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November 21, 2001

A Minute Silence for 911 Victims

If you are still shaken by the horrifying scenes of September 11, please observe a moment of silence for the 5,000 civilian lives lost in the New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania attacks. While we're at it, let's have 13 minutes of silence for the 130,000 Iraqi civilians killed in 1991 by order of President Bush Sr. Take another moment to remember how Americans celebrated and cheered in the streets.

Now another 20 minutes of silence for the 200,000 Iranians killed by Iraqi soldiers using weapons and money provided to young Saddam Hussein by the American, British and Russian government before the great eagle turned all its power against Iraq. Full Article

Pipeline Politics: Oil, gas and the US interest in Afghanistan

By: Richard Tanter

Oil and gas are not the reason the US has attacked Afghanistan, but Afghanistan has long had a key place in US plans to secure control of the vast but landlocked oil and gas reserves of Central Asia. Though the primary US motivation is to destroy Osama bin Laden’s sanctuary in Afghanistan, another, rather more pecuniary objective is also on the agenda, particularly in the search for an alternative government in Kabul. With the Taliban out of Kabul and the search for a new Afghan government on center stage, one criterion on Washington’s mind will be how best to make Afghanistan safe for a couple of billion-dollar pipeline investments.

In the case of the great natural gas and oil fields of Turkmenistan, immediately north of Afghanistan, the US government has for a decade strongly supported plans by US-led business groups for both an oil pipeline from Turkmenistan to the Arabian sea via Afghanistan and a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan. Such pipelines would serve important US interests in a number of ways: Full Article

Oil and the war on terrorism

By Gwynne Dyer

"WE hear that Iraq may be targeted," said Sheikh Ahmed Zaki al-Yamani, oil minister of Saudi Arabia during the 70s and 80s heyday of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and now chairman of the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies. "Now, if that is a fact, the attacks will remove Iraqi production (from the marketplace). There could be knock-on effects." By which he meant very expensive oil.

Yamani made his remarks six weeks ago, just before the United States began bombing Afghanistan. Now, with the Taliban regime near collapse and the first phase of President George W Bush’s "war on terrorism" seemingly close to success, speculation in Washington about a follow-on strike against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq is growing daily more heated. But if an attack on Iraq means soaring oil prices, and that in turn means a longer and deeper recession in the US, then Saddam is probably safe. Full Article

World opinion opposes the attack on Afghanistan

By David Miller

According to Tony Blair and George Bush respectively, 'world opinion' and the 'collective will of the world' supported the attack on Afghanistan. Yet analysis of international opinion polls shows that with only three exceptions majorities in all countries polled have opposed the policy of the US and UK governments. Furthermore there have been consistent majorities against the current action in the UK and sizeable numbers of the US population had reservations about the bombing. Full Article