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We just published an
article entitled, "U.S. Won't 'Abandon' Central Asia
...Central Asians, Be Warned!"
In it we commented on the Senate testimony last December by US Undersecretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, Elizabeth Jones. In her report to the Senate, Ms. Jones mentioned Caspian Sea energy resources as one area of US policy concern in Central Asia.
Commenting on this, I argued that the key to understanding US strategy in Afghanistan was not oil. The US (or, more properly, the Empire that includes the US) is trying to take political control of the Central Asian Republics as a step toward the further subjugation of Russia.
I said that the theory, according to which the quest for oil explains the war against Afghanistan, was mistaken. A reader then wrote in as follows:
Thank you, Philip. Criticism accepted.
To begin with, in case you haven't seen it, here are a few remarks from Ms. Jones, the U.S. State Department official assigned to the most important region on earth, the vast Eurasian landmass.
I will give you two
excerpts. You can read the whole report on her testimony
on Emperor's Clothes at
I noted that people who oppose the war against Afghanistan might see this familiar phrase, "Caspian Sea energy resources," and think, "Aha! This proves it!" The 'it' in question being the widespread theory that "the reason for US policy in Afghanistan [and elsewhere] is oil."
The 'they-do-it-for-oil' theory relies on two facts, or supposed facts:
1) The US is supposedly running out of oil or will run out in coming years, and therefore the US establishment is desperate to control the area around the oil-rich Caspian Sea; and -
2) Negotiations between the Unocal oil company and the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan to build an oil pipeline in the area supposedly broke down just prior to September 11th due to Taliban intransigence; thus the US establishment, already worried about oil, went to war to protect Unocal's vital pipeline project.
There are several things wrong with this theory.
First, there is no evidence the US had to go to war to guarantee oil supplies. Fidel Castro spoke about this. Some of our readers may admire Mr. Castro and some may not but surely all will concede he is a shrewd observer. Commenting on the theory that oil was "behind" the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Castro said:
Second, the Taliban were never entirely the "rulers of Afghanistan." They were under considerable influence of Pakistani advisers with funding by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, both of which, especially Saudi Arabia, are part of the U.S. Empire.
If the Taliban were resisting allowing a pipeline through Afghanistan, the US could have brought considerable pressure to bear, short of bombing the place to smithereens. And why on earth would the Taliban want to resist having a pipeline? Pipelines bring in cash, lots of cash. Everybody needs cash. By building a pipeline, the Taliban would decrease their dependence on money from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia!
In fact, according to the Petroleum Economist of February 11, 2002, the Taliban did not resist. Quite the contrary.
In an article entitled, "ANALYSIS; PIPELINE SURVEY; RUSSIA GOES TO MARKET," the economist, which is the most sophisticated analytical journal of the oil industry - that is, it is not interested in molding public opinion but exists to provide insiders with accurate information - the Petroleum Economist states that:
Doesn't that contradict the "the-US-did-it-for-oil" theory?
Proponents of the oil theory must explain why the US establishment, in order to help Unocal build a pipeline, took action which made it impossible for Unocal to build a pipeline.
And after having made Unocal's plan impossible, if the United States establishment subsequently changed its mind and decided it wanted the pipeline, and if Unocal also changed its mind and decided to reopen the deal, why wouldn't the US just remove the sanctions that were preventing the pipeline from getting built?
This would have been far simpler than going to war. Cheaper too. And pipelines are vulnerable to attack, so going to war renders building a pipeline impossible as long as the fighting lasts. And once you start a war, it is difficult to say when it will end. Wars are in this respect a bit like forest fires. And Afghanistan is a maze of difficult terrain, literally and figuratively.
The Petroleum Economist notes, in its dry way, that the war is discouraging investors from financing a pipeline:
And we're not just talking about Afghanistan. This particular war has, predictably, destabilized a highly volatile region, which is jam packed with nuclear weapons. The threat of nuclear war is thus increased. Nuclear war makes building a pipeline rather difficult. One would only risk nuclear war for the biggest stakes - certainly not to build a pipeline, the building of which has been prevented by one's own past actions (the sanctions) and which is currently prevented by one's current actions (the war) and which could be permanently prevented if the war gets out of hand (nuclear war.)
The "they-are-in-Afghanistan-for-oil" theory has another problem. It was brought forth after the fact. That is, those who elaborated this theory in order to explain the attack on Afghanistan were not able, using their theory, to predict that the US would invade Afghanistan. Rather, believing that "the US is motivated by oil," they predicted that the US would launch military action in the Middle East, most likely against Iraq.
I am not saying the US and Britain will not - once again- escalate their endless war against Iraq, their utterly heartless war. But you will notice that, despite the predictions made by various pundits that an all out attack on Iraq, or even a ground invasion, was imminent, in the eight months since 9-11 the war against Iraq has not yet been escalated. Of course, that could change.
