- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Skip to next paragraph
- "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
- "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
- 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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book, "State
Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on is available at www.jerrymazza.com, Amazon
- Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be raped with
- By Daniel Tencer Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 -- 3:31
- craigmurray Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to
be raped with broken bottlesThe CIA relied on intelligence based on torture
in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include
raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former
British ambassador to the central Asian country.
- Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee
in Scotland and until 2004 the UK's ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the
CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it
sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition
- "I'm talking of people being raped with broken bottles,"
he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real
News Network. "I'm talking of people having their children tortured
in front of them until they sign a confession. I'm talking of people being
boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being
received by the CIA, and was being passed on."
- Human rights groups have long been raising the alarm
about the legal system in Uzbekistan. In 2007, Human Rights Watch declared
that torture is "endemic" to the country's justice system.
- Murray said he only realized after his stint as ambassador
that the CIA was sending people to be tortured in Uzbekistan, country he
describes as a "totalitarian" state that has never moved on from
its communist era, when it was a part of the Soviet Union. Story continues
- Suspects in Uzbekistan's gulags "were being told
to confess to membership in Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they'd
been in training camps in Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had
met Osama bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed
- "I was absolutely stunned -- it changed my whole
world view in an instant -- to be told that London knew [the intelligence]
coming from torture, that it was not illegal because our legal advisers
had decided that under the United Nations convention against torture, it
is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long
as we didn't do the torture ourselves," Murray said.
- IT'S THE PIPELINE, STUPID
- 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
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.
- "The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal
was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan," Murray
- Murray said part of the motive in hyping 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.
- "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."
- The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is slated to be completed
in 2014, with $7.6 billion in funding from the Asian Development Bank.
- Murray was dismissed from his position as ambassador
in 2004, following his first public allegations that the British government
relied on torture in Uzbekistan for intelligence.
- -- http://www.rense.com/general15/game.htm The Great
Game - The War For Caspian Oil And Gas By Christopher Bollyn email@example.com
American Free Press.net 10-14-1
- 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.
- One of the material results of the elder Bush's Desert
Storm military campaign in 1991 was to secure access to the huge Rumaila
oil field of southern Iraq, which was accomplished by expanding the boundaries
of Kuwait after the war. This allowed Kuwait, a former British protectorate
where American and British oil companies are heavily invested, to double
its prewar oil output.
- The Trep?a mine complex in Kosovo, one of the richest
mines of Europe, was seized last year by George Soros and Bernard Kouchner,
two Jewish members of the New World Order gang who devastated Serbia.
- A similar geopolitical strategy, influenced by Zionist
planners, to control the valuable mineral resources of the Caspian Basin
underlies the planned aggression against Afghanistan, a Central Asian nation
that occupies a strategic position sandwiched between the Middle East,
Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.
- Central Asia has enormous quantities of undeveloped oil
resources, including some 6.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, waiting
to be exploited. The former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
are the two major gas producers in Central Asia.
- Today, the only existing export routes from the area
lead through Russia. Investors in Caspian oil and gas are interested in
building alternative pipelines to Turkey and Europe, and especially to
the rapidly growing Asian markets.
- India, Iran, Russia, and Israel, are working on a plan
to supply oil and gas to south and southeast Asia through India but instability
in Afghanistan is "posing a great threat to this effort.
- Afghanistan lies squarely between Turkmenistan, home
to the world's third-largest natural gas reserves, and the lucrative markets
of the Indian subcontinent, China and Japan. A memorandum of understanding
has been signed to build a 900-mile natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan
to Pakistan via Afghanistan, but the ongoing civil war and absence of a
stable government in Afghanistan have prevented the project from going
- Afghanistan was at the center of the so-called "Great
Game in the 19th century when Imperial Russia and the British Empire in
India vied for influence. Today, its geographical position as a potential
transit route for oil and natural gas pipelines, makes Afghanistan an extremely
important piece of a global strategy by energy magnates to obtain control
over these precious resources.
- Enron, a Texas-based gas and energy company, together
with Amoco, British Petroleum, Chevron, Exxon, Mobil and Unocal are all
engaged in a multi-billion dollar frenzy to extract the reserves of Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, the three newly independent Soviet republics
that border on the Caspian Sea.
- On behalf of the oil companies, an array of former cabinet
members from the elder Bush administration have been actively involved
in negotiations with the former Soviet republics. The dealmakers include
James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, Dick Cheney, and John Sununu.
- Turkmenistan and Azerbijan are also both closely allied
with Israeli commercial interests and Israeli military intelligence. In
Turkmenistan, a "former Israeli intelligence agent, Yosef A. Maiman,
president of Merhav Group of Israel, is the official negotiator and policy
maker responsible for developing the energy resources of Turkmenistan.
- "This is the Great Game all over, Maiman told The
Wall Street Journal about his role in furthering the "geopolitical
goals of both the U.S. and Israel in Central Asia. "We are doing what
U.S. and Israeli policy could not achieve, he said, "Controlling the
transport route is controlling the product.
