On March 20, 2003 the United States invaded Iraq as part of the War on Terrorism. According to American officials, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which he could potentially sell to Al Qaeda. Saddam posed an imminent danger to the American people, and for this reason the United States began bombarding Baghdad last spring.

Perhaps ironically, terrorism seems to have increased since Americans arrived in Iraq. Four American soldiers and close to forty Iraqi civilians died in FIVE suicide car bombings in Baghdad on Monday, October 27th. The day before an American colonel and several Iraqi civilians died in a missile attack on the Al Rashid hotel in Baghdad. The almost daily terrorist attacks against American military forces and international aid organizations seem to be increasing in intensity and sophistication.

Although it's now more than six months since the initial invasion of Iraq, the Americans have still not found Saddam Hussein or any weapons of mass destruction. The topics have largely dropped out of mainstream media discourse. On Wednesday, October 29th, a small article on the eleventh page of The New York Times reported that the White House administration may soon even give up the WMD search, though they expect the United States will remain in Iraq for several years. Didn't the United States invade Iraq to seize their weapons of mass destruction? Why hasn't the United States found Saddam Hussein or any WMDs? Why is the United States so quick to give up the search for WMDs? Most of the American public are not aware of the Bush administrations's alterior motives for invading Iraq.

The central Asian region has "one of the biggest gas reserves on Earth" according to an article in The Washington Post on October 21, 1995. The Telegraph acquiesced in an article on October 11, 1996 stating that Turkmenistan has the fifth largest gas reserves in the world. "The Price of Oil" in the July 9th, 2001 edition of The New Yorker estimated the gas reserves in Central Asia at six trillion dollars. In testimony to the House International Relations Committee on February, 12, 1998, John J Maresca, the vice president of the American oil company Unocal, suggested that the Caspian Sea basin could produce 20% of all non-OPEC oil by 2010.

American oil companies have already attempted to capitalize on the reserves in the Caspian Sea basin. Between 1991 and 1997, several American companies such as ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP, Amoco, Shell, and Enron bought seventy five percent of the oil field rights in Central Asia, according to the New Yorker. The Washington Post reported on October 21, 1995 that Unocal signed an eight billion dollar contract with Turkmenistan to export its natural gas. The Houston Chronicle published an article on June 25, 1996 that Enron had signed a 1.3 billion dollar venture with Uzbekistan to develop the nation's rich natural gas fields.

However, the landlocked nations of Central Asia impede easy export of the natural gas. Initially, American oil companies attempted to utilize Russian pipelines to move the oil. "The Price of Oil" in The New Yorker extrapolated on Mobil's thirty five billion dollar quest to export Kazakhstan's oil through Russia's pipelines. Russia's tariffs, limits, and other conditions resulted in a loss of seventy six million dollars for Mobil. Mobil decided not to pursue the matter after hearing numerous tales about the ruthless Russian mafia. Several of the Central Asian countries had existing pipelines through Iran. American trade sanctions against Iran prevented the oil companies from utilizing these Iranian pipelines, although the "Price of Oil" article in The New Yorker suggests some shady interactions between Iran and Mobil.

After sticky situations with the Russian and Iranian pipeliens, American oil companies concluded that they needed to construct a new pipeline either under the Caspian Sea or through Afghanistan. On October 21, 1995, The Washington Post reported on Unocal's plan to build a three billion dollar pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. The Unocal pipeline was indefinetly delayed when the Clinton administration refused to recognize the contemporary Taliban government in Afghanistan, citing their numerous human rights violations.

Back in the United States, American oil executives stirred up political movements to support their economic interests in Central Asia. In January 1993, Dick Cheney, the CEO of Halliburton, the largest oil refinery equipment supplier in the world, released the document "Defense Strategy for the 1990's" in which he outlined plans for a dramatic transformation of the American military to enable US global domination. Cheney also announced the creation of the neoconservative Washington think tank 'Project for the New American Century.' In June1997, the Project for the New American Century outlined its goals of shaping "a new century favorable to American principles and interests and achieving "a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad." On January 26, 1998, the Project for the New American Century became more specific with their foreign policy plans. The Washington think tank released a document urging war against Iraq because Saddam Hussein posed a "hazard" to "a significant portion of the world's supply of oil." Several members of the current Bush administration signed the document including the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage, the Undersecretaries of State John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, and Bush's special Iraq envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. The White House administration had the invasion of Iraq in their minds as early as 1998 as a way to secure an American stake in the valuable oil resources of the Caspian Sea basin. In June of 1998, the future vice president Dick Cheney commented on the importance of the region, "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian."

