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 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 312
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not ReportingPage 8 of 19    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

To the other, more reasonable posters here I have one question.
What kind of time-frame are we looking at in Afghanistan? How many years
do you think we will have to prop this regime up? How long until
the Afghans have some chance at a free society?


Who knows? It could take decades. Reconstructing Japan and Germany at the end of WW2 took years and billions of dollars (trillions in today's terms), and those countries didn't need the pacification of an active insurgency with sanctuaries in neighboring countries militarily out of reach due to political considerations/complications.

You posed questions, so how about answering mine. What would happen if we just packed up and left right now? What would be the repercussions, and would life be better for the majority of Afghans who want to be finally free of endless war and turmoil?

Negative American public opinion could at any time reach critical mass and force an early withdrawal.
 roughpoet
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 313
view profile
History
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/21/2007 2:45:36 PM
Leaving now is not an option.
As I said before, Karzai is a lamb among wolves. He wouldn't last a week.
I think most of us recognise the need for intervention at this time.
Good things are happening, security is still an issue. We lost two brothers
this week, my thoughts and prayers to their family.

Hopefully the Afghan people can soon take control of their own destiny.
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 314
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/21/2007 3:55:22 PM
Btw, here's additional information in answer to gentalltheway, Msg 330:

In a 21-page document, the British government laid out a detailed accusation of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 attacks. The following is the full text of the report.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TERRORIST ATROCITIES IN THE UNITED STATES 11 SEPTEMBER 2001
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/uk_10-4.html

Selected passages:

1. The clear conclusions reached by the government are:
Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, the terrorist network which he heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001; Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida retain the will and resources to carry out further atrocities; the United Kingdom, and United Kingdom nationals are potential targets; and Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida were able to commit these atrocities because of their close alliance with the Taliban regime, which allowed them to operate with impunity in pursuing their terrorist activity.

16. In June 2001, in the face of mounting evidence of the al-Qaida threat, the United States warned the Taliban that it had the right to defend itself and that it would hold the regime responsible for attacks against U.S. citizens by terrorists sheltered in Afghanistan.

17. In this, the United States had the support of the United Nations. The Security Council, in Resolution 1267, condemned Osama bin Laden for sponsoring international terrorism and operating a network of terrorist camps, and demanded that the Taliban surrender Osama bin Laden without further delay so that he could be brought to justice.

18. Despite the evidence provided by the U.S. of the responsibility of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida for the 1998 East Africa bombings, despite the accurately perceived threats of further atrocities, and despite the demands of the United Nations, the Taliban regime responded by saying no evidence existed against Osama bin Laden, and that neither he nor his network would be expelled.

19. A former Government official in Afghanistan has described the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as "two sides of the same coin: Osama cannot exist in Afghanistan without the Taliban and the Taliban cannot exist without Osama."

42. On 7 August 1998, Assam, a Saudi national and al-Qaida operative, drove the Toyota truck to the U.S. embassy. There was a large bomb in the back of the truck.

43. Also in the truck was Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al 'Owali, another Saudi. He, by his own confession, was an al-Qaida operative, who from about 1996 had been trained in al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan in explosives, hijacking, kidnapping, assassination and intelligence techniques. With Osama bin Laden's express permission, he fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan. He had met Osama bin Laden personally in 1996 and asked for another 'mission.' Osama bin Laden sent him to East Africa after extensive specialized training at camps in Afghanistan.

58. Several of the perpetrators of the Cole attack (mostly Yemenis and Saudis) were trained at Osama bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan. Al 'Owali has identified the two commanders of the attack on the USS Cole as having participated in the planning and preparation for the East African embassy bombings.

59. In the months before the September 11 attacks, propaganda videos were distributed throughout the Middle East and Muslim world by al-Qaida, in which Osama bin Laden and others were shown encouraging Muslims to attack American and Jewish targets.

CONCLUSION

70. The attacks of the 11 September 2001 were planned and carried out by al-Qaida, an organization whose head is Osama bin Laden. That organization has the will, and the resources, to execute further attacks of similar scale. Both the United States and its close allies are targets for such attacks. The attack could not have occurred without the alliance between the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, which allowed bin Laden to operate freely in Afghanistan, promoting, planning and executing terrorist activity.

