Saturday, March 08, 2003
Silly Brits: I just caught a couple of minutes of something that appeared to be a debate between some enlightened British intellectuals on C-SPAN. I turned the channel after one of the "anti-" America speakers rattled off a list of countries we've sent troops to (or, in one case, bombed) in the past decade or so. His list included Afghanistan, Somalia and Kosovo. To this "smart" kid then suggested that all of these moves were made to "broaden our sphere of influence."
Yeah, Somalia has.....what exactly was that that we wanted there? Oh yeah, we were trying to feed some people. We wanted people not to starve to death.
Afghanistan? Jeez, that wouldn't have anything to do with 3,000 dead New Yorkers? This stupid git was actually suggesting that 9/11 was a pretext for putting troops into Afghanistan.
Kosovo? Where was the profit in that?
At least they never let facts get in the way of their argument.
*ON A RELATED NOTE* Whatever happened to Ted Rall's natural gas pipeline theory? Remember, the one that said we only invaded Afghanistan so U.S. energy companies could strike it rich by building a pipeline? Well, here's the latest bit of news I could find. [emphasis added]
Due to its location between the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian Basin and the Indian Ocean, Afghanistan has long been mentioned as a potential pipeline route, though in the near term, several obstacles will likely prevent Afghanistan from becoming an energy transit corridor. Unocal had pursued a possible natural gas pipeline from Turmenistan to Pakistan in the mid-1990s, but pulled out after the U.S. missile strikes against Afghanistan in August 1998. The new Afghan government under President Karzai has tried to revive the pipeline plan, and talks have been held between the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan in 2002 on the issue, but a signing ceremony for a framework agreement between the governments has been delayed until at least December 2002.
Given the obstacles to development of a natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan, it seems unlikely that such an idea will make any progress in the near future, and no major Western companies have expressed interest in reviving the project. The security situation in Afghanistan is one obvious major risk, and the tensions between India and Pakistan make it unlikely that such a pipeline could be extended into India, which unlike Pakistan has sufficient immediate demand for imported natural gas to justify a project of such magnitude. Financial problems in the utility sector in India, which would be the major consumer of the natural gas, also could pose a problem.
Once again, they don't let facts stand in their way.