote in regard to the routes of the proposed oil and gas pipelines. The war in Chechenya, (through which Russia's main oil pipeline passes), the increasing unrest in parts of the region, the sudden spurt in US concern with the rise in the so-called "Islamic extremism and terrorism", instigated by India, are actually offshoots of the new oil and gas pipeline politics. (...) [Source: By Afzaal Mahmood;]
[In the 'Afghan War' a peculiar alliance has been formed between varied (and rival) interests such as between the US & Russia or between the US and China. Even the Indian Govt. throws itself into this 'Game'.


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Pakistan & Iran also have respective interests in this 'Game'. It is to be noted also that all these countries/powers are interested to fight against 'terrorism' (to some countries, 'terrorism' is analogous to 'Islamic extremism' as the Indian Govt. proclaims) in the terrains, hills and warravaged Afghanistan overtly and covertly. What makes them 'united'? The next excerpt written by a US writer elaborates various interests of big & regional players in this 'Great Game' in details. Update]

The Caspian Basin and Asian Energy Markets

The landlocked, energy-rich states east of the Caspian Sea, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, form the territorial boundaries, along with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, of what has been commonly referred to as Central Asia. This region constitutes a geographic space in the heart of Eurasia that increasingly finds itself the center of fundamental tensions between commercial interests in the future development and prospective transport of oil and natural gas, and security concerns that have often challenged these options. (...) Oil and gas assets in the Caspian region account for 2 to 3 percent of proven world energy reserves. Turkmenistan possesses the world's third largest gas reserves after Russia and Iran, located along the Caspian coast and in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Kazakhstan has huge oil and gas fields in the north and west of the country, with the largest quantities existing onshore in western Kazakhstan (the Tengiz and Uzen fields), onshore in the northern part of the country (the Karachaganak gas field), and offshore under the Caspian Sea (the Kashagan oil field). Depending on the volumes of oil and gas actually discovered in the region over the next decade, their contributions to world reserves could make a significant difference in aggregate market supplies and prices. In particular, these reserves could enhance energy security over the next ten to fifteen years as fields in the North Sea and elsewhere begin to dwindle, and as future explorations shed a more definitive light on the actual size of the Caspian reserves. Since the five Central Asian Republics gained independence a decade ago, numerous proposals have been made to transport oil and gas from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to developing countries in Asia particularly China, Pakistan, and India. These nations, east and southeast of the Caspian Sea, view Central Asia as a bridge between East and West, and have traditionally had significant economic and security interests in Central Asia. International companies have also been attracted to the possibilities of these eastward

27 update 7 energy markets because of the potential profits that could be reaped by exporting Caspian energy to Asia, where energy demands are projected to outstrip those of Europe as the states continue to develop their economies. Four factors explain why pipelines to South Asia and China have not yet materialized, despite the historical linkages between South, East, and Central Asia, and the clear economic interest in pursuing such options. First, Russia has had a historical monopoly over energy investments and routes in Central Asia. Although Russia today is relatively weak compared to its great power status during the Cold War, it is still the most influential nation in Central Asia, primarily due to existing pipeline and security infrastructures-holdovers from the Soviet era. While newly constructed pipelines such as that from Baku (Azerbaijan) to Supsa (Georgia) and oil swap deals including one between Turkmenistan and Iran do exist, the vast majority of energy still exits the region through Russia for consumption in the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed renewed emphasis on Russian relations with its southern neighbors, particularly regarding economic and security issues. In October 2000, Putin signed a pact with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Belarus to create a Eurasian Economic Community, and has created a new government post to represent Russia's interests in the Caspian. Regarding security issues, Putin stated in his most recent visit to Uzbekistan on May 4, 2001: "Without Russia, it will be impossible to stop the expansion of Islamic extremists on the territory of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan." (...) Third, the potential recipients of Caspian oil and gas in developing Asian countries have yet to fully address issues in their own states that would allow them to become serious importers especially of natural gas in the near future. As witnessed in the recent debates over the Kyoto Protocol, it remains to be determined how best to balance the increasing energy needs of China, India, and Pakistan, where energy demand is projected to increase faster than in any other region (...). Finally, and perhaps most significantly, regional security challenges, including the civil war in Afghanistan and U.S. sanctions policy against Iran, have thwarted attempts to carry natural gas and oil east from the Caspian. The Central Asian states are not simply an appendage to Russia or the successor states of the former Soviet Union, but rather form a new geopolitical space in which these countries and the neighboring powers to their south and east as well as to the north and west-struggle to address a set of complex and often interrelated security challenges, including the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking, and militant Islamic groups. The evolving dynamic in the Central Asian region can be defined in terms of the increased presence of China and Iran in the region, and, more distantly, Pakistan and India, as well as by potentially dangerous spillover effects of the ongoing civil wars and mounting humanitarian crises in Afghanistan


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and Chechnya. Despite the small steps that have been made in investigating the commercial energy options from the Caspian to the developing countries of Asia, geostrategic and security issues have largely outweighed these efforts.

Energy Markets in India and Pakistan

(...) India relies primarily on coal and oil as its main energy sources: coal accounts for more than half of India's energy demand and oil satisfies about 30 percent of total energy consumption. With a population of over one billion people, and a projected GDP growth rate of 6 percent in the coming years, India faces great challenges in balancing its current and future need for energy with the growing economic, environmental, and public health costs of increased dependence on coal. While demand in India for coal and oil has increased dramatically, it is India's consumption of natural gas that has risen faster than any other fuel in past few years. India's largely selfsufficient supply of coal makes it the third largest coal producer in the world; however, the country's own production of natural gas meets only a small fraction of its needs. Given that India's demand for natural gas could quadruple over the next 25 years, with power plants and fertilizer factories driving this increase, India has been devising a longterm strategy to import the requisite amounts of natural gas. India's most promising option from an economic viewpoint is to import gas through pipelines from neighboring Bangladesh, which possesses more gas reserves than it consumes. Although this option remains India's most commercially viable one, it has encountered considerable obstacles from both sides. For this option to materialize, Bangladesh needs to define the relationship between its domestic reserves and consumption, and India must convince Bangladesh of the mutual economic benefits. (...) There have also been numerous proposals in India to explore oil and gas pipelines originating in the Caspian region. Two pipelines, one for oil and another for gas, were proposed in 1997 to extend from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. Neither has progressed due to low energy prices and the civil war in Afghanistan, and two original consortium members, Unocal and Gazprom [a Russian oil-giant Update], have withdrawn. In more recent projects, India has considered bypassing Afghanistan entirely by importing energy from Iran's huge South Pars gas field through Pakistan, with the additional option of extending the pipeline north to bring in gas from Turkmenistan. The premise is that all could gain from the transport of natural gas from Iran to India: Iran and Turkmenistan would profit from the opportunity to sell natural gas, Pakistan would receive significant transit fees, and India would acquire much-needed gas to supply its agricultural sector. However, while this

29 update 7 project could potentially benefit all parties involved, three primary security obstacles have prevented this and other related options from materializing. First, great mistrust between the two nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, over the disputed region of Kashmir continues to inhibit regional cooperation even on projects with mutual economic benefit. (...) An alternative Indian proposal for a pipeline that would bypass Pakistan and run underwater from Iran to India is viewed as too costly and too risky because it also would be susceptible to Pakistani attack. Second, U.S. sanctions policy against Iran has limited the investment and pipeline construction options to this region from the Caspian. Some experts argue that if the current U.S. sanctions against Iran are lifted or partially alleviated, new options for eastern and southern pipeline routes, such as from Kazakhstan and/or Turkmenistan to Iran, could be considered. But as long as U.S. sanctions policy limits capital investment for such projects, it will be difficult to raise the necessary funding for the construction of pipelines involving Iran. Third, even if U.S. sanctions against Iran were to be relaxed, (...) [i]t is also unclear whether it is Iran's own policy to serve as a link for transporting Caspian energy to South Asia, or whether Iran, with its own vast oil and gas reserves, would prefer to supply South Asia itself, independent of Central Asia's Caspian resources. Despite the U.S. sanctions on Iran, India and Iran have increasingly common strategic interests. India views Iran as a gateway to Central Asian markets and natural resources, and has shown particular interest in purchasing inexpensive defense products from Iran. Iran and India are also united in their opposition to the Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan, although Iran has managed to forge relations with Afghanistan based on mutual trade interests, among others. A recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee to Iran in April 2001 solidified the commonalities between the two countries on a diplomatic level. Given the regional difficulties in moving forward with Caspian pipeline proposals, India is continuing to develop its LNG infrastructure, with moderate success. In fact, about a dozen LNG terminals have been approved on India's east and west coasts to accommodate supply deliveries by ship. By diversifying the location of the ports, both Middle Eastern suppliers, including Qatar, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Yemen and Oman, as well as Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, could be possible suppliers of LNG to India. (...)

Energy Markets in China

China's forays into Central Asia have been driven by security concerns as well as the need to satisfy its growing energy needs. Perhaps the most significant change in China's energy policy occurred


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in 1993, when China became a net importer of oil. As the world's most populous country (over 1.2 billion people), China currently imports over one-quarter of the oil it consumes, largely from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and this amount is expected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. China has recognized that its dependence on coal (as the world's largest producer and consumer of this fossil fuel) has contributed to an environmental and public health crisis, in which lung disease, primarily caused by air pollution and smoking, is the leading cause of death in China. To help address this problem, China has decided to maximize its use of natural gas, a decision that runs parallel to the expected decrease in coal usage and the increase of natural gas consumption as a percentage of total energy use. The recent decision by the Chinese government to develop its own natural gas infrastructure and import greater volumes of natural gas as part of a 5-year infrastructure construction program (2001-2005) should also be analyzed in the context of the country's own domestic agenda. For decades, China has been concerned about the security of its western Xinjiang province, which borders seven countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India), and is inhabited largely by Muslim Uighurs. China sees the potential expansion of an anti-Chinese pan-Turkic movement and increased unrest on its western border as one of its main security threats. A Central Committee Document (No. 7), issued in 1996 and still followed by the Party and the government today, explicitly defines potential destabilization in Xinjiang as an issue that could affect the entire country. To address this threat, China has executed Uighur nationalists and actively encouraged the migration of Han Chinese into sparsely-populated Xinjiang. Since the late 1980s, China has promoted increased trade and potential energy routes through Xinjiang, while at the same time, it has attempted to prevent the spread of ideas and movements that oppose the Chinese government. In February 1998, Beijing changed its strategy toward natural gas, which was previously used in limited fertilizer production, and decided to invest billions of dollars to promote the fossil fuel for domestic heating, vehicle consumption, and energy production. In a major shift of policy, which was aimed at incorporating China's own gas reserves in the west into the country's developing natural gas infrastructure, an originally-planned gas pipeline from the East China Sea to Shanghai was halted in favor of an alternative, more costly pipeline originating in west China. This project to transport natural gas from Xinjiang to Shanghai in east China, termed the East-West Gas Transmission Project, has attracted a level of investment second only to the Three Gorges Dam Project on the Yangtze River. The pipeline, which will be over 2,600 miles long with a multi-billion dollar price-tag, is intended to ease the shortage of clean energy in the east and increase the gas consumption in China over the next several decades. (...)

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China and Central Asia

Since energy-rich Central Asia borders China and serves as a growing trade route and market for Chinese goods, China has actively pursued production-sharing agreements and pipeline options in Central Asia. Since 1997, the Chinese National Pipeline Corporation (CNPC) has held a 60 percent stake in a Kazakh oil company, Aktobemunaigaz, to develop the Zhanazhol and Kenkiyak onshore oil deposits in the Aktyubinsk region in western Kazakhstan. China has also considered the possibility of constructing an oil pipeline from this region in Kazakhstan to Xinjiang. (...) Finally, a preliminary feasibility study in 1998, submitted by ExxonMobil, Mitsubishi, and CNPC for the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang that could eventually be extended to Japan, determined that such a pipeline would be too costly. In adhering to a diversified import plan, China, like India, has been developing its LNG market. A port terminal in the Guangdong province on its southeastern seaboard is being built to receive LNG by ship, with imports likely to begin by 2005. (...) In light of the obstacles already discussed, energy pipeline options from the Caspian region both to South Asia and to China must be viewed as long-term, future options, rather than current or near-term prospects. Because India, Pakistan, and China recognize that these pipelines would traverse large, potentially unstable territories, and that they must address a range of domestic obstacles, it appears that these governments are keeping options open now for the future.

Spotlight on Central Asia

The tensions within South Asia, primarily between India and Pakistan, as well as those in the Xinjiang Province of China, have been highlighted as examples of overarching security concerns that have driven domestic policies in the region. There are also other fundamental tensions between economic and security concerns in the historical geographic space of Central Asia. For example, significant discord exists between the economic promise of the energy-rich countries in the region and the economic insecurity of the other nonenergy-rich states. The most economically fragile countries of the region aside from Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, have little foreign direct investment, unlike Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In comparison with the projection that Kazakhstan will attract $65-70 billion to its oil and gas sector over the next decade, the prospects for foreign investment in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are increasingly dim. (...) Finally, ongoing border disputes between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have contributed to mounting tensions between the two countries. The most troubling and potentially destabilizing threat for the


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entire region is the ongoing civil war in Afghanistan. The January 2001 Strategic Assessment of Central Eurasia published by the Atlantic Council and the Central Asia Caucasus Institute (SAIS) argues that the first priority for the region should be an earnest and higherlevel attempt to solve the civil war in Afghanistan, as many of the problems that the region confronts terrorism, militant Islam, and drug trafficking-all have their roots in this conflict and the instability it has created. If this conflict is not addressed relatively soon, the problems in Afghanistan may fester and spread to the weak and vulnerable Central Asian states to the north. (...) Recent U.S. policy towards the region has included support for the implementation of sanctions against the Taliban by the United Nations in December 2000, focusing on Osama bin Laden, and the labeling of organizations such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) as terrorist organizations that pose a threat to international security. It remains to be seen how the Bush administration will define this complex geographic space and U.S. interests in the region. However, the role of Asian energy markets as potential recipients of oil and natural gas supplies from Central Asian states adds a layer of complexity in the emerging Central Asian region that must be examined in the context of regional and surrounding security concerns. [Source: By Regine A. Spector, The Brookings Institution, 24.5.01;]
[The above excerpt narrates the oil-interests of different powers on and around Afghanistan/Central Asia. We have now enough evidences to conclude what lies behind the US attack (and overwhelming supports to it from different states) on Afghanistan. Also the interests of India (in Afghanistan under the veil of 'fight against terrorism') are in certain extent clarified to us. In the next excerpts we have to go through the interests of other big powersRussia and China more elaborately. Update]

Russia and Central Asia: Problems and Prospects

The new Central Asian republics are of considerable significance to Moscow and the Russian policy assigns paramount importance to this region. Instability in Central Asia is rife and can easily conflagrate on the Russian border. In addition, Russia is also concerned about the negative ramifications of developments in Afghanistan and importance Taliban's assistance to the Chechen rebels. For Russia the economic importance of this region emanates from its rich natural resources and trade relations with this region. (...) Given the historical legacy of Russia's control over the region, its overwhelming superiority in military strength and geographical proximity, together, create an enduring condition where the Russian role in Central Asia cannot be

33 update 7 undermined for years to come. (...) There is no doubt that the developments (positive or negative) in Central Asia will be greatly conditioned by: (1) events within the Russian Federation and the political choices of its new leaders; (2) the strategic doctrine and consequent political and military decisions of the new Bush Administration in the US; (3) the role of China, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and India; (4) developments in Afghanistan; (5) the policies of the European countries in Central Asia; (6) and the role of countries like Japan and Korea which will have a significant impact on the developments in Central Asia. The geo-strategic location and presence of rich natural resources are attracting countries like Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Japan, Korea and others to this region. The West, the US in particular, has substantially increased its influence over these states. This clearly endangers Russia's position in this strategically important region. Given the geographical proximity, historical links and presence of a multimillion Russian diaspora in this region, Russia considers Central Asia vital to its interests. (...)