So what is left of the "they-do-it-for-the-oil" theory? It is apparently based on wrong facts about why Unocal failed to build a pipeline before September 11th. It is clearly wrong about the effects of the current war on Unocal's ability to build a pipeline since September 11th. Its adherents did not predict the invasion of Afghanistan but they did incorrectly predict that a massive attack on Iraq was about to happen, eight months ago.
This is not a good track record for a theory. Indeed, one might say that it is only due to a certain feature of intellectual life in the New World Empire - namely, that nobody is held accountable for what they said yesterday, let alone last week, and that impressionistic analysis is accepted - it is only because of these traits of our culture, which effect even the critics of the New World Empire, that the "they're doing-it-for-the-oil-stupid" theory is believed by so many intelligent people.
On September 18th Emperor's Clothes published an article in which we made some predictions based on our hypothesis that the central goal of US foreign policy was the permanent reduction of Russia and the other former Soviet states to weak protectorates.
The article was entitled, "Why Washington Wants Afghanistan." It was written before the US attacked Afghanistan. At the time columnists and politicians were warning that the US would launch attacks on many countries. (4)
At first the list was limited to Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Libya, North Korea and Sudan. As we noted, there was no evidence that any of these countries had ties with Osama bin Laden. In fact, it was precisely the opposite:
We made the following argument:
We argued that Washington would strive to create a united force in Afghanistan, under its control. Washington didn't wish to destroy the Taliban. Rather, it wished to take Afghanistan into receivership, so to speak, because the Taliban was incompetent and unreliable, and Washington needed the direct presence of NATO in the area:
The inefficiency of the Taliban was one of the reasons Washington moved into Afghanistan. The other reason was that Russia was taking independent steps which could challenge Washington's hegemonic rule:
Since the invasion of Afghanistan, the encirclement of Russia has greatly intensified. For example, NATO has developed much closer military ties with the Central Asian Republics. There are now US 'advisers' in Georgia, a former Soviet Republic on Russia's strategic southern flank, whose government is hostile to Russia. Russian leader Vladimir Gorbachev - oh, I am so sorry, I meant Vladimir *Putin*! - has made use of the excuse of a united fight against terror to make major concessions to Washington.
And as for the Taliban, despite the ruthless bombing of Afghanistan, which killed so many civilians, despite the pictures released by the US military of prisoners in Guantanamo, and so on, much of the Taliban has been absorbed into the armies of the new Afghan puppet state. This was clear as early as January of this year:
How well will this new puppet state function? This state with an army made up of the various factions of Islamic fundamentalists whom Washington and Saudi Arabia have funded at various times since 1979, an army that is like an archeological dig, with various layers representing the various nightmares of US policy... How well will this living expression of the suffering Washington has inflicted on the people of Afghanistan function? That remains to be seen.
Maybe by the time Washington finishes with its little Central Asian/Russian adventure, it will earnestly wish that it had in fact gone to Afghanistan "for the oil."
-- Jared Israel
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For map of Central Asia, see http://www.sitara.com/central_asia_map.html
WON'T 'ABANDON' CENTRAL ASIA ...CENTRAL
ASIANS, BE WARNED!"
2) For full text of Fidel
Castro's remarks on the war in Afghanistan plus other
4) 'Why Washington Wants Afghanistan,' by Jared Israel, Rick Rozoff & Nico
Varkevisser, analyzes the geo-political designs behind
the massive deception called The War On Terror"
5) What's the Target of the U.S. Move into Central
or more on the encirclement of Russia:
5a) Afghan Operation Leaves Russia 'Encircled' by US-NATO
5b) "US Military Pushes into Ex-Soviet Georgia Under Guise of Fighting Terror," by Rick Rozoff can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/rozoff/pushes.htm
6) 'Why is NATO Decimating the Balkans and Trying to Force Milosevic to Surrender?' by Jared Israel and Nico Varkevisser. Can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/whyisn.htm
7) Osama Bin Laden was propelled into power as part of the U.S. drive to create an Islamist terrorist movement for use, in the first instance, to crush the former Soviet Union. See the truly amazing account from the 'Washington Post,' 'Washington's Backing of Afghan Terrorists: Deliberate Policy.' at http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/anatomy.htm
8) 'Osama bin Laden: Made in USA,' by Jared Israel. This article includes quotes from a New York Times piece documenting the vast sums spent creating Islamist terrorism. It can be read at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/madein.htm
9) To read the New York
Times piece quoted in the above article, go to 'Afghan Taliban Camps Were Built by NATO,' By TIM WEINER
10) One of Washington's most amazing uses of terrorists (amazing because of the extent of the hypocrisy involved) is against Macedonia, whose government, like that of Mr. Putin, did everything to please the American Empire. Macedonia is nevertheless - and indeed, all the more easily - now being destroyed. See "Articles Documenting Washington's Terrorist Attack on Macedonia,' at http://emperors-clothes.com/mac/listm.htm
11) Regarding bin Laden's
supposed break with the CIA, see 'Gaping Holes in the 'Washington Hates bin Laden'
Story,' by Jared Israel at
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