By 1996 the Bridas Corporation of Argentina had a lock on the routes. With signed pipeline contracts from both General Dostum of the Northern Alliance and the Taliban, Bridas controlled the Caspian play.
To the Unocal Corporation of the U.S. (and subsequently to the Bush Administration) that was intolerable. To contest Bridas’ success, Unocal hired a number of consultants: Henry Kissinger, Hamid Karzai, Richard Armitage, and Zalmay Khalilzad. Armitage would later serve George W. Bush as Deputy Secretary of State, and Khalilzad would become a prominent diplomat. Both were enthusiastic members of the “PNAC,” the Project for a New American Century, a far-right group that asked President Clinton in January of 1998 to remove forcibly the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. (Clinton ignored the request.)
In the late ‘90’s Unocal hosted Taliban leaders at its headquarters in Texas and in Washington D.C., seeking to have the Bridas contract voided. The Taliban refused. Finally, on February 12, 1998, Mr. John J. Maresca, a Vice President of Unocal, testified to the House Committee on International Relations. He asked to have the Taliban removed from power in Afghanistan, and for a “stable government” to be installed in its place.
The Clinton Administration, having rejected a month earlier the PNAC request to invade Iraq, was not any more interested in overthrowing the Taliban: President Clinton understood and chose to abide by the United Nations Charter. In August of 1998, however, Clinton launched a few cruise missiles into Afghanistan, retaliating for al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. And he signed an Executive Order prohibiting further trade negotiations with the Taliban.
Mr. Maresca was thus doubly disappointed. The Taliban would remain in power, and now Unocal could not even continue its private entreaties.
Unocal’s prospects declined even further on October 12, 2000. In yet another al Qaeda attack, the U.S.S. Cole was bombed, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 more.
Some people in the Clinton Administration wanted immediately to “bomb the hell out of Afghanistan.” A few more cruise missiles wouldn’t do. But the State Department first dispatched Mr. Kabir Mohabbat, a U.S. citizen but a native Afghani, to arrange a negotiating meeting with the Taliban.
The parties met November 2, 2000 in the Sheraton hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. Frantic to avoid the retaliatory bombing, the Taliban offered the surrender of Osama bin Laden.
As the details of the handover were being worked out, however, the stalemated election of 2000 was awarded to George W. Bush. The surrender of Osama bin Laden would be handled by the incoming Administration.
But the new Administration demurred. In letter to the Taliban the Bush White House asked to postpone the handover of bin Laden until February; the Administration was still “settling in.” Kabir Mohabbat, however, was retained as a consultant to the National Security Council.
Unocal's fortunes then improved dramatically. In direct repudiation of Clinton’s Executive Order, the Bush Administration itself resumed pipeline negotiations with the Taliban in February of 2001. (At one meeting, a Taliban official presented President Bush with an expensive Afghan carpet.)
The Administration offered a tempting package of foreign aid in exchange for secure and exclusive access to the Caspian Basin for American companies. (The Enron Corporation also was eyeing a pipeline, to feed its proposed power plant in India.) The Bridas contract might still be voided. The Administration met with Taliban officials three times: in Washington, Berlin, and Islamabad. Still the Taliban refused.
But the Bush Administration meant to prevail, by force if necessary. As early as March 15, 2001, when Jane’s, the British international security journal disclosed the fact, the Administration was engaged in a “concerted front against Afghanistan’s Taliban regime.” Confirming the Administration’s intended violence, George Arney of BBC News wrote a story published September 18, 2001: “U.S. Planned Attack on Taliban.” In mid-July of 2001 a “senior American official” told Mr. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary that “...military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.”
Finally, on August 2 of 2001, the last pipeline negotiation with the Taliban ended with a terse statement by Christina Rocca of the State Department: “Accept our offer of a carpet of gold or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.” Shortly afterward, President Bush informed India and Pakistan the U.S. would launch a military mission into Afghanistan “before the end of October.”
This was five weeks before the events of 9/11.
Twice during the spring and summer of 2001 Mr. Kabir Mohabbat was sent to discuss the still pending surrender of Osama bin Laden. At both meetings Mr. Mohabbat could only apologize. The Bush Administration was not yet ready to accept the handover.
Then on September 11 Osama bin Laden struck once more.
With the Trade Towers in rubble and the Pentagon smoking, the Bush Administration seized immediately on the stupendous opportunity to disguise its intended attack on Afghanistan. It would be recast as a “Global War on Terror,” and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice would be its initial, prime objective.
The Taliban asked quickly for another meeting. Once again Kabir Mohabbat was dispatched to arrange it. On September 15, Taliban officials were flown in Air Force C-130 aircraft to the Pakistani city of Quetta, to negotiate with the State Department. Once again desperate to avoid a catastrophic bombing, the Taliban sweetened the deal: now they would also shut down bin Laden's bases and training camps.
The offer was rejected by the White House. The geopolitical need to proceed with the invasion was intractable, but with bin Laden in custody, the argument for the “War on Terror” smokescreen would collapse. Osama bin Laden simply had to remain at large.
Several weeks later the Taliban's offer was repeated. And so was the White House rejection.
On October 7, 2001, the carpet of bombs was unleashed over Afghanistan.
Then, with the Taliban removed from power, Mr. Hamid Karzai, the former Unocal consultant, was installed by the U.S. as head of an interim government.
The first U.S. envoy to Afghanistan was Mr. John J. Maresca, a former Vice President of the Unocal Corporation.
The next Ambassador to Afghanistan was Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad, also a former Unocal consultant.
On February 8, 2002, four months after the carpet of bombs, Presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Perves Musharraf of Pakistan signed a new agreement for a pipeline. The Bridas contract was now moot. The way was open for American companies—Unocal and Enron—to proceed.
The shock and awe that was brought upon Afghanistan came via U.S. bombers. But the attack plans were drawn up by Neocons, Neolibs, and the U.S. Corpotocracy. 9/11 was their green light, their justification for an attack, occupation, and control through chaos. Afghanistan was nothing more to them than a take over target.
These take-over specialists have no party affiliation. They are are one in the same. America exists in a Corpocratic Fascist state. As Gen Smedley D Butler said " War Is A Racket "