|David Sadler For Congress 12th CD / Illinois|
David Sadler For Congress - NEWS
The following updates have been added since the original news release above. The release itself has not been modified in any way from its original release.
It's about oil
by Ted Rall
"A few years ago, the giant country struck oil in the eastern portion of the Caspian Sea. Geologists estimate that sitting beneath the wind-blown steppes of Kazakstan are 50 billion barrels of oil -- by far the biggest untapped reserves in the world.
Nazarbayev, therefore, has spent most of the past decade trying to get his landlocked oil out to sea. But the longer the pipeline, the more expensive and vulnerable it is to sabotage. The shortest route runs through Iran, but Kazakstan is too closely aligned with the United States to offend it by cutting a deal with Tehran.
The logical alternative, then, is Unocal's plan, which is to extend Turkmenistan's existing system west to the Kazak field on the Caspian Sea and southeast to the Pakistani port of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. That project runs through Afghanistan.
The United States and Pakistan decided to install a stable regime in place in Afghanistan around 1994 -- a regime that would end the country's civil war and thus ensure the safety of the Unocal pipeline project. Impressed by the ruthlessness and willingness of the then-emerging Taliban to cut a pipeline deal, the State Department and Pakistan's Inter- Services Intelligence agency agreed to funnel arms and funding to the Taliban in their war against the ethnically Tajik Northern Alliance. As recently as 1999, U.S. taxpayers paid the entire annual salary of every single Taliban government official, all in the hopes of returning to the days of dollar-a- gallon gas."
Unless noted otherwise, these updates are from the FTW 9-11 Time Line. Go here for the full time line.
1. 1991-1997 - Major U.S. oil companies including ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP Amoco, Shell and Enron directly invest billions in cash bribing heads of state in Kazakhstan to secure equity rights in the huge oil reserves in these regions. The oil companies further commit to future direct investments in Kazakhstan of $35 billion. Not being willing to pay exorbitant prices to Russia to use Russian pipelines, the major oil companies have no way to recoup their investments. [Source: 'The Price of Oil' by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, July 9, 2001 - The Asia Times, "The Roving Eye Part I Jan. 26, 2002.]
3. Dec. 4, 1997 - Representatives of the Taliban are invited guests to the Texas headquarters of Unocal to negotiate their support for the pipeline. Subsequent reports will indicate that the negotiations failed, allegedly because the Taliban wanted too much money. [Source: The BBC, Dec. 4, 1997]
4. Feb. 12, 1998 - Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca -- later to become a special ambassador to Afghanistan -- testifies before the House that until a single, unified, friendly government is in place in Afghanistan, the trans-Afghani pipeline needed to monetize the oil will not be built. [Source: Testimony before the House International Relations Committee.]
5. August 1998 - After the U.S. cruise missile attacks on Al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan in retaliation for the African embassy bombings, Unocal officially withdraws from participation in the CentGas trans-Afghani gas pipeline project. [Various sources, Unocal]
7. April 1999 - Enron with a $3 billion investment to build an electrical generating plant at Dabhol, India loses access to plentiful LNG supplies from Qatar to fuel the plant. Its only remaining option to make the investment profitable is a trans-Afghani gas pipeline to be built by Unocal from Turkmenistan that would terminate near the Indian border at the city of Multan. [Source: The Albion Monitor, Feb. 28, 2002]
57. Sept. 11-12, 2001 - Nearly a month before the first reported outbreak, White House officials start taking the powerful antibiotic Cipro to treat anthrax. By the end of the year it will be known that the Ames strain of anthrax used in the attacks against Sens. Leahy and Daschle was produced by CIA programs coordinated through Fort Detrick, the Batelle Memorial Institute and the Dugway Proving Ground. [Source: NBC; CNN; www.tetrahedron.org, www.judicialwatch.org]
62. Oct. 10, 2001 - The Pakistani newspaper The Frontier Post reports that U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain has paid a call on the Pakistani oil minister. A previously abandoned Unocal gas pipeline project from Turkmenistan, across Afghanistan, to Pakistan is now back on the table 'in view of recent geopolitical developments.'
65. Nov. 21, 2001 - The British paper The Independent runs a story headlined, 'Opium Farmers Rejoice at the Defeat of the Taliban.' The story reports that massive opium planting is underway all over the country.
