Tuesday, June 10, 2003
The Associated Press imitates Ted Rall: In a brief reference in this story about education in Turkmenistan, the Associated Press refers to the mythical trans-Afghan pipeline that, according to cartoonist and nut-job Ted Rall, was the reason for our invasion of Afghanistan.
The trend worries diplomats and others. Turkmenistan — sitting amid Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan — is in a tense region where repression is fueling the emergence of extremist groups. It also holds energy resources critical to Russia and is important to a U.S.-backed effort to build a trans-Afghan gas pipeline to Pakistan.
Well, that'd be interesting -- if it were true. I mentioned this several months back, but no pipeline's going to be built anytime soon -- because there's other problems in the region.
According to a Department of Energy report:
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. [emphasis added]
Will Rall rush to defend Turkmenistan from certain U.S. invasion? After all, this gas pipeline is very important. Surely Turkmenistan is next to be added to the Axis of Evil. Of course, I could be wrong.