Monday December 9, 2013
Waging War Over Natural GasTim King Salem-News.com
Tracing the money trail between the proposed Afghan pipeline and Keystone XL.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Many Americans believe the war in Afghanistan was launched in part to tap into the country's illicit drug trade, and they are certainly right that the U.S. takes part in that industry. Every other country that has done business in this historic place over the last two centuries has. But drugs are only part of it. The most profitable illegal trade is weapon running. All of it is used to gain political control for the sake of business. The primary business operations are those that deal in oil, gas and mining.
Enron tried very hard in the 1990's to convince the Taliban in Afghanistan, to allow the construction of a natural gas pipeline through the country. The proposed project was common knowledge at the time, in fact my wife Bonnie and I circulated a petition in the late 1990's asking people to boycott Unocal over their dealings with Taliban, knowing full well even then that their abuse of women and girls was totally off the charts and very real.
Throughout the 1990's, major U.S. oil companies attempted to gain the rights to huge reserves of natural gas in Central Asia, mostly located in Kazakhstan. This is the country unnecessarily parodied in more recent years by the movie 'Borat' and even that strikes my curiosity, I must admit, as propaganda delivered cleverly is often totally undetectable, yet it shapes our views and opinions. The film portrays all Kazak people as blithering idiots. They are not.
In order to get the liquid natural gas from Kazakhstan, a pipeline needed to be constructed, and Unocal had the lead role. Enron was also directly involved. They proposed a 1,300 kilometre pipeline that would span from the Caspian Sea, in a southeasterly direction that passed through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, leading eventually to the Arabian Sea.
Taliban were actually invited to the Unocal headquarters in Texas on 4 December 1997, when George W. Bush was the state's governor.
The BBC wrote at the time:
According to reports, the Taliban wanted too much money; negotiations failed, and the plan was scrapped. Or was it?
Here is the clincher: on 12 February 1998, the Vice President of Unocal, John Maresca, said, a friendly government in Afghanistan is necessary before the pipeline can be built.
Underscoring the whole idea, is the fact that the Enron Corporation's Dabhol Power Plant in India was operating at too high of a cost, and badly needed liquid natural gas in order to bolster profits.
That 1997 trip to Texas is not the only time Taliban visited the United States. Even though their human rights violations were widely reported, Taliban Minister, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi, came to Washington D.C. in 2000, just months before the attacks on the United States. The Bush Administration invited the special Taliban envoy to visit the United States to improve the Taliban's political image, relates Michael Moore in the documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11. In 2000, they toured the U.S. State Department to meet with U.S. officials. This group was reportedly harboring bin Laden at the time, who was wanted for two separate terrorist attacks, at the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, and aboard the U.S.S. Cole.
Of course those who are still fixated on the idea that Afghan / Soviet War Mujaheddin warlord Usama bin Laden and a band of Arab terrorists were responsible for the terrorist attacks on the United States September 11th 2001, are not going to relinquish their programming, or even begin to understand. But the fact remains that Usama bin Laden denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks specifically, and only the U.S. government said otherwise.
Keystone Tar-Sands Pipeline
Last week Mark Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, stood on a chilly D.C. day and carried out one of the only acts of civil disobedience the group has ever undertaken. This unprecedented show of solidarity was prompted by resistance to the Keystone project.
As our writer Roger Butow has revealed repeatedly, the Keystone XL pipeline project is the worst idea of its nature ever conceived. But the forces behind it are determined.
The war in Afghanistan is tied to the creation of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, EO13223 which limited access to presidential records, and the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. We're just getting started. The pipeline project in Afghanistan is a no-go for the simple reason that there is not enough security. This would greatly raise the level of resolve that Keystone represents. There are so many clean energy options that could and should be receiving funding and planning, LNG is an answer from the last century and the impacts of pulling it from the earth are lasting.
As the U.S. prepares to pull out of its wars in the Middle east which it clearly had no intention or chance of winning, and moving into Africa where unexploited people and land appear as ripe targets, so too did the natural gas planners read the writing on the wall and shift their theatre of operation from Afghanistan, to their own soil.
 9/11 WHAT REALLY HAPPENED by Ed Whitney ISBN 978-0-9823448-8-0
 Fahrenheit 911 - The full length movie - YouTube (Taliban visits: 45:30 46:17)
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.
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