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Thread: Is the 911 Attack Triggering A Fourth Turning? - Page 74

Post#1826 at 01-10-2002 09:08 AM by [at joined #posts ]
01-10-2002, 09:08 AM #1826

Speaking of the matures, here is some advice about our situation from General Alexander Haig, an old GI hand at the State Department.
You don't have to agree with him to recognize the serious wisdom behind his advice. If we listened to his advice, we might avoid a Transcendental-Gilded type situation with Bommers and 13ers. He also gives interesting analysis about the global situation.

Post#1827 at 01-10-2002 11:02 AM by [at joined #posts ]
01-10-2002, 11:02 AM #1827

Iranian leader Ayatollah Khameini called for the destruction of Israel as a cancerous tumor in the region that must be removed.

Ill wind long has blown from Iran
in the direction of the Jewish state
By Gil Sedan

JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (JTA) ? Iran has again surfaced on Israeli radar screens
as a strategic threat to the Jewish state.

Israeli officials charged that 50 tons of weapons captured aboard a ship in the
Red Sea last week were destined for the Palestinian Authority. The officials
also made clear where they thought the shipment originated ? the Islamic
Republic of Iran.

"There is a partnership of interests between Iran and the Palestinian Authority,"
Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh, who has warned for years of the Iranian
threat, told JTA. The Palestinian Authority "prepares itself for a military
confrontation, and Iran provides the tools that could destroy Israel."

As Sneh and other Israeli officials see it, Iran wants to repeat its successful
experience with Hezbollah gunmen in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah used Iranian-supplied arms to threaten Israeli population centers in
the north, Sneh says, ultimately forcing Israel to withdraw from southern
Lebanon after 18 years of occupation.

So, too, the arms shipment on board the seized ship, the Karine-A, was
designed to threaten areas in the heart of Israel, he says.

The Iranians have denied any connection with the Karine-A. They quoted
Lloyd?s List ? a British publication that gives details of vessel movements and
other information dealing with the merchant shipping community ? that the
vessel was owned by an Iraqi named Ali Mohammed Abbas. The Iranians also
cited documents indicating that Abbas had bought the vessel from a Lebanese
shipping company last August.

Lebanon, however, said Lloyd?s had confused the Karine-A with a similarly
named ship that still flies the Lebanese flag.

"Iran?s denials are not surprising," said Iranian affairs expert Menashe Amir,
head of Persian-language broadcasts on Israel Radio. "Iran always denies its
armed support of terrorist organizations, but confirms its ideological support."

For years, Iran supplied arms to Hezbollah and trained its fighters on Iranian
soil to be guerrillas and terrorists.

Over the years, Iran also has provided ample financial support to Hamas and
Islamic Jihad.

At one point the Palestinian Authority, which sometimes appears to consider
the two terror groups as threats to its control, complained that Iran had given
Hamas $1 million to carry out armed attacks against Israel.

With Iran?s encouragement and support, Hamas? military wing, Izz a- Din
al-Kassam, has commenced joint operations with Hezbollah and Islamic

Morever, some Israeli security experts, among them Maj. Gen. Alik Ron, former
chief of police in Israel?s northern region, have expressed concern that Iran
has reached out to Israeli Arabs, using Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah
operatives as intermediaries.

Prior to the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000, Iran was openly critical
of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, branding him a traitor for
pursuing the peace process with Israel.

After the intifada began, Iran "rehabilitated" Arafat. He subsequently met with
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, who encouraged him to continue with
the armed struggle against Israel.

Last April, representatives of the Palestinian Authority were invited to a
conference in Tehran of the so-called Palestinian rejectionist movements,
which oppose the entire peace process with Israel.

At the conference, Iranian officials said the anti-Israeli front should intensify its
activities to take advantage of Israel?s "state of instability and weakness."

Iran?s supreme ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called in a recent speech for the
destruction of Israel, which he described "as a malignant tumor that must be
pulled out of the Islamic soil."