Russia's Role in Central Asia

(...) Keeping in view the Russian role in the CARs [Central Asian Republics], its long-term interests in the region can be defined as: First, maintaining political and economic stability in the region. It would be in Russia's interest to prevent escalation of inter-state and internal conflicts. Second, safeguarding Russia's economic interests in the region. (...) From the economic and political points of view, Kazakhstan is perhaps the single most important Central Asian state for Russia, mainly because it was the second largest republic of the former Soviet Union. It is the only Central Asian state bordering Russia, and its Russian population is reported to be in excess of six million. It is the home of significant ex-Soviet defence industrial facilities, including the space launch complex and nuclear weapons testing facilities. (...) It has also been termed as the "second Kuwait" on the basis of its petrol reserves. In the CIS, Kazakhstan is the second largest petroleum producer after Russia. If we take Uzbekistan, there are large enterprises in the Russian Federation that depend upon cotton imports from Uzbekistan, even ten years after the Soviet disintegration. Looking at the sheer statistics, one might come to the conclusion that the economic relations between Russians and these countries are close to zero, but that is not exactly the whole picutre. (...) Fifth, the prevention of the spread of Islamic extremism. The war in Afganistan, marked in the last two years by the increasing dominance of the Pakistan-supported Taliban movement over most parts of the country, has become a major source of concern to Russia as well as number of regional actors, specially India, China, Iran,


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Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. On January 16, 2001, Kabul recognised the government of the breakaway Republic of Chechnya and allowed the Chechens to open an embassy in Kabul. During the next few weeks, there were reports that 200 Taliban cadres had left to fight in Chechnya, while Chechen refugees, particularly young boys and the families of leading Chechen commanders, began to arrive in Kabul and Kandahar. A joint training camp has been set up in Mazari-Sharif to train Islamic dissidents from all over Central Asia. These events clearly endanger the Russian security. Moscow's Ambassador to Dushanbe, Maxim Peshkov, told reporters in the Tajik capital that "the situation in Afganistan is the number one problem for Central Asia and Russia." (...) Seventh, the prevention of disruption of communication lines crossing Russia, and access to new transport arteries and to oil and gas pipelines oriented to the "far abroad". Russia is interested in having access to transport routes through Central Asia to the world market. It wants to retain control over the supply of metals, and strategic and raw materials from the region. Russia has a vital interest in the oil and gas complex of Central Asia, which is important for Russia for several reasons. First, this complex is developing vigorously, compared to the other industries, and is successfully overcoming its previous "enclave" character by integration into the world energy economy. Second, it possesses enormous resources. Third, it has successfully formed a joint-stock system, which furthers the creation of a powerful lobby. Fourth, while pursuing economic advantage, it is simultaneously fulfilling the strategic role of ensuring Russian control over oil and gas production and transportation in the "near abroad", and preventing Russia from being isolated, by building new pipelines across its territory. The activity of the Russian oil and gas producing companies and associations in Central Asia is growing, above all in Kazakhstan, where a struggle for the control of oil export has already started. The same is true to a lesser degree of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. (...) Last, (...) Russia's interests are not limited geographically. It has a large Muslim population, eight per cent of the total population or 14
Soon after the seizure of Kabul, the Washington Thinktankocracy and the oil companies were almost gleeful, predicting that Taliban control would allow a US-backed multi-billion dollar pipeline project to bring oil and gas from Central Asia, to proceed. Business Week (October 21, 1996) reported that "Unocal Vice-President Marty F. Miller recently told the U.S. Senate he's concerned that Iran, which wants to sell gas to Pakistan and has a competing pipeline in the works, will 'promote conflict in order to advance their own economic interests.' Still, senior Unocal execs in Islamabad hope the Taliban's grip on Afghanistan will bring stability." []

35 update 7 million people. Islam will grow as an issue because of the centrifugal forces in Russia itself. Therefore, it is very important for Russia to take preventive measures to ensure that radical elements do not infiltrate Russian society. (...) [Source: By Meena Singh Roy, IDSA;]

The Chinese Government Is Not Supporting The Taliban With Troops

(...) China, which gained admittance to the World Trade Organization just two days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, is a full partner in globalization and has an essential and vested interest in seeing US war and economic plans succeed. Further, US economic influence in China, the world's largest global market, is currently controlling political and military events as China faces a massive energy crisis that only US companies can resolve. (...)

U.S.-China Economic Interdependence

With more than 1.3 billion citizens China represents the world's largest untapped marketplace, both for oil and for consumer goods. Not only is the economic future of major U.S. corporations dependent upon continued access to Chinese markets, the Chinese economy as demonstrated by its relentless 15-year effort to gain access to WTO is as dependent upon U.S. investment and economic assistance. (...) Many major U.S. corporations are totally committed to ongoing business relations with China and the Chinese government. This was demonstrated by China's hosting of the recent APEC conference in Shanghai. China is in dire need of continued investment and operations from U.S. based companies. (...) According to the U.S-China Business Council (USCBC) (http://, new foreign direct investment in China in 2000 alone equaled some $62.66 billion US. This represented a 50.8% increase over 1999. Major U.S. corporations with active investments in China include: Federal Express, Honeywell, Corning, Ford, CocaCola, Pepsi, Halliburton, AIG, Nortel, Microsoft, FMC, Cargill, Xerox (which, according to the Wall Street Journal, is moving it manufacturing operations to China), Chubb and Emerson Electric. In the first quarter of 2001 alone, according to the USCBC, selected US exports to China rose by the following percentages: power generation equipment (+48%); electrical machinery & equipment (+17.3%); air and spacecraft (+113.7%); iron and steel (+88.5%). Total U.S. trade with China is expected to top $107 billion in 2001. American International Group (AIG), which manages the second largest pool of investment capital in the world, has approximately 40%


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of its business operations centered in or around China. AIG began its history as an American owned Chinese insurance company, the C.V. Starr Company. (See FTW, Vol. IV, No. 5, August 14, 2001) Outgoing USCBC President Robert Knapp, in text prepared, apparently within hours of the WTC attacks and China's admission to the WTO, issued a press release stating, "The WTO negotiations have consumed fifteen years," Knapp pointed out, "but they are now crowned with success... Never has the need for cooperation between the United States and China, both bilaterally and in the multilateral environment, been clearer. The two countries must now work together, intensely and in good faith, to ensure that both nations realize the maximum benefits from China's WTO participation."

Nowhere is China's dependence upon the United States more clearly demonstrated than its need for oil and gas to continue its economic expansion. As discussed with full sourcing in the Oct. 15 issue of From The Wilderness (FTW), the Unocal Corporation has resumed long-standing plans for the construction of a trans-Afghani pipeline system to transport oil and gas from the Central Asian republics to the Pakistani coast for sale to China and Japan. This 1500-mile pipeline from the oil and gas-rich regions of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan is the only feasible way to transport oil and gas to China, which is heavily dependent upon imported oil and gas. China cannot build a pipeline across Asia for two reasons. First, the construction of a nearly 4,000-mile pipeline across the northern end of the Himalayas and through the mountains regions of Central China would take decades and is beyond China's technical abilities. The construction expertise of companies like Halliburton who's CEO until 2000 was Dick Cheney is essential. Second, China has its own Muslim insurgency in the Uighur region. Islamic fundamentalists there have been trained by the Taliban and are fighting their own campaign for an independent Islamic state. This region is in the Himalayas; just bordering the Central Asian republics and any construction undertaken there would, of necessity, demand a two-front battle against terrorists bent on destroying the pipeline and the forbidding terrain as well. As reported in the Oct. 15 issue of FTW, "Although Unocal ostensibly abandoned the project the next year, things have changed since September 11th. An October 10 story from the Pakistani newspaper, The Frontier Post, opened with: 'The US ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain, paid a courtesy call on the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin here Tuesday and discussed with him matters pertaining to Pak-US cooperation in the oil and gas sector.' "In a later paragraph the story said, 'Usman Aminuddin also briefed

37 update 7 the Ambassador on the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project and said that this project opens up new avenues of multi-dimensional regional cooperation particularly in view of the recent geo-political developments in the region.' [Source: By Michael C. Ruppert, 24.10.01;]
[The pipeline politics may take the following routes said the following excerpts written in late nineties. See also the Map 2 & 3.]

The Geopolitics of Oil in Central Asia

The main [pipeline] options are the following:
1. The northern route favoured by Russia. According to this option, Kazakhstan would expand its existing pipelines to link them to the Russian network and Azerbaijan would build a pipeline from Baku to Novorossisk. The shortcomings of this option have to do with fears of establishing excessive Russian control over the pipeline and also the issue of security, since the pipeline would go through Chechnya. 2. The western route favoured by Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and the United States. This pipeline route would bring the oil to the Georgian port of Supsa and then ship it through the Black Sea and the Bosporus to Europe. Turkey insists that the straits cannot cope with increased tanker traffic and has proposed, instead, to construct a pipeline from Baku to the port of Ceyhan on the Turkish Mediterranean coast [which is in fact under constructionUpdate]. However, excessive costs (around $2.9 billion) and serious security concerns (this route would pass through unstable Kurdish territory) make this option difficult to implement. Instead, the Bosporus could be by-passed by a pipeline linking the Bulgarian port of Burgas with the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. 3. The southern route. Economically, this is the most viable option, since Iran already has an extensive pipeline system, and the Gulf is a good exit to the Asian markets. The United States, however, has practically vetoed this option. 4. Eastern route. This pipeline would transport oil from Kazakhstan to China. It will be the costliest pipeline (covering 2,000 km in Kazakhstan alone) but the Chinese consider it as a strategic decision and are willing to implement it. 5. South-eastern route. The American oil company Unocal has proposed the construction of oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and later to India. This route makes sense geographically but not politically, since it will have to go through unstable Afghanistan. (...) [Source: By Constantine Arvanitopoulos,]


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[Like Russia & China, India and Pakistan Govts. have their respective interests in 'Afghan War', glimpses of which are already cited in the above excerpts. Though the interests of Indian & Pakistan Govts. in this 'war' are very much complex and inter-related to their bilateral relationships, their (economic) interests in the construction of pipeline of oil through Afghanistan are one of the most important conditions for their involvement in this war. India Govt. not only throws itself into the service of the US Govt. offering its airport bases in the 'war'(though the US does not seek any military assistance from India), but also has given financial, medical and even military help to the Northern Alliance for last few years (to be dealt later). Besides this, the compulsion of economy forced the two countries India and Pakistan to look into another viable option of pipeline route which may transport natural gas from Iran through Pakistan bypassing Afghanistan (See Map 4). Diplomatic talks are very much going on to that end. Follow the next excerpt. Update]

Iran-India Natural Gas Pipeline

(...) Natural gas is India's fastest growing fuel source. Consumption has risen from 0.6 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 1995 to 0.8 tcf in 1999, and is projected to grow at 6.5 percent per year. (...) In June, Indian and Iranian officials met to discuss a possible Iran-India pipeline that has been under discussion for many years. An overland route through Pakistan is likely to be far cheaper than an offshore project. A study by Reliance Industries estimates that a pipeline could eventually halve natural gas prices in India. Published estimates suggest that Pakistan could collect as much as $500 million annually in transit fees. Pakistan and India have both resisted becoming economically dependent on the other. A pipeline agreement that protected India, Pakistan, and Iran against politically driven disruption of flows, however, could have both economic and political benefits. India would like to import gas from Bangladesh. Oil company experts' belief that substantial new resources are waiting to be developed is bolstered by a recent Petrobangla-U.S. Geological Service survey. Present government policy precludes gas exports, and export to India is controversial. Once the new government is in power after the October 1 elections, deft Indian diplomacy may be able to improve the odds for a favorable decision. (...) [Source: By Jaideep Singh & Teresita Schaffer, South Asia Monitor, Number 37, September 01, 2001;]
[In this proposed natural gas pipeline, there is tremendous interest from the part of Pakistan Govt. also. A website ( reports on 18.7.2000 that both Iran and Pakistan Govt. were in serious talk though the two govts. have very poor relations between them on the question of Taliban in Afghanistan. Now, the India Govt., so 'energy-hungry', that

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Country Resreves (Trillion cft) Former Soviet Un. Iran Qatar UAE Saudi Arabia US Malaysia Indonesia 1,977.0 741.6 250.0 204.9 188.6 165.1 80.2 72.3 % of world total 40.0 15.0 5.1 4.1 3.8 3.3 1.6 1.5

Estimated gas Probable Economic demand Volume (Billion cu m/yr.) suppliers (Billion cu m/yr) 2005 2010 Pakistan 7.5 19.3 ME producers 5(by pipe) CA producers 5(by LNG) 5(by pipe) India 20.8 35.5 ME producers 10(by pipe) CA producers 10(by LNG) Bangladesh 5(by pipe)



Map 4: Iran-India Pipeline


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they conclude an agreement with the same notorious UNOCAL Corporation in building a pipeline to tap the natural gas in Bangladesh. UNOCAL has a plan to build a pipeline from Bangladesh which wiil join the existing HBJ (Hazira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur) pipeline near New Delhi and then proposes to join the pipeline coming from Turkmenistan or Iran via Afghanistan and Pakistan (See Map 5). Thus a huge transit route originating in Turkmenistan to Bangladesh has to be build by the UNOCAL Corporation (see the Map 4). What a 'Great Game' it is! A brochure of UNOCAL Corporation writes:]

Unocal: India-Bangladesh Natural Gas Pipeline

Proposed Pipeline Project
(...) Unocal's (...) proposed 1,350-kilometer (850-mile), 30-inch diameter pipeline would begin in the Habiganj District in Bangladesh and end at an interconnection with the HBJ [Hazira-BijaipurJagdishpur] Pipeline in the Delhi area. Approximately 350 kilometers (220 miles) of the pipeline would be located in Bangladesh and 1,000 kilometers (630 miles) in India. The pipeline would carry an initial volume of 5 Bcm of natural gas per year (500 Mmcfd). The shortfall in gas demand along the HBJ Pipeline is expected to increase from 10 Bcm per year (955 Mmcfd) in 2005 to over 75 Bcm per year (over 7 billion cubic feet per day [Bcfd]) by 2020. Future gas demand from customers along the proposed pipeline route is projected to reach 44 Bcm per year (4.2 Bcfd) by 2020. Potential customers for the Bangladesh-to-India Natural Gas Pipeline include: Power and fertilizer facilities serving the markets in central and northern India Existing and new customers along the HBJ Pipeline Domestic and industrial users along the proposed pipeline route in Bangladesh and India. (...) The Bangladesh-to-India Natural Gas Pipeline represents a win-win proposition for both Bangladesh and India. For Bangladesh, the proposed pipeline will provide the highest value for the country's gas resources and the opportunity to expand Bangladesh's domestic pipeline
When the Dalai Lama was asked by a CIA officer in 1995: "Did we do a good or bad thing in providing this support [to the Tibetans]?", the Tibetan spiritual leader replied that though it helped the morale of those resisting the Chinese, "thousands of lives were lost in the resistance" and that "the U.S. Government had involved itself in his country's affairs not to help Tibet but only as a Cold War tactic to challenge the Chinese." (John Kenneth Knaus, Orphans of the Cold War) [Rogue State, by William Blum]

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Map 5: India-Bangladesh Pipeline

infrastructure to meet its energy needs. For India, the pipeline offers a long-term, reliable and cost-effective supply of natural gas to fuel its economic growth. (...) [Source:]
[Times of India (10.11.2001) reports that UNOCAL and India Govt. have already made an understanding with the new Bangladesh Govt. to speed up this pipeline project. It may be a co-incidence, but this pipeline project gains momentum just during the fall of Kabul! India Govt. has reportedly provided military and other assistance to the Northern Alliance to counter the Taliban forces for last three years. It has a tremendous interest in future composition of govt. in Kabul and thus pursues hectic lobbying for make it a party in the 6+2 combination to settle the future of Afghanistan. All this has/had been done under the veil of countering/fighting 'international terrorism'. The above excerpts amply clarify that the ruling class of India is keenly interested in building a pipeline and thus jumps into the opportunity in uprooting the 'Taliban menace' from Afghanistan. Follow again. Update]

Kabul fall raises India's stakes

(...) The liberation of Kabul by the Northern Alliance has boosted New Delhi's claim to be taken seriously by the US in working out a post-Taliban arrangement for Afganistan. For the past three years, New Delhi has financed the arms and ammunition used by the


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Alliance in an attempt to contain the Pakistan influence in Afghanistan. (...) According to the MEA [Ministry of External Affairs] official, the US has so far kept India out of the formal discussions on the postTaliban dispension in Afghanistan "indeference to the wishes of Pakistan". These arrangements are being handled by the so-called 'six plus two' countries (...). Despite much heartburn, New Delhi has kept its frustration over this under tight control. (...) Last week in Washington, external affairs minister Jaswant Singh argued for a more substantial Indian role, pointing out that it was the failure of the 'six plus two' group that had led to the current situation. He noted that besides historical ties, India has suffered from Afghanorigin narcotics and terrorism for the past twenty years. (...) [Source: Times of India, 14.11.2001]
[An Indian writer writes on the present 'Afghan War'.....]