Mo
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 316
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/21/2007 4:51:48 PM
Yep, AS. They had the power to stop the invasion in their hands, yet dismissed US resolve as bluff until it was too late.

I'd also direct the cynics and conspiracy theorists that still want to dispute the bin Laden/al Qaeda/Taliban connection to read counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies" and CIA Director George Tenet's "At The Center of The Storm".

I would think, being at the forefront of combating terrorism, they would know a little more about the subject.

Also, there's an excellent book giving a firsthand account of events leading up to and including the first days of the invasion:

First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan
by Gary Schroen


~Mo
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 318
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/21/2007 7:44:28 PM
Gen's David Petraeus and James Mattis (the former now the leading commander in Iraq) released the first significant update to the US military counterinsurgency doctrine since Vietnam on December 15, 2006. The manual is now known as COIN FM. In many minds, it was way overdue and much welcomed. The principles it outlines can readily be applied to Afghanistan.

"The manual embraces a model commonly referred to as "clear, hold, and build." It directs the military to support the "host nation" government in combating insurgents by "clearing" areas and then to transition to a law enforcement model to "hold" them. This, in turn, enables the implementation of political, social, and economic programs designed to reduce the appeal of the insurgency and "build" the government's legitimacy. The COIN FM argues that most active, passive, and potential supporters of an insurgency -- whether they are ideological, ethnic, or religious in character -- can be won over through the provision of security, since "citizens seek to ally with groups that can guarantee their safety." Providing basic services and enacting policies aimed at "address[ing] the legitimate grievances insurgents use to generate popular support" also help flip support from the guerrillas to the government. The population, rather than the insurgent movement, is the "center of gravity," and the military's "primary function in COIN is protecting that populace." Source: Foreign Affairs magazine

I just found an interesting recent article about like-minded efforts in Afghanistan.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0907/p01s08-wosc.html?page=1

US Army's strategy in Afghanistan: better anthropology
Counterinsurgency efforts focus on better grasping and meeting local needs.


Excerpts

Evidence of how far the US Army's counterinsurgency strategy has evolved can be found in the work of a uniformed anthropologist toting a gun in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Part of a Human Terrain Team (HTT) – the first ever deployed – she speaks to hundreds of Afghan men and women to learn how they think and what they need.

"A lot of the counterinsurgency fight is to deny the insurgents the ability to feed and shelter themselves by the local populace," says Maj. Craig Blando, head of a team working alongside Afghan police.

But intimidation remains. A one-day US military medical and veterinary service this week in the Shabak Valley, in which doctors and veterinarians stood ready to help, was nearly vacant.

Local police officer 1st Lt. Taj Mohammed had predicted that many hundreds of people would show up at the clinics – up to 400 have visited ones elsewhere – but only 100 men and a handful of women came to this one on Monday.

One reason, US officers said, may have been because they arrested six Taliban in the area the previous week. Rumors had spread that suicide attacks might target the clinics. A roadside bomb was discovered two nights before.

"They are afraid of the Taliban," confirmed one black-turbaned elder, Maligul, who walked through the ring of US and Afghan security only to argue his tribe's case in a land dispute. "Already the Taliban beheaded one elder a month ago. They told people he was a spy of the coalition."

"The young people don't come. They are all Al Qaeda; they're up in the mountains," says Lieutenant Mohammed. "All young people have no jobs, so they join the Taliban ... to get clothes and hashish."

"Al Qaeda has influence all the time over people," he says, estimating the "enemy" in his district at between 10 and 40, perhaps one-third of them from Pakistan or the Arab world. "We don't have government people here. Whenever we [Afghan and US forces] leave this place, they will come down and it will be just like it was before...."

Operation Khyber has yielded promises from 73 families in three districts to provide auxiliary police recruits, but this officer says none have come forward.

"When the Afghan Army and coalition leaves, the Taliban will come back down," says Maligul, who has only one name.

Finding ways to challenge that fear – and learn what makes Afghans choose to support the government or its enemies – is the job of the HTT. The key ingredient is a "senior cultural analyst," in this case, Tracy, the anthropologist in uniform.

