"In ten years or so we'll leak the truth, but by then, it's only so much paper"

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Mon Apr 1, 9:03 PM ET

By Ted Rall

"In ten years or so we'll leak the truth

But by then

It's only so much paper"

-Dead Kennedys, 1982

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN-Writing for the website SpinSanity on October 15, Bush apologist Brendan Nyhan ridiculed my "absurd suggestion that the war [in Afghanistan (news - web sites)] is `solely' about an oil deal, trivializing the overriding motive of the attacks-going after Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s terrorist network and the regime that harbors bin Laden."

Nyhan's widely-circulated hit piece, commissioned by one of those outfits run by liberals so anxious to seem "non-partisan" that they mostly bash liberals (beware the man who says he's fair), was one among a volley of attacks that rained down on progressive commentators who dared to whisper three painfully obvious truths:

First, even before the 9-11 attacks, the well-oiled Bush Administration (bad pun intended) planned to take over Afghanistan one way or another. The only question was how and when it would be carried out.

American-aligned Kazakhstan sits atop the largest untapped oil reserves on earth, but can currently get its crude only as far south as Turkmenistan. Karachi, Pakistan's port on the Indian Ocean, awaits American oil tankers. Between lies Afghanistan; thus Unocal Corporation's $1.9 billion plan to run an 870-mile pipeline to link the Turkmen oil refinery at Charjou to Karachi. Trying to unify fractured Afghanistan under a regime (any regime) that would ensure the safety of a U.S.-sponsored pipeline, President Clinton (news - web sites) funded the Taliban from the origins in 1995 until their "guest" Osama bin Laden bombed two American embassies in east Africa in 1998. The Unocal plan was shelved until September 11th gave Bush the pretext he needed to begin bombing and regain momentum for the pipeline plan.

Second, the ersatz "war on terror" has little to do with reducing, much less preventing, terrorist acts by Islamic extremists. The CIA (news - web sites) has itself to blame for funding and arming these "evil doers" in the first place; the advantage of creating your own enemies is that you get to know them well in the process. Had the Third Afghan War actually been motivated by vengeance, Rumsfeld & Co. would have targeted groups in the countries that carried out the 9-11 attacks-Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan. Had it been prophylactic, the DOD would have bombed the biggest guerrilla training camps, which were, and still are, in Pakistan. And if the State Department had wanted to deny extremist groups the vast majority of their funding-millions of tiny donations collected in mosques throughout the Arab world-it would have denied them their most potent and legitimate rallying cry: unlimited U.S. support for Israel's home-grown terrorist Ariel Sharon (news - web sites).

Ninety-nine percent of the estimated 5,000 to 15,000 Afghans killed by U.S. bombs had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11. That's an atrocity, it's even worse than 9-11 and Arabs know it. Thanks to George W. Bush, you and I are now significantly more likely to die in an attack by Islamists. Remember: to the rest of the world, we are terrorists.

Third, Nyhan takes me to task for "the insinuation that U.S. policymakers don't care about the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks or the oppressed women of Afghanistan." Insinuation, hell. I'll say it loud and clear. Let's take the last part first. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, more than half that time with direct or indirect American financing. Yeah, you say, but that was under Clinton. And yet, for the first seven and a half months of his presidency, Bush never issued a single statement criticizing the Taliban's treatment of women. During that period, he found numerous opportunities to discuss tax cuts, fast-track signing authority on free trade and countless other inanities. Long-suffering Afghans, it seems, only matter to U.S. policymakers insofar as they affect The Great Pipeline Project.

What about the 9-11 victims? Well, it was the Bushies who rushed through legislation depriving survivors of their right to sue the government or the airlines. When push came to shove, Bush sold out the victims for a few millionaire airline CEOs. Let's all repeat it together: the victims, American and Afghan, have been used by this vile, cynical administration to line the pockets of its corporate sponsors. And now our soldiers are dying, not for nothing, but while carrying out orders that are making things even worse.

Dying for nothing would be an improvement.

