POLITICAL DIARY #4: Pipe Dreams: How Oil Fuels the Bush Administration W
Joyce Lynn, Editor
Aug 14, 2002 19:46 PDT
THE POLITICAL DIARY
-Your Inside Source for News
Joyce Lynn, Editor
email address: politicaldiary at hotmail dot com
THE POLITICAL DIARY, based on the truth-telling power of dreams, is
founded on the premise each of us has an Inside Source, which can reveal
the truth that will bring wholeness. Through commentary, news reporting,
tips, and other journalistic tools, THE POLITICAL DIARY informs about
the stories behind the news so the populace can make informed choices.
FROM THE EDITOR:
A smoky glass tumbler filled with thick, dark, sludge-like oil.
This disturbing dream image woke me with a depressing jolt the
morning of September 17, Rosh Hashanah, the dawn of the Jewish New Year.
The bleakness this image prophesied for the coming year haunted
me for days. I had an ominous sense of what awaited the world in the
aftermath of the horrendous attack on the United States a week before.
The meaning of the glass for me as a journalist took shape
several days later at a Media Alliance event in San Francisco. Farhad
Azad, publisher of Afghanmagazine.com, spoke about the struggles for his
native land--from power
hungry czars to the war on terrorism.
When he finished, the observer standing next to me whispered,
"What about the pipeline?"
"What about what pipeline?" I asked.
"The one going through Afghanistan because going through Iran
or Russia is out of the picture," he explained.
As he spoke, I wrote in my notebook "It's about oil." I drew a
picture of the tumbler from my dream and put a box around the word
"oil." At that moment, I knew the Bush Administration's so-called war on
terrorism was about oil.
The onlooker, a human rights advocate and newspaper columnist,
also had a nighttime revelation he had written about in his column after
the attack on the United States. "I woke up with worries around 4 a.m.
You may have, too," he wrote, "A line came to me that felt like a gift
from the Creator. 'Truth is the
way to peace,' it said."
Spurred on by these metaphysical clues and sickened by network
news reporters acting like war cheerleaders, I decided to investigate
the true story behind the rush to the massive U.S. military response to
the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Although I was a political reporter in Washington, D.C. for a
decade, since moving to San Francisco, I have written about dreams and
spiritual matters. Until I had a series of dreams during the 2000
election (THE POLITICAL DIARY, Issues 1-3), reporting on politics and
dreams were divergent paths. Now, I see that dreams, our Inside Source,
can point the way to the truth behind what the politicians and
mainstream media--beholden to their corporate interests--tell us.
The following feature article, PIPE DREAMS: How Oil Fuels the
Bush Administration War on Terrorism, is the first in a series that will
tell the story behind the story. Drawing on international relations
experts, this reporter's journalistic research, and dream leads, the
articles will expand on issues raised in this article and explore new
I envision a year-long quest to tell this story. To borrow a
phrase from the war on terrorism, the stories will roll as long as it
takes, in this case to reveal the whole truth.
PIPE DREAMS: How Oil Fuels the Bush Administration War on
A combustible situation faces the world as the United States,
the richest, most powerful country, has initiated full-scale bombing of
an already devastated Afghanistan in the name of catching the culprits
responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States.
But that end could easily be accomplished without the military
firepower, according to Kevin Danaher, co-founder of Global Exchange, an
international human rights organization. "After 23 years of war and
widespread abuses, most people in Afghanistan hate the Taliban," Danaher
told a crowded teach-in at the College of Marin, Kentfield, California
in early October. "The Taliban could be overthrown with video tapes of
Muslim clerics" urging such
action, he insisted.
So, if that is the case, the Bush Administration's war on
terrorism waged against a country smaller in size than the state of
Texas and with two-thirds the population of California must be about
"If the chief export of this area were broccoli, do you think
this stuff would be going on?" Danaher asked rhetorically.
The heart of Central Asia is the heart of major oil riches.
This area could hold the largest untapped source of natural gas and oil
in the world. The riches are buried under the Caspian Sea and in the
fields of the countries surrounding it.
An Institute for Afghan Studies report put it simply: oil and
gas reserves in this arena are worth approximately $3 trillion.
