Zaid Hamid exposed ! YET AGAIN !
One of the major world conspiracies happens to be that the invasions of the US were conducted at the behest of Halliburton, an energy company with known ties to individuals of the US administration. Well, the Bank of America (BOA) has just recommended the stock of Halliburton after the CFO of the energy company met with BOA officials. So by one degree of separation, isn't Brass Tacks, the company of Zaid Hamid, linked to Halliburton because of the BOA connection?
The Pakistan report card - Hate speech -- II by Fasi Zaka Thursday, September 25, 2008
While at first I thought Zaid Hamid to be well-intended but misguided, what I have now seen firsthand demonstrates delusion. That's what Zaid Hamid does when he rants about the inferiority of Hindus, the inherent evil nature of Jews or Pakistani leaders he disagrees with.
Dear Saif Sahab,
The alleged connections of Talibans [same Taliban which Zaid Hamid protects and defend on NEWSONE/TVONE] with Energy Giant Halliburton are as under:
For you kind perusal,
You are correct to the hilt. I was born exactly 40 years ago. Regarding Turkmenistan's Oil and Gas Deal and UNOCAL:
In 1995, the Unocal oil company signed a tentative agreement with the Turkmenistan government to research the possibilities of constructing an oil pipeline to Pakistan by way of Afghanistan.
As the project developed, Unocal began to seek the agreement of the Taliban, who had seized power in Kabul in September 1996. On two separate occasions, in February and December 1997, Taliban officials were flown to the US to meet with, and be wined and dined by, Unocal executives.
Up until 1998, when it became clear that the Taliban were in alliance with the al Qaeda terrorist network, Clinton administration officials actively lobbied Taliban officials on behalf of Unocal.
In 1997, Zalmay Khalilzad, at that time a consultant with Cambridge Energy Research Associates, conducted risk assessments for Unocal on their proposed 1440 kilometre pipeline project to transport natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan.
A member of the Project for a New American Century lobby group set up by current US Vice-President Dick Cheney and US war secretary Donald Rumsfeld in 1997, Khalilzad was appointed by President George Bush in December 2001 to be the US Special Envoy to Afghanistan, supervising the creation of Karzai's regime.
The following chronology tracks Unocal's involvement in the pipeline project:
October 1995 Unocal and Turkmenistan signed an agreement to give Unocal the right to buy natural gas, transport it to Pakistan, and market it. Unocal and Turkmenistan also signed an agreement in 1995 to develop an oil pipeline through Afghanistan.
August 13, 1996 Unocal and Delta Oil Company announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding with Gazprom and Turkmenrusgaz as additions to a consortium to build a pipeline that would cost an estimated $2 billion. Unocal and Delta were to hold 85 percent of the project.
September 26, 1996 Taliban forces took the capital city of Kabul. The United States initially expressed optimism about the possibility of new stability in the country, with a State Department spokesman reportedly expressing hope that "the new authorities in Kabul will move quickly to restore order and security and to form a representative interim government that can begin the process of reconciliation nationwide." The State Department backed away from this position within days, calling the situation "quite murky." Similarly, a Unocal executive reportedly told wire services that the pipeline project would be easier to build with the Taliban's control of Kabul; Unocal quickly retracted this statement. Sources: Elaine Sciolino, State Dept. becomes cooler to the new rulers in Kabul, New York Times, October 23, 1996. Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2001).
February 1997 Taliban representatives visited Washington D.C., where they met with State Department officials and Unocal. Source: Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2001).
October 1997 The Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline consortium was formed, with Unocal serving as its development manager.
November 1997 Taliban representatives met with Unocal in Houston. According to a report by Caroline Lees of the Telegraph, the Taliban representatives visited the Houston zoo, NASA space center, a Super Target store, and the home of a Unocal vice-president. Source: Caroline Lees, "Oil barons court Taliban in Texas," Sunday Telegraph, December 14, 1997
August 1998 The United States launched a cruise missile attack against a training camp affiliated with Osama Bin Laden. Immediately afterwards, Unocal announced that it had suspended all activities involving the proposed pipeline project, citing "sharply deteriorating political conditions in the region." "We have consistently informed the other participants that unless and until the United Nations and the United States government recognize a legitimate government in Afghanistan, Unocal would not invest capital in the project. Contrary to some published reports, Unocal has not - and will not - become a party to a commercial agreement with any individual Afghan faction."
December 4, 1998 Unocal announced that it had withdrawn from the CentGas consortium for "business reasons" and that it "no longer has any role in supporting the development or funding of this project."
February 16, 1999 Unocal reiterated that it had no role with CentGas.