Just before the presidential election in 2000, the Bush team published "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources for a New Century." The document outlined their plans to take control of the Persian Gulf. "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." The Bush team also claimed, "advanced form of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." Weapons of Mass Destruction could stimulate an American invasion of Iraq and allow the United States to secure control of the region. The document also suggested forced regime change in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, and Iran.

Over the next year, the Bush administration continued to advance their Persian Gulf aspirations. In May 2001, vice-president Dick Cheney released the National Energy Plan which cited America's lack of energy supplies and the need to access the resources of Central Asia. On April 30, 2002 Japan Today reported that in the National Energy Plan Cheney stated the US couldn't rely on market forces alone to gain access to the oil of the Caspian Sea basin. Cheney believed that significant effort by the American government was required to overcome foreign resistance in Central Asia.

The American government began to implement their aspirations in the Persian Gulf region. According to The Guardian on September 26, 2001 the United States General Tommy Franks visited Tajikistan to offer military aid to the nation on May 16, 2001. A Defense Department official also visited Tajikistan around the same time to offer American support. The Guardian reported that US Rangers had begun training troops in Kyrgystan. The United States was slowly building up military and economic alliances in the Central Asian region. Public adversity to a mass deployment of troops prevented the Pentagon from any larger mobilizations. In October 1997 the former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski published "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives" in which he concurs with the Bush administration about the current impossibility of a large military deployment in the Persian Gulf. Brzezinski refers to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as an impetus to Americans' involvement in World War II and claims that the goals in Caspian Sea basin will not be enacted "except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived external threat." In front of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, the Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Andrew Krepinevich agreed with Brzezinski that "in the absence of a strong external shock to the US- a latter day Pearl Harbor of sorts- surmounting the barriers to (military) transformation will likely prove a long, ardous process." (March 5, 1999, CSBA)

On September 11, 2001, the White House Administration found their "Pearl Harbor" and immediately began implementing their plans into action. In notes to his staff, later broadcast by CBS News on September 4, 2002, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, wrote "Best info fast. Judge whether good enough to hit S.H. (Saddam Hussein) at the same time. Not only O.B.L. (Osama Bin Ladin) Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not." Just nine days after September 11th,The Los Angeles Times reported that the Project for the New American Century was urging an attack of Iraq as soon as possible. The Bush administration saw their chance to take control of the Persian Gulf. Beginning September 22, 2001 through December 2001, The Los Angeles Times reported that US military planes secretly landed at night in Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. By October 5, 2001, The Telegraph reported that "a huge military buildup has occurred." On January 17, 2002 The Christian Science Monitor revealed that the US now had thirteen military bases in Central Asia. Just a few months after September 11th, The Guardian reported on January 1, 2002 that the US military bases, "originally agreed as temporary and emergency expedients, are now permanent." With a strong military presence in the Persian Gulf, American oil companies could begin construction of the long-awaited pipeline project. Indeed, The Los Angeles Times reported on May 30, 2002 that Afghanistan was about to close a two billion dollar deal with Unocal for the pipeline. The American installed president of Afghanistan, Harmid Karzai, was even a former Unocal employee.

It's no surprise that the American military has yet to find Osama bin Ladin, Saddam Hussein, or WMDs. Such searches are not their priority.

(I used the web-site www.unansweredquestion.net as a resource.

 

Crayola already has the color, "Burnt Sierra" under its belt. I wouldn't be surprised to find a Burnt Ventura in the next Crayola crayon box I open. Burnt San Bernardino, Burnt Angeles, Burnt Big Bear: If the palette of blistered hills, smoke filled skies, and unearthly sunsets is what Crayola is trying to capture next, look no farther than California.

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Last week David Kay updated the American government on his search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "We have not found at this point actual weapons," Kay told congressional committees. Kay's 1,200 member team has spent three hundred million dollars in the past six months searching Iraq for evidence of Saddam's alleged WMD program. So far, they've found one vial of botulinum, a poison that can be used as a weapon. 

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The connection between the current Bush administration and Halliburton Oil, their interests in the Middle East and particularly in the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq are well documented. However, Vice President Cheney and his former boss, George H.W. Bush, have a stake in more than just oil in the Middle East, and a reason to keep the world's attention on the relationship between Dick Cheney and Halliburton's oil interests, rather than some of the company's other investments, like military bases in sub-Saharan African countries.

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On September 15, The New York Times reported that the World Trade Organization talks…. collapsed. According to the Times, an agreement at the WTO talks would have jump-started the economy and "inject(ed) hundreds of billions of dollars into international commercial activity." Why did delegates from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America walk out on an opportunity to help our ailing world economy? The newspapers of several developing countries offer a different perspective than the mainstream American press.

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