And ? as if more needed to be said about Iran?s intentions ? Ali Hashemi
Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran who still holds an influential position in
the country, spoke last month of the need to annihilate Israel with nuclear

After Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres complained to the United Nations,
Iran issued a statement saying Rafsanjani had been misinterpreted.

True, an internal debate in Iran over the need for greater democratization has
also affected some attitudes toward Israel. Lately, some have argued that Iran
does not need to be more extreme than the Palestinians themselves, who
ostensibly are willing to make peace with Israel.

Mohammad Reza Tajik, an advisor to Khatami and head of the Strategic
Studies Institute of Iran, spoke at a recent symposium of the damage caused
to Iran?s international status by its unqualified support for the Palestinians.

And Ayatollah Shakuri, a member of the Iranian Parliament, went so far as to
advise the government to accept Israel?s existence and let the Palestinians
determine their own fate.

Despite such comments, the prevailing wind from Iran has been ill indeed
toward Israel.

Israeli officials for years have warned of the dangers posed by the transfer of
nuclear technology to Iran from Russia. Both Russia and Iran claim the
technology is for peaceful purposes only.

Some Israeli officials wonder whether the United States has focused too much
on Iraq and has been blind to the threat posed by Iran.

But, according to Maj. Gen. Amos Malka, the outgoing chief of army
intelligence, this is not the case.

The recent rapprochement between Washington and Tehran is misleading, he
said, because it is "a temporary meeting of interests due to the war in

According to Malka, the Bush administration is well aware of the fact that Iran is
a "very dangerous" country ? not only because of its support of terrorists, but
because of its efforts to obtain a nuclear potential.

Post#1828 at 01-11-2002 01:28 AM by HopefulCynic68 [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 9,412]
01-11-2002, 01:28 AM #1828
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On 2002-01-08 22:31, rc51 wrote:
On 2002-01-08 20:27, HopefulCynic68 wrote:
It's true, for the time being we have hit a plateau. If Spengler was right, then this plateau is actually likely to last for several centuries,
"Today" = Several Centuries
Even if Spenger was right, the only reason would be that we stopped trying . It would be perfectly possible to compress that 'today' you refer to down to 20 years, if we so wished.

Post#1829 at 01-11-2002 06:50 PM by nd boom '59 [at joined Dec 2001 #posts 52]
01-11-2002, 06:50 PM #1829
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The actual 4t is most likely related to events in the middle east and involves the 3 I's Israel. Iran and Iraq.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nd boom '59 on 2002-01-11 16:11 ]</font>

Post#1830 at 01-11-2002 07:01 PM by nd boom '59 [at joined Dec 2001 #posts 52]
01-11-2002, 07:01 PM #1830
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There is no question we are still in 3t.The media has changed it's focus to celebrities,(Michael Jordan,s Divorce, Whoopie Goldberg hosting whatever). The news channnels CNN and Fox dropped the war word from the description of what the program is on satelite. Now we are wondering where to go next to fight. A true 4t event would be decisive in focus and resolve.

Post#1831 at 01-11-2002 07:57 PM by Roadbldr '59 [at Vancouver, Washington joined Jul 2001 #posts 8,275]
01-11-2002, 07:57 PM #1831
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Vancouver, Washington

On 2002-01-11 16:01, nd boom '59 wrote:
There is no question we are still in 3t. The media has changed it's focus to celebrities,(Michael Jordan,s Divorce, Whoopie Goldberg hosting whatever). The news channnels CNN and Fox dropped the war word from the description of what the program is on satelite. Now we are wondering where to go next to fight. A true 4t event would be decisive in focus and resolve.
Still 3T? Perhaps. However, the media alone does not an Unravelling make. The media and entertainment industry would obviously love to get us back into 3T-mode, 3T is far more predictable from a money-making standpoint since it is what they know. A change to a Crisis-era mindset would through all Unravelling-era marketing assumptions-- about what the public wants, and how they want it --out the window.

