Ramping up Afghanistan war to control Caspian oil and gas transport routes

By Jerry Mazza Dec 8, 2009 onlinejournal.com

The 800-pound gorilla standing in the auditorium at West Point is still waiting for an answer to why Obama made his surge-speech for 30,000 more troops and $30 billion to pay for them. That gorilla wonders “why” Obama pitched so hard for the US to stay and surge through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The reasons given were that the Afghanistan Taliban and Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden were the people that attacked us on 9/11, which was an iteration of George W. Bush’s reasons for the War on Terror. They are as phony now as the day Bush promised to smoke out Bin Laden.

But, here are Obama’s actual words, pointed out by Christopher Bollyn on page 2 of his article, Why Afghanistan?

“1. I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al-Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak.

“2. It is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them murder nearly 3,000 people.

“3: If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.”

Also, as early as Oct. 14, 2001, a month and three days after 9/11, Bollyn wrote in The Great Game – The War For Caspian Oil And Gas: “President Bush’s ‘crusade’ against the Taliban of Afghanistan has more to do with control of the immense oil and gas resources of the Caspian Basin than it does with ‘rooting out terrorism.’

“Once again an American president from the Bush family is leading Americans down an oil-rich Middle Eastern warpath against ‘enemies of freedom and democracy.’

“President George W. Bush, whose family is well connected to oil and energy companies, has called for an international crusade against Islamic terrorists, who he says hate Americans simply because we are ‘the brightest beacon of freedom.’

“The focus on religion-based terrorism serves to conceal important aspects of the Central Asian conflict. President Bush’s noble rhetoric about fighting for justice and democracy is masking a less noble struggle for control of an estimated $5 trillion of oil and gas resources from the Caspian Basin.

Bollyn goes on to explain that the elder Bush’s Desert Storm military campaign in 1991 yielded secure access to the huge Rumaila oil field of southern Iraq. It was made to happen by expanding the boundaries of Kuwait after the war. This enabled Kuwait, the former British protectorate and home to American and British oil companies’ investments, to double its prewar oil output . . .” Bollyn got it down cold even then.

He told how the infamous Enron, the now bankrupt Texas gas and energy company, along with Amoco, British Petroleum, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Unocal were wrapped in a cabal to suck up the multi-billion dollar reserves of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Terkmenistan, three freshly independent Soviet republics bordering the Caspian Sea. The American negotiators included the usual suspects, James Baker, Brent Snowcroft, Dick Cheney, and Jon Sununu.

Bollyn also pointed out that Turkmenistan and Azerbijan had close ties to Israeli interests and intelligence. In Turkmenistan, the ex-intel agent, and main go-to for Israeli was Yosef A. Maiman, president of Merhav Group of Israel. He was the anointed negotiator and policy maker tasked to “develop” energy resources there. And that holds to this day.

Back then, Maiman also mentioned to the Wall Street Journal his role was to further the “geopolitical goals of both the US and Israel in Central Asia. We are doing what US and Israeli policy could not achieve, controlling the transport route is controlling the product.”

James Dorion, an energy expert, had written as early as September 10, 2001, in Oil & Gas Journal, “Those that control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production.” Could it be any clearer, given the US oil and gas interests in the Caspian Basin that Afghanistan was to be reined in, especially when Iran, which paralleled it north to south was not a pipeline option, giving its mutual hostilities with the US.

Enron, Bush’s number one campaign contributor in 2000, ran a feasibility study on the Trans-Caspian-gas pipeline, price-tag $2.5 billion, to be built as per a joint venture agreement penned and signed in February 1999 by Turkmenistan and US companies, Bechtel and GE Capital Services, with Maiman as the intermediary, his “cut” or stake in the pipeline not to be discussed, as noted in Bollyn’s article.

Everything seemed ready to go, including a Washington lobby firm, until the war in Afghanistan led the various parties to withdraw. The terrain was too politically unstable to begin a huge project. In fact, members of the Taliban were brought to Texas in 1999 to talk with the oilmen, but the bearded ones with their turbans and robes and general toughness caused the deal, but not the idea, to be put on ice. Another route to controlling Afghanistan would need to be taken. It all percolated, the thought of all that gas and oil and money flowing like an endless gift from the gods. But the answer had been found. And it exploded like two airliners into the World Trade Towers on 9/11/2001.

In a matter of days, pictures of 19 Muslim hijackers of the planes were plucked magically out of FBI files, which Robert Mueller claimed in 2002 could not really be proven to be the perpetrators. But the truth died first on that awful day and it still struggles to breathe, going on nine years later, that the catastrophe was an “inside job.” Within days, without any real investigation, the War on Terror was declared, and a gung-ho George W. Bush and Company sent the US military to “bomb Afghanistan back to the Stone Age” and “smoke out Osama.”