Energy a Major Factor in Looming Afghan Conflict

Just as the Gulf war in 1991 was all about oil, the new conflict in South and Central Asia is no less about access to the region's abundant petroleum resources, say analysts here. ''U.S. influence and military presence in Afghanistan and the Central Asian states, not unlike that over the oil-rich Gulf states, would be a major strategic gain,'' says V R Raghavan, a strategic analyst and former general in the Indian army. Raghavan believes the prospect of a western military presence in a region extending from Turkey to Tajikistan could not have escaped strategists who are now readying a military campaign aimed at changing the political order in Afghanistan, accused by the United States of harbouring Osama bin Laden. Where the ''great game'' in Afghanistan was once about czars and commissars seeking access to the warm water ports of the Persian Gulf, today it is about laying oil and gas pipelines to the untapped petroleum reserves of Central Asia. (...) Not only can Afghanistan play a role in hosting pipelines connecting Central Asia to international markets whenever the world's ''last great oil rush'' happens but the country itself has significant oil and gas deposits. During the Soviets' decade-long occupation of Afghanistan, Moscow estimated Afghanistan's proven and probable natural gas reserves at around five trillion cubic feet and production reached 275 million cubic feet per day in the mid-1970s. But sabotage by anti-Soviet 'mujahideen' (freedom fighters) and by rival groups in the civil war that followed Soviet withdrawal in 1989 virtually closed down gas production and put paid to deals for the supply of gas to several European countries.

43 update 7 Major Afghan natural gas fields awaiting exploitation include Jorqaduq, Khowaja, Gogerdak, and Yatimtaq, all of which are located within 9 km of the town of Sheberghan in northrern Jowzjan province. Natural gas production and distribution under Afghanistan's Taliban rulers is the responsibility of the Afghan Gas Enterprise which, in 1999, began repair of a pipeline to Mazar-i-Sharif city. Afghanistan's proven and probable oil and condensate reserves were placed at 95 million barrels by the Soviets. So far, attempts to exploit Afghanistan's petroleum reserves or take advantage of its unique geographical location as a crossroads to markets in Europe and South Asia have been thwarted by the continuing civil strife. (...) Energy experts in India, such as R K Pachauri who heads the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), have long been urging planners in this country to ensure access to petroleum products from the Central Asian republics, with which New Delhi has traditionally maintained good relations. (...) UNOCAL then stated that the project would have to wait until Afghanistan achieved the ''peace and stability necessary to obtain financing from international agencies and a government that is recognised by the US and the United Nations''. The 'coalition against terrorism' that U.S. President George W Bush is building now is the first opportunity that has any chance of making UNOCAL's wish come true. If the coalition succeeds, Raghavan says, it has the potential of ''reconfiguring substantially the energy scenarios for the 21st century''. [Source: By Ranjit Devraj, 5.10.2001;]
[The above excerpt clearly states that the 'war' launched by the USA Govt. also opens up the oil and gas reserves of Afghanistan to the multinational oil companies. Another report corroborates this fact.]

Pipe Dreams: Afghanistan's Coming Gas Boom

With the Taliban destined for military defeat, the US and Central Asian powers and investors are already looking at Afghanistan's reconstruction in a post-Taliban era. (...) The theory goes that once stability is achieved and the postTaliban government is established, attention will gradually shift from the short-term objective of assisting the starving and war-ravaged Afghani people towards long-term development. Key to this will be the exploitation of Afghanistan's hydrocarbons reserves and its strategic position as a potentially important transit route between Central Asian countries and ports on the Arabian Sea. A stable regime in Kabul and an end to war will, it is hoped, revive foreign investment in Afghanistan, which could be poised for a development boom in the wake of the Taliban's defeat. (...)


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Investment flow disrupted

Since the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, foreign corporations have been eager to get their hands on Afghanistan's gas reserves, which were estimated by the Soviets at over 1 trillion cubic metres, roughly the same size as Europe's second-largest gas producer, Norway. At just under 100 million barrels, Afghanistan's oil reserves are very modest, although this figure is based on estimates made in the 1970s. Further exploration is bound to reveal more oil and gas discoveries under Afghanistan's rugged and inhospitable terrain. In recent years, foreign interest in Afghanistan has led to a number of proposals to exploit the country's potential as a hydrocarbons producer and its strategic position for transnational pipelines. Hoping to stimulate the oil sector, in 1998 the Taliban revived the Afghan National Oil Company which had been abolished after the Soviet invasion of 1979. This heightened foreign interest, although the civil war has been a deterrent to most investors. Before 11 September, oil corporations from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had shown a growing interest in exploration, while Pakistan had made plans to assist the construction of an oil refinery in Afghanistan. (...)

Fuelling development
With the US likely to be heavily involved in the future of Afghanistan, the pipeline stands to become a focus of development efforts in a post-Taliban era, attracting large amounts of foreign capital. Not only would it generate over US$100 million per year in transit fees, but any new Afghani government is likely to renew the Taliban's demands for an open pipeline to meet local energy needs in a country where the electricity supply has been decimated. (...) However, an Afghan gas boom will rely on a genuine move towards peace and political stability with little or no residual guerrilla warfare. This could mean building a government that includes former ethnic and religious adversaries. Moreover, the US's ambition to advance the free market in Afghanistan and the rest of Central Asia may not be enough if the poor remain poor. Economic marginalisation is a problem that needs to be tackled to ensure political stability and the conditions for sustainable development. As long as the military campaign continues, the long-term development of the gas and oil sector in Central Asia and Afghanistan in particular will remain a pipedreams. [Source:]
[We have now a more or less clear picture of oil-interests (and also some political interests, such as strategic interests against either 'Islamic terrorism', ethnic problems, border disputes or threats of rival powers etc.) of several countries in Central Asia and particularly in Afghanistan. Oil is the lifeline of modern capitalism (or imperialism). So, from the very beginning, imperialist forces fought innumerable wars, installed puppet

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govts. in many countries toppling others, patronised autocratic, corrupt and murderous regimes in so many countries in the last century just for OIL! They have made the whole of the Persian Gulf a fortress to 'protect' their oil-interests. Iraq is still bleeding under the atrocious policies of the US-UK led imperialists for a decade. Now Central Asia comes to the limelight for its abundant oil & gas resources. The people of Afghanistan have paid for this greed of imperialists and certainly there are more distress is in store for them unless the people of Afghanistan take the responsibility of their future in their own hands replacing the Afghan warlords of various brands. Now, follow the next excerpt written about the oil-interests of the US Govt and also military preparation to 'protect' this interest. Update]

Bush, Capitalism, And The War Crisis

(...) According to the Oil and Gas Journal and World Oil, two principal industry research organs, the proven oil reserves in the world came to approximately 1 trillion barrels as of Jan. 1, 2000. This doesn't include future discoveries that are expected to be much larger. Of these 1 trillion barrels, anywhere from 630 to 675 billion barrels are in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Add to that the 30 billion barrels in Libya and the oil reserves in this area of U.S. military, political and economic domination come close to 70 percent of the world's total. In addition, the earth has 5 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, of which 2 quadrillion are in the same region. This is significant because of technological leaps made recently in the use of natural gas.

Pentagon In The Persian Gulf

The frenzy of the Bush administration and the capitalist establishment about a war on terrorism has to be seen in the light of their historic political and military objectives. Consider the military terror that the peoples in the Persian Gulf have been under. According to the New York Times, there were extensive U.S. forces in the region prior to Sept. 11. The Navy had 20,000 personnel and two aircraft carrier battle groups with 70 aircraft. In Saudi Arabia there are 5,200 U.S. troops, mainly from the Air Force, with Patriot missiles, F-15, F16 and F-117 fighter planes, U-2 spy planes and AWACS flying command posts. In Kuwait there are 4,800 troops from the Army and Air Force plus a prepositioned, reinforced brigade with two tank battalions, a mechanized infantry battalion and an artillery battalion. Bahrain houses 1,000 personnel, mostly naval, and is the headquarters of the Fifth Fleet. In Turkey, 2,000 troops, mostly from the Air Force, are stationed at a base used to fly over Iraq with F-15 and F-16 fighters. Other U.S. forces are spread around the United Arab


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Emirates, Oman, Qatar and, in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia. Altogether the U.S. has 30,000 troops, massive numbers of aircraft, missiles, artillery and bases for rapid deployment in the region. These forces were already there before the current crisis. They threatened the people on a 24-hour-a-day basis lest anyone in the region did anything to jeopardize the vast oil, financial and militarily strategic interests of the U.S. Now they are being vastly increased. [Source: By Fred Goldstein;]
[It is reported that the deposits of Alaska and the North Sea, both under the US control, are running out soon ( For this reason also, the Caspian basin bears enormous importance to the US Govt. Now have a look into the Table 1 which depicts oil & gas reserves/ production capacity etc. of the Central Asian countries. In fact, the 'Great Game' in Caspian sea/Central Asia started with full steam in May 1998, when the Clinton administration and the CIA lured the Turkmenistan President S. Niyazov to strike a deal with the oil multinationals of the USA. A US magazine Time writes in 1998:]

The Rush for Caspian Oil... the U.S. is Gaining...

(...) Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan, a parched former Soviet republic (...) happens to sit atop immense oil deposits and the fourth largest natural-gas reserves in the world. So last week Niyazov got the imperial treatment from the Clinton Administration and a host of U.S. businessmen eager to start exploiting those riches in earnest. Niyazov was put up at Blair House, across the street from the White House, an honor reserved for true VIPs. He got 45 minutes with Clinton in the Oval Office and conferred with Cabinet officers and CIA Director George Tenet. More than two dozen oil and equipment companies kicked in to sponsor a dinner in Niyazov's honor at a downtown hotel, and 300 of America's top government decision makers, business executives and lobbyists thronged the ballroom.

Table 1 : Brief fact sheet for oil and gas rich CIS republics
Republic Pop mn. Area mn. km 0.087 2.7 0.49 0.45 Per capita income 480$ 1,400$ 580$ 880$ Persons per 88 5.8 9.7 53 Gas tr. cft 30 65 102 67 Oil bn. barrels 5.5 8 1.2 0.6 Crude pipeline km* 1130 2850 250 250 Natural pipeline km* 1240 3480 4400 810

Azerbaijan 7.4 Kazakhstan 15.8 Turkmenistan 4.7 Uzbekistan 24

*as on 1992 [Source:]

47 update 7 Niyazov is one of the new kingpins of the Caspian Sea and the treasure it covers. The California-size Caspian, center of the last great oil rush of this century, laps across a huge mine of liquid gold. Some 200 billion bbl., or about 10% of the earth's potential oil reserves, are thought to lie under and around the sea. At today's prices that could add up to $4 trillion worth. The Caspian lies in a tough part of the world, studded with rugged mountains, Chechen guerrillas, dissident Kurds, crowded sea-lanes and unstable and corrupt governments in all directions. Laying hundreds of miles of pipe through such obstacles will carry a huge price tag and enormous risks. The world's energy companies began scrambling for the prize as soon as the Soviet Union broke up, in 1991, and the biggest oil firms from the U.S., Europe, Russia, Japan, China and South America have bought into the action, forming consortiums and joint ventures with local companies to generate the huge start-up costs. Some of the wells are already pumping, and in a few years oil will be flooding out of the Caspian reserves. But how will the precious stuff travel to energy-hungry consumers? Who will have a hand on the spigots as it flows to market? The key to that decision probably lies in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan and headquarters of the biggest multinational oil consortium in the region. (...) So far this year, a 12-company consortium, led by British Petroleum and Amoco, has produced 160,000 tons of oil. This early production has traveled out through a 2-ft.-wide pipeline, heading north through Azerbaijan and west to the Russian port of Novorossisk on the Black Sea. But soon, as production picks up, that line and a number of others already laid will be too small to handle the job. The consortiums want a new 3.5-ft.-wide line that will be able to carry up to 1 million bbl. a day in five years. At the bar of the Ragin' Cajun, a hot spot in Baku, a veteran of oil fields from Texas to Siberia explains, "The game's called pipeline poker. The Caspian is crazy. It's landlocked. We can drill all the oil you'd ever need. But can we get it out?" It's a question that has ignited a tense struggle in the region and beyond. The coastal states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan gained their independence when the Soviet empire collapsed. All three want to exploit the riches under their sea without interference from Russia and Iran, the two other states that rim the Caspian. As major oil and gas producers, Russia and Iran are not overjoyed at their neighbors' good fortune. (...) While American energy companies joined the Caspian rush early, the U.S. government was slow to get organized. Some of Washington's top power brokers and law firms went to work for Caspian governments or U.S. companies, selling, consulting, lobbying or opening doors. Among them were former Defense


update 7

Secretary Dick Cheney [Now the Vice-President of the USA Update], former Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, and John Sununu, who was George Bush's chief of staff. Perhaps the most active Washington name is former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, now a consultant for Amoco. He has long been a mentor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and he has warned the White House for years that the U.S. was making a strategic mistake in paying so little attention to the new central Asian nations. Albright and her senior State Department colleagues sat down for a full-dress CIA briefing on the Caspian last August. The agency had set up a secret task force to monitor the region's politics and gauge its wealth. Covert CIA officers, some well-trained petroleum engineers, had traveled through southern Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to sniff out potential oil reserves. When the policymakers heard the agency's report, Albright concluded that working to mold the area's future was "one of the most exciting things that we can do." American officials frown when outsiders call the battle over the Caspian another "Great Game," the term Rudyard Kipling used for the 19th century struggle for influence and control between the British and Russian empires. But another Great Game is what it is. Washington wants Caspian oil to flow through many pipelines so that no single country can bottle it up, and is adamantly against having a new pipeline pass through Iran. It is fine if some of the lines run through Russia, as they already do, but Russia should not be able to turn a valve and shut off all or most of the Caspian flow. (...) By last fall the U.S. was pressing hard for the option it favors, a system of oil-and-gas lines starting through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, running under the Caspian Sea to Baku, then through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean. This elaborate scheme is not an easy sell. The long pipeline would cost about $4 billion to build and add up to $4 to the cost of each barrel of oil it carried. To many company executives, it seems easier to use the southern route through Iran or the northern route through Russia to the Black Sea.
And why are cluster bombs being used [in Afghanistan]? The British public should know about these bombs, which the RAF also uses. They spray hundreds of bomblets that have only one purpose; to kill and maim people. Those that do not explode lie on the ground like landmines, waiting for people to step on them. If ever a weapon was designed specifically for acts of terrorism, this is it. I have seen the victims of American cluster weapons in other countries, such as the Laotian toddler who picked one up and had her right leg and face blown off. Be assured this is now happening in Afghanistan, in your name. [Z Mag]

49 update 7 [Southern route through Afganistan was also under very much condideration then, though not reported by Time here. Update] "If I had my way," says a senior Western oil executive, "we'd sign with the Iranians. In this part of the world, they are by far the most trustworthy partners for a pipeline deal. Terrorism? Who's going to blow up their own pipeline?" But the U.S. option, the east-west line, gathered support from some regional leaders Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev, for example who thought it would be more secure. (...) [Source: By Bruce W. Nelan, Time, 4.5.1998]
[In late 1998, the Washington Post reported three articles in series on this 'Great Game' obviously the big players are the giant multinationals and the US officials, CIA etc.]

