[OPE-L:6052] RE: war

From: mongiovg (mongiovg@stjohns.edu)
Date: Tue Oct 09 2001 - 13:30:19 EDT

Seems to me this whole mess presents a window of opportunity for the US to 
patch things up with Iran.  The moderates in govt there strike me as more 
reliable agents of stability than any of the factions in Afghanistan.  Even 
accepting that the agenda of the Bush administration is to protect access to 
oil, wouldn't this agenda be better served by a rapprochement with Iran than 
through alliances with factions that have already demonstrated their inability 
to stabilize Afghanistan's internal affairs?

One expects politicians to serve powerful interests, and occasionally to be 
ruthless on their behalf .  But this crisis is being managed in an obviously 
imbecilic way, and in a way that is apt to be self-defeating for Bush and his 
pals.  I'm not sure if I'm just being hopelessly naive about the human 
capacity to approach problems rationally, or if I'm missing something about 
the logic of the situation.  That's what prompted my post.


>===== Original Message From Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@stanford.edu> =====
>the problem that the US confronts in Afghanistan is the
>setting up of a legitimate govt that somehow keeps the Persian speaking 
>ethnic groups (the Hazaras and the Tajiks) out of power. The US had supported
>the Taleban because it could rely on this Pakhtoon based govt to protect its
>oil interests from Iran. At present, the US has been trying to run the
>pipelines East-West, and through Turkey. Iran poses a problem because it is 
>lowest cost route to Asia, and the Norwegian oil firms have shown an interest
>in going through Iran from Turkmenistan which the US will probably try to
>pressure using the carrot of the security services which it can offer. The US
>has been seeking to keep Iran out of the pipeline business (remember the US
>retains sanctions on Iran, Libya and Iraq--which has decreased supply into US
>markets). Because of a fear of Iranian influence,  the US has not been 
>to allow a  multi-ethnic, democratic govt to gain power  in Afghanistan.  Oil
>and gas must flow through Iran and Afghanistan to meet demand in Asia most
>efficiently, but the profits are not to be shared with  Iran.
>The first Unocal consortium for the pipeline through Afghanistan included
>Japan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, but Iran was excluded. It's not reasonable 
>Iran will stand aside as the massively profitable Caspian Sea pipeliness
>business is developed, but this has indeed been the goal of US policy. The US
>would obviously like to ensure that the Afghani govt comissions  American
>companies for the pipelines that go through its country. Whether the US can
>install an unequivocally pro US (anti Iranian) Afghani govt that is both
>internationally recognized and capable of keeping ethnic stability remains to
>be seen. Does not seem to be much basis for optimism.I can't see how the US
>lives the Northern Alliance, however much it may rely on the Northern 
>in the short term. It would seem that the US would like to split the Pakhtoon
>based Taleban govt and and hook them up with the Uzbeks who are not Persian
>speaking. This will also pacify Pakistan which has wanted Pakhtoon chauvinist
>govt to its North.  But the US interest in  setting up a stable, albeit anti
>Iranian,  govt seems to explain why the US has been so eager to extend  its 
>against al Qaeda to the Taleban govt itself.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Nov 02 2001 - 00:00:04 EST