Thursday, March 10, 2005

Fahrenheit 9/11 Backgrounder

     Sure, Karzai, and at least one other prominent and powerful post-Taleban Afghan leader worked for UNOCAL.  Sure, one of the first actions of the Karzai government was to sign the decrees necessary for a Turkemistan-Afghan-Pakistani pipeline, but check this quote out from the article "Turkmenistan and Central Asian Regional Security" by Murad Esenov.  Well, no, you don't have to, that's why I am for.

All accords reached between Turkmenistan and Pakistan relied on the use of Afghan territory to promote bilateral cooperation. However, representatives of Afghanistan itself were not parties to these accords. Moreover, on 5 March 1995, the then President of Afghanistan, Burhanutdin Rabbani, speaking on Kabul Radio, sharply criticized the [pipeline] agreements that had been reached between Pakistan and Turkmenistan and the intentions behind them. In particular he described these plans as "attempts by the Pakistani leadership to help the opposition Taliban movement."

Practical implementation of the Pakistani-Turkmen accords began in the autumn of 1994, when cargo convoys started shuttling between Turkmenistan and Pakistan across the Afghan territory and preparations got under way to set up an international consortium on a gas pipeline construction project. It is noteworthy that the emergence of the Taliban movement on the Afghan military-political scene was directly related to an active phase in this Pakistani-Turkmen cooperation. In the late autumn of 1994 a group of Afghan Mujahideen seized a caravan moving from Pakistan to Turkmenistan. To secure its release, the Pakistani Interior Ministry tapped a small and little-known religious sect, led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, based in the south of Afghanistan. Before long that sect rapidly evolved into the Taliban movement, which subsequently began its triumphant march across Afghan territory, turning around the entire military-political situation in the country.

     Don't get me wrong.  I just think its funny that the realization of a pro-Taliban plot was what got Karzai his job.

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