'US Interest In Caspian Sea & Central Asia'

Amoco... educated U.S. officials on the Caspian's wealth
(...) Amoco the largest U.S. investor in Azerbaijan's oil boom had what it wanted: a promise from Clinton to invite the Azerbaijani president to Washington. Six months later the company, which traditionally donated heavily to the Republicans, contributed $50,000 to the Democratic Party. In August 1997, Clinton received President Heydar Aliyev with full honors, witnessed the signing of a new Amoco oil exploration deal and promised to lobby Congress to lift U.S. economic sanctions on Azerbaijan. The ties between Amoco and Azerbaijan and Amoco's role in pushing the United States closer to this Caspian nation reflect a complex new choreography involving oil companies, big powers and regional governments vying for influence in the strategic borderlands between Russia and the Middle East. The key players are not only familiar companies such as Amoco, Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., but also senior officials of governments stretching from Washington to Moscow, and Beijing to Tehran. The stakes are enormous financially and, as Clinton's energetic intervention suggested, geopolitically. Azerbaijan, like neighboring Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, sought to lure American oil companies and then the U.S. government to help shore up its financial and political independence. The ultimate prize is an oil and gas patch potentially larger than those discovered three decades ago in the North Sea and Alaska's North Slope. U.S. experts estimate that the region could produce at least 3 million barrels of oil a day by 2010, worth $14 billion a year at current prices. That is far less than Saudi Arabia but more than Kuwait although a vocal minority of analysts believes the Caspian's reserves have been substantially overestimated. The region's reserves of natural gas a relatively clean fuel for a world fretting over pollution


update 7

and global warming are the world's third largest behind the Middle East and Russia, according to a State Department report. The drive by U.S. companies to exploit these resources already has produced a political realignment of historic dimensions, including an unprecedented American presence in a region that had been under almost continuous Russian control since the mid-19th century. (...) Caspian oil also is central to the Clinton administration's internal debate over U.S. relations with Tehran. Some American oil companies view Iran as the cheapest, fastest exit route for Caspian oil; that's counter to other interests and Clinton administration policy favoring continued U.S. government efforts to isolate the Islamic state. American involvement is just what the leaders of the newly independent nations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan wanted when they set about early in the decade to woo companies flying the flag of the world's only superpower. "They recognized that with the forces they have around them Russia and Iran only a strong relationship with the United States provides an opportunity for stability and for not being totally dominated," said a U.S. oil executive who requested anonymity. "Since the U.S. government was slow to pick up on the importance of the region, they forged relations with U.S. business." "We used oil for our major goal... to become a real country," said Ilham Aliyev, vice president of Azerbaijan's state oil company and son of the country's president. By investing more than $2 billion in the three former Soviet republics with most of the Caspian's oil and gas, American oil companies helped revive collapsed economies and end more than a century of economic dependence on Russia. But there were political and strategic gains as well. American oil companies became advocates in Washington for the Caspian governments, calling attention to Caspian wealth, supporting Caspian political causes and putting the Caspian on the agenda of Washington's policy debates. Representatives of American oil companies in Azerbaijan, for example, pressed administration officials "at every forum, meeting and luncheon" to become more involved in ending a bloody territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to one U.S. executive. Last year, with Clinton's support, they also lobbied successfully in Congress to ease U.S. economic sanctions on Azerbaijan imposed in 1992 because of its war with Armenia. Chevron Corp., the U.S. oil company with the largest investment in Kazakhstan, has battled in Moscow and Washington on behalf of a Kazakh plan to redirect the country's oil exports from the Russian market to hard-currency Western ones crucial to the economic independence of Kazakhstan. (...) The ties that bind the United States to the Caspian region seem

51 update 7 certain to tighten, if only because U.S. energy companies have few alternatives as attractive. They are blocked by U.S. policy from investing in Iran and Iraq, and prospects elsewhere pale compared with the Caspian. The blunt truth, according to one American oil man, is that "there are not a lot of Caspians out there." How the United States came to be a player so far from home is a story of post-Cold War geopolitics and old-fashioned wildcatters, of a weakened Moscow and an emboldened Washington, of oil and money and power. And it is a tale with an ending still being written.

Gas Pipeline Bounces Between Agendas

(...) In August 1997, in a bold move that conjured up memories of 19th-century Turkmen khans staving off would-be Russian conquerors, President Saparmurad Niyazov halted gas deliveries to the Russiancontrolled pipeline system that was built during the Soviet era. Niyazov said he "smelled old Soviet ambitions" in Russia's use of its pipeline monopoly to keep Turkmenistan's gas from competing with Russian gas in European markets. Soon, he hinted, Turkmen gas could be shipped south through Iran. For Niyazov, a product of the Soviet system, the closing of the valves was a dramatic declaration that business as usual was over. The sudden availability of 2.8 trillion cubic feet per year of gas previously committed to the Russian pipeline system propelled Niyazov from an obscure Central Asian strongman to a central figure in an intricate geopolitical drama that has drawn in Washington, Tehran, Moscow and assorted regional capitals. While the prize in the Caspian is an energy patch whose size is believed by many to exceed those in Alaska and the North Sea, the overarching issue is how to get the commodity out of landlocked Central Asia. The politics of pipelines seems as tangled as the routes themselves, and each route carried its own treacherous obstacles. But a simple ambition had come to unify American policy in the region: Tap the Caspian mother lodes while giving as little leverage as possible to Russia in the north and Iran in the south. (...) Alexander M. Haig Jr., a businessman who had served as NATO commander and secretary of state, was one of the first Westerners to propose that Niyazov end his dependence on Russian pipelines. Haig arrived in Turkmenistan in 1992 representing a U.S. investment company. The retired general stood apart from other foreign businessmen courting Niyazov's favors. (...) Haig became an unofficial Niyazov adviser and confidant, screening foreign companies and helping arrange a Niyazov visit to Washington in 1993. (...)

Kazakh Field Stirs U.S.-Russian Rivalry

In late January, as most of Washington fixated on bawdy revelations


update 7

about a former White House intern and the president of the United States, a top Clinton administration expert on Central Asia flew to Moscow for urgent meetings with senior Russian officials. His mission: to salvage a multibillion-dollar American-Russian venture to exploit the world's biggest oil discovery in three decades the Tengiz oil field in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. For four days, Commerce Department troubleshooter Jan H. Kalicki met repeatedly with Russian Oil Minister Sergei Kiriyenko. Kalicki sought to disabuse Kiriyenko of the belief, widely held in Moscow, that the joint project to build a 900-mile pipeline from Kazakhstan across southern Russia to the Black Sea was being sabotaged by the U.S. government and American oil companies. A project once emblematic of U.S.-Russian cooperation in the postCold War era now threatened to become a geopolitical fiasco and the latest source of tension between Washington and Moscow over control of Caspian energy riches. In one sense, the squabble over Tengiz oil fit the Caspian pattern already established in Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan, like the two other former Soviet republics, had sought to buttress its independence and counter Russian hegemony by luring U.S. oil giants with its largely untapped energy wealth. Behind the American companies loomed the U.S. government, now eager to further American commercial interests and limit the influence of Russia to the north and Iran to the south. But Kazakhstan was different from its Caspian neighbors bigger, richer and more intimately lashed to Russia. Sharing a 4,250-mile border with Russia, Kazakhstan also was home to 6 million ethnic Russians and beneficiary of billions of rubles in Soviet energy investments. Any American effort to woo the Kazakhs or tap their oil patch provoked suspicious resentment in Moscow. (...) The Russians countered that the Americans were double-dealing, professing to want partnership with Moscow in building the pipeline from Tengiz to the Black Sea while concocting a "Eurasian Transportation Corridor" which the Clinton administration had announced in November that would bypass Russia altogether with a skein of oil and gas lines from the Caspian to European markets. (...)

Tengiz's Sea of Oil

(...) Petroleum engineers and geologists believed the 156-square-mile patch at Tengiz potentially could yield more than 1 million barrels a day - a third more than the present output of Alaska's Prudhoe Bay. That offered a heady vision for Chevron, then the world's fifth-largest private oil company. Years later, a Chevron executive would liken Tengiz to "stumbling over the Hope Diamond." Tengiz was indeed a jewel one which, like the Hope Diamond, often brought trouble to its possessor. And trouble was quick in

53 update 7 coming. A year later, on Aug. 31, 1991, as the Soviet Union was disintegrating, the government of newly independent Kazakhstan lay claim to all the country's mineral resources. Chevron's deal was in peril, but the company had taken precautions. About the time that the contract had been signed, Chevron had invited an obscure Kazakh shepherd's son to the United States and entertained him at its San Francisco corporate headquarters. Now that shepherd's son was the Kazakh president. Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had built his career in the Kazakh Communist Party, was quick to see the value of American connections. Years earlier he had sought out the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Robert S. Strauss, for discussions of American politics over Sunday morning breakfasts. Now, as president, Nazarbayev retained Strauss's Washington law firm, as well as a Manhattan merchant banker, U.S. investment and accounting firms, and other American consultants. (...) Chevron pledged to invest $20 billion in Tengiz over 40 years. But the contract sharply limited any initial cash outlays. For example, not until Tengiz production reached 250,000 barrels a day would the company have to pay a $420 million installment on the purchase price. The provision in effect allowed Chevron to hang on to a substantial portion of its obligated payment until a pipeline had been built to sell Tengiz oil in Western markets. [Source: By D. Morgan & D.B. Ottaway, Washington Post, 4-6.10.98]
[Such was the 'Great Game' played marvelously by the US oil companies and the officials of the US Govt. We have already noted in the previous excerpts that Dick Chenny, who is the present Vice-President of the US & former CEO of a US company Halliburton (which is a business partner of UNOCAL Corporation) and also many stalwarts of the US administration (present & former), such as M. Albright, Z. Brzezinski (now associated with Amoco, a giant oil company), CIA and all the US oil companies masterminded this 'Great Game' with all their world-famous (read 'notorious') tricks and bribed, purchased, maneouvred the rulers of the countries to force their way into the oil fields of countries on and around Central Asia/Caspian Sea. But a problem remains to be solved, i.e., to build pipelines for marketing this oil & gas. How the pipeline-politics have been played (and are still being played) by the super- and regional powers (not excluding India) is already discussed. Now, we are coming back to the point: how the Talibans/Laden made themselves superfluous or 'enemy no. 1' before the US rulers (and thus block the pipeline/business interests of multinational oil companies and several countries). Follow again. Update]

Hidden Agenda Behind War On Terror

(...) When the Taliban took Kabul in 1996, Washington said nothing. Why? Because Taliban leaders were soon on their way to Houston, Texas, to be entertained by executives of the oil company, Unocal. With secret US government approval, the company offered them a generous cut of the profits of the oil and gas pumped through a pipeline that the Americans wanted to build from Soviet central Asia through Afghanistan. A US diplomat said: "The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did." He explained that Afghanistan would become an American oil colony, there would be huge profits for the West, no democracy and the legal persecution of women. "We can live with that," he said. Although the deal fell through, it remains an urgent priority of the administration of George W. Bush, which is steeped in the oil industry. 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 and enough, according to one estimate, to meet America's voracious energy needs for a generation. Only if the pipeline runs through Afghanistan can the Americans hope to control it. So, not surprisingly, US Secretary of State Colin Powell is now referring to "moderate" Taliban, who will join an Americansponsored "loose federation" to run Afghanistan. The "war on terrorism" is a cover for this: a means of achieving American strategic aims that lie behind the flag-waving facade of great power. (...) [Source: By John Pilger;]
[Another commentator writes:]

Taliban, US and the resources of Central Asia

(...) The primary factor in determining the twists and turns of Washington's orientation in Afghanistan has not been the threat from Islamic extremism but how best to exploit the new opportunities that opened up in Central Asia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Throughout the last decade, the US has been vying with Russia, China, the European powers and Japan for political influence in this key strategic region and for the right to exploit the world's largest untapped reserves of oil and gas in the newly formed Central Asian republics: Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The key to the huge potential profits in Central Asia was distribution how to transport the oil and gas from this isolated, backward and landlocked region to the world's main energy markets. (...) 53

55 update 7 Southern Afghanistan was, however, also the preferred route for a number of proposed pipelines from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. An Argentinean corporation, Bridas, was the first to enter the race. The company obtained rights in Turkmenistan in 1992 and 1993 to explore and exploit the country's gas fields, and in 1994, opened up discussions with the Turkmen and Pakistani governments over the construction of a gas pipeline, leading to the signing of an agreement for a feasibility study in early 1995. Bridas initially attempted to involve US energy giant, Unocal, in the project. Unocal had plans of its own and later that year signed a separate pipeline agreement, triggering sharp rivalry and a legal battle between the two companies. All of the pipeline plans assumed that a political solution could be found to the chaotic conditions that existed along the proposed route. Other lesser business interests were also keen to clear out the petty warlords and militia. The road from Quetta in Pakistan through Kandahar and Herat to Turkmenistan offered the only alternative transport route to the northern road to Central Asia through embattled Kabul. The transport companies and truck owners involved in the profitable Central Asian trade and smuggling rackets were compelled to pay large tolls to each militia commander as their vehicles crossed his turf a situation they wanted to end.

The US and the Taliban

(...) Washington's attitude was clear. Author Ahmed Rashid comments: "The Clinton administration was clearly sympathetic to the Taliban, as they were in line with Washington's anti-Iran policy and were important for the success of any southern pipeline from Central Asia that would avoid Iran. (...)" (Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia, p. 46) In fact, the period from 1994 to 1997 coincided with a flurry of US diplomatic activity, aimed at securing support for the Unocal pipeline. In March 1996, prominent US senator Hank Brown, a supporter of the Unocal project, visited Kabul and other Afghan cities. He met with the Taliban and invited them to send delegates to a Unocalfunded conference on Afghanistan in the US. In the same month, the US also exerted pressure on the Pakistani government to ditch its arrangements with Bridas and back the American company. The following month, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Robin Raphel visited Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia, urging a political solution to the continuing conflict. "We are also concerned that economic opportunities here will be missed, if political stability cannot be restored," she told the media. (...) But neither was the US stridently criticising the Taliban on women's rights, drugs and terrorism, which were to form the basis of its ultimatums to the regime in the late 1990s. On all three issues, there was an abundance of evidence, unless one chose to deliberately ignore it. (...)


update 7

The fall of Kabul

In the mid-1990s, the US attitude to the Taliban was not determined by bin Laden, drugs or democratic rights. If US official Robin Raphel was ambivalent about officially embracing the Taliban in mid-1996, it was because Washington was uncertain whether Taliban fighters were capable of defeating their opponents and providing a stable political climate for the Unocal project. (...) "[W]ithin hours of Kabul's capture by the Taliban, the US State Department announced that it would establish diplomatic relations with the Taliban by sending an official to Kabul an announcement it also quickly retracted. State Department spokesman Glyn Davies said the US found "nothing objectionable" in the steps taken by the Taliban to impose Islamic law. He described the Taliban as anti-modern rather than anti-Western. US Congressmen weighed in on the side of the Taliban. "The good part of what has happened is that one of the factions at last seems capable of developing a government in Afghanistan, said Senator Hank Brown, a supporter of the Unocal project" (p.166). Unocal's response was almost identical. Company spokesman Chris Taggert welcomed the Taliban's victory, explaining that it would now be easier to complete its pipeline project then quickly retracted the statement. The meaning was obvious. The US saw the Taliban as the best means for ensuring the stability required for the Unocal project, but were not prepared to overtly back the new regime until its control was unchallenged. Speaking in a closed-door UN session in November 1996, Raphel bluntly explained: "The Taliban control more than two-thirds of the country, they are Afghan, they are indigenous, they have demonstrated staying power. The real source of their success has been the willingness of many Afghans, particularly Pashtuns, to tacitly trade unending fighting and chaos for a measure of peace and security, even with severe social restrictions. It is not in the interests of Afghanistan or any of us here that the Taliban be isolated." Unocal, with the support of Washington, continued to actively woo the Taliban leaders who, in an effort to obtain the most lucrative deal, were playing the American company off against Bridas. Unocal provided nearly $1 million to set up the Centre for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Omaha as a front for an aid program in Taliban-held Kandahar. The main outcome of the company's "aid" was a school to train the pipefitters, electricians and carpenters needed to construct its pipelines. In November 1997, a Taliban delegation was feted by Unocal in Houston, Texas and met with State Department officials during the visit.