She has interviewed hundreds of Afghan women and men, sometimes for hours on end, hearing how most are "so tired of war." In nine months, Tracy has gained deep knowledge, she says, aimed at helping "fill the vacuum that the Taliban and other nefarious actors want to fill."

Tracy tells Afghans that she wants to "enhance the military's understanding of the culture so we don't make mistakes like in Iraq." But the bar is high, and this village with the medical clinic shows signs of militant influence, such as being "coached."

"Across the armed forces, there is a desire to build this capacity and field it," says Tracy. "Because of the turn of events in Iraq, it made it extremely clear that we had to have a better understanding.

"I'm amazed at the soldiers, they get it," she adds. "And the receptivity of the commanders – they know we need to get it right."
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 320
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/22/2007 6:33:42 AM

Yet we are burning out our warriors. Just a thought.


Excellent point. The sad truth is the US military (can't speak for other nations) is chronically overextended by being ordered to take on two huge missions at once (Afghanistan and Iraq). We have active and reservists on multiple tours of duty, with no signs of relief in sight. If both missions are of such importance, we need a much more comprehensive and widespread national effort that spreads the sacrifice more equally. There was brief talk of bringing back the draft, but lack of popular support and political will quickly dropped further interest. What the future holds is anyone's guess. We might have to quit either Afghanistan or Iraq in the next couple years out of sheer exhaustion.
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 322
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/22/2007 7:27:13 AM

A thug is a thig is a thug, even if it's dressed in a UN mission.


Yeah, obviously the UN has taken your advice and stayed out of stopping the genocide in Darfur. They'd just be viewed as a bunch of gun-toting thugs by the people being tortured and murdered, anyway, right? Just disband the organization, it's not worth a sh*t. (being sarcastic in case you don't get it)


Ever heard of blowback? That's what created bin Laden in the first place. Now we have helped created thousands more.


No, bin Laden created bin Laden. His twisted world view is home grown, so don't throw that at the feet of somebody else. He's taken personal responsibility for his actions; it's about time people quit apologizing for him.


OP, as we see the main stream media is full of stories supporting the "War on Terror" and very few that speak out against it.


This is simply untrue. Have you been living on the moon? Bush's poll numbers have been so consistently low they might get into negative digits. Anger about Iraq and extreme dissatisfaction with the War on Terror is everywhere to see, not only in the US media and on the Internet (just try doing some simple searches....wading through all the conspiracy crap to find some "positive" stories is getting harder and harder).
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 324
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History
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/22/2007 10:05:28 PM
Actually, we created bin Laden. Durig the Cold war, we are the ones who trained, armed and funded their efforts against the former Soviet Union. They didn't turn their attention towards us until we put a permanent base in Saudi Arabia.

we also created Iran (Iran Contra) Iraq (Iraq Iran war) Cuba (Castro) etc.
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 325
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/23/2007 4:36:52 AM
The above is a GROSS distortion; the same nonsense and revisionist, biased history I've had to answer for years on forums like these.

The CIA "trained, armed, and funded" many groups fighting the Soviets and Soviet proxies throughout the Cold War. The Soviets did the same to us. That's literally tens of thousands of fighters over 40+ years.

Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least $6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds to prop up the Mujahideen factions. Other Western governments, as well as oil-rich Saudi Arabia, kicked in as much again. Wealthy Arab fanatics, like bin Laden, provided millions more.

Whatever training and aid bin Laden took advantage of during the Soviet War in Afghanistan was profusely welcomed by the Mujahideen. American popular opinion at that time was overwhelmingly "for" giving this aid as a way of showing our support for their unequal fight against the Soviet military machine. But most didn't have the crystal ball of 20/20 hindsight to "know" ahead of time that anyone receiving the aid would become a future enemy.

I would also submit that whatever aid and training bin Laden received from the CIA during this time was inconsequential to forming his world view and hatred of America, as anyone who has done any detailed research into his background can see. That chapter in his life is a blip compared to his future endeavors. To imply his extreme religious beliefs and subsequent terrorist activities were a direct result of his earlier CIA connection is laughable.