But, the economy has yet to bottom out. And although the war in Afghanistan is all but won, OBL is still at-large-- not to mention his many, many disciples that are out there, perhaps ready to strike. Although everyone in power -- the President, the media, Hollywood, Wall Street -- would love for everyone to "get back to normal", there is still a hawk-eyed vigilance in post-911 Americans that is not going away just because Entertainment Tonite chooses to focus on Michael Jordan.

I still think we're in early 4T. In the early part of the last Crisis era, Mr. Hoover and the powers-that-be implored Americans to "get back to normal" as well. But as we now know, it didn't happen that way.

Post#1832 at 01-11-2002 09:55 PM by Chris Loyd '82 [at Land of no Zones joined Jul 2001 #posts 402]
01-11-2002, 09:55 PM #1832
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Land of no Zones

We must remember that years may go by before people reflect on when everything changed. One way to tell is that sometime in the future, school history texts will lump the period of the 1980s and 1990s together, and have the 2000s go off in another direction.

Does anyone have access to school history texts from the 1930s and 1940s?
America is wonderful because you can get anything on a drive-through basis.
-- Neal Stephenson / Snow Crash

Post#1833 at 01-11-2002 11:55 PM by [at joined #posts ]
01-11-2002, 11:55 PM #1833

nd Boom, just because there is still interest in the entertainment industry and in Hollywood icons doesn't mean we're still in a 3T (though we might be). During the last 4T, remember, there was a great deal of interest in celebrites. The '40s were HUGE moviemaking years for Hollywood and television got its start. Many movie stars arose during this decade. Hollywood pinup girls were hugely popular, especially for the boys overseas. Gossip magazines abounded. The entertainment industry does *not* die during a 4T, it explodes. People need *some* way to escape from an out of control world that threatens to crash down all around them, obliterating everything.

The difference between a 3T and a 4T isn't in whether there is interest in "shallow" things like the lives of movie stars or in entertainment. It's in the nature of the interest in those things, and in the sort of entertainment that's presented. In a 3T, entertainment is edgy, freakish, irreverent, sometimes perverted, blashphemous, and downright ugly (in the 20s there were freak shows, the equivalent of today's freakish celebrities); in a 4T it is pure escapism and fun, and it's about love, goodness, family, and good times. In a 4T, people become almost obsessed with the love lives of famous stars, and in love stories in the movies, because falling in love, even vicariously through Hollywood icons, is the best way to temporarily escape the real world and all its troubles. It's a subjective experience that seems to transcend everything else in a way that nothing else can.

Post#1834 at 01-12-2002 08:57 PM by [at joined #posts ]
01-12-2002, 08:57 PM #1834

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." - Gandhi

Post#1835 at 01-13-2002 03:02 PM by BoomXer [at Columbus, OH d.o.b...5.9.59 joined Sep 2001 #posts 55]
01-13-2002, 03:02 PM #1835
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Columbus, OH d.o.b...5.9.59

Kevin, Chris, Susan.....Agreed, one portent as to which way we are headed that some of you might want to check out would be the screenings at Sundance........even though many of the movies were in production before 9/11/01 there's alot less violence, irreverence and that twisted weirdness that characterized the 90's.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: BoomXer on 2002-01-13 12:17 ]</font>

Post#1836 at 01-13-2002 09:58 PM by pindiespace [at Pete '56 ( joined Jul 2001 #posts 165]
01-13-2002, 09:58 PM #1836
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Pete '56 (

Susan, good points about celebrity. I would add that while celebrities may prosper, the idea that the celebrity system is the best model for running society itself ("Life: The Movie" after Neal Gabler) will fade. We might gape at huge salaries paid to stars -- but will be less inclined to think that high-paid "superstar" CEOs, for example, will fix the economy.