Washington's political shift

But the political winds were already shifting. The key turning point

57 update 7 came in May 1997 when the Taliban captured the major northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif and attempted to impose their religious and social strictures on a hostile and suspicious population of Uzbeks, Tajiks and Shiite Hazaras. Their actions provoked a revolt in which some 600 Taliban troops were killed in intense fighting in the city. At least 1,000 more were captured as they attempted to escape and were allegedly massacred. Over the next two months, the Taliban were driven back along the northern fronts, in what became their worst-ever military defeat. In 10 weeks of fighting, they suffered more than 3,000 dead and wounded, and had another 3,600 fighters taken prisoner. Mazar-e-Sharif was not simply a military setback. The Taliban regrouped, seized the city again in August 1998, butchered thousands of Shiite Hazaras "men, women and children" and almost provoked a war with Iran by murdering 11 Iranian officials and a journalist. However, the events of May 1997 revealed the deep animosity among non-Pashtuns towards the Taliban. It signified that the civil war would inevitably be a protracted one and, even if the Taliban succeeded in taking the opposition strongholds in the north, rebellions and further political instability were likely. In the immediate aftermath of the Mazar-e-Sharif debacle, several crucial decisions were taken in Washington. In July 1997, in an abrupt policy about-face, the Clinton administration ended its opposition to a Turkmenistan-Turkey gas pipeline running across Iran. The following month, a consortium of European companies including Royal Dutch Shell announced plans for such a project. A separate deal struck by Australia's BHP Petroleum proposed another gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and eventually India. In the same period, the US and Turkey jointly sponsored the idea of a "transportation corridor, with a major oil pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey's Ceyhan port on the Mediterranean. Washington began to urge Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to participate in the plan by constructing gas and oil pipelines, respectively, under the Caspian Sea, then along the same corridor. Unocal's plan for a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan now faced competition. Moreover, these rival proposals were along routes that promised to be, at least in the short-term, more politically stable. Both Bridas and Unocal pushed ahead with their plans in southern Afghanistan but the prospects looked increasingly distant. In late 1997, Unocal Vice-President Marty Millar commented: "It's uncertain when this project will start. It depends on peace in Afghanistan and a government we can work with. That may be the end of this year, next year or three years from now, or this may be a dry hole if the fighting continues." A parallel shift in Washington's political rhetoric also began to take place. In November 1997, US Secretary of State Madeline Albright


update 7

set the new tone during a visit to Pakistan. She took the opportunity to denounce the Taliban's policies towards women as "despicable" and to pointedly warn Pakistan that it risked international isolation. Washington began to exert pressure on Pakistan over the Taliban's involvement in the heroin trade and the dangers of "Islamic terrorism". The change in US policy became complete when, in the aftermath of the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, the Clinton administration launched cruise missiles against Osama bin Laden's training camps at Khost in Afghanistan. Bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan in May 1996 after a six-year absence, during which he had become increasingly bitter over the role of the US in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. He began issuing public calls for a jihad against the US in August 1996. It was only after the African bombings, however, that Washington began to demand, without providing any evidence of bin Laden's involvement, that the Taliban hand him over. Unocal suspended its pipeline project and pulled all its staff out of Kandahar and Islamabad. The final nail in the coffin came at the end of 1998, when oil prices halved from $25 to $13 a barrel, rendering Unocal's pipeline project uneconomic, at least in the short term. At the same time, the Clinton administration's demands for the handover of bin Laden, as well as action on drug control and human rights, became the basis for a series of punitive UN sanctions imposed on the Taliban in 1999 and then strengthened earlier this year. Despite the intense pressure exerted on the Taliban and also on Pakistan, none of the US demands were met. In 1998 and 1999, the Taliban launched new military offensives and extended its control, driving its opponents into pockets of territory in the north east. But the civil war was no closer to any conclusion, with Russia and Iran continuing to supply and arm the Taliban's opponents. The UN sanctions had the effect of preventing any of Washington's rivals from gaining an advantageous position in Afghanistan, but brought the US no closer to establishing a firm foothold in the region. The US administration has now seized upon the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington to press ahead with its longheld designs on Central Asia. Without providing any evidence, Bush immediately held bin Laden responsible for the devastation in the US and issued a series of ultimatums to the Taliban regime: hand over bin Laden, shut down Al Qaeda installations and give the US access to all "terrorist training camps". When the Taliban rejected his open-ended demands, Bush gave his generals the signal to unleash thousands of bombs and cruise missiles on Afghanistan, with the openly avowed aim of bringing down the regime. If one were to believe the Bush administration and the international media, the sole purpose of Washington's extensive and costly war

59 update 7 against one of the world's most backward countries is to catch bin Laden and to break up his Al Qaeda network. But as this historical review demonstrates, Washington's objectives in Afghanistan are not determined by fears about terrorism or concerns over human rights. The US has for the first time established a military presence in the Central Asian republics with troops in Uzbekistan and its military campaign ensures that it will dictate the terms for any post-Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Even if bin Laden were killed tomorrow and his organisation destroyed, Washington has no intention of retreating from these first steps towards the domination of this key strategic region and its vast energy reserves. [Source: By Peter Symonds, 24.10.2001;]
[Thus the US Govt's heart changed. It is not for capturing Laden "live or dead", not for any 'tears' for human rights 'abuse' by the 'terrorists', but the war campaign is just to establish "a farm foothold in the region". And now, under the guise of 'fighting terrorism' they are now bombing Afghanistan, making tons of rubbles (more tonnage than the wreckage of World Trade Centre), playing its age-old notorious game to install in Kabul a puppet govt., and thus making inroads for the business opportunities for US/UK big oil companies. It is certain that very soon we can find the news of UNOCAL Corporation, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, British Petroleum etc. investing heavily for their postponed pipeline (and also fresh oil exploration) projects. Still, few sceptic readers find that the 'Great Game' for oil & gas is not the real motive behind the 'Afgan War'. For them awaits another news flashed in the website recently. Watch the following. Update]

Britain: Reports admit this is a war for oil

Britain's media has hardly distinguished itself during the US bombing of Afghanistan, other than for its willingness to parrot the official line emanating from Washington and London. But it has proved increasingly difficult for the press barons to maintain a united journalistic front. A combination of factors the growing concern within Europe over the direction of the US campaign, or lack of it; a fear that the US will be the sole beneficiary of the war; and even a reaction against the mounting absurdities that constitute the official raison d tre for targeting Afghanistan have given rise to a number of reports that depart from the formulaic invocation that the ongoing military campaign is a war against terrorism. The most significant of these reports was an item on the October 25 edition of Channel Four television's flagship seven o'clock news programme. Reporter Liam Halligan was introduced by the programme's anchorman posing the question, "But is there another, less


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well advertised motive for the bombing of Afghanistan?" Halligan answered in the affirmative, adding, "The Gulf War was largely about oil. You won't hear it said often but, inadvertently, this one is too." Halligan called oil "an important subtext to the struggle over Afghanistan." He noted that the US, which consumes 22 million barrels a day, is by far the world's biggest oil importer. He remarked upon the present reliance on the Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia, which produces seven million barrels a day, but also drew attention to the production of four and a half million barrels a day in the former Soviet Union. Halligan continued, "Apart from Russia, it's these newly independent Central Asian states that are key. Already 20 billion barrels of oil reserves have been found in Khazakhstan and there could be much more. The oil and gas so far discovered in these parts is worth $3 trillion in today's prices." Getting this oil to Western markets was, Halligan stated, "the culmination of the Great Game. The struggle for influence in Central Asia is the last great oil rush, as the West tries to reduce dependence on the Gulf." Channel Four went on to explain the importance of Afghanistan in this regard. Russia had built its own pipeline from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea. In order to compete, Western oil corporations could build pipelines along a number of routes. But by far the most economical would be from Central Asia through Afghanistan, to Pakistan. "That," said Halligan, was "a major reason the US unofficially backed the Taliban in the mid-90s, when American oil men were planning such a pipeline. But when the Taliban turned it's back on Uncle Sam, Western oil money got scared." As well as Channel Four's coverage, two articles have appeared in the Guardian newspaper that deserve to be noted. The Guardian, which is considered home to Britain's liberal intelligentsia, is generally supportive of the war, but critical of certain aspects of its conduct. This was reflected in an op-ed piece by the radical environmentalist George Monbiot entitled "America's pipe dream", which sets out to explain how "A pro-Western regime in Kabul should give the US an Afghan route for Caspian oil". (...) Monbiot insists, "The invasion of Afghanistan is certainly a campaign against terrorism, but it may also be a late colonial adventure." He explains, "Afghanistan has some oil and gas of its own, but not enough to qualify as a major strategic concern. Its northern neighbours, by contrast, contain reserves, which could be critical to future global supply. In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vicepresident but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: 'I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian.' But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The

61 update 7 only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan." The West's options for moving oil are limited by its desire to prevent a strengthening of either Russia or Iran. It has an added benefit, in that "pipelines through Afghanistan would allow the US both to pursue its aim of" diversifying energy supply "and to penetrate the world's most lucrative markets" in south Asia. Monbiot's article acknowledges a debt to the work of Ahmed Rashid, the author of the recently published 'Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia', and a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph. Rashid documents how in 1995, the US oil company Unocal started negotiating to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on to the Arabian sea. This required "a single administration in Afghanistan, which would guarantee safe passage for its goods." Monbiot notes, "Soon after the Taliban took Kabul in September 1996, the Telegraph reported that: oil industry insiders say the dream of securing a pipeline across Afghanistan is the main reason why Pakistan, a close political ally of America's, has been so supportive of the Taliban, and why America has quietly acquiesced in its conquest of Afghanistan." (...) Monbiot cites a statement by the US energy information administration immediately prior to the September 11 outrages: "Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from central Asia to the Arabian sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan". He concludes his examination with the related observation, "If the US succeeds in overthrowing the Taliban and replacing them with a stable and grateful pro-Western government and if the US then binds the economies of central Asia to that of its ally Pakistan, it will have crushed not only terrorism, but also the growing ambitions of both Russia and China. Afghanistan, as ever, is the key to the western domination of Asia." The next day, Andy Rowell wrote in the Guardian on the same theme in his article "Route to riches". He begins, "As the war in Afghanistan unfolds, there is frantic diplomatic activity to ensure that any post-Taliban government will be both democratic and proWest. Hidden in this explosive geo-political equation is the sensitive issue of securing control and export of the region's vast oil and gas reserves." Rowell draws attention to an article in Military Review, the journal of the US army, which states, "As oil companies build oil pipelines from the Caucasus and central Asia to supply Japan and the West, these strategic concerns gain military implications." He cites Unocal's insistence that "construction of the pipeline cannot begin


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until a recognized government is in place in Kabul that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company." All three reports are based on information that is both freely available and common knowledge within the media and the political establishment. Indeed Rowell described Rashid's work on the Taliban and the US as "the book Tony Blair has been reportedly reading since the conflict started." Far from saving the mass media from opprobrium, therefore, these reports stand as an indictment of a more general readiness to regurgitate whatever lies and propaganda they are asked to by the powers that be. [Source: By Chris Marsden, 27.10.2001;]

V o i c e s A g a i n s t T h e W a r C r y
[It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. "I am running out of demons. I am running out of villains" said General Collin Powell of the United States in 1991, after the 'fall of communism', after the end of so-called 'cold war' (Quoted in Toronto Star, April 9, 1991 referred in Monthly Review, November 2001). They searched the "demons" in the Middle East, in Columbia-Venezuela, in Serbia-Bosnia in the name of war against 'terrorism'/'rogue state'/ 'global drug trafficking'..... After the September 11 episode, finally they have identified one of the "villains" in Afghanistan a country where "during the past twenty years, about 2.5 million Afghans have died as a direct or indirect result of war army assaults, famine or lack of medical attention. In other words, every year 1,25,000 or about 340 people a day, or 14 people every house or 1 in about every five minutes, have been either killed or died because of this tragedy. (...) The number of Afghan refugees is even more tragic. According to more precise statistics the number of Afghan refugees outside of Afghanistan living in Iran and Pakistan is 6.3 million. If this figure is divided by the year, day, hour and minutes, in the past twenty years, one person has become a refugee every minute." (By Mohsen Makhmalbaf, noted Iranian Film-maker, in his article "Limbs of No Body: The World's Indifference to the Afgan Tragedy", part of which has been reprinted in the Monthly Review, November 2001). And, they have started carpet bombing over this already devastated land since October 7 in the name of "fight against global terrorism". It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. "Why do they hate the United States? Why do they want to get back at the United States or kill so many innocent people? You have to go back in time. It didn't just start now. The United States has always been in other people's business. and that is what you get as a result" said a student of New York after the September 11 event. One street vendor said: "The

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United States is minding eveybody's business, trying to institute their policies and imperialism across the world. It's not right. What we went through on September 11 is a horrible thing. Other countries go through that every day because of United States." (] These are the reflections of voices of some of the US people after the 11th September. These are the voices which are not televised, printed by the media controlled by the big transnational companies. In fact, the global media, the mind-setter of confused billions working for the global rulers is playing its role in a "most responsible" manner. It is chattering in the tune of Bush and Blair. They report that most of the protests against the US 'war cry' is coming from the muslim dominated countries organised by the fundamentalists; they report in such a manner that depicts all the muslims in the world are either fundamentalist or terrorists. This media completely whitewashes the news of protests occurred in the very countries which are behind the attacks on Afghan people overtly and covertly. In fact, not only the third world people, but different sections even from the United States, Europe, Australia are continuously raising their voices against the 'Afghan War' and the protests are going on still now!

'Update', as part of this worldwide protest is raising its voices against the war-mongering policies of the US imperialism and is presenting here a series of reports of these protests, largely neglected by the so-called 'free', 'independent' media. We regret to inform that to give stress on protests in the US and Europe, we cannot collect protest-reports from Africa & Latin America. Update]

I. Voices From The USA

[It is widely reported by the media that racial conflict has engulfed the USA since September 11 and the blacks-Arabs-Sikhs-Muslims are being attacked by the whites. But what they have not reported is that a lot of people of different sections are thinking in a different way opposed to the campaign of the ruling class of the USA. Many of the Americans now have started to ask themselves (and also to the USA Govt.) why such terrorist attack happened on September 11; why the USA is being targetted; why the people of so many countries hate the USA? This is a ray of hope in the midst of darkness of atrocities, murderous acts of the USA Govt. under the cover of lies heaped up on Afghan people. The American people now have started to raise their voices of protests against the 'war cry' of the US Govt. and racial conflicts occured very soon after September 11 & October 7. Here are some of the reports. Update]


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A. Protests After September 11:

A Message from the International Action Center
On September 29 we have planned to demonstrate against the Bush administration's reactionary foreign and domestic policy and the IMF and World Bank. In light of the current crisis, with its tragic consequences for so many thousands of people, we have refocused the call for our demonstration to address the immediate danger posed by racism and the grave threat of a new war. All those who oppose racism should stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers in the Arab, Muslim and other communities of color who are the victims of violence, scapegoating, harassment and intimidation in a racist frenzy that's being created throughout the United States. We call on all people-Black, Latino, Asian, Arab, Native and white-to stand together and say no to racism. We urge all organizations to join together at this critical time. CALL TO ACTION National March in Washington DC September 29 Tell George Bush: WE SAY NO TO RACISM AND WAR! (...) The government is attempting to take away our civil liberties and to create a climate in which it is impossible for progressive people to speak their mind. The Bush administration is attempting to take advantage of this crisis to militarize U.S. society with a vast expansion of police powers that is intended to severely restrict basic democratic rights. If you believe in civil liberties and oppose racism and war, join us on September 29 in front of the White House. MARCH AND RALLY Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m. In front of the White House. [Source:; 14.9.2001]

No To U.S. Military..... Stop U.S. Wars!