Btw, the TRUE military architect of al Qaeda's terrorist network was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, NOT bin Laden. Mohammed was the Number 3 man in al Qaeda's hierarchy and chief military planner. His roots in terrorist organizations goes back to age 16.

More on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_Shaikh_Mohammed

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/03/02/mohammed.biog/

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/03/15/guantanamo.mohammed/index.html

 roughpoet
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 326
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History
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/23/2007 11:49:23 AM
Very true in all aspects. OBL had clear views of what he would accept from the US.
Weapons? Of course. Training? Why not. He had no intentions of ever using these assets to assist the US.

The same holds true for the current regime, in my opinion. They will continue
to stall any progress as long as they are allowed. We need someone to take control
of this mess, someone with the balls to clean house.

Of course, as dunnrich has said, we need a clarification of the situation on the
Pakistan border to make any headway at all. Otherwise it may take all of
twenty years, if ever, to resolve.
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 328
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History
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/23/2007 1:58:20 PM
I'm really glad you aren't a History teacher.

Hitler was created by the oppresive penalties placed upon Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. Wilson tried to avoid that with his League of Nations.

Castro was PUT INTO PLACE by the US, so yes, we created it.

Stalin was already in power in WWII, we simply used him to defeat Hitler. The UK was nearly decimated militarily, without supporting the USSR, we would have lost Europe.

Reagan committed TREASON by making arrangements with the Iranians to continue holding the hostages until after the election. Then we sold arms to Iran in return, and funneled the mney to the Contras in Nicaragua.

So, no, the US isn't to blame for everything. Until the neocon idiots took power, we were the good guys, though we made a few mistakes. We no longer own the high ground because of the neocons and those who support them.
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 329
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/23/2007 2:38:06 PM

So, no, the US isn't to blame for everything. Until the neocon idiots took power, we were the good guys, though we made a few mistakes. We no longer own the high ground because of the neocons and those who support them.


With regard to “creating” bin Laden, the problem with blaming it all on the “neocons” is it dismisses all the aid we gave the Mujahideen during the Carter administration (that’s when it first started, remember?). If Carter would have won reelection in 1980 I don’t see any scenario where he would have “stopped” giving aid, and would not only have continued, but expanded it, just as Reagan did.

We could very well be charging that Carter, arguably one of the world’s greatest modern day humanitarians and a Nobel Peace Prize winner (and the antithesis of a neocon), as the creator of bin Laden. Based on context, do you have any idea how silly that would sound?

This is what I meant by taking facts and events and distorting them to prove a point built on faulty logic. Dunrich makes a valid point.
 motownmaniax
Joined: 8/13/2006
Msg: 331
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/23/2007 5:21:05 PM
If the reasons for any international action center on national security, no country should or would formulate and conduct their foreign policy based on the fear that it may somehow, somewhere, anger someone.

Bin Laden said his biggest grievance against the US was basing troops in Saudi Arabia during Gulf War 1. Btw, this is by no means his “only” grievance—our aid and friendly relations with Israel rank just as high.

However, in his countless fatwas against the West he conveniently forgets we had the “permission” of the Saudi’s to base military forces there, and the conditions they laid out were very strict. Why would they agree in the first place? Because they were justifiably afraid that Saddam would have pushed straight through Kuwait to capture Saudi oil fields, so were desperate for US protection.

In Gulf War 1, we had critical foreign policy, geopolitical, and economic reasons to get involved. As the Carter Doctrine first formulated, the Gulf is critical to US national interests. He stated unequivocally in a speech in 1980......

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force....

Source and entire speech text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Doctrine

Bush Sr did a masterful job in rallying global support behind Gulf War 1 and winning the war. It was truly a willing and united coalition; a stunning American foreign policy success not seen since probably WW2.

We did the job and left. Accusations of abuse of power or overstepping diplomatic boundaries were rare and lacked foundation, so to give “any” creedence to bin Laden’s charge is simply ridiculous, unless you’re a bin Laden sympathizer and apologist.

