23 October 2011


Anyone who buys the myths that we went to war in Iraq to eradicate Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, or that we went to war in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks, has not done his/her homework. Those formally-stated reasons transparently did not exist. WMDs were never found in Iraq. The Taliban was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks, Al-Qaeda was.

In both conflicts, the driving motive was oil and natural gas. In oil-rich Iraq, the U.S. wanted to replace Hussein with a friendly regime, which would assure the flow of oil to this country. In Afghanistan, the U.S. likewise wanted to establish a friendly regime to supplant the existing chaos of warring tribes, in order to secure the region for the Trans-Afghanistan natural gas pipeline (see map above, click to enlarge). Here is the back-story, as described by McCamy Taylor ~

"American troops will not be back home from Afghanistan until after 2014. That is when the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is scheduled to be operational.

"In the mid 1990s, Unocol [Union Oil Company of California, which merged with Chevron in 2005] began plans for an oil and a gas pipeline from rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, that would run from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan and Pakistan and finally to India. A route through Afghanistan is the shortest route to the sea and has relatively favorable terrain for a pipeline.

"The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is the reason the Taliban rose to power. Unocol and the CIA helped to put the Taliban in power, thinking that the new regime would permit them to build the pipeline. Once in power, the Taliban failed to keep its part of the bargain.

"[In October 2001, the United States responded to the 9/11 attacks by invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban.]

"On December 22, 2001 a US-backed interim government headed by Hamid Karzai took office in Kabul, Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai had formerly functioned as a Unocal Corporation consultant.
Almost immediately, talks resumed about the planned Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. The new deal on the pipeline was signed on 27 December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"The 1,680 kilometre (1,040 mi) pipeline will run from the Dauletabad gas field to Afghanistan. From there TAPI will be constructed alongside the highway running from Herat to Kandahar, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan. The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India.

"The pipeline is expected to be operational by 2014. In order to build that pipeline, the U.S. needs to subdue the Taliban."

So you see, we've been fighting and dying in central Asia not to safeguard freedom, or to spread democracy, or to combat terrorism (our presence has generated many more terrorists than we've killed or subdued), or to build nations. These are all worthy goals, and to some small degree they have been achieved in an ancillary manner. But they were never our true purpose. Rarely do the leaders of any country reveal all the reasons for their actions. This is true regardless of party affiliation or political dogma. If we wish to be informed citizens of the world, it falls upon us to seek out information, judge its validity, and retain or revise our opinions accordingly. The more information sources one has, the better able one is to listen to the words of political leaders and hold them accountable, noticing truth and rejecting half-truths or lies.

So just how important are oil and natural gas to the energy needs of the U.S.? Sheril Kirshenbaum provides the answer in a supply-and-demand graph, seen below. Here too, it is our responsibility to inform ourselves, so that we can alter usage or alter energy sources in order to live a greener life and achieve energy independence.

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