On Monday evening, Sept. 17, at its general meeting, the Los Angeles September 29 Coalition overwhelmingly united & voted to go forward with our planned protest demanding 'No to FTAA! No to PLAN COLUMBIA! Stop OPERATION GATEKEEPER! Full Rights and Legalisation to Immigrants!' With over 70 people in attendance representing many of the different organizations and individuals who have been actively working on all the different aspects of building for S29, we discussed the impact of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center & Pentagon on the plans the L.A. S29 Coalition has made. (...) An announcement was made at the start of the meeting that the "convening organizations" that had initially called for national S29 actions were temporarily postponing/suspending their planned S29

65 update 7 mobilizations. (...) The discussion and struggle focused on what we, in the Los Angeles S29 Coalition, should do. (...) Many of us felt in light of these developments we must speak out even louder and we must oppose US plans to go to war and their calls for retaliation and the attacks on our Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters. We felt that this was within the spirit of our overall slogan opposing US military intervention. Now more than ever! We agreed that some modifications to the demands and the speakers at S29 should be made to include a strong message of NO TO U.S. WAR! and no scape-goating of Arab and Muslim people. (...) In unity and struggle, Jamie Lee (Refuse & Resist!) Edith Lagos (Youth Student Network of October 22 & Youth are the Future! We Demand A Better World Coalition!) [Source: The Los Angeles September 29 Mobilization]

Congresswoman Against Use of Force

"We need to step back," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). "We're grieving. We need to step back and think about this so that it doesn't spiral out of control. We have to make sure we don't make any mistakes." (...) The Capitol Police began guarding Lee on Saturday because of death threats she received after voting against a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against anyone associated with last week's terrorist attacks. The resolution passed 98-0 in the Senate and 420-1 in the House. Lee's was the sole dissenting vote. "In times like this," she said, "you have to have some members saying, 'Let's show some restraint.' " (...) War, she believes, is not the most effective way to fight terrorism. "Military action is a one-dimensional reaction to a multidimensional problem," she says. "We've got to be very deliberative and think through the implications of whatever we do." This is not the first time Lee has stood alone against war. In 1999, during the crisis in Kosovo, she was the only House member to vote against authorizing President Clinton to bomb Serbia. (...) [Source: By Peter Carlson, September 19, 2001; Washington Post]

Join a new anti-war coalition: International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism)
We join with people all over the world in condemning the horrific killings of thousands of persons in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences are with those whose loved ones were lost or injured


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on September 11, 2001. At this moment, we would all like to take time to reflect, to grieve, to extend sympathy and condolences to all. But we believe that we must do more. We must act now. We are assembling International A.N.S.W.E.R. to call for worldwide rallies against war and racism. On September 29, there will be a national march and rally at the White House in Washington DC, as well as marches on the West Coast of the U.S. and around the world. We call on all people of conscience and progressive organizations to take up this call and organize rallies around the world. Unless we stop President Bush and NATO from carrying out a new, wider war in the Middle East, the number of innocent victims will grow from the thousands to the tens of thousands and possibly more. A new, wider U.S. and NATO war in the Middle East can only lead to an escalating cycle of violence. War is not the answer. We must also act against racism. Arab American and Muslim people in the United States, in Europe and elsewhere, as well as other communities of color, are facing racist attacks and harassment in their communities, on their jobs and at mosques. Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism is a poison that should be repudiated. The U.S. government is attempting to curb civil liberties and to create a climate in which it is impossible for progressive people to speak their mind. The Bush administration is attempting to take advantage of this crisis to militarize U.S. society with a vast expansion of police powers that is intended to severely restrict basic democratic rights. On September 29, tens of thousands of people had planned to demonstrate against the Bush administration's reactionary foreign and domestic policy and the IMF and World Bank. In light of the current crisis, with its tragic consequences for so many thousands of people, we have refocused the call for our demonstration to address the immediate danger posed by increased racism and the grave threat of a new war. We call on people to demonstrate around the world on that day. Now is the time for all people of conscience, all people who oppose racism and war to come together. If you believe in civil liberties and oppose racism and war, demonstrate on September 29 at Freedom Plaza 14th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW and around the world. October 12-13 will be International Days of Action Against War and Racism. We urge all organizations internationally to join together at this critical time and take action. [Source:]

In the days after 11.9.2001...

The following are selections from reports received by the 'Revolutionary Worker' and excerpts from statements by organizations and individuals in the wake of the attacks of September 11

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Speakout at UC Berkeley
From a volunteer at Revolution Books: The same day as the airliner crashes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, several thousand University of California/ Berkeley students and other locals filled Sproul Plaza in an evening rally. I joined the rally from about 7:30 to 9:30, and it was still going on when I left. This was a candlelight vigil with short speeches, songs and music, and a speakout. The very first to communicate to the crowd sung Lennon's "Imagine." This became a theme throughout the night that we must cooperate with our brothers and sisters around the globe. This certainly came out in the tolerant and respectful reception to the words of the Arab and Muslim speakers who condemned the attack and called for peace instead of retaliation. The long line of speakers included Students for Palestine, Hillel House, a Muslim Students organization, the UC chancellor, an antiracist organization of students, and lots of students who just wanted to speak. Speakers and artists offered support to the Arab and Muslim communities in the U.S., mourning and condolences for the dead. There was a linking of the crashes with the U.S.-led predatory "globalism"--and there were repeated pleas to demand that the U.S. not retaliate. I should mention that some spoke against the notion of jumping to conclusions about who perpetrated these crashes.... I would characterize a significant section of listeners as questioning, friendly, still neutrals. I must say that the more I think about it, the more I'm personally moved by what I witnessed at UCB.

NYC: "Racists Go Home"

From an RCP supporter: While I was walking home last night (September 13) I noticed some commotion going on in front of the Mosque at 11th Street and First Avenue in Manhattan. I found out that three young racists had stood in front of the Islamic Mosque yelling hostile slogans. They carried an American flag and a sheet that said, "We will lay our vengeance on thee." A crowd of about 50 New Yorkers, passing by, organized themselves on the spot and yelled: "Racists go home! Arabs are not the problem!" The police came, announced that the racists had
Let us recall the words of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who had this to say to the Serbian people during the US bombing campaign in 1999: "It should be lights out in Belgrade: every power grid, water pipe, road and war-related factory has to be hit....[W]e will set your country back by pulverizing you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We can do 1389." []


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"freedom of speech" and dispersed the opposing crowd into smaller groups. People gathered again and chanted "Racists go home!" until the racists did leave.

Union Square in the Heart of Manhattan

(...) At a candlelight vigil Friday night, among the thousands who turned out, a section of the crowd were wearing the following slogans "Islam is not the enemy," "War is not the answer," and "Work for global peace and justice." Other Cities: There have also been reports of a rally of over 300 people in downtown Oakland on September 12 to "Oppose Arabophobia and war-mongering" and a march of 200 against war and intolerance at the University of Arizona. On September 15, 200 people gathered in Atlanta to oppose war and pogromist attacks on Muslims. Many of those attending were part of the campaign to free Jamil Al-Amin. [Source: Revolutionary Worker, September 23, 2001;]

B. Protests Organised On 29th September

[At the call of the ANSWER, protests have been organised at different cities in the USA on 29th September. Some of the reports.....]

Thousands Fill Streets Of D.C. to Protest War

Police officials estimated the crowd in the two marches at about 7,000, while some organizers put the figure closer to 25,000, the same number that protested the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in the District in April 2000. That time, there were hundreds of arrests, skirmishes between police and protesters, and some property damage. War was on everyone's mind, it seemed yesterday. (...) Yesterday, at a three-hour rally at Freedom Plaza before a march to the Capitol to stress those concerns, Leslie Sauer, 55, a landscape architect from rural New Jersey, held a sign that read, "8 million Afghan refugees need food now, not war and terror." Many protesters criticized U.S. foreign policy, which they say has exacerbated tensions in the Middle East. "We rain bombs on Iraq, then we're surprised we're hated," the Rev. Graylan Hagler, minister at the District's Plymouth Congregational Church, told thousands gathered there. More rallies were scheduled in other parts of the country (...) [Source: Washington Post, 30.9.2001]

Thousands take the streets in Washington, DC

(...) The September 29 D.C. protests drew people of all different nationalities from around the country, as well as people from

69 update 7 Indonesia, Palestine, Africa, Afghanistan, India, Colombia, Honduras, the Philippines, and other countries. (...) The day started at 9 a.m., as hundreds gathered near Union Station in an action against capitalist war and globalization called by the AntiCapitalist Convergence. Black-clad anarchists mixed with pacifist direct actionists carrying puppets, the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade, youth carrying Palestinian flags, and others. One banner said, "Destroy Imperialism Not Afghanistan." A giant banner declared, "To Stop Terrorism, Stop Terrorizing." From all directions, robo cops in body armor unloaded off of buses, moved into the streets and the park, and surrounded the people. After a stand-off, the youth broke out in a fast-paced march, heading toward the IMF and World Bank. Riot cops flanked the youth on both sides of the street. Black and red flags waved. At certain points, the marchers broke out in a running charge, making the cops go double time to keep up. At one intersection, police cars and a van tried to drive into the crowd. Cops opened their windows and pepper-sprayed people. Other cops moved in from the front and began hitting people in the chest with batons. But the youth stood their ground and pushed back. The march went forward. When the youth tried to break off to the left near the White House, riot cops swarmed in to block them. But despite other attacks and some beatings, the marchers succeeded in rallying at the IMF and World Bank. In the plaza in front of these global institutions of misery, hundreds of riot police penned in the youth on all sides. The media were pushed out of the immediate area. People chanted "let us go" and were joined by others outside the lines. One young woman yelled at the cops, "So this is the 'freedom' you want us to fight for?" Finally the cops marched the anti-capitalists down to where thousands were gathered at a rally against war and racism, called by the coalition ANSWER Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism. The rally of 10,000 plus started on 14th and Pennsylvania. People then marched to the Capitol. Beautiful manifestations of solidarity with the
Since World War II, the U.S. government has given more than $200 billion in military aid to train, equip, and subsidize more than 2.3 million troops and internal security forces in more than eighty countries, the purpose being not to defend them from outside invasions but to protect ruling oligarchs and multinational corporate investors from the dangers of domestic anti-capitalist insurgency. Among the recipients have been some of the most notorious military autocracies in history, countries that have tortured, killed or otherwise maltreated large numbers of their citizens because of their dissenting political views, as in Turkey, Zaire, Chad, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Cuba (under Batista), Nicaragua (under Somoza), Iran (under the Shah), the Philippines (under Marcos), and Portugal (under Salazar). [Against Empire, Michael Parenti]


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people of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and elsewhere came alive. From many angles and perspectives, the crimes of the U.S. against the world were exposed. One affinity group carried coffins--written on them were the numbers of people killed by U.S. war and sanctions in East Timor, Kosovo, Colombia, Iraq, Panama, Somalia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Lebanon and Rwanda. Speaking at the capitol, a Native American woman said, "Native people have been terrorized for 500 years!" Activists involved in various issues such as police brutality, Mumia Abu-Jamal, sweatshops along with Refuse and Resist!, religious people, peace activists, Filipino anti-imperialists, and many others connected their struggles to the movement vs. war and repression. A drum corps led an affinity group of the Bread and Puppet Theater. Dozens of people carrying silhouettes representing the Afghani people did a call and response: "Food and Medicine for the People of Afghanistan, Now! Or Innocent Millions Will Die." People's signs and voices spoke strongly about standing together with Arab and Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in the U.S. and internationally. (...) [Source: Revolutionary Worker, 7.10.2001;]

20,000 March In San Francisco

In a strong display of a growing grassroots movement, thousands of people streamed into Dolores Park in San Francisco Sept. 29 to protest the escalating war drum of the Bush administration. Demonstrators also brought a strong message opposing racist scapegoating of Arab, Muslim and South Asian people living in the United States. (...) At one point the entire demonstration left Dolores Park and wound its way through the Mission District, the most multinational community in the city. During the march, protesters stopped at two stores which had had their windows broken out earlier in the week. One is a popular caf run by an Iranian and the other a Pakistani restaurant. In a moment of solidarity, a march leader told the cheering protesters that there is no room for this type of racist attack and offered to organize security teams to protect these stores at night if it were necessary. After the march returned to Dolores Park, the rally continued for another two hours. (...) Labor Council Supports Rally Union activist Dave Welsh read a statement from the San Francisco Labor Council, which passed a resolution in support of the rally. (...) [Source: Workers World, 4.10.2001;]

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C. Protests On & After October 7

New York City and Around the War
Immediately after the U.S. began the bombing of Afghanistan on Sunday, October 7, people began marching and protesting in New York City, elsewhere in the U.S., and around the world

New York
On October 7, a protest that had been called before the bombing began swelled to 10,000 people as word spread about what was happening. The march went from Union Square to Times Square. The following evening, 500 people in a "day after" demonstration marched from the armed forces recruiting center in Times Square to Rockefeller Center. The Sunday action was organized by the Not In Our Name Coalition, and its slogan was "Our Grief Is Not A Cry For War!" It began with an interfaith service by Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu religious leaders. (...) Two nights before the bombing began, 200 people rebuilt the memorial for the victims in Union Square. After September 11, Union Square became a center where people went to collectively grieve. Pictures of victims were surrounded by thousands of bouquets of flowers and candles and messages of many different kinds. The memorial became the site of mass debates involving thousands as people struggled to understand why September 11 happened. This scene went against the atmosphere of blind obedience the authorities have tried to create. In the middle of the night on September 24 the city ordered the park cleaned and the memorial destroyed. Everything was removed including the pictures of the victims. (...) Since the memorial went back up again on October 6, there has been a running battle as the authorities take down the memorial and people put it back again. (...)

For two evenings, October 7-8, the relatively quiet atmosphere of downtown Chicago was disrupted by the sound of pounding drums and the chants of anti-war marchers. They gathered in the shadow of Chicago's two federal buildings and took the streets, their hearts filled with anger and outrage over the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. On Sunday, after hundreds who rallied in federal plaza were joined by hundreds more arriving from a prayer vigil, more than 800 people took the streets of the "Loop." The next night, over 350 people rallied, and hundreds marched to the Michigan Avenue bridge, blocking traffic, The police arrested four protesters. The actions were called by the Chicago Ad-Hoc Coalition Against War and Racism, comprised of 35 "local peace, social action, and religious groups" together with hundreds of individuals, along with


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another coalition of several religious and community organizations that includes the American Friends Service Committee, the Eighth Day Center for Justice and the Chicago Religious Leadership Network. The protests were a mix of young and old, both longtime activists and those coming to their first protest. Though a majority were white, those who gathered included people from the Latino and Black communities as well as from places as distant as Palestine, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Iran.

S.F. Bay Area

On October 7, over 3,000 people marched over three miles through the streets of San Francisco to protest the start of U.S. bombing. (...) In Palo Alto, 500 demonstrated in an action sponored by the Palo Alto Peace and Justice Center and the Stanford Community for Peace and Justice. The next day hundreds of students rallied at noon on UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza and marched through Berkeley. That evening over 1,000 people gathered at the Berkeley BART (rapid transit) station for a BART alert. (...)

Other U.S. Cities

Seattle, October 7: 800 gathered at the federal building to protest the U.S. attacks. There were student walkouts from the University of Washington and Seattle Central Community College on Monday Oct. 8. About 50 people joined the SCC walkout, including some students from area high schools. Los Angeles, October 7: 200 rallied at the Westside federal building only a few hours after the U.S. bombing began. That evening, the Filipino group Bayan and others rallied downtown against the war. On October 9, students at USC protested a speech by Madeline Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State in the Clinton administration and a major figure in the U.S. killer sanctions against Iraq. A student newspaper, The Trojan Horse, called the lecture part of USC's "Distinguished War Criminal Series," which has included Margaret Thatcher, Henry Kissinger and Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf. (...) [Source: Revolutionary Worker, 21.10.2001;]

Police lay siege to peaceful march

A police attack on peaceful anti-war marchers in Hartford, Conn., on Oct. 25 is generating widespread outrage. Eighteen people were arrested on charges ranging from "disorderly conduct" to "inciting a riot." Some of the charges are felonies that carry sentences up to 10 years. At an Oct. 26 arraignment, bail bonds were set exorbitantly high--from $15,000 to $50,000. But supporters raised enough money to spring everyone by that night. The only excuse that police officials or the big business media could

73 update 7 offer for the cops' laying siege to activists is that there was no permit for the demonstration. But local activists note that past protests have taken place without permits and without incident. The political climate in the state is very much influenced by the fact that the military-industrial complex has a strong base in Connecticut. The state is home to a submarine base at Groton and other military installations. (...)

Delivering an important message

Sage Radachowsky, a sociology graduate student at the University of Connecticut, was one of those arrested. He told Workers World, "The demo was organized by a loose network of people: students and nonstudents, young and old. The message was to protest the bombings in Afghanistan and U.S. foreign policy, though there was no centralized message other than being for peace and against all forms of oppression." The rally began about 4:30 at Bushnell Park with speeches and skits. A half hour later the number grew to more than 200 activists. They spilled into the street and marched toward Sen. Joseph Leiberman's office to deliver an anti-war petition and protest his position as a pro-Pentagon hawk. Radachowsky described, (...) "Police were present from the beginning, although their numbers increased. Police became more and more confrontational, running their cruisers at high speed up to people and stopping only feet before hitting them. They brought out canisters of pepper spray. (...) Police also shoved with billy clubs but people absorbed the shoves and continued." Radachowsky said, "Then police shouted out 'Those three!' and 'Him!' and arrested some people. Many were standing on the sidewalk when arrested." A busload of riot-clad police arrived and tried to disperse the crowd. "Shame, shame," protesters jeered at police who beat and pepper sprayed Vittorio Lancia as the man shouted, "I have asthma!" At least one of Lancia's ribs was broken. (...) [Source: By Leslie Feinberg, 8.11.2001;]

D. Protests Of The Workers

[In the war cry of the US Govt., the workers of the US could not be swayed by the campaign of the Govt. through the mainstream media. On the other hand, different workers' organisations opposed the war cry.]