Bin Laden is responsible for his own philosophy and actions. To deflect this responsibility by saying we "created" him lets his kind off the hook and turns logic and reason upside down, and is simply WRONG.
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 334
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/24/2007 3:25:57 PM
a number of posters have noted lately that some people either rewrite or misinterpret history to the benefit of their political views - we see it all the time here. when will people understand that the internet provides a rich source of information to disprove these sorts of lies and myths - then there are those who take certain facts, such as bin laden's involvement with the us - and stretch it out to where the us 'created' bin laden and has reaped what it has sown.
interestingly enough, and i commented on this some time back - i've been travelling the last few days - no one from the left wing has bothered to even comment on facts which dunrich brought out - well, other than a brief notation about lapis lazuli - that's the problem with some posters who work from ill informed ideology rather than facts - when the facts come out, they conveniently ignore them and when someone like me notes THAT, they get annoyed.
has anyone else noted that there are a lot fewer left wing posters now with so many facts refuting them...but i'm willing to bet, even though a lot fo what they claim has been fully disproved here, we'll find some of them on other forums, shovelling the same old swill...
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 335
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/24/2007 3:49:35 PM
yo, dunrich, motown, ms squirrly, and others....the left wing has moved to a new post on afghanistan, under politics, called why are we in afghanistan - and i'm reading the same tripe we got here....the us trained osama, the fight is about oil, or poppies, or whatever. and it's some of the same people who've run from this thread after you've worked to put the boots to them with facts here...anyone want to join me over there and rout them again?
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 336
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History
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/25/2007 12:57:44 AM
Glaring ignorance NEVER does anything but proclaim your ignorance louder. You didn't rout anyone with your misinformation.
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 339
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/25/2007 12:49:55 PM
exodus - i've seen more mis and disinformation on this thread coming from people who disagree with the afghan and iraqi missions, some of it blatant and deliberate lying from people who know the facts - but choose, for whatever reason, to continue with their 'propoganda'. to be quite frank with you, i'm sick of it - on this thread, for example, dunrich put post after post of facts which proved wrong what other posters had claimed.
did we hear any rebuttal - not a word - but the person who was most in error, well, he thought that dunrich's information about lapus lazuli, a semi-precious gemstone - was important to him. didn't even remark on the fact that everything he'd posted was wrong. and i've noticed that this is standard with the apologists - use what truth you can, ignore what doesn't agree with your worldview - you are no better than the rest of them either, from what i've seen of your posts.
so don't talk to me of 'glaring ignorance' and misinformation - i made a successful living for over 20 years in media, including national awards, for knowing the truth. and i find it appalling that so many of the posters here, even when proven wrong about facts - not opinions, but facts - continue to spout the same lies in other threads. i come here to learn things, not be lied to, but if i have to chase these propogandists through the internet and continually point out their lies - and that goes for anyone from the right wing as well - then i'll do so and i ask you to tell me how getting to the truth can be a bad thing.
 exodusi1
Joined: 8/19/2006
Msg: 340
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History
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/25/2007 12:58:56 PM
What is wrong with Afghanistan is Iraq. Had we concentrated on the real task at hand, Afghanistan, there is a good chance we would have routed the terrorists in their lair, captured O b L, and been able to stabilize that region. No guarantees it wouldn't have become the focal point like Iraq has, however, we would not be stretched so thin.

I don't know enough about the situation in Afghanistan to preport to be any kind of an expert. I believe things may be improving, but if we had only NOT gone into Iraq, how much better could it be. People in that entire region are suffering because of our presence. Even if we aren't to blame, who are the average citizen going to believe? Ther tribal leaders or the American ousiders? I fear that the longer we are present without improving their living standards, the greater the risk that future generations will come to hate us as well.
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 341
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/25/2007 1:35:25 PM

I fear that the longer we are present without improving their living standards, the greater the risk that future generations will come to hate us as well.

Excellent point exodus - and that's what the forces there are trying to do - but unfortunately, the first job is to get rid of the taliban and the insurgent forces that are trying to prevent exactly that.
It's an old saying, but it's true here - you can't make omelets without breaking eggs. Once the back of the taliban is broken, real progress can be made in Afghanistan. And you know, progress is being made in Iraq - slowly, but it is happening.
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 344
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/25/2007 9:26:36 PM
...before you ask if we're 'reality based', take a look at your own comment -
Perhaps if there were no occupying forces the various tribes/social and ethic groups/families/clans could forge their own solutions to their differences.

