Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Image–Henry Fuseli, "The Nightmare" (1781-82)
All-Purpose Disclaimer: The following is a bad dream–the result of a feverish brain and hyper-imagination. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to reality as we know it and readers are advised to wear protective clothing before wading into this toxic picture of things to come.
THE GREAT GAME (AGAIN)
"Caspian Sea–Pronounced As: kaspn, Lat. Mare Caspium or Mare Hyrcanium, salt lake, c.144,000 sq mi (373,000 sq km), between Europe and Asia; the largest lake in the world. It is bordered on the northeast by Kazakhstan, on the southeast by Turkmenistan, on the south by Iran, on the southwest by Azerbaijan, and on the northwest by Russia." (Infonautics)
The ongoing U.S. destruction of Afghanistan is about ‘space’–geo-physical and geo-political space–i.e., land mass and land surface. To be exact, it is about the Central Asian oil and gas fields that have remained underplayed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the inability of the players to find a suitable overland route to deep water ports. It’s about pipelines.
The former oilman now court appointed Chief Executive (George Bush), the former executive of Halliburton cum Vice President (Richard Cheney), and the current executive secretary or amanuensis for Smart Toyz R Us (Donald Rumsfeld) know which side their bread is buttered on–it’s the Central Asian side. From Uzbekistan to Pakistan represents–after all is said and destroyed–a lucrative oil and natural gas transmission corridor. To the north and to the south of the former Afghanistan are the world’s oiliest despots waiting for a slice of the sludge. Why else would they acquiesce to the liquidation of an entire country?
In this nightmare scenario the neanderthalish non-person pulling the strings–the master puppetmaster–is Nobody, the Grand Vizier of Greed, and the shadow (evil twin) of Everybody (formerly Everyman). Most grand conspiracies transcend mere individuals and reside in the plutosphere (underworld), the shadowy realm of faceless automatons, or the velvet netherzone where the day-to-day machinations of the plutocracy are crafted. This region is inside our heads, close to the reptilian core of things–a prehistoric relic where the Manichaean essence of the struggle for the upper hand originates.
The American public and our so-called Allies have been played for patsies (dupes) by the Bush League. And no doubt, after the 2004 defeat of the President (by almost anyone), the new global corporation established to ‘handle’ the opening of the oil fields under the Caspian Sea will have a name not unlike ‘The Bush League’. Defeated in 2004? Of course. That is the plan. Why choose an enfeebled Vice President if you plan to run on and on? Why not get out after having bilked the American public and bankrupted the country for your own personal gain? Why settle for a paltry salary when you can sit at the top of an international cabal of oil speculators a la Enron? Oh … Was the collapse of Enron a surprise to the Bush League? No. It too is part of the plan.
So, what is the plan? After the liquidation of Afghanistan (and after the Russians have been pacified) an oil deal will be cut with the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, a route will be rammed through Afghanistan and Pakistan–with the blessing of whatever corrupt potentates are nominally the heads of the countries’ armed forces cum police–and the game will shift to Iraq. If Iraq cannot be ‘turned’, it can be ‘destroyed’. Take out the Iraqi oil fields and the Caspian Sea fields’ stock rises. Capture and put the Iraqi oil fields back on line and milk the production for a percentage and it’s a win/win situation.
There are only a few companies in the world that can produce the infrastructural and logistical-financial services required to launch or relaunch oil production. Bechtel is one (but that’s Bush pere’s generation), so is Halliburton (just now engaged in an Enron-like downward spiral brought on by a spate of asbestos lawsuits)–the provisional ‘Bush League’ is another (this is the hybrid Bush I and Bush II juggernaut, or the passing of the baton), especially after buying up select pieces of Enron at fire sale prices.
That Enron was mostly an energy futures trading pyramid scheme does not matter much. It had tentacles in virtually every sector of the ‘energy’ underworld. Those detached tentacles will squirm about on the ground until bought up by squadrons of lawyers on behalf of unknown benefactors. Boxed and shipped to Texas those same tentacle fragments will be nurtured back to full health–full octopus status–through a special neo-clonal parthenogenetic therapy similar to the one used by advocates of human cloning and banned by Bush (i.e., bathed in billions of dollars liberated from the U.S. Treasury and laundered through tax cuts and breaks for the uber-rich and their off-shore piggy banks–the uber-leveraged multinational corporations). The new octopussies will be sent round the world and lo! the new Bush League will be hatched–er–will bloom.
Caspian Sea Oil
Afghanistan–"Afghanistan’s significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan, which was under serious consideration in the mid-1990s. The idea has since been undermined by Afghanistan’s instability. Since 1996, most of Afghanistan has been controlled by the Taliban movement, which the United States does not recognize as the government of Afghanistan." (Energy Information Administration)
Enron & Bush (Common Dreams)
Enron, Enron & Enron (The Nation)
Enron at the Whitehouse (CounterPunch)
Enron Commercials (Rtmark)
Bush, Enron, and Etc (BBC World Service)
Enron Liabilities (BBC World Service)
*Work at Enron–Advertising Risk Management–Bandwidth–Broadband Services–Coal–Credit Risk Management–Crude Oil Products–Emission Allowances–Energy Management–Energy Asset Management–Enron Intelligent Network–Facility Management–Fertilizers–Forest Products–Freight–Media Risk Management–Metals (also see Steel)–Natural Gas (Transactions, Transportation, Retail Sales, Storage, Upstream Services)–Lumber–Oil & LNG Transportation–Petrochemicals–Plastics–Power (Generation, Retail Sales, Transactions)–Principal Investments–Pulp & Paper–Risk Management for Commodities (Retail Commodities, Wholesale Commodities)–Semiconductors–Steel–Streaming Media–Voice Minutes–Water & Wastewater–Weather Risk Management–Wind Energy
"Enron is An Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer"
Gavin Keeney is a landscape architect and editor of Serious / Real, the anti-journal.
He can be reached at: email@example.com