Sunday, November 8, 2009

TAPI? No thanks, I just had lunch.

click on map to enlarge

Get ready to hear about Balochistan aka Baluchistan. What you won't hear about - but you should - is the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline.

Balochistan? Nope, never heard of it.

Until recently no one in the US had heard of South Waziristan either. We were told that South Waziristan in Pakistan is where the Taliban is operating from, which is why we have been bombing it with drone attacks; and we have coerced the Pakistan Army into launching an offensive in the area. In the process thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, creating a new refugee problem.

In a major new piece of propaganda from the BBC, the US-UK axis of evil has announced its intention of expanding the AfPak war into Balochistan. Here is the insidious article from the BBC titled "Pakistan's Taliban dilemma".

The article starts out innocently enough.
Despite their fierce reputation, Afghans are mostly gentle, thoughtful people - deeply courteous, with warm humanity that radiates from luminous eyes.
"How refreshing," you might think. But this is just a ploy - a trick in the handbag of the propagandist - to lower your defenses.

The real article doesn't begin until a few paragraphs later. Despite the proclamation of how "gentle" the Afghan people are, the article quickly becomes another hate piece against the Taliban. That's curious because the Taliban are also Afghans - just not the "gentle, thoughtful" kind. Of course it is necessary to demonize the enemy in war. How else can we justify the murder of our fellow human beings?

The real article begins here.
The Afghan Taliban leadership and sources of supply are not even in Afghanistan, they are in Pakistan - in Quetta, a city just across the mountains from Kandahar where so many British and American troops have died.
You would be justified in assuming that Quetta is in South Waziristan since this is where the public has been told previously that the Taliban is operating from; you would be wrong. Quetta is the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan - a fact the article fails to mention. But Balochistan has a dual meaning - it is also the name of the region inhabited by the Balochi people. In this sense it is a region encompassing areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Just take a look at the map at the top of this article.

So now we're being told that the Taliban is in Quetta. So naturally the US-UK axis of evil must launch military attacks against the enemy.  And of course all of this is being done to protect the "gentle, thoughtful" people of Afghanistan. Yes, of course. It's simply a coincidence that the proposed TAPI pipeline runs straight through Quetta. Yes, of course.

Welcome to Pipeline-istan

click on map to enlarge

The green pipeline on the map above is the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline. It will link the gas fields in Turkmenistan to the outside world - principally India. The red pipeline is the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) pipeline which is considered untenable by the US-UK axis of evil. The reason is plain from the map. It originates in Iran, which has been declared a pariah state by the US-UK.

In order to secure the path of the TAPI pipeline, Balochistan must be under the control of the US-UK axis. This control will also ensure that the competing IPI pipeline from Iran will never be built.

But as I stated previously, Balochistan is more than just a province of Pakistan - it is a whole region where the Balochis live that spills over into Afghanistan and Iran. So widening the war into Quetta will result in bringing the Balochis into the AfPak war.

And the Balochis already have a resistance movement which is active in Pakistan and Iran. So this could horribly complicate things. I honestly cannot fathom how it can be worth the lives of so many Afghan and Pakistani people to bring gas from Turkmenistan to the world markets. And why is it mostly US troops that must fight this war when the gas will end up going to India. There must be huge sums of money and stake, but is that a reason to subjugate whole nations?

And India must be gleeful to see Pakistan dissolving into a bloody civil war. Poor Pakistan has got the worst of it. For a while the ISI, the intelligence service of Pakistan, seemed to handle Afghanistan pretty well - even after 9/11. But it has literally blown up in their faces since the Obama administration took office.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be insensitive to the Pakistanis by saying it has "blown up". But how can one avoid the conclusion that the violence that has spread all over Pakistan has been caused by the Obama administration's decision to widen the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan?

Oddly enough, in order for the US-UK strategy of controlling Balochistan to succeed, they will need the cooperation of Tehran. Otherwise the Iranians could easily arm the Balochis to fight the NATO forces. But Tehran's cooperation will probably not be that difficult to obtain. Tehran has been fighting a Balochi insurrection for years and will most likely be more than happy to cooperate in this area.

Of course the Iranians will want something in return. Perhaps this is why there has been a cooling of rhetoric against the Iranians from Washington lately. Who knows what deals are being worked out in the corridors of power. And so the Great Game continues, and people in Central Asia continue to be cast aside like easily dispensable pawns.

This article is just my humble attempt to summarize this information. To more fully understand the situation in Central Asia I highly recommend reading Pepe Escobar's series of article about what he calls 'Pipeline-istan'.

Start with this article, "Balochistan is the ultimate prize".
Then I suggest reading this "The shadow war in Balochistan".
Then continue reading the rest of Pepe's articles at Asia Times Online.