S.F. Labor Council Statement

The following statement was adopted by the S.F. Labor Council at its delegates meeting on Monday, September 24, 2001. (...) The San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) joins the nation and the world in mourning the devastating loss of life resulting from the


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vicious attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as the crashed plane in Pennsylvania. We condemn the criminality of those attacks and those responsible. (...) No one, in this country or any other, should suffer the fate of the victims in these attacks. We demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice. The United States has a responsibility to establish with irrefutable facts the identity of those who were behind these attacks. The tragic attacks of September 11 should be treated as a heinous crime rather than an act of war. As we mourn this tremendous loss of life, we declare our resistance to efforts to use this tragedy to engage in military actions that can lead only to more carnage and senseless loss of life. (...) In the face of such sorrow, we urge all people, particularly members of the labor family, to stand united against prejudice, hatred and intolerance wherever it arises. Within our own borders, we call upon all in our communities to join us in immediately confronting any antiArab, anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh or other anti-immigrant hate speech or acts of violence, whether in our neighborhoods, our workplaces, or in the media. We strongly oppose efforts to curtail the rights of immigrants and refugees, including expulsion of suspect foreign nationals without due process. We also declare our resistance to efforts to use this tragedy to curtail our civil liberties. Militarization of our society inevitably leads to erosion of civil liberties and workers' rights. (...) [Source: International A.N.S.W.E.R.;]

Minnesota Strike: Standing Up To A Wartime Crisis

They had no choice. On Oct. 1, a week before Pres. George W. Bush ordered a full-scale war against the people of Afghanistan, more than 28,000 Minnesota state employees rejected the state's offer and walked off their jobs. With more than half the state workers on strike, government services shut down. (...) In no time, Governor Ventura ordered nearly 1,000 National Guard members to scab in 120 state-run hospital care centers, replacing social workers, psychologists, nurses' aides, food workers and janitors. Sending in these troops offers no comfort to those who need expert and professional care. Once the bombing of Afghanistan began, these attacks from on
The other day, the parents of Greg Rodriguez, a young man who died in the World Trade Center, said this: "We read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. "It is not the way to go...not in our son's name." [Z Mag]

75 update 7 high, draped in patriotic fervor, were ratcheted up against the Minnesota unions and their members. As of this writing, both parties have agreed to begin mediation talks on Oct. 11. The workers had been without a contract since June. (...) The two unions involved are the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, representing about 10,500 members, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, representing about 19,000. These unions rejected a contract that once again offered wages less than the inflation rate and demanded givebacks in their health plans. AFSCME, representing the lower-paid work force, was offered a one-time 3-percent raise over two years. The professional association was offered 4 percent over the same period. (...) There is a rising movement of anti-war, anti-racist and antiglobalization forces. It is a young movement that has shown remarkable courage in recent protests and rallies. They have taken the road to struggle, as shown by the tens of thousands who protested in Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities in the U.S. only a week before the Pentagon bombing of Afghanistan. It is necessary that the labor movement take this road and join them. (...) [Source: By Milt Neidenberg, 14.10.2001;]

New York Labor Against War

On Oct. 4 a newly formed group, New York City Labor Against War, held a press conference at Union Square here to affirm that there are many progressives in the labor movement who will not go along with the Bush administration's assault on Afghanistan. The group issued a statement signed by nine local union presidents and hundreds of other union members that called for a just and effective response to Sept.11 based on five demands: no war; justice, not vengeance; opposition to racism and defense of civil liberties; aid for the needy, not the greedy; and no labor "austerity." The statement was read by Michael Letwin of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, one of the nine union presidents to sign on. The other eight are Larry Adams of the Postal Mail Handlers Local 300; Barbara Bowen of the Professional Staff Congress; Arthur Cheliotes of Communications Workers Local 1180; Jill Levy of the American Federation of School Administrators Local 1; Maida Rosenstein of the Autoworkers Local 2110; Joel Schwartz of the Civil Services Employees Local 446; Brenda Stokely of AFSCME Local 215; and
When terrorists attack, they're terrorizing. When we attack, we're retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they're terrorizing again. When we respond with further attacks, we're retaliating again. (Norman Solomon, media critic, 'Good and bad terrorists') [Quoted in 'Rogue States' by William Blum]


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Jonathan Tasini of the National Writers Union Local 1981. (...) [Source: By Deirdre Griswold, 10.10.2001;]

Workers Against The War: Canada

(...) The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is joining a growing coalition that is calling for an end to Canada's participation in the war against Afghanistan. The September 11 Peace Coalition is organizing demonstrations across Canada on Nov. 17 calling for an end to Canadian troops' participation in the war and against corporate globalization. "The alternative to war is to begin rebuilding the world's infrastructures and to provide the things that working people need, like food, shelter, medical care, education, jobs and justice," CUPW leader Deborah Bourque, co-chair of the September 11 Coalition, said on Oct. 22. The Nov. 17 demonstrations will coincide with the G-20 Finance Ministerial meetings in Ottawa. "The government must use the upcoming meetings of the G20, IMF and World Bank in Ottawa to assess current agreements and policies of institutions such as the WTO, IMF and World Bank against Canadian values of promoting peace, social justice and security for all people," said Steven Staples of the Council for Canadians. [Source: 8.11.2001;]

E. Protests Of The Women & Students

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
Statement on the terrorist attacks in the U.S. The people of Afghanistan have nothing to do with Osama and his accomplices (September 14, 2001) On September 11, 2001 the world was stunned with the horrific terrorist attacks on the United States. RAWA stands with the rest of the world in expressing our sorrow and condemnation for this barbaric act of violence and terror. RAWA had already warned that the United States should not support the most treacherous, most criminal, most anti-democracy and anti-women Islamic fundamentalist parties because after both the Jehadi and the Taliban have committed every possible type of heinous crimes against our people, they would feel no shame in committing such crimes against the American people whom they consider "infidel." In order to gain and maintain their power, these barbaric criminals are ready to turn easily to any criminal force. But unfortunately we must say that it was the government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged. In the similar way, as is clear to all, Osama Bin Laden has been the blue-eyed boy of CIA. But what is more painful is

77 update 7 that American politicians have not drawn a lesson from their profundamentalist policies in our country and are still supporting this or that fundamentalist band or leader. In our opinion any kind of support to the fundamentalist Taliban and Jehadies is actually trampling democratic, women's rights and human rights values. (...) The U.S. government should consider the root cause of this terrible event, which has not been the first and will not be the last one too. The U.S. should stop supporting Afghan terrorists and their supporters once and for all. Now that the Taliban and Osama are the prime suspects by the U.S. officials after the criminal attacks, will the U.S. subject Afghanistan to a military attack similar to the one in 1998 and kill thousands of innocent Afghans for the crimes committed by the Taliban and Osama? Does the U.S. think that through such attacks, with thousands of deprived, poor and innocent people of Afghanistan as its victims, will be able to wipe out the root-cause of terrorism, or will it spread terrorism even to a larger scale? (...) The U.S. government and people should know that there is a vast difference between the poor and devastated people of Afghanistan and the terrorist Jehadi and Taliban criminals. While we once again announce our solidarity and deep sorrow with the people of the U.S., we also believe that attacking Afghanistan and killing its most ruined and destitute people will not in any way decrease the grief of the American people. We sincerely hope that the great American people could DIFFERENTIATE between the people of Afghanistan and a handful of fundamentalist terrorists. Our hearts go out to the people of the U.S. Down with terrorism! (...)

Women's Resistance Conference, Canada, Oct. 1:

"There will be no emancipation for women, anywhere on this planet until the Western domination of this planet is ended. And more than ever, we need to heed those words, especially as all of us are being herded into the possibility of a massive war at the behest of the United States.... This new war against terrorism that's being launched, it's very old. And it's a very old fight of the West against the rest. (...) The West for 500 years has believed that it can slaughter people into submission and it has not been able to do so. And it will not be able to do so this time, either." [Source: Revolutionary Worker, October 14, 2001;]
'In, "Give War A Chance" (Philadelphia Inquirer) David Perlmutter warns that if these states do not do Washington's bidding, they must: "Prepare for the systematic destruction of every power plant, every oil refinery, every pipeline, every military base, every government office in the entire country... the complete collapse of their economy and government for a generation."


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Defying US War Moves

(...) Students from dozens of college campuses from Washington State to California, Alabama to Vermont--represented on the microphone. Three hundred students came from Oberlin College in Ohio, out of a student body of 2,500. One Oberlin student who had been mobilizing on the campus to protest the IMF/World Bank told the RW that after Sept. 11 even more students wanted to come to D.C. to protest the war threats. (...) [Source: Revolutionary Worker, 7.10.2001;]

II. Voices From The Europe & Australia

[European ruling class have extended their whole-hearted support to the Bush Govt's 'Afghan War'. In fact, Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, has appeared as a most trusted lieutenant of the US administration and of the oil barons of both British & US brands. Meanwhile, different sections of the people of both the USA and Europe have been united to raise their voices against the war cry of their respective govts. It is interesting to note that in these European protests, some voices of the European workers Left-communists have been heard. Here are some of the excerpts. Update]

1. Britain: Biggest Anti-War Protest

Beautiful weather helped turn one of the largest demonstrations for 10 years into a lively carnival against the war. Coaches from all over the UK streamed into London bringing large numbers of students, trade unionists, socialists, pacifists and other campaigners to the demo. The nine coaches from Birmingham were not enough two hundred others wanting to come were left behind. There were simultaneous protests in Glasgow, Liverpool and elsewhere. Police estimate 20,000 on the march, but we knew there were many more. (...) The march was called by CND and supported by the Stop the War Coalition, Socialist Alliance, Green Peace and many Middle Eastern, Muslim and Christian groups. There were large numbers of trade union, trades council and political banners, but most inspiring were the masses of students and colleges with banners against the war and the hypocrisy of the imperialists. (...) [Source: Workers Power Global, 11.10.2001;]

2. France:
The anti-war movement in France has been fragmented and relatively low-key. In Paris, there are two collectives mobilising people. The first, involving the trade unions, the Communist Party (PCF), the Greens and the LCR, is based on a pacifist call for peace (Lutte Ouvrire refused to sign). In the run-up to the US attack on

79 update 7 Afghanistan, the collective basically proposed to "wait and see", refusing to mobilise in advance of the war. This led a group of anarchists and anti-globalisation protestors to set up the "Faut ragir" ("We must react") collective, which has organised a series of small demonstrations. The day after the US attacks began, a few hundred militants gathered in Paris as close to the US embassy as the police would allow them to get. Three days later, on October 11, with the support of the main anti-war collective, around 6,000 people marched in Paris, and hundreds more demonstrated in other cities. For the moment, the Paris demonstrations are mainly "business as usual", principally composed of those forces who were already mobilised against the war. There were, for example, very few youth on the Thursday 11 October demonstration. In other cities, such as Lille, however, there has been a good response from youth to anti-war agitation, in particular by the REVOLUTION youth group. (...) One final ray of hope: the message of "national unity" is most definitely not being heard by the working class. A whole number of sectors have been on strike over the last week or so, culminating on 16 October when hundreds of thousands of public sector workers including the key sector, the railway workers went on strike over wages and conditions, causing massive disruption, especially on public transport. Attempts by the media and the right wing to portray the movement as somehow weakening the war effort were rightly ignored by both strikers and union leaders. There must be no social peace in time of imperialist war! [Source: Workers Power Global, 20.10.2001;]

France: Reports on 10.11.2001

France is the third most important participant in the attack against Afghanistan, with 2000 troops, pilots and sailors currently involved. (...) At the same time as the leaders of French imperialism were blowing hot and cold in Washington, the French anti-war movement has started to rouse itself. After nearly a month of virtual inaction, two successive weekends should see major demonstrations across the country. On Saturday 10 November the international day of action against the WTO will be marked by a series of demonstrations across the country, organised by ATTAC. Their aim is to get around 80,000 people on the streets the same number as during the Seattle meeting in 1999. Many demonstrators will no doubt draw the link between the new round of imperialist commercial domination being prepared at Qatar and the imperialist military offensive against Afghanistan. A week later, Saturday 17 November, a coalition of over 50 groups opposed to the war has called a national day of action, with a major demonstration in Paris, demanding the end of the war. As in previous


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mobilisations, a key factor will be the willingness of the French Communist Party to come off the fence and throw itself into the battle against the war. However, given that the PCF still has four ministers in the Jospin pro-war government and apparently intends to keep them in place come what may, a whole-hearted PCF participation seems unlikely. (...) [Source:Workers Power Global;]

3. Italy:
Thirty thousand people took to the streets of Rome on 27 September in an anti-NATO and anti-war demonstration. It proved that Italian militants and youth are carrying on the tradition of Genoa. Even more so the 200,000 strong Perugia-Assisi march of 14 October proved the point. It is certainly true that this latter march is a historically reactionary one. It has been organized by Franciscan monks since 1961 and is aimed at a utopian catholic peace between bombers and bombed. Not for nothing were the clergy deeply concerned that this year's demonstration could take on an altogether different, anti-imperialist and anti-war content. Which it did. Never before has that demonstration attracted so many people, the vast majority of whom were once again youth. Despite the intentions of its reactionary organizers, and despite concessions to the clergy's demands to keep the militancy of demonstrators under control, this was a massive anti-war demonstration. The Perugia-Assisi march suggests that hundreds of thousands of Italian youth are still on a Genoa footing and have not fallen foul either to "anti-terrorist" propaganda, to pacifism or to despondency. Indeed, on 25 October thousands and thousands of secondary school students from all over Italy were out on the streets to demonstrate against the war, against increased military spending and against cuts in education. The schools will once again be the focus of attention when a one-day national strike of teachers takes place on 31 October. [Source: Workers Power Global, 27.10.2001;]

4. Germany:
Ten thousand people marched in Berlin on 10 November against the war. Mainly members and supporters of the far left, it was a militant display of anger at the governments support for the war against Afghanistan. Demonstrations and pickets were held in 25 towns against the imperialist war and against the WTO. (...) The two main trade union federations IG Metall and Ver.di each of them organising about three million workers have called for a stop to the bombing and called on their members to protest against the sending of German troops. The union leaders and the parliamentarians of the PDS and those in the SPD and the Greens who oppose the sending of troops do so for pacifist reasons. They are not calling for an anti-imperialist struggle against the government.