At issue is who will control these reserves and who will reap
For decades, countries outside the region-mainly Britain, France,
and the United States-and international oil companies with names as
familiar as Chevron, Unocal, Exxon, British Petroleum, and Dutch Shell
have competed for the rights to explore and transport these natural
A POLITICAL DIARY investigation has revealed five key
underpinnings about oil, Central Asia, and U.S. policy.
1. Central Asia holds a treasure throve of oil riches, possibly
second only to the Middle East.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its July 2001
Report stated, "The Caspian Sea region is important to world markets
because it has large oil and gas reserves that are only now beginning to
be fully developed."
By 2050, Central Asia could account for 80 percent of the U.S.
Oil reserves could total some 235 billion barrels-a quarter of
those of the Middle East. In comparison, reserves in the U.S. total only
22 billion. Natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea are even larger.
Five entities-Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and
Kazakhstan-surround the land-locked Caspian. Because the 700-mile long
Sea resembles a big lake without a natural exit to the ocean, pipelines
must be built to transport the huge oil reserves to open oceans and
2. Central Asia holds the prospect of billions of dollars for
U.S. oil companies.
Contracts negotiated in the early 1990's between U.S. oil companies and
Central Asian countries after the Soviet Union crumbled and its oil rich
states gained their independence show the potential bonanza the Caspian
Sea holds and why it is the hot spot for international attention.
-- In April, 1993, Chevron closed a $20-billion deal with Kazakhstan.
This historic contract created a joint venture to develop the Tengiz oil
fields reportedly containing 9 billion barrels of oil.
--In what the media dubbed the "deal of the century" in
September 1994, the Azerbaijan International Oil Consortium of 12 oil
companies signed an $8-billion, 30-year contract to develop three
--This deal precipitated other contracts totaling $50 billion over 30
With the $45 billion merger of Chevron Corporation of San Francisco and
Texaco Inc. in September, 2001, U.S. oil company clout grew
substantially stronger in
the Caspian. Add Chevron's 1993 deal in the Tengiz oil field with an
existing Texaco contract for the same area and ChevronTexaco now holds a
45% interest in the Tengiz, Kazakhstan oil fields. In addition, Exxon
Mobil has a 25% interest in the same field. As a result, the U.S. share
of reserves in these oil fields is 70%.
-- An astonishing example from the Middle East shows what awaits
oil companies vying for control in Central Asia. Last May, Saudi Arabia
and Exxon Mobil closed a $100 billion natural gas deal, according to a
September 28 Salon.com report.
3. Central Asia holds the prospect of rich rewards for Bush
The Bush Administration is swimming in oil tycoons and
promoters. Two oilmen--George W. Bush and Vice President Dick
Cheney—stir the course. A phalanx of cabinet members who before they
took office had extensive stock holdings in oil and automobile-related
Companies make domestic and foreign policy. Former high-ranking
Republicans from the first Bush Administration are involved in major oil
deals in Central Asia.
A brief litany:
National Security Affairs Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat on
Chevron's Board of Directors, and Chevron named a 129,000-ton oil tanker
after her, according to opensecrets.org. Rice used her expertise as a
Soviet foreign relations specialist on the National Securiity Council
during Bush One to advise Chevron on its investments in the Caspian Sea
during her board tenure.
The website also reports White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card
was a lobbyist for General Motors. Before that, he headed up the
American Automobile Manufacturer's Association, which lobbied against
stronger fuel emission standards. Commerce Secretary Don Evans was chair
and CEO of Tom Brown, Inc., an oil and gas company.
While these officials are suppose to divest their holdings or
put them in blind trusts, their oil links have consequences for U.S.
policy. As Secretary of Commerce, Evans directs the agency that overseas
oceanic rights. Already, as a result of the anti-terrorism scares,
Congress is about to pass one of Bush's favorite domestic oil programs-a
bill which would eventually allow drilling in the Artic. This measure
was on its way to the trash bin before September 11.
After the Bush One Administration and until he was nominated
for vice president in Bush Two, Cheney was CEO of Halliburton, an energy
services company which conducts oil-related businesses like drilling.
