Is the Whirling Dervish of TAPI Politics Finally Spinning America’s Way?
By Peter Chamberlin
It had to eventually happen–Afghan politics have come full circle, and then some. It was only a matter of time before the TAPI pipe dream would once again be offered as a solution to the Afghan conflict. The Taliban are once again being handed the keys to the kingdom in exchange for partnering with Western oil giants as the means for ensuring TAPI pipeline security. The last time we heard the snake charmers make this offer was in 1996, when Marty Miller of Unocal tried to convince all the factions that the “pipeline was a conflict resolution process.” When this approach also failed to keep all parties satisfied, speculation arose that Unocal or another consortium partner gave secret support to the Taliban, in order to push-out the Northern Alliance forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud from their northern sanctuary, the location of the finalized pipeline route. What will happen this time, when the Taliban or the mega-corporations prove to be unmovable and the whole diplomatic episode is exposed as another charade? Karzai is a marked man, just as Rabbani before him was marked for termination by the medieval Taliban.
When it comes to Afghanistan and energy corridors, there are no new ideas under the sun–even Hillary Clinton’s favorite project, the “Silk Road,” is just another attempt to revive one of her husband’s policy failures. The following testimony was given to Congress on 12 February 1998, by John Maresca, International head of Unocal–
“There are few, if any, other areas of the world where there can be such a dramatic increase in the supply of oil and gas to the world market. The solution seems simple: build a ‘new’ Silk Road.”
Anyone who has been paying attention to the decisions being made in Washington concerning the final resolution of the Afghan dilemma should have seen something like this coming down the pipe. The Obama team has consistently pushed a revived TAPI project like it was already a done deal. All of Obama’s emissaries have done everything imaginable to coerce Pakistan into signing-on to the mega-project, usually by portraying TAPI as something in Pakistan’s best interests and the Iranian IPI pipeline as something harmful. If today’s report that the Taliban also want TAPI is true, then the US has once again performed another act of “ju jitsu diplomacy,” whereby a foreign entity’s decisions are turned on their heads, so that blatant lies are swallowed whole, as if they were the only truth. In Pakistan’s case, after Ambassador Holbrooke successfully donned the disguise of humanitarian benefactor he was able to dominate the media with pro-American propaganda.
The pipeline plot was actually a subtle form of arm-twisting, intended to force Pakistan into helping the US bring the war to a close. If Pakistan would only consent to forcibly bending the Taliban into a cooperative frame of mind, then all of these economic benefits and problem-solving initiatives would simply fall into their laps. Such is the nature of American Fascist “diplomacy.” Holbrooke’s hallmark.
Just as Pakistan is now being forced into an undesired partnership with America, through a combination of economic incentives and military pressure, Turkmenistan has been maneuvered into a corner until conditions could be made amenable to TAPI development. TAPI would be a reality by now were it not for American obstructionism. By February 10, 1993, Bridas Corp. of Argentina had already signed contracts to build the pipeline with the Turkmen state gas company, Turkmenneft, but construction was blocked by Unocal of California lawyers, who hung the project up in US courts on legal technicalities.
In hindsight, it is apparent that the President of Turkmenistan at that time, Saparmurat Niyazov, also helped Unocal negate the contract which he had previously signed with Bridas, because he didn’t like the 75/25 split specified in the contract, since Bridas would receive the 75% as the project developer. Thereafter, with development rights to all of that gas and oil up in the air, the Saudis took control of the project, as they assumed the dubious position of financier of both factions in the legal and political battles to build TAPI. New corporations were formed by different Saudi royals, Delta and Ningharco; Delta partnered with Unocal and Ningharco backed Bridas. Ningharco was a shell company based in the Jersey Isles, run by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki. The Saudis were controlling both sides of the bidding war and negotiations, which continued behind the scenes right up until the attacks in Washington and New York, committed by mostly Saudi terrorists on September 11, 2001. Is it simply an awful coincidence that the TAPI negotiations came to a dead end simultaneously with the rise of the mostly Saudi terrorist organization, we know as “Al-CIA-da”?
Saudis, Saudis everywhere, most of them stirring-up trouble of some sort,…and yet they are still helping us to run the terror war–the war which has made this new TAPI deal with the Taliban possible. This entire war has been a farce, an exercise in building Saudi wealth. And still, no one in Washington gives a damn–as long as their schemes help bring about the dreamed-of strategic pipeline corridor through Afghanistan and Balochistan. It will all be celebrated as a great victory, Obama snatching Hillary’s pipe dreams and his second term out of thin air, making it the cornerstone of a “New American Century.” All of this, thanks to Saudi double-dealing and the twisted legacy of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, administered by the capable hands of Clinton’s wife.