Nyhan and other Bush aficionados' "debunk" the idea of a link between the Afghan war and the pipeline scheme using a line of reasoning lifted from "The Simpsons (news - Y! TV)": We bombed Afghanistan because of 9-11, not oil. "Oil may be a factor," allows Nyhan, but it is a sideshow; the main event is bagging Osama. Um, but the Taliban offered to turn him over but we turned them down. And we still haven't found him. And Bush says it was never about bagging Osama. The fact is, it's mostly about oil. 9-11 or no 9-11, the U.S. would never have invaded Afghanistan minus its oil component. Don't we deserve 75-cent-a-gallon gas in return for losing four planes and two big buildings?

As Homer replies when Marge asks him if he's lost his faith in God: "Nooooo! Noooo! No. No. No. No. Well, yes."

I expected the Bushies to wait a decent interval to prove me right about their real motivations in Afghanistan, but the Resident's 88 percent approval rating must be going to their heads.

Unocal-related discussions began while the bombs were still falling last October and picked up steam after Bush appointed an ex-Unocal consultant, Zalmay Khalilzad, as his special envoy to Afghanistan.

Then, on March 7, Afghan interim prime minister and Hamid Karzai (yet another former Unocal employee) flew to Ashkhabat to meet with Turkmen president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov. "There is a project from Turkmenistan, over Afghanistan to Pakistan and then India. We agreed to discuss this soon, both together and with the leader of Pakistan," summarized Niyazov. "Everyone would benefit. Afghanistan would receive employment and a twelfth of the overall profits."

The Pakistani piece of the revived pipeline project (which will likely be built by-surprise!-Unocal) clicked into place February 8 when Karzai met with military dictator Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad.

But what of Bush's self-avowed pledges to help the oppressed people of Afghanistan live in peace and dignity? Though our soldiers will remain "indefinitely," according to the Associated Press on March 28, "the Bush administration says it will not send American peacekeepers to the country." In other words, U.S. troops are there not to help the Afghan people, but to train Karzai's puppet army so they can eventually protect American business interests?

Nooooo! No! No. No. No. Well, yes.

-- (Dead @ Kennedys. 1982), April 03, 2002


Yep, it's all about the Unocal project.

I suppose Dumbya would say it was just a "coincidence" that the CIA deliberately ignored threats against the WTC so that we would have a good reason to invade and take over Afghanistan. Yeah right, coincidence!

-- (Dumbya@NWO.puppet), April 06, 2002.

Threats against the WTC? Let's have some backup on this. I don't believe this.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), April 06, 2002.

I responded to McKinney's piece, but didn't bother with this one. I'd guess this was written by an unconstructed Communist in the anti- globalization movement, fabricating everything he thinks he can get away with.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), April 06, 2002.

"Threats against the WTC? Let's have some backup on this. I don't believe this."

That's funny Errorton, for someone who doesn't believe it on this thread, you sure seem comvinced on the other thread!...

"My understanding is that the speculators who benefitted from prior knowledge of 9-11 were Middle Eastern businessmen friendly to Al Qaeda, who were tipped off what to do."

You forgot to mention those who will benefit from the after-effects of 911, Dumbya's greedy corporate oil buddies.

-- chuckle-chuckle (pass@the.popcorn), April 06, 2002.

Errington probably doesn't believe in the chemtrails either. sheesh, other peoples' children.

-- (Bush@Oil.Afghanistan), April 07, 2002.

Linda Thompson was right. Tanks rain fire on WACO!

-- (Clinton@bush.same), April 07, 2002.

Before 9/11 the Conspiracy buffs claimed that Bush collaborated with Al Qaeda for the purpose of securing an Afghan pipeline all the while cynically ignoring the civil rights of the suffering Afghanis.

Since 9/11, the theory has conveniently evolved to the one advanced above, ie the War on Terror is merely a cover for advancing the pipeline.

A konspiracy for all seasons, as long as it is anti-American.

-- (Roland@hatemail.com), April 07, 2002.

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