Halliburton had contracts to rebuild oil infrastructures destroyed in
Bush One's Gulf War. Cheney was Secretary of Defense during the Gulf
Cheney, who told the nation earlier this year “conservation is
a lifestyle,” was also a member of the Kazakhstan Oil Advisory Board. It
is the Tengiz oil fields in Kazakhstan where U.S. oil companies now hold
a nearly three-fourths stake.
According to Consortiumnews.com, Cheney, who accumulated $45
million during his five year stint as head of Halliburton (1995-2000),
has put some of his stock holdings in uninvested options. This means
Cheney could still benefit from policy decisions that favorably impact
Halliburton, such as the U.S. lifting sanctions on Iran.
As a result of the current military build-up in the Middle East
and Central Asia, George W. Bush could eventually profit from his
father's business dealings in defense matters. George H.W. Bush, the
former president and ex-CIA director, is part of the Carlyle Group, a
$12 billion international equity firm. Carlyle's portfolio is heavy in
defense and telecommunications holdings.
According to journalist Nina Burleigh, writing in tompaine.com
October 11, the domain of George H.W. Bush is Asia where he has visited
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait-countries which benefited from his Gulf War
The Carlyle Group's roster is a virtual who's who of officials
from Bush One including James Baker, former Secretary of State and
mastermind of George W's Election 2000 recount campaign.
In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported September 31 that
Bush One and Osama bin Laden's family, which is also is part of the
Carlyle Group, have business dealings with each other.
4. Central Asia, particularly Afghanistan, is a pivot point for
covert operations to secure U.S. political and economic goals. The
premise of the CIA operations: to protect "friendly governments" and the
free flow of oil.
The program began with President Jimmy Carter in 1979-80 and
reached its zenith during the Reagan-Bush and Bush-Quayle
Administrations of the 1980's and early 1990's. The Reagan
Administration filtered billions of dollars (estimates range from $3
billion to $10 billion) mostly through Pakistan's Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI). The money went to train a various ethnic
groups known as the Mujaheddin to stop a puppet communist government in
As a result, some of these groups turned into roving death
squads and terrorists. One of the "rebels" the government recruited was
Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.
Although the Soviet-Afghanistan war from 1979-1989 was
ostensibly about whether a communist government would take hold in
Afghanistan, the Soviets estimated at the time Afghanistan oil reserves
at 95 million barrels. The U.S. was aware of these reserves as well as
those in the former Soviet republics.
Since the early 1990's, Afghanistan has been the necessary link
in a strategic pipeline that would carry the huge natural oil and gas
resources of Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea to
Pakistan's Arabian Sea ports and onto India. The oil companies vying for
control of the pipelines need a regime or government with which they can
negotiate pipeline deals, and, just as importantly, which can protect
the pipelines once they are built.
At the urging of Unocal (Union 76), which headed the Centgas
Consortium formed in 1995 to construct a 1,000 mile, $2 billion
pipeline, the U.S. funneled support to the Taliban, now the object of
U.S. military wrath.
In 1994, during the Clinton Administration, CIA support was
again sent by way of Pakistan, which desperately wants the pipeline to
end at its ports, and by way of Saudi Arabia, which wants to keep
neighboring Iran out of the oil business. The Taliban, partly because of
their defense capabilities, seemed the most viable Mujaheddin faction to
emerge from the Reagan- Bush CIA largesse, to
take on the role of pipeline police.
Then J.P. Morgan, the international lending institution for the
project, began expressing doubts about the pipeline’s viability.
When Unocal, which held a 46% stake in the
Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline, became dissatisfied with the
in November, 1998, the oil company pulled out of the potentially million
Unocal of El Segundo, California, issued a statement declaring
the pipeline would have to wait until a stable government was
established in Afghanistan. In the August, 1998 statement, Unocal said:
"Unocal will participate in the construction of the proposed
central Asia gas pipeline when and if Afghanistan achieves the peace and
stability necessary to obtain financing from international lending
agencies for this project and an established government is recognized by
the U.N. and the U.S. . .
. We strongly support the U.N. conflict resolution process underway in
this and other regions."