Post#1837 at 01-14-2002 07:06 PM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
01-14-2002, 07:06 PM #1837
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(For info and discussion purposes)

January 13, 2002
Fighting for oil
The U.S. is determined to dominate the world's richest new source
Contributing Foreign Editor

NEW YORK -- Partisans of President George Bush's jihad against Islamic opponents have been crowing that the quick military victory in Afghanistan showed that America's power is irresistible. War can indeed be waged with almost no U.S. casualties. The old Afghan hands who cautioned against plunging into Afghanistan were dead wrong, gleefully chorus right-wing hawks.

Hardly any of them have ever been to Afghanistan or neighbouring regions. All past invaders, beginning with Alexander's Macedonians, found it extremely easy to get into Afghanistan - and exceptionally painful to get out. That is the point this column has been making since early October.

It took the Soviet Army exactly two days in late 1979 to occupy Afghanistan, and 10 years to extricate itself. It has taken the United States - admittedly much further away - five weeks to scatter a force of medieval tribesmen and occupy southern Afghanistan. This time around, Russia occupied the north through its proxy forces in two weeks.

Though most North Americans believe the Afghan war is over, in fact we are only seeing the beginning of what augurs to be a long, confused, murky struggle in this strategic but chaotic nation. The growing American military presence in Afghanistan means its garrison troops are likely to become embroiled in lethal Afghan tribal politics and face a low but persistent number of casualties from skirmish and accidents - just what happened to the Soviet garrison in the 1980s.

Right now, the U.S. has bought temporary loyalty from tribal chiefs, but this situation could quickly change as Afghans chafe under the growing American presence and resent being ordered about by foreigners. Canadian troops in Afghanistan will face the same threats.

One thing is clear: the United States is inexorably getting drawn deeper and deeper into South and Central Asia. Empires expand through war or trade. The American Empire - which this column has long called the American Raj - has in recent weeks made a decisive move to the east. Just as the U.S. used the 1991 Gulf War to force its Arab clients to permit stationing of permanent U.S. garrisons in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, so the U.S. is now using the so-called war on terrorism and the hunt for Osama bin Laden to expand its military influence into South/Central Asia.

The reason is both simple and complex: oil. Washington is determined to dominate the world's richest new source of oil, Central Asia's Caspian Basin, over which sit the former Soviet states of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Well before Sept. 11, the U.S. already had special forces operating in Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan. Last spring, Osama bin Laden advised the unworldly Taliban regime to turn down a low bid from the U.S. oil firm Unocal to build a pipeline to export Central Asian oil - awarding it instead to a rival Argentine firm. The U.S. cut off discreet financial aid to Taliban and began updating contingency plans to invade Afghanistan and install a compliant regime. Events of Sept. 11 facilitated this decision.

The U.S. is now establishing permanent military bases near Kandahar, where units of its elite 101st Airborne Div. will replace Marines as a semi-permanent garrison. Three other permanent U.S. bases are being prepared. Three more are operational in Pakistan. All these new bases will be linked to and supplied by much larger U.S. military bases in Arabia and the Gulf. Washington will use the same formula as in its Mideast oil Raj: keep friendly dictatorial regimes in power and crush their internal opponents in exchange for military bases, large arms purchases and cheap oil.

The Bush administration, egged on by the big oil lobby, is determined to dominate the Caspian Basin gold rush. However, U.S. military forces are already stretched extremely thin; involvement in Central Asia will strain them severely and require a higher defence budget. The U.S. already spends over $30 billion annually to base troops in Arabia and the Gulf - from which the U.S. gets only 7% of its oil.

Russia is already manoeuvering against the U.S. in Central Asia and Afghanistan. China is watching the arrival of U.S. troops on its highly sensitive western borders and the new U.S./Indian strategic alliance with mounting concern. These are dangerous waters, in a part of the world the U.S. little knows.

The U.S. charge into remote Central Asia, led by a president who calls Pakistanis "Pakis," looks increasingly like a case of imperial overreach - a bridge too far even for the world's sole superpower.

