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UPDATE: UNOCAL still pushing Afghanistan pipelines

by its_the_oil Tuesday, Oct. 02, 2001 at 10:23 PM

So much for the PR

Despite UNOCAL's announcements that it had quit the CentGas trans-Afghanistan natural gas pipeline project, the company has cynically continued to pursue its objectives behind the scenes. UNOCAL very publicly "pulled out" of the CentGas project under heavy pressure from RAWA and other groups outraged at human rights abuses by the Taliban regime. However, the company never abandoned either the CentGas project or its own plans for a million barrel a day trans-Afghanistan OIL pipeline (a separate project altogether).

In March 2000, only a year after reaffirming its earlier withdrawal from the CentGas consortium, UNOCAL held talks with the Taliban government concerning the pipeline projects. Apparently UNOCAL's professed "sensitivity" to human rights issues was eclipsed by the company's desire to obtain the Taliban's guarantee of worker safety during construction of the pipelines.

The links below show clearly that multi-national corporate wish lists are driving US policy in Asia, and leave little doubt as to the reasons behind Washington's desire to replace the Taliban government. This is only tangentially related (if at all) to the "war on terrorism", and it's interesting to note the degree to which the US is following the scripts written long before the 9-11 attacks.

Links relating to the CentGas project:

August 1998 UNOCAL statement:

Suspension of activities related to proposed natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan

http://www.unocal.com/uclnews/98news/082198.htm

December 1998 UNOCAL statement:

Unocal statement on withdrawal from the proposed Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline project

http://www.unocal.com/uclnews/98news/centgas.htm

February 1999 UNOCAL statement:

Unocal reiterates position on withdrawal from trans-Afghanistan pipeline project

http://www.unocal.com/uclnews/99news/021699.htm



March 2000 Business Recorder article:

UNOCAL trying to re-enter Turkmen gas pipeline project

http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDC24/SDC24288.htm



OIL pipeline plans:

Testimony by John J. Maresca, VP, International Relations, Unocal Corp. - February 12, 1998

(Mr. Maresca was George Bush Sr.'s Ambassador to Cyprus )

http://www.house.gov/international_relations/105th/ap/wsap212982.htm

Afghanistan Fact Sheet (see section titled "Regional Pipeline Plans") - December, 2000

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/afghan2.html



US planning came before 9-11 attacks:

US planned attack on Taleban - BBC News, September 18, 2001

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1550000/1550366.stm

Secret memo reveals US plan to overthrow Taliban regime - Guardian, September 21, 2001

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4261737,00.html

Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before US attack - Guardian, September 22, 2001

http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/story/0,1300,556279,00.html



Other links of interest:

The New Great Game - Guardian, March 5, 2001

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4146099,00.html

See also article titled "Afghanistan and Enron"

http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=66181&group=webcast



Recommended reading:

"Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia" by Ahmed Rashid

Book Reveals oil equation, US blunders in Taliban's rise to power

http://www.afghan-network.net/News/Archives/2000/newswire-04-112.html

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