May 20, 2002 Unocal's chairman reiterated that it had no plans to become involved in any projects with Afghanistan.
Source: Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2001). Elaine Sciolino, State Dept. becomes cooler to the new rulers in Kabul, New York Times, October 23, 1996. Caroline Lees, "Oil barons court Taliban in Texas," Sunday Telegraph, December 14, 1997. The U.S. Energy Information Administration's report on Afghanistan is on-line here.
As per Alternet Media
Four months ago, U.S. officials announced that Washington was giving $43 million to the Taliban for its role in reducing the cultivation of opium poppies, despite the Taliban's heinous human rights record and its sheltering of Islamic terrorists of many nationalities. Doesn't this make the U.S. government guilty of supporting a country that harbors terrorists? Do you think your obsession with the "war on drugs" has distorted U.S. foreign policy in Southwest Asia and other regions?
When the CIA was busy doling out an estimated $2 billion to support the Afghan mujahadeen in the 1980s, Osama bin Laden and his colleagues were hailed as anti-communist freedom fighters. During the cold war, U.S. national security strategists, many of whom are riding top saddle once again in your administration, didn't view bin Laden's fanatical religious beliefs as diametrically opposed to western civilization. But now bin Laden and his ilk are unabashed terrorists. Definitions of what constitutes terror and terrorism seem to change with the times. Before he became vice president, Dick Cheney and the U.S. State Department denounced Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, as a terrorist. Today Mandela, South Africa's president emeritus, is considered a great and dignified statesman. And what about Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who bears significant responsibility for the 1982 massacre of 1,800 innocents at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. What role will Sharon play in your crusade against international terrorism?
13 Questions for Bush about America's Anti-terrorism Crusade
By Martin A. Lee, AlterNet. Posted September 28, 2001.
Further Proofs are as under [As per US Congress]
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
US Policy On Taliban Influenced By Oil Deal Negotiations
The US and the Taliban: a done deal By Pierre Abramovici
The Taliban invented
But first stability had to be restored to Afghanistan. During the civil war fighting in 1995 the first substantial numbers of Taliban appeared, "invented" by the Pakistani ISI and perhaps funded by the CIA and Saudi Arabia. Unocal and its Saudi partner Delta Oil may have even played a major role in buying off local commanders. Security in Afghanistan was apparently their sole purpose.
On 26 September 1996 the Taliban took Kabul. Michael Bearden, a CIA representative in Afghanistan during the war against the USSR and currently the CIA’s unofficial spokesman, recalls how US viewed the situation at the time: the Taliban were not considered the worst: they were young and hot-headed, but that was better than civil war. They controlled all the territory between Pakistan and Turkmenistan’s gas fields, which might be good as it would be possible to build a pipeline across Afghanistan and supply gas and energy to the new market. Everyone was happy (5).
Unocal’s vice-president, Chris Taggart, barely bothered to pretend Unocal was not backing the Taliban; he described their advance as a positive development. Claiming that Taliban seizure of power was likely to help the gas pipeline project, he even envisaged US recognition of the Taliban (6). He was wrong, but no matter: this was the honeymoon between the US and the "theology students". Anything goes where oil and gas are involved. In fact, in November 1997 Unocal invited a Taliban delegation to the US and, in early December, the company opened a training centre at the University of Omaha, Nebraska, to instruct 137 Afghans in pipeline construction technology.
The political and military situation showed no improvement, leading some in Washington to consider support for the Taliban and the oil pipeline a political mistake. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott warned in 1997 that the region could become a centre for terrorists, a source of political and religious extremism and a theatre of war (7). An important new factor was influencing Afghanistan’s internal affairs and external relations: Osama bin Laden had sought refuge in Afghanistan after leaving Saudi Arabia. On 22 February 1998, with the support of the Taliban, he launched al-Qaida, a radical international Islamist movement, from Afghanistan. He also issued a fatwa authorising attacks on US interests and nationals.
During a visit to Kabul on 16 April 1998, Bill Richardson, the US representative to the UN, raised the question of Bin Laden with the Taliban. They played down the problem. Tom Simons, ambassador to Pakistan, said that the Taliban assured him that Bin Laden did not have the religious authority to issue a fatwa. But on 8 August 1998 bombs destroyed the US embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans. The US responded by launching 70 cruise missiles against Afghanistan and strikes on Sudan. Bin Laden became US public enemy number one, although it was more than six months before an international arrest warrant was issued. Having failed to capture Bin Laden, the US hoped to negotiate with the Taliban to have him expelled from Afghanistan. But the attacks did collateral damage: Unocal announced that it was abandoning the Afghan gas pipeline.