- "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, said energy expert James Dorian recently
in Oil & Gas Journal on September 10.
- Foreign business in Turkmenistan is dominated by Maiman's
Merhav Group, according to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
(WRMEA). Maiman, who was made a citizen of Turkmenistan by presidential
decree, serves as Turkmenistan's "official negotiator for its gas
pipeline, special ambassador, and "right-hand man for the "authoritarian
President Saparmurad Atayevich Niyazov, a former Politburo member of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
- The Merhav Group of Israel officially represents the
Turkmen government and has brokered all of the energy projects in Turkmenistan,
contracts worth many billions of dollars.
- Merhav has been contracted to modernize existing natural
gas infrastructure and will build new facilities in an oil refinery in
the city of Turkmenbashi on the Caspian Sea. Merhav refuses to disclose
its sources of financing.
- In keeping with Israeli political interests, Maiman's
planned pipelines bypass Iran and Russia. Maiman has said that he would
have no objection to dealing with Iran, "when and if Israeli policy
- Iran has accused the U.S. of trying to keep regional
pipelines from passing through Iran. Creating a counterbalance to Iran's
regional influence was a cornerstone of the Clinton administration, which
was concerned that Iran could gain too much control over Caspian exports.
- "This is a common interest for the U.S. and Israel,
said Dr. Nimrod Novik, vice president of Merhav, "The primary interest
is to prevent the development of Turkish strategic dependence on Iran,
given the unique emerging strategic relationship between Turkey and Israel.
- Russia and Turkmenistan are in a battle to conquer the
Turkish gas market, the supplier that offers the best price for its gas
will emerge as the winner. "This is a great race, Maiman says, "Whoever
takes Turkey first wins. Whoever comes second will have lean years.
- Although the U.S. needs Russian assistance in its campaign
against Afghanistan, when AFP asked Alex Chorine of Caspian Investor what
kind of relationship existed between the Russian and Western/Israeli energy
companies doing business in the Caspian Basin, Chorine said, "They
act as enemies.
- One of Maiman's proposed pipelines would bring Turkmenistan's
gas and oil to Turkey via Azerbaijan and Georgia. Maiman's Merhav Group
is also involved in a $100 million project that would reduce the flow of
water to Iraq by diverting water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to
- Israeli officials boast of having "excellent relations
with Azerbaijan, where an Israeli company, Magal Security Systems, has
a contract to provide security at Baku airport. Magal is one of several
Israeli companies that will "turn Israel into a major player in Azerbaijan
by providing security for the 1,200 mile pipeline taking oil from the Caspian
to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea.
- Enron, the biggest contributor to the Bush campaign of
2000, conducted the feasibility study for a $2.5 billion Trans-Caspian
gas pipeline, which is being built under a joint venture agreement signed
in February 1999 between Turkmenistan and two American companies, Bechtel
and General Electric Capital Services. Maiman acted as the intermediary
between the Turkmenis and the U.S. firms, but won,t discuss "his cut
or whether he will receive a stake in the pipeline.
- The Merhav Group has hired a Washington lobbying firm,
Cassidy & Associates, and spent several million dollars to "encourage
U.S. officials to push for the Trans-Caspian pipeline. During the Clinton
administration, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and "special adviser
to the president, Richard Morningstar promoted the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline,
calling it "critical to the economic survival of Turkmenistan.
- The relationship between Israel, Turkey, and the U.S.
is the major factor for the selection of the Baku-Ceyhan route, which could
be extended to bring oil directly to energy deficient Israel, however,
energy experts question the wisdom and cost of this route. Companies are
under pressure from the U.S. and Israel to invest in east-west pipelines,
although most companies would prefer cheaper north-south pipelines through
Iran, according to WRMEA.
- The U.S. firm Unocal was leading a pipeline project to
bring Turkmenistan's abundant natural gas through Afghanistan to the growing
markets of Pakistan and India, until the turmoil in Afghanistan led them
to withdraw from the project in 1998. The planned pipeline would carry
gas from the Turkmen Dauletabad fields, among the world's largest, to Multan
in Pakistan, with a planned extension to India. The line from Dauletabad
through Afghanistan is planned to transport 15 billion cubic feet of gas
per year for 30 years. This pipeline is on hold until the political and
military situations in Afghanistan improve.
- There is a second Unocal project to build a 1,030 mile
oil pipeline called the Central Asian Oil Pipeline Project, which would
start at Chardzhou in Turkmenistan linking Russia's Siberian oil field
pipelines to Pakistan's Arabian coast. This line could transport 1 million
barrels a day of oil from other areas of the Former Soviet Union. It would
run parallel to the gas line route through Afghanistan and branch off in
Pakistan to the Indian Ocean terminal in Ras Malan.