These various tribes, etc. have been warring amongst each other for as long as they've been there. However, now it has an effect on OUR world - the one you and I inhabit, which is why we are there now. And hopefully, in the end, we'll sort out this mess. It didn't happen overnight in Korea either and the Iron Curtain didn't come down overnight...and this won't be over tomorrow or even next year....but if we don't do something, the costs to us - not to mention Afghani women and children - are far greater.
 roughpoet
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 346
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History
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/26/2007 1:20:34 PM
Any news on the proposed pipeline?


'In 1998,****Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: "I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian." But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan. '

From the 1998 Congressional Record.
-___________________________________
Another timbit of historical interest....

U.S. INTERESTS IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN
REPUBLICS HEARING BEFORE THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION
FEBRUARY 12, 1998

Next we would like to hear from Mr. John J. Maresca, vice president of international relations, Unocal Corporation. You may proceed as you wish.

STATEMENT OF JOHN J. MARESCA, VICE
PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, UNOCAL CORPORATION

Mr. Maresca. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's nice to see you again. I am John Maresca, vice president for international relations of the Unocal Corporation. Unocal, as you know, is one of the world's leading energy resource and project development companies. I appreciate your invitation to speak here today. I believe these hearings are important and timely. I congratulate you for focusing on Central Asia oil and gas reserves and the role they play in shaping U.S. policy.

I would like to focus today on three issues. First, the need for multiple pipeline routes for Central Asian oil and gas resources. Second, the need for U.S. support for international and regional efforts to achieve balanced and lasting political settlements to the conflicts in the region, including Afghanistan. Third, the need for structured assistance to encourage economic reforms and the development of appropriate investment climates in the region. In this regard, we specifically support repeal or removal of section 907 of the Freedom Support Act.

Mr. Chairman, the Caspian region contains tremendous untapped hydrocarbon reserves. Just to give an idea of the scale, proven natural gas reserves equal more than 236 trillion cubic feet. The region's total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels. In 1995, the region was producing only 870,000 barrels per day. By 2010, western companies could increase production to about 4.5 million barrels a day, an increase of more than 500 percent in only 15 years. If this occurs, the region would represent about 5 percent of the world's total oil production.

One major problem has yet to be resolved: how to get the region's vast energy resources to the markets where they are needed. Central Asia is isolated. Their natural resources are land locked, both geographically and politically. Each of the countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia faces difficult political challenges. Some have unsettled wars or latent conflicts. Others have evolving systems where the laws and even the courts are dynamic and changing. In addition, a chief technical obstacle which we in the industry face in transporting oil is the region's existing pipeline infrastructure.

Because the region's pipelines were constructed during the Moscow-centered Soviet period, they tend to head north and west toward Russia. There are no connections to the south and east. But Russia is currently unlikely to absorb large new quantities of foreign oil. It's unlikely to be a significant market for new energy in the next decade. It lacks the capacity to deliver it to other markets.

Two major infrastructure projects are seeking to meet the need for additional export capacity. One, under the aegis of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, plans to build a pipeline west from the northern Caspian to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Oil would then go by tanker through the Bosporus to the Mediterranean and world markets.

The other project is sponsored by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, a consortium of 11 foreign oil companies, including four American companies, Unocal, Amoco, Exxon and Pennzoil. This consortium conceives of two possible routes, one line would angle north and cross the north Caucasus to Novorossiysk. The other route would cross Georgia to a shipping terminal on the Black Sea. This second route could be extended west and south across Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

But even if both pipelines were built, they would not have enough total capacity to transport all the oil expected to flow from the region in the future. Nor would they have the capability to move it to the right markets. Other export pipelines must be built.

At Unocal, we believe that the central factor in planning these pipelines should be the location of the future energy markets that are most likely to need these new supplies. Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union are all slow growth markets where demand will grow at only a half a percent to perhaps 1.2 percent per year during the period 1995 to 2010.

Asia is a different story all together. It will have a rapidly increasing energy consumption need. Prior to the recent turbulence in the Asian Pacific economies, we at Unocal anticipated that this region's demand for oil would almost double by 2010. Although the short-term increase in demand will probably not meet these expectations, we stand behind our long-term estimates.