81 update 7 But in a situation where about 60 per cent of the population oppose German involvement in the war, this is enough to make Schrder and Fischer nervous. From his trip in China he publicly attacked IG Metall. According to the chancellor and SPD chairman, the union should keep out of politics and confine itself to "its" own business (i.e. concentrate solely on wage bargaining). (...) [Source: Workers Power Global, 10.11.2001;]

5. Greece:
Greece has been the site of some of the most massive protests in Europe against the U.S. war drive. On Oct. 25, the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the largest labor federation in Greece, announced that it would mobilize against the war. An Oct. 25 French Press Agency report announced that the GSEE "called for workers to protest the U.S. strikes against Afghanistan." The GSEE is a social democratic trade union, traditionally allied with the ruling Panhellenic Socialist Party (PASOK). The Greek Prime Minister is also the president of PASOK, and has supported the U.S. war. So the GSEE's call for opposition to the war marks a clear break with its traditional political allies. [Source: Workers World, 8.11.2001;]

6. Belgium
About 1,000 protesters marched through the Belgian city of Liege under banners reading ``Make Love, Not War'' on Saturday as EU finance ministers discussed the September 11 assaults on the United States. The organizers, a broad alliance of social rights groups and left-wing activists dubbed D14, headed toward the barricaded conference center where the ministers were meeting, saying they wanted to deliver a letter demanding peace and more social rights. (...) A police spokeswoman said several people bound for Liege were taken off a train on the way from Antwerp and held for identity checks. She gave no other details but one protester who said he was on the train reported that police arrested four people and confiscated banners and a couple of pocket knives. (...) Police had kept a low profile on Friday when some 11,000 people from trade unions and mainstream non-governmental groups braved pouring rain to stage a peaceful, carnival-style rally and took a similar tack at the outset in Liege on Saturday. (...) Saturday's protest, gathering anti-capitalists, students, communists, environmentalists and anarchist flag-wavers, has been shunned by the trade unions and NGOs that marched on Friday, but many of their demands are the same. (...) [Source: International A.N.S.W.E.R.;]


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7. Sweden:
Last Saturday there was a second major demonstration in Stockholm against the war. It turned out to be somewhat smaller than the first one, about 2,500. Speakers included people from the Left Party, MP Eva Zetterberg, who said that her party fully supports the measures taken by the EU "against terrorism". The Left Party is in favor of the UN taking control of the situation with peaceful methods; the party constitutes together with the Greens the right-wing of the anti-war movement. Other speakers were from the CWI, who also took the opportunity to launch the new International Socialist Resistance banner. The CWI section is taking a neutral position between the imperialist forces and the Afghans forces who put up resistance. They want us to put our trust in the international protest movement and the labour movement of the region (...) They have no understanding whatsoever of critical support or the anti-imperialist united front. The CWI is together with the Worker Communist Party of Iran the main force slightly to the left of the center in the movement. The center consists of the Socialist Party (USF) and reformists and Stalinists. (...) The rest of the centre is made up of different Stalinist groups, solidarity groups and left reformists. They are mainly anti-American, but dislike the burning of UK and US flags, which we have done on several occasions. (...) The coming Saturday will see a third major demonstration. The focus will now be the US embassy. The AM were accused of terrible things only ten days ago for wanting to protest outside the US embassy; now the CWI is taking the initiative to march against the embassy. For once, they are tailing the left. [Source: Workers Power Global, 27.10.2001;]

8. Austria:
On 8 October the day after the imperialist attacks started around 1,000 people assembled in the central square of Vienna and marched to the US embassy. The mood of the people was angry and many slogans against the war and the USA were chanted. On 11 October around 5,000 school and university students demonstrated against cuts in the social and education budget. These protests were already planned since long but because of the war many people chanted also anti-imperialist and anti-war slogans. Another small anti-war demonstration happened two days later with several hundred participants. A bigger demonstration under the slogan "Stop the war" is planned for the 26 October for which not only the Austrian left is mobilising

83 update 7 but also a number of immigrant and Islamic organisations. (...) [Source: Workers Power Global, 20.10.2001,]

9. Slovakia:
Anti-war protests are starting now also in Slovakia. Last week a petition action was organised in the centre of Bratislava which is the capital city. On 18.10. a small rally was held. Two speeches were held by a representative of Revolutionary Socialist League (ZRSo) and the LRCI. (...) [Source: Workers Power Global,20.10.2001]

10. Australia:
Marches have filled the streets of Melbourne and Australia wide with chants against George Bush, against John Howard and against what is being clearly called the racist war. (...) Over 1500 people in Melbourne the day the bombing started and 3000 on a Sunday the weekend before. There have been weekly vigils in the city square in Melbourne and mobilizations, all of significant size around the rest of the country. Including a march of 2000 in Brisbane the weekend that the Commonwealth Heads of Government were to meet. Most significant has been the broadness of these demonstrations and the large numbers of Muslims, men and women who have been prominent both in the demonstrations and on the speakers platform. The immediate link between war and racism has been important. Australia has a shocking track record for locking up refugees in detention centers. It has a shocking history of race relations with the indigenous people and now can add numerous attacks on Muslims in the wake of the conflict. (...) [Source: Workers Power Global, 20.10.2001;]

11. Around The Europe

According to a posting on the UK Indymedia site, "On October 7, 8 and 9 hundreds of protests and demonstrations throughout the world said no to the war. There were actions in more places even than the weekend of September 29 and 30, and with only one day to prepare." Some of the largest protests listed on the Indymedia site include: Oct 7: 4000 in Brussels, Belgium; Oct 8: 2000 in Barcelona, Spain; 2000 in Brisbane, Australia; 1200 in Copenhagen, Danmark; 1500 in Melbourne, Australia; 1500 in Oslo, Norway; 6000 in Rome, Italy; Oct. 10: 3000 in Berlin, Germany. (...) [Source: Revolutionary Worker, 21.10.2001;]


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III. Voices From Asia

[There is a large-scale media-coverage sponsored by the USA about the protests launched in Third World countries, particularly in Asia, that these protests are being organised by Muslim fundamentalists organisations. In fact, even in most of the Indian newspapers, pictures of large protest rallies/meetings/burning of effigies of Bush etc that occurred in Karachi/ Peswar/Manila of Muslim people have been published. But, on the other hand, they forget carefully to publish the pictures/reports of the protests organised in several Asian countries including India/Pakistan/Bangladesh (protests were demonstrated even in Israel, which were not anything fundamentalist/zionist but anti-war!) etc. initiated and led by different progressive anti-war organisations. Some such neglected reports...Update]

1. Pakistan:
Protesters Block Traffic In Islamabad
The Communist Workers and Peasants Party (CMKP) of Pakistan held a demonstration Oct. 21 of 200 people in Islamabad. According to a participant, this anti-imperialist action against attacks on Afghan istan took over Murree Road and blocked traffic as participants walked for a kilometer. At a seminar in Peshawar, Afzal Kha moosh, general secretary of the CMKP, told the audience that U.S. imperialism is in search of mineral resources in Central Asia and can only be defeated through an anti-imperialist struggle. Ghinwa Bhutto, president of the Pakistan Peoples Party, and former Finance Minister Dr. Mubasher Hassan also addressed the seminar and showed their solidarity. Syed Azeem, president of the CMKP, said that his party's antiimperialist campaign is going well and has already led to demonstrations in Lahore and Okara. In the next phase the CMKP will demonstrate in Multan, Kasoor, Faisalabad and Pesha war, where they expect more than 3,000 people, including guests from abroad. Among the many anti-imperialist resolutions passed at the seminar was the following: "In the opinion of this session, putting a prefix of
George Kennan mastermind of the US Cold War strategy [said]: "...we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population ...Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity... To do so, we will have to dispense with sentimentality... We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the rising of living standards, and democratization" [Quoted by Richard Knox]

85 update 7 'Islamic' before terrorism is unjustifiable and this propaganda on behalf of imperialists is wrong and we condemn it. We are of the opinion that the U.S. offensive is not a crusade, nor is it a clash of civilizations, but it is a war to capture the oil reserves of Central Asia." [Source:]

The View From Pakistan

[The following is taken from an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan by Taimur Rahman of the Communist Workers and Peasants Party of Pakistan.] (...) Some people believe that we should choose the "lesser of the two evils." Others believe that we should support the Taliban. We propose that both solutions are incorrect.

What Is To Be Done?
(...) [I]t is the foremost (but by no means the sole) duty of Pakistani communists to expose the role of the Pakistani ruling class in relation to its support of the Taliban. In a word, the Pakistani communists must cut the hand that feeds the Taliban. We would become apologists of the Pakistani ruling class if we did not oppose the Taliban. However, we cannot let our opposition to the Taliban merge, under any circumstances, with the rhetoric of the U.S. imperialists or their stooges in Pakistan. Therefore, in the current historical setting, we must play the tricky role of opposing the U.S. imperialists and their stooges in Pakistan, in such a manner that we simultaneously educate people about the history of fundamentalism. We have to show the connection between fundamentalism and the ruling class of Pakistan. We must uphold that a genuine antiimperialist struggle has to be a struggle against the ruling classes of Pakistan and Afghanistan. (...)

Anti-Imperialist Movement In Afghanistan And Pakistan

Many people with good intentions think that they should support the lesser of two evils because there is no other option. This is completely wrong. In Afghanistan and in Pakistan there is a communist movement working towards an anti-imperialist revolution. These movements have been suppressed by the ruling classes and fundamentalists backed by imperialists, but they have not been eliminated. Because of these difficult circumstances, the communist parties have been forced to take a low profile. Movements in other countries can help these anti-imperialist forces by pulling back and destroying imperialist intervention that shores up anti-communist fundamentalism. They would NOT help the communists of Pakistan and Afghanistan by passively allowing imperialist intervention to strengthen one fundamentalist group over another.


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Rest assured that even in war-ridden Afghanistan, there is a third way. (...) Only the Afghan people can decide their own destiny. Fundamentalism cannot be destroyed by imperialist intervention. It can only be destroyed by a popular struggle by Pakistani and Afghani people. (...) [Source: 10.10.2001;]

Labour Party Pakistan National Committee resolutions on present situation

LPP national committee met at Hyderabad (Sind) for two days on 27-28th October 2001. 23 members of NC and 6 observers discussed the present political and economical situation of Pakistan and analyzed the effects of the imperialist war on Afghanistan on the consciousness of the working class and its organizations. It also discussed in detail the question of religious fundamentalism, its nature, possible scenario of future and the danger of its growth in Pakistan and internationally. The NC also formulize LPP position on the present situation and decided to challenge the danger of religious fundamentalism by mobilizing the working masses into a peace movement linked with the class struggle. It decided to organize broad base peace movement across the country along with trade unions, peasants, civil society organizations, left groups and individuals. There will a peace rally at Hyderababd on 4th November, On 6th at Islamabad with civil society organizations, 11th at Karachi. LPP also decided to organize an LPP national peace rally on 29th November at Lahore. (...)

Political Resolutions
We are passing through a crucial juncture of Pakistan history. LPP has and will oppose the American imperialist war on the poorest countries of the world. The war is no solution and it is a terrorist act against another terrorist act of those responsible for 11th September events. The American imperialism have killed innocent Afghanis and have forced thousands to flee from their houses in most disgusting conditions. There is no justification of this war on Afghanistan. The real purpose of this war is to strengthen its hegemony on the world, to control the markets of central Asia, to heal its wounded and disgraced ego by the 11th September event and to promote the war industry once again on an unprecedented level. Imperialist war on Afghanistan with the full and active support of the military regime of Pakistan has promoted the religious fundamentalists forces on an unprecedented level. This has endangered the existence of the Left forces inside Afghanistan and Pakistan. The

87 update 7 result will be more attacks on minorities, Left forces, civil society organizations and trade unions by the religious fanatics. (...) While opposing the imperialist war on Afghanistan, we will not lend a single inch support for the fascist Talibaan regime. We will support the progressive and left forces of Afghanistan. It did not matter if they are very small and have no real say at present time. (...) There will be no peace in Afghanistan even if the Talbaan are defeated decisively. The American efforts in Afghanistan to bring the Northern Alliance will polarize the Afghan situation more than before. The religious forces are dominating the Northern Alliance. But once victorious, they will no go against the US imperialism in the immediate period. They will be more like Mujahidin supporting the Americans in the eighties. But they will go in contradictions with the US within a short period. We do not support the return of King Zanier Shah as an alternative government. The Zahir Shah return to power will be another set back for the Afghan masses, as this government will be stooge government of Imperialism more than the Northern Alliance. LPP demands an immediate end of imperialist war on Afghanistan. Because of these attacks, the fascist Talbaan government has gained in the short period, the sympathies of the majority of ordinary Muslims in Pakistan. The only way-out for Afghan masses is to get rid of Talbaan in a revolutionary insurrection to lay down the basis for a democratic socialist takes over. The Left groups in Afghanistan must be supported and promoted by all the international Socialist movement as an alternate to the American imposed solution. (...) [Source:]
[It should be mentioned here that we cannot publish here the full text of the above two documents due to its volume. However, the excerpts have been selected in such a manner that the poitical content of the documents can be more or less understood. Update]

2. Egypt, Jordon & Oman:

(...) In Egypt, more than 20,000 students from nine universities in Cairo and the north protested the air strikes, and condemned the government's support for the US attack. President Hosni Mubarak has been America's most stalwart ally amongst the Arab countries, but has not issued a statement since the bombing began. Security forces stood guard outside the campuses as 4,000 students protested at the Islamic University of Al-Azhar, 3,000 at the Alexandria University and a further 2,500 at Zagazig University to the north. In Jordan, security forces carried out a major clampdown against potential protestors as soon as the US raids began, arresting at least 10 Islamic students from the University of Jordan.


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In the Sultanate of Oman, where British forces are engaged in a major military exercise, police broke up a small anti-war protest, mainly involving students. (...) [Source:]

3. Turkey:
(...) According to a report from the Party of Labor (EMEP) in Turkey, demonstrators took to the streets in the cities of Istanbul and Adana on Oct. 14 to protest U.S. aggressive attacks on Afghanistan and the collaboration of the Ecevit government. The day before, demonstrations were held in Izmir and Ankara. The leading forces in these demonstrations were the EMEP, the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) and the Socialist Power Party (SIP). Trade unionists from unions affiliated to the Confederation of Public Sector Unions also participated. All four demonstrations were first called for Oct. 14. But when the government banned the actions, two were rescheduled. All four protested both the banning of the rallies and the war. While the demonstration in Adana ended peacefully, police brutally attacked the 1,500 people on the Istanbul demonstration and took 44 into custody. Others were beaten or bitten by police dogs. The most popular slogans on the march were "No to war," "Down with U.S. imperialism," "Budget for education, not for war," "No to war work, bread, equality and freedom" and "No to poverty and hunger." In a talk that was ending as the police attacked, EMEP President Levent Tzel noted that "outside of a handful of collaborators and people in capitalist circles, the people of Turkey do not regard the U.S. as a friend or ally. And the people who have sent their sons to Korea and Kosovo yesterday are against troops being sent to Afghanistan today." The EMEP leader added, referring to Turkey's grave economic crisis, "the government that has dragged the country and the people into such a decline should immediately resign its duties, without opening the door to new disasters." Both the EMEP and SIP party leaders said that neither the police attacks nor threats would intimidate their parties, and that they would continue to protest U.S. aggression and Ecevit's collaboration. [Source:]

4. Israel :
In the past weeks, three demonstrations against the imperialist war took place: in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. On the 24 October around 50 peace and anti-war activists demonstrated in front of the defense ministry in Tel-Aviv (HaQirya,

89 update 7 the Israeli defense headquarters). On the demo participated the Communist Party, the Peace Block, the Israeli Communist Forum, the Socialist Workers League, the LRCI and others. The Israeli Zionist "left" refused to participate in the demo. The only parliament member was the chairman of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (DFPE) and the member of the political bureau of the Communist Party, Muhammad Barke. The Israeli anti-occupation movement today faces a double challenge: resistance to the murderous occupation of Palestine by Israel and opposition to the imperialist war against Afghanistan. This is a very difficult challenge. Naturally many people see, as does George Bush, that the two issues are intertwined. The intifada and the repression of the Palestinians for decades have nurtured the grievances of many Arab and Islamist antiimperialists, as well as those who destroyed the World Trade Centre. Likewise many in the West Bank and Gaza support Bin Laden, if not before, or even when his followers carried out the 11 September atrocities, then now when he and Afghanistan are under attack by the same White House that has been a constant source of support and hardware for the Zionists in Israel. But for the left inside Israel the matter is not so clear cut. (...) [Source: Workers Power Global, 27.10.2001;]
What our leaders and pundits never let slip is that the terrorists whatever else they might be might also be rational human beings; which is to say that in their own minds they have a rational justification for their actions. Most terrorists are people deeply concerned by what they see as social, political, or religious injustice and hypocrisy, and the immediate grounds for their terrorism is often retaliation for an action of the United States... The shooting down of two Libyan planes in 1981; the bombardment of Beirut in 1983 and 1984; the bombing of Libya in 1986; the bombing and sinking of an Iranian ship in 1987; the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in 1988; the shooting down of two more Libyan planes in 1989; the massive bombing of the Iraqi people in 1991; the continuing bombings and sanctions against Iraq; the bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998; the habitual support of Israel despite its cruel destructiveness and routine torture, and condemnation of Arab resistance to this; the double standard applied to Israeli terrorism, such as the wilful massacre of 106 Lebanese at the UN base at Qana in 1996; the continued persecution of Libya, now nearing the end of its second decade; the abduction of wanted men from Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Albania; the large military and hi-tech presence in Islam's holiest land, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region... These are some of the American actions that can turn an Arab or a Muslim into a fanatic, into a terrorist, into a decrier of "America, the Great Satan". Rogue State : A Guide to the World's Only Superpower by William Blum