In 1997 the Six plus Two Group was set up, made up of Afghanistan’s six neighbours (Iran, Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) with Russia and the US. The group acts under the auspices of the UN and its special envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi , a very experienced Algerian diplomat who took the post in July 1998. After the military and political failure of its earlier missions, the UN has again become crucial in the region.
There were several diplomatic initiatives in the region in 1998, then on 12 March 1999, following Iran, the US moved closer to Russia on Afghanistan. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Karl Inderfurth went to Moscow. Very little divided the Russians and the Americans, including the role they envisaged for Teheran. According to Inderfurth, Iran as Afghanistan’s neighbour could help end conflict. Iran could play a positive role and the Six plus Two Group could provide a structure. Inderfurth saw the irony: Afghanistan was an area where Russians and Americans could work together to end a war in which the Russians were involved, openly supporting the Northern Alliance.
A new diplomatic game
The first signs of current concerns also appeared in 1998. They included initiatives by factions close to supporters of former King Zahir Shah, who was ousted in 1973 and lives in exile in Rome. In a report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed "the Loya Jirgah (grand assembly) as an informal, time-honoured method of settling disputes, advocated by leaders of non-warring Afghan factions." He suggested encouraging "the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan to maintain useful contacts with them" (8). Other initiatives were taken around the UN, including a meeting of 21 countries influential in Afghanistan (9).
The new diplomatic game began with the full meeting of the Six plus Two Group on 19 July 1999 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), the first time representatives of the Taliban and members of the Northern Alliance were to sit at the same table. The Taliban, in control of 90% of Afghan territory, refused to allow the Northern Alliance to be represented. As expected, the meeting was a failure, but from then the Group provided the channel for most diplomatic initiatives.
Washington refused to abandon hope that the Taliban would surrender Bin Laden, and continued to maintain contacts and encourage processes directed to a political solution. With US blessing, a meeting to promote the Loya Jirgah was arranged by Zahir Shah and held in Rome, 22-25November 1999. The UN Security Council had adopted a resolution calling upon the Taliban to extradite Bin Laden, and imposing limited sanctions.
On 18 January 2000 Spanish diplomat Francesc Vendrell replaced Lakdhar Brahimi, who, dispirited by the lack of progress, had resigned. Two days later, Karl Inderfurth went to Islamabad to meet Pakistan’s new leader, General Pervez Musharraf. He also met two senior Taliban representatives and demanded: "Give us Bin Laden". In return, he offered to regularise relations between Kabul and the world.
Although Washington denied it, the Taliban, internationally condemned for policies towards women, attitudes to human rights and protection of Bin Laden, were still in talks with the US. On 27 November the Taliban deputy minister of foreign affairs, Abdur Rahman Zahid, gave a lecture at the Washington Middle East Institute, calling for political recognition of the Taliban regime and intimating that the Bin Laden affair could then be settled (10).
On 30 September 2000, on an Iranian initiative, there were fresh negotiations in Cyprus. Among those present were supporters of the former "butcher of Kabul", Islamic extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who had enjoyed the backing of the US and Saudi Arabia against the USSR, but was now in exile in Iran. The Northern Alliance established contacts with the pro-Zahir Shah Rome delegates. On 6 April 2001 those contacts resulted in an initial joint meeting between the Rome process, in favour of a Loya Jirgah under the auspices of the former King, and the Cyprus process sponsored by the Iranians. Though disagreeing with the pro-Iranian element, the other factions agreed to further meetings. The discussions continued.
On 3 November 2000 Vendrell had announced that the Taliban and the Northern Alliance had jointly considered a draft peace plan under the auspices of the Six plus Two Group (11). That coincided with a hardening of attitude within the Taliban as a result of international sanctions. In the spring, tension erupted in the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas. Meanwhile the Six plus Two Group had begun a new, and final, stage — so the Americans thought. A sub-group was secretly set up, supposed to be more effective, of diplomats or specialists with the most up-to-date experience of the region. The delegates’ foreign ministries secretly managed its work. Meetings were held in Berlin, with only the US, Russia, Iran and Pakistan present.
The delegates included Robert Oakley, former US ambassador and Unocal lobbyist; Naiz Naik, former foreign minister of Pakistan; Tom Simons, former US ambassador and the most recent official negotiator with the Taliiban; a former Russian special envoy to Afghanistan, Nikolai Kozyrev, and Saeed Rajai Khorassani, formerly the Iranian representative to the UN.
Winning the jackpot
At the first meetings in November 2000 and March 2001, to prepare for direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, the participants discussed a political undertaking to give the Taliban a way out. According to Naiz Naik, the group wanted to respond to what the Taliban would say about their international approach, a broad-based government and human rights. Naik said the idea was that "we would then try to covey to them that if they did certain things, then, gradually, they could win the jackpot — get something in return from the international community".