I should note that it is in everyone's interest that there be adequate supplies for Asia's increasing energy requirements. If Asia's energy needs are not satisfied, they will simply put pressure on all world markets, driving prices upwards everywhere.

The key question then is how the energy resources of Central Asia can be made available to nearby Asian markets. There are two possible solutions, with several variations. One option is to go east across China, but this would mean constructing a pipeline of more than 3,000 kilometers just to reach Central China. In addition, there would have to be a 2,000-kilometer connection to reach the main population centers along the coast. The question then is what will be the cost of transporting oil through this pipeline, and what would be the netback which the producers would receive.

For those who are not familiar with the terminology, the netback is the price which the producer receives for his oil or gas at the well head after all the transportation costs have been deducted. So it's the price he receives for the oil he produces at the well head.

The second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious route south would cross Iran, but this is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route is across Afghanistan, which has of course its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades, and is still divided by civil war. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company.

Mr. Chairman, as you know, we have worked very closely with the University of Nebraska at Omaha in developing a training program for Afghanistan which will be open to both men and women, and which will operate in both parts of the country, the north and south.

Unocal foresees a pipeline which would become part of a regional system that will gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The 1,040-mile long oil pipeline would extend south through Afghanistan to an export terminal that would be constructed on the Pakistan coast. This 42-inch diameter pipeline will have a shipping capacity of one million barrels of oil per day. The estimated cost of the project, which is similar in scope to the trans-Alaska pipeline, is about $2.5 billion.

Given the plentiful natural gas supplies of Central Asia, our aim is to link gas resources with the nearest viable markets. This is basic for the commercial viability of any gas project. But these projects also face geopolitical challenges. Unocal and the Turkish company Koc Holding are interested in bringing competitive gas supplies to Turkey. The proposed Eurasia natural gas pipeline would transport gas from Turkmenistan directly across the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey. Of course the demarcation of the Caspian remains an issue.

Last October, the Central Asia Gas Pipeline Consortium, called CentGas, in which Unocal holds an interest, was formed to develop a gas pipeline which will link Turkmenistan's vast Dauletabad gas field with markets in Pakistan and possibly India. The proposed 790-mile pipeline will open up new markets for this gas, traveling from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Multan in Pakistan. The proposed extension would move gas on to New Delhi, where it would connect with an existing pipeline. As with the proposed Central Asia oil pipeline, CentGas can not begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan Government is in place.

The Central Asia and Caspian region is blessed with abundant oil and gas that can enhance the lives of the region's residents, and provide energy for growth in both Europe and Asia. The impact of these resources on U.S. commercial interests and U.S. foreign policy is also significant. Without peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the region, cross-border oil and gas pipelines are not likely to be built. We urge the Administration and the Congress to give strong support to the U.N.-led peace process in Afghanistan. The U.S. Government should use its influence to help find solutions to all of the region's conflicts.

(Yikes! Crazy talk....)

U.S. assistance in developing these new economies will be crucial to business success. We thus also encourage strong technical assistance programs throughout the region. Specifically, we urge repeal or removal of section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. This section unfairly restricts U.S. Government assistance to the government of Azerbaijan and limits U.S. influence in the region.

Developing cost-effective export routes for Central Asian resources is a formidable task, but not an impossible one. Unocal and other American companies like it are fully prepared to undertake the job and to make Central Asia once again into the crossroads it has been in the past. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
_____________________________________________________

Interesting stories, yes?
 gentalltheway
Joined: 9/9/2006
Msg: 347
view profile
History
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/26/2007 2:33:12 PM

Interesting stories, yes?


It has been discussed long and hard over the years. Some just prefer to keep a blind eye over the subject.

By the way, on who's payroll was Hamid Karzai on before originally appointed to be the president of Afghanistan in December 2001? Here's a tip...it rhymes with Unical.

The war in Afghanistan was planned before 911. 911 was just used as an excuse to move forward with the plan. The problem today is that as long as insurgents will be around, there will be no plans to build that pipeline. That's where we come in playing stooges for the US and it's companies.

Anyway, here's an interesting website. Some should read it twice.