66. Nov. 25, 2001 - The Observer runs a story headlined 'Victorious Warlords Set To Open the Opium Floodgates.' It states that farmers are being encouraged by warlords allied with the victorious Americans are 'being encouraged to plant as much opium as possible.'
67. Dec. 4, 2001 - Convicted drug lord and opium kingpin Ayub Afridi is recruited by the U.S. government to help establish control in Afghanistan by unifying various Pashtun warlords. The former opium smuggler who was one of the CIAís leading assets in the war against the Russians is released from prison in order to do this. [Source: The Asia Times Online, Dec. 4, 2001]
68. Dec. 25, 2001 - Newly appointed Afghani Prime Minister Hamid Karzai is revealed as being a former paid consultant for Unocal. [Source: Le Monde]
69. Jan. 3, 2002 - President Bush appoints Zalmy Khalilzad as a special envoy to Afghanistan. Khalilzad, a former employee of Unocal, also wrote op-eds in the Washington Post in 1997 supporting the Taliban regime. [Source: Pravda, Jan. 9, 2002]
72. Jan. 10, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself from the Enron investigation because Enron had been a major campaign donor in his 2000 Senate race. He fails to recuse himself from involvement in two sitting federal grand juries investigating bribery and corruption charges against ExxonMobil and BP Amoco, which have massive oil interests in Central Asia. Both were major Ashcroft donors in 2000. [Source: CNN, Jan. 10, 2002; FTW, ìThe Elephant in the Living Room, Part I,î April 4, 2002, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ ww3/032602_elephant.html]
74. Feb. 9, 2002 - Pakistani leader Gen. Musharraf and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai announce their agreement to 'cooperate in all spheres of activity,' including the proposed Central Asian pipeline. Pakistan will give $10 million to Afghanistan to help pay Afghan government workers. [Source: The Irish Times, Feb. 9, 2002]
75. Feb. 18, 2002 - The Financial Times reports that the estimated opium harvest in Afghanistan in the late-spring 2002 will reach a world record 4,500 metric tons.
76. mid-April, 2002 - World Bank chief James Wolfensohn, at the opening of the World Bankís offices in Kabul, states he has held talks about financing the Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline. He confirms $100 million in new grants for the interim Afghani government. Wolfensohn also states that a number of companies have already expressed interest in the project. [Source: Alexanderís Gas and oil Connections, citing an Agence France-Presse story]
77. May 13, 2002 - The BBC reports that Afghanistan is about to close a deal for construction of the $2 billion gas pipeline to run from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India. The story states, 'work on the project will start after an agreement is expected to be struck' at a summit scheduled for the end of the month. Unocal will build the pipeline. [Source: BBC, May 13, 2002]
78. May, 2002 - A number of sources report progress on both oil and gas pipelines. Regional sources state that Unocal will re-emerge as a pipeline contender after withdrawing from the CentGas pipeline project in 1998. Unocal denies plans to revive the gas pipeline but curiously neglects to mention whether or not it has any interest in the oil pipeline, which local sources say is moving ahead. [Source: The Dawn Group of Newspapers, May 7, May 17, May 22, 2002]
79. May 30, 2002 - Afghanistan's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, Turkmenistan's President Niyazov, and Pakistani President Musharraf meet in Islamabad to sign a memorandum of understanding on the trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project. The three leaders will meet for more talks on the project in October. The Turkmen-Afghan-Pakistani gas pipeline accord has been published and can be viewed at the following website: http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/nts22622.htm. [Source: NewsBase, June 5, 2002]
86. July 3, 2002 - The first-ever shipment of Russian oil, 200,000 metric tons, arrives in Houston. [Source: The Moscow Times, July 6, 2002].
87. July 6, 2002 - Afghan Vice President Hajji Abdul Qadir is assassinated by Afghan warlords. The New York Times reports that Qadir may have been assassinated by opium warlords upset by Qadirís efforts to reduce the rampant opium farming and processing that has taken place since the U.S. occupation. Qadir had been overseeing a Western-backed eradication program, according to the Times. However, the opium warlords of the region are same ones sponsored, protected, and in some cases released from prison by the CIA and who have been protected by President Bushís special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad. It is reported that the raw opium is being refined near U.S. bases at Kandahar. [Sources: The New York Times, July 8, 2002; Far Eastern Economic Review, April 18, 2002]