According to the Pakistanis present at the meeting, if the Taliban agreed to review human rights issues within two or three years and accept a transitional government with the Northern Alliance, they would gain massive (financial and technical) international aid to rebuild the country. According to Naik, the objective was to restore peace and stability, and secure the pipeline. It might, he said, be possible to persuade the Taliban that once a broader-based government was in place and the oil pipeline under way, there would be billions of dollars in commission, and the Taliban would have their own resources — the "jackpot" indeed.
The US was still determined to get hold of Bin Laden. According to Tom Simons, if the Taliban surrendered him or entered into serious negotiations, the US would be ready to embark on a major reconstruction project. In Washington, the State Department was resolute. The administration had changed and the oil industry was over-represented within government, starting with President George Bush. The task of negotiating with the Taliban was given to Christina Rocca, the new assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, who knew about Afghanistan, a country she had dealt with between 1982 and 1987, when she worked for the CIA.
On 12 February the US ambassador to the UN gave an assurance that, at the request of Vendrell, the US would develop a continuing dialogue on humanitarian bases with the Taliban (12). The US believed so firmly in the future of the negotiations that the State Department blocked the FBI investigation into the possible involvement of Bin Laden and his Taliban accomplices in the attack on the USS Cole, in Aden (Yemen) in October 2000. They had John O’Neill, the FBI’s "Mr Bin Laden", expelled from Yemen to prevent him investigating further (13).
The third meeting was to take place, again in Berlin, between 17 and 21 July, in the presence of the Taliban representative, foreign minister Mullah Mutawkil, and the representative of the Northern Alliance, foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. In early July, a secret meeting had been held between 21 countries influential in Afghanistan, at Weston Park in the UK. A compromise solution based on the former king was approved, particularly by the Northern Alliance. Naiz Naik explained that it was necessary to tell the Taliban that if they refused to cooperate, the Zahir Shah option would be available. From that point, diplomacy saw Zahir Shah as a possible replacement for the Taliban.
Unfortunately, the plan collapsed. The Taliban first rejected it because of the involvement of Vendrell: he represented the UN, responsible for the international sanctions. And an attempt was being made to get them to talk to parties to whom they objected. According to Naik, at this point Tom Simons referred to an open-ended military option against Afghanistan from bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The locations seemed plausible, as these were countries known to have military cooperation agreements with the US. But was a specific threat made?
Ambassador Simons dismisses this. He was not there in an official capacity and had no authority to issue threats (but would the Taliban have turned up to meet unofficial delegates with no contact with the State Department?) I He merely stated that the US was looking at evidence relating to the USS Cole, pointing out that if the US established that Bin Laden was behind it, there would be military action. It is worth noting that on 5 July, in the belief that the Taliban were taking part in the negotiations, the US was specifically not looking for evidence in relation to the attack on the USS Cole.
The Pakistani delegation reported what had been said to the ministry and the secret services. They, no doubt, informed the Taliban. In late July, Islamabad and Pakistani military circles were buzzing with rumours of war. According to an unofficial source at the French foreign ministry, it is possible that, by exaggerating what Simons had said, the Pakistani secret services were trying to pressure the Taliban to expel Bin Laden. On one last occasion, on 29 July, Christina Rocca held unsuccessful discussions with the Taliban ambassador in Pakistan. The negotiations were at an end. The FBI began to look for evidence against Bin Laden.
A possibility haunts people. What if, convinced the US was going to war, Bin Laden fired the first shot? On 11 September the towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed by men activated no earlier than mid-August. Three days later, Unocal announced that the suspended proposal for a gas pipeline would remain on ice and it would refuse to negotiate with the Taliban, in the expectation that the Kabul regime would fall. A month later, US bombing began. The Tajiks and Uzbeks "agreed" to provide military facilities to US forces. To combat terrorism, Russia "spontaneously" promised all the assistance necessary to the US, and the anti-Taliban factions finally reached an agreement. All this happened in two months.
On 27 November 2001 US energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, and a team from the Energy Department, went to Novosibirsk, in Russia, to facilitate the completion and opening of the oil pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) — a link costing eight companies, including Chevron, Texaco and Exxonmobil, $2.5bn. It was, according to Abraham, a fresh start for relations between Russia and the US (14) — and a further foothold for the US in exploiting the vast oil resources of the former Soviet Union.
Hamid Karzai was appointed head of the Afghan interim government agreed at the Bonn meetings. It then emerged that during the negotiations over the Afghan oil pipeline, Karzai had been a consultant for Unocal. Brzezinski must be very amused.