Unfortunately, the false-flag op worked so well at first in the US and Afghanistan that it actually set the Taliban back for a while. That is, until, Bush & Company were distracted by Saddam Hussein and his mythic Weapons of Mass Destruction, about to create another 9/11-like mushroom cloud on the horizon. But creating a second front was a huge military mistake, even for all the possibilities of controlling Iraq’s huge supply of sweet and inexpensive crude. As soon as the US dove in with “shock and awe” into Iraq, the Taliban began a resurgence that continues to this day. Actually, Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan number only about 100 today. So the need to ramp up Al Qaeda terror-talk has become essential.

Yet none of this, none of this, had or has to do with bringing democracy or stability to Afghanistan, or ridding Iraq of a despot we originally placed there, Saddam Hussein. It was all about controlling oil and gas, and vast amounts of money to be made if the US could master the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape. Unfortunately, or fortunately, according to one’s politics, we bit off far more than we could chew, and received much more blowback than we imagined, both in Iraq and, subsequently, in Afghanistan. This brings us back to today, and that 800-pound gorilla sitting in the darkened, silent auditorium of West Point, mumbling to himself.

What he’s repeating to himself is that US bases align with the proposed pipeline that will start at the Caspian Basin and go south down through Afghanistan to Pakistan and to ports at the Indian Ocean where the oil can be shipped east to India and China. What’s more, the Afghan war has been amped up to include Pakistan, which is presently being bombed by missile-spitting, remote-guided drones on select targets or individuals who don’t agree with our efforts there, but mainly wiping out innocent civilians.

In fact, Scott Shane wrote in the NY Times, CIA To Expand Use of Drones in Pakistan, that “Two weeks ago in Pakistan, Central Intelligence Agency sharpshooters killed eight people suspected of being militants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and wounded two others in a compound that was said to be used for terrorist training.

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“Then, the job in North Waziristan done, the C.I.A. officers could head home from the agency’s Langley, Va., headquarters [itals mine], facing only the hazards of the area’s famously snarled suburban traffic.

“It was only the latest strike by the agency’s covert program to kill operatives of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and their allies using Hellfire missiles fired from Predator aircraft controlled from half a world away.”

Shane stated that “The White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.A.’s drone program in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, officials said this week, to parallel the president’s decision, announced Tuesday, to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. American officials are talking with Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Baluchistan for the first time — a controversial move since it is outside the tribal areas — because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide.”

As repugnant as depersonalizing killing is, the likelihood of killing more innocents is even greater and more repugnant. This is a new low, both militarily and morally, even for the CIA. Yet it is regarded by anti-terror “experts” as a “resounding success.”

Shane writes, “About 80 missile attacks from drones in less than two years have killed ‘more than 400’ enemy fighters . . . offering a number lower than most estimates but in the same range.”

The fact is, the latest model, the MQ-9 Reaper can fly at 50,000 feet with a maximum internal payload of 800 pounds and external payload more than 3,000 pounds, carrying up to four Hellfire II anti-armor missiles and two laser-guided bombs. That’s a lot of death, which could have been used in earlier drone incarnations to create part of 911’s havoc. And there’s more to come.

Additionally the infamous Blackwater, now called Xe, is at work for the CIA, which is spearheading the covert Pakistan war, and this all costs money, big money. So, fortunately, the agency still has the opium crop to cover the shortfalls in budget or cash, and the so-called 2010-11 pull-out mandate is already up in smoke, according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Thus, the real reasons for this surge have to be McChrystal clear even to a blind man or Congress. The hope is that seeing-eye dogs like Bollyn, now living in writer’s exile, and Craig Murray, the UK’s former ambassador to Uzbekistan, and even my humble self and other writers, can be of assistance.

Murray, in a recent chilling article, not only asserted that the CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’ in Uzbekistan in order to obtain whatever confessions for “intelligence” they needed to justify their twisted actions. On the third page of the story, regarding US troop presence, the subhead reads, “It’s The Pipeline, Stupid,” and Murray asserts “that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting oil and natural gas out of the region.

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

He points out, as Bollyn and I have in previous articles, that “The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now ‘president of Afghanistan . . .”

Murray goes on to say that the motive in ramping up “the threat of Islamic terrorism in Uzbekistan through forced confessions was to ensure the country remained on-side in the war on terror, so that the pipeline could be built.”

Murray adds, “There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”

As he tells us, “ The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is slated to be completed in 2014, with $7.6 billion in funding from the Asian Development Bank.”

Murray was let go from his post as ambassador in 2004, following his first public allegations that the British government relied on torture in Uzbekistan for intelligence.

Let the high-minded causes of bringing peace, democracy, stability or anything but pain and pillage to Afghanistan and Pakistan be brought down like flags to half mast, and let us realize there are far baser motives of wealth, power, and geopolitical control rising. It’s not really rocket science and shouldn’t be, especially for a Harvard constitutional lawyer, yes, our own Barrack Obama, President for Change.

That said, maybe the 800-pound gorilla in the room can get a decent night’s sleep.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net. His new book, State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on” is available at www.jerrymazza.com, Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com.



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