Taking a page from the Unocal play book, President Bush at a
press conference October 11 when asked what awaited Afghanistan after
the U.S.-initiated military phase ended, said, "It would be useful for
the U.N. to take over the so-called nation building ..... I would call
it the stabilization of a future government."
It is likely a U.N.-maintained force in Afghanistan would be an
Interim step until a U.S.-sanctioned government is in place.
In addition to this pipeline, Afghanistan is at the crossroads
of huge markets for oil in Japan, China, and India. A U.S.-controlled
state in Afghanistan under the exiled former King Zahir Shah, for
example, would give U.S. oil companies an advantage in controlling the
The same pattern is emerging in other Caspian Sea states. As a
result of U.S. military action in Afghanistan, U.S. troops already have
a foothold in Uzbekistan and are positioning for other oil rich states.
5. When G.W. Bush looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes during a
meeting earlier this year with the Russian President, it is likely Bush
saw more than Putin’s soul. Russia has its own rich reserves. For
several decades, the U.S. has tried to keep Russia out of the pipeline
business to keep the country economically weak. However, high gas prices
in Europe and shifting political
alliances portend well for pipelines with U.S. participation through
Russia with its access to deep sea ports.
James Baker, the omnipresent Bush One secretary of state, is
reportedly a partner in a Russian pipeline deal.
Osama bin Laden, the target of the Bush Administration’s
military action, put the policies of Western oil interests on his list
of fiery complaints. In the video U.S. networks carried October 7, the
day the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, bin Laden blasted the "80 years
of humiliation and disgrace" the Islam world has suffered at the hands
of "international infidels."
His reference, which went largely unnoticed in media
commentary, was to the Cairo Conference of 1921. After World War 1,
Britain and France sliced Arabia into the present day countries. These
countries used British Petroleum pipelines existing at the time to
determine the boundaries.
Ever since, the oil wealth that can be extracted from far off
lands in the Middle East and Central Asia has driven the Western world's
economic and foreign policies. These policies led the United States via
the CIA to fund the Mujaheddin and then the Taliban. Now, the Taliban
are the target of the CIA. The Washington Post reported October 31, ". .
. officials said an emphasis on the
north might buy time for the covert U.S. effort in southern Afghanistan
under which the CIA and Pakistini officials are trying to woo leaders of
the Pashtun,the dominant ethnic group in the south, away from the
The U.S. policy that is bringing the world the war on terrorism
can be summed up in one phase: Go with the flow, the flow of oil. This
Go with the Flow policy is intended to benefit a couple of hundred elite
in the U.S. It is intended to line the pockets of Bush associates and
oil company cronies.
The lurking danger is, however, Go with the Flow has brought the world
to the brink of destruction. Unless the tide is turned, Armageddon will
be more than the name of a Hollywood movie, and the Caspian Sea will be
the last arena for this disastrous foreign policy. The prevailing
question will no longer be, “Why
do they hate us?” but rather, “Who is left to buy the oil?”
INSIDE SOURCE INSIGHT ON CAPTURING THE ENEMY
Over the Columbus Day weekend, I had a dream, which may hold
insights about the U.S. prospects to "smoke out" Osama bin Laden.
In the dream, activity filled the sidewalk outside several
small shops on East Blithdale in Mill Valley, California. In reality,
the Mill Valley Film Festival, which was showing films about the Middle
East, was opening a few blocks away.
In the dream, a squad of people waved a pole with a white cloth
shaped into a ball on the end. It looked like a big rattle. The crowd
waved it at a store where they were going to "take" someone who was
inside. I think it was Osama bin Laden. I hoped he had not seized any
JOYCE LYNN is a journalist including eight years as a political reporter
in Washington, D.C. After she moved to San Francisco, she turned he eye
from the politics of social welfare issues to matters of the mind. Her
articles have appeared in numerous national publications such as Ms.
Magazine, Washington Journalism Review, and Intuition Magazine. She
founded THE POLITICAL DIARY in the aftermath of the 2000 election when
her dreams and those of others she
interviewed predicted with 100% accuracy the outcome and imparted
information about behind-the-news events. She can be reached at
PoliticalDiary at hotmail dot com
c Joyce Lynn 2001
politicaldiary at hotmail dot com
"We each have an Inner Source that can lead us to the truth behind the