- ISRAEL's SOVIET DICTATORS IN CENTRAL ASIA
- Niyazov, the authoritarian president of the Turkmen Soviet
Socialist Republic was elected in 1990, and remained in power when Turkmenistan
declared independence in October 1991. In May 1992, Niyazov oversaw the
passage of a new constitution giving the president extraordinary powers.
- Under the new constitution, the president is head of
government as well as head of state, and can appoint a prime minister at
any time. The president can also appoint and remove all judges.
- Niyazov's leadership became increasingly authoritarian
during the 1990s. In September 1993 he defended his policy of tight censorship
of the press as a prerequisite for stability and peace in the country.
In a referendum held in January 1994, nearly 100 percent of the voters
endorsed Niyazov's leadership, allowing him to extend his presidency until
- Niyazov renamed himself Turkmenbashi (father of the Turkmen)
and presents himself as a prophet and messiah. Every morning, state radio
and television (no independent broadcasters exist) transmit the words of
a prayer that includes an oath of allegiance to the president along with
the traditional appeal to Allah.
- Like Turkmenistan, the other Central Asian nations of
Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are all ruled by former
Communists who came to power under the Soviet system. All five have been
re-elected to their posts without opposition, garnering over 90 percent
of the votes and securing comfortable lives in the national palaces.
- In each of the Central Asian countries a strange and
officially imposed dichotomy between "official" and "unofficial"
Islam has appeared. Official Islam refers to religious institutions under
the control of the state authorities. Unofficial Islam includes all other
Muslims, especially those who believe that Islam cannot be controlled by
the state power. They are accused of being extremists.
- The strength of Islamic fundamentalist movements like
the Taliban in Afghanistan and the anti-Russian Chechen rebels threatens
the Soviet style dictatorships and their control of the region's immense
- FOCUS ON AFGHANISTAN
- Before the sun had set on the apocalyptic day that New
York's gleaming twin towers collapsed, the U.S. government had already
determined to affix the blame for the kamikaze attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon on Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born guerilla leader,
and the Taliban government of Afghanistan which harbored him.
- Although the U.S. government did not present its evidence
in support of its case against bin Laden, Secretary of State Colin Powell
said on September 23, "I think in the near future, we will be able
to put out a paper, a document, that will describe quite clearly the evidence
that we have linking him to this attack.
- When it was reported that the Taliban might turn bin
Laden over to face justice, the Bush administration said that surrendering
bin Laden would not prevent an American-led attack on Afghanistan.
- An international plan to remove the fundamentalist Islamic
Taliban from power has been a subject of international diplomatic discussions
for months and was reportedly raised by India during the Group of Eight
summit in July in Genoa, Italy.
- The Indian press reported in June that, "India and
Iran will facilitate, U.S. and Russian plans for limited military action,
against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don,t
bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime.
- The invasion plans described in the Indian press in June
may come to pass in October: "Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will lead
the ground attack with a strong military back up of the U.S. and Russia.
Vital Taliban installations and military assets will be targeted.
- The economic reasons for the multi-national assault against
the Taliban were explained: "Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and
Turkmenistan are threatened by the Taliban that is aiming to control their
vast oil, gas, and other resources by bringing Islamic fundamentalists
- What was not explained in the Indian press is how these
four predominantly Islamic Central Asian nations would be "threatened
by having "Islamic fundamentalists in power.
- -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2608713.stm
Central Asia pipeline deal signed
- By Ian McWilliam BBC correspondent in Kabul An agreement
has been signed in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, paving the way for construction
of a gas pipeline from the Central Asian republic through Afghanistan to
- Pipelines The project has been around for some years
The building of the trans-Afghanistan pipeline has been under discussion
for some years but plans have been held up by Afghanistan's unstable political
- This follows a summit meeting bringing together the presidents
of the three countries last May when the project received formal go-ahead.
- The pipeline would represent the first major foreign
investment in Afghanistan in many years.
- Alternate route
- With improved regional security after the fall of the
Taleban about a year ago, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan have decided
to push ahead with plans for the ambitious 1,500-kilometre-long gas pipeline.
- President Karzai (R) with Foreign Minister Abdullah (L)
and Pakistani Foreign Minister KM Kasuri (seated) Pakistan will be the
terminus for the pipeline The leaders of the three countries have now signed
a framework agreement defining the legal aspects of setting up a consortium
to build and operate the pipeline.
- The trans-Afghanistan pipeline would export Turkmen gas
via Afghanistan to Pakistani ports, from where it could reach world markets.
- India is the largest potential buyer and the Afghan President,
Hamid Karzai, said Delhi was welcome to join the project.
- Turkmenistan has some of the world's greatest reserves
of natural gas, but still relies on tightly controlled Russian pipelines
to export it.
- Ashgabat has long been desperate to find an alternative
- Wary investors
- Afghanistan would profit by receiving millions of dollars
in transit fees and construction of the pipeline would provide thousands
of desperately needed jobs.