It's as real as it gets, baby

And just in case you still don't think the TAPI pipeline is real or you think this is just some kooky conspiracy theory, here is an article that affirms its existence. Not surprisingly, this article is not from the mainstream media.

From - Gas pipeline project Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India approved
November 2006
The participants of the regional conference held in New Delhi supported the project for constructing a gas pipeline between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI), ITAR TASS reported.

During the final press-conference, Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar urged Islamabad to give his country a transport transit through the territory of Pakistan to India. "We hope that Pakistan will open its territory for an international pipeline to India as soon as possible, so that we can strengthen cooperation in the region and implement recommendations of the conference," he said.

According to the minister, it would allow Afghanistan to realize its potential as an "energy bridge between Central and Southeast Asia". The two-day forum in the Indian capital was attended by officials from 18 countries, including Russia and about 10 international organizations. The delegation of Afghanistan was headed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

As already reported, in 2005, Asian Development Bank submitted to the ministers of oil and gas industry and mineral resources of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India the final version of feasibility study of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline designed by British company Penspen. The pipes will be 1,420 mm in diameter and will transport gas at a working pressure of 100 atmospheres. It will have a capacity of 33 billion cu m of natural gas per year. The 1,680 km pipeline will cost an estimated US $3.3 bln (2.5 bln euro). TAPI will run from the Dovetabat gas deposit in Turkmenistan to the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India. 6 compressor stations are to be constructed along the pipeline.
So now you know. It's not a secret anymore. Karzai and a select group of his friends will get fabulously wealthy from the transit fees, while the rest of the Afghans will not benefit at all. That's the way it works in an oligarchy.

Paid for by your tax dollars

Yes, energy is power. And India will need lots of energy to continue its growth. And it is the US military that will be the ones that guarantee that this happens. And of course this will also mean big profits for the transnational oil and gas companies owned by the Elite. So our young men and women will continue to sacrifice their lives so that the rich can get richer. Will the American people come to realize this before it is too late?



By popular demand I'm adding the video of the Country Joe McDonald "Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die" rag performance from Woodstock back in the summer of '69 at the height of the Vietnam War.

Come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
he's got himself in a terrible jam
way down yonder in Viet Nam so
put down your books and pick up a gun we're
gonna have a whole lotta fun

And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for
don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates
ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die

Come on wall street don't be slow
why man this war is a go-go
there's plenty good money to be made by
supplying the army with the tools of its trade
let's hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
they drop it on the Viet Cong

Come on generals, let's move fast
your big chance has come at last
now you can go out and get those reds
cos the only good commie is the one that's dead and
you know that peace can only be won when we've
blown 'em all to kingdom come

Come on mothers throughout the land
pack your boys off to Viet Nam
come on fathers don't hesitate
send your sons off before it's too late
and you can be the first ones on your block
to have your boy come home in a box


shane said...

Ok I know comments like this are annoying but I am at work and don't have time to put down a thoughtful comment. I do want to say this is a great article, and I'm adding you to my google reader.

I wanted to post this because I know what it is like to blog about things like this and it can recharge your batteries (for me anyway) when someone says 'nice work'. :)

Frank Hope said...


Thanks, man. It always feels good to get some encouragement. I'm glad to have you as a new subscriber to FNT.

I see you have your own site at "Don't Fear the Truth". I'll be checking it out. My first impression is that it's a great looking site and the articles are of high quality.

BTW, you shouldn't be shy about plugging your own blog. How else are people going to hear about it?

nolocontendere said...

The fascists had their eyes on
Balochistan as a wonderfully placed prize.

"Strategically, Balochistan is mouth-watering: east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz."

Hard to see how Iran would cooporate with the west muscling into this area, but as you mentioned it's hard to know what's going on behind the scenes.

Frank Hope said...


Excellent quote. That is a quote from one of Pepe Escobar's articles that I mention in my post. You're way ahead of me because you featured this in May 2009.

The signs that I can point to that the Obama Administration is easing off on Iran are the lack of support for the Israeli seizure of the Francop and the appointment of John Limbert to be in charge of the Iran desk at the State Dept. It's thin evidence I admit, but more than would have been thought possible in the past.

Perhaps as the Obama Administration gets more deeply involved in Afghanistan and Pakistan, they realize that they need some cooperation from Iran to keep them from further destabilizing the situation. My guess is that Iranians have no love for the Taliban which has been supported in the past by the Saudis.

Anonymous said...

The TAPI gas pipeline project was approved by the then Taliban gov't in Afghanistan in 1998, about 3 yrs before the US invasion.