Enjoy.

http://www.prophetofdoom.net/Islamic_Terrorism_Timeline_Pipeline_to_9-11.Islam
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 348
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/26/2007 8:29:11 PM

The war in Afghanistan was planned before 911.

Right. It's all about oil....of course, the fact, as noted by Dunrich in another thread, which most of you have participated in, showing that Canada is the major supplier of US oil, followed by a variety of countries, has no bearing on the so called 'facts' you like to espouse.
If you people are even remotely correct, then you might explain why US troops aren't taking over Canada...or any of the other seven or so countries which outrank Iraq, etc. in the production of oil. Afghanistan doesn't even show up as I recall.
Yes, the pipeline may well make good economic sense, and the US has a legitimate interest in doing business in that area - it IS a capitalistic democracy - profit isn't a dirty word here...and before you forget, the Afghan government has asked for assistance - the troops there are part of a UN mission, not a US one.
Has any one of you ever thought what it would mean if the US didn't have secure access to petroleum...give that some thought one of these days....it might serve to enlighten you. If your country is a slave to oil, then it's each one of us with the whip in his hand, beating on the backs of the government to keep them oil fields producing....and if you don't see that whip in your hand, you need to look harder.
The problem is each one of us...you, me, mungo, ghost, all 300 million or so of us on this continent ....and until we relinquish our desperate need for oil, or massive and easily obtainable fields are found elsewhere, don't expect the Middle East to become less important.
You may not like what's happening in the Middle East, but you're a part of the reason, same as I am...you might think of that, driving to work and home today, and lay off the hypocrisy here. The countries with oil are being well paid for it, and that's only fair - but they want to hold us to ransom, they want to make us bow to them, destroy our way of life, to force us to live in mud huts as they do....if that's what you want, well, move there.
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 349
Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media IS Reporting
Posted: 11/26/2007 8:38:22 PM
"OP, as we see the main stream media is full of stories supporting the "War on Terror" and very few speak that speak out against it"

So true...Id give ten dollars for every story I see speaking out against it...Its quite rare indeed....Just tune in to CNN or Faux News or any mainstream television and you basically are fed the same parrot party line on "supporting the war on terror"....If you watch those old documentaries on Nazi Germany, its not much different than mainstream propaganda here.......Rather, the mainstream media is supporting the war on terror, has been for years, and any opposition to that is silenced and isnt covered by the so called news unless its from an independent source, a European source and not politically backed..When I was in London, the news there about both Iraq and Afghanistan was very different than the slant of the USA mainstream media...Every American needs to get out of the country so they can get a sense of just how much propaganda they are being fed by our government and media...The USA doesnt have the corner market on truth or reality in terms of the press and the media
 gottobeme
Joined: 4/2/2006
Msg: 350
Positive Things in Afghanastan- what Main Stream Media Is Not Reporting
Posted: 11/26/2007 8:46:29 PM

(Yikes! Crazy talk....)

rough, did you even read what you posted. I don't know what your background is, but I'm a retired businessman with a degree in economics and business. I read the entire quote you provided and it makes good economic sense. Interestingly enough, the oil isn't for the US, but for developing Asian markets, so as to keep future price pressures on domestic oil down. That's clearly stated.
You quite obviously don't recognize what good sense that is. Nor do you recognize what the availability of plentiful oil will do for the poor in countries such as India, Afghanistan and so on - among other things, it will help eradicate poverty in the region, by providing jobs, it will contribute to the opportunities available to women, to children, to entire regions...I'm not going to go to great lengths to explain this, if you don't understand, you need to do some learing about how economies develop and grow - and I suggest that your heroes such as K. Marx and his ilk aren't on the required reading list if you hope to understand what is being proposed. Ultimately, a pipeline through Afghanistan will result in economic freedom for the country, and permit it to grow into the 21st century. Is that a bad thing in your mind, I wonder....
Or, as I suspect that rather than do the hard reading, you'll simply tell me I'm full of it - that's the easy route out for lefties....
p.s. have anyone from the left here noticed that countries with economic opportunity and wealth which is in the hands of the people tend to be stable democracies....rather than war torn hellholes....maybe, just maybe, opening up these areas economically will help end the troubles there....
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