Post#1838 at 01-14-2002 07:15 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
01-14-2002, 07:15 PM #1838
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(for info and discussion purposes)

by James Ridgeway
Paris interviews and translation by Sandra Bisin

Paris Reporters Say Bush Threatened War Last Summer
The French Connection

ar from the American media machine, two French authors have released a report outlining U.S. attempts to finesse the issue of Osama bin Laden long before Al Qaeda struck on September 11. Based on extensive firsthand reporting, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasqui? write in their book, Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, that the Bush administration went so far as to consider waging war against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban last summer. Brisard and Dasqui? argue the U.S. cared more about getting access to the region's oil than about getting the head of Osama bin Laden.
Now thousands of U.S. citizens are dead and Al Qaeda is on the run. Dasqui? tells the Voice he doubts the group will last "more than a few weeks." The journalist describes bin Laden's military leaders as mostly former members of the Egyptian special forces who joined with the Saudi exile in 1992 and 1993 during fighting in Sudan. Al Qaeda commanders and troops are "the military product of a religious deviance," he says, warning that ending the network "won't solve anything because the Saudi charities and other organizations tied to the clerics will go on pumping out the money. The problem is their fundamentalism."

Brisard, who has run Vivendi International's economic intelligence service, prepared the West's first report on Al Qaeda back in 1997, at the request of the French government. Along with Dasqui?, he now argues the FBI's efforts to get to the bottom of bin Laden's terror outfit?which bombed two American embassies in Africa in 1998?were blocked by the Saudi royal family and the big oil companies, which were hungry for the region's crude reserves.

The FBI press office had no comment on the book, and the State Department has steadily denied having any negotiations with the Taliban, which had no diplomatic standing in the U.S. But the two authors think highly of the FBI agents who were working on counterterrorism, saying they often had excellent informants.

That's not to say progress was great. When an FBI agent would turn up to do an interview, the Saudis would step in with their own bizarre behavior. "We uncovered incredible things," Dasqui? tells the Voice. "Investigators would arrive to find that key witnesses they were about to interrogate had been beheaded the day before." In the end, he says, the West "always considered Saudi Arabia as a partner that we absolutely and systematically had to protect."

The book also reveals a portrait of U.S. policy toward the Taliban that differs sharply from the one usually held up for the American public but coincides with that of the Taliban's unofficial emissary in the U.S., Laili Helms, the niece of the former CIA head (see "The Accidental Operative," Voice, June 19, 2001). Helms described one incident after another in which, she claimed, the Taliban agreed to give up bin Laden to the U.S., only to be rebuffed by the State Department. On one occasion, she said, the Taliban agreed to give the U.S. coordinates for his campsite, leaving enough time so the Yanks could whack Al Qaeda's leader with a missile before he moved. The proposal, she claims, was nixed. The State Department denied receiving any such offer.

Helms also related an incident when Prince Turki, then the head of Saudi intelligence, flew to Kabul to negotiate bin Laden's arrest. Turki, according to Helms's account of the story, wanted bin Laden murdered on Afghan soil. If he were killed there, then the Saudi royal family needn't face the embarrassment of airing their dirty linen in an open trial. The Taliban refused, and Turki returned home empty-handed.

Brisard and Dasqui? characterize the U.S. as playing a clumsy footsie with the Taliban, with diplomacy unfolding in a series of bizarre fits and starts. By the late 1990s, the writers claim, diplomacy was run on different levels. One channel went from the UN Security Council to Kabul. Meanwhile, the State Department conducted its own bilateral negotiations. From the start, the U.S. favored a sort of covert support for the Taliban, in hopes that sooner or later the one-eyed Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammed Omar could be prevailed upon to break ties with bin Laden so the West could get on with its pipeline and other business interests.

However, this approach came to a screaming halt in September 1997, when European Union commissioner Emma Bonino paid an official visit to Kabul, where the Taliban arrested her for filming the conditions in a women's hospital. Their outrageous actions made it difficult for the West to appear at all friendly with the Taliban. In reality, since they had all the power in this Stalinized regime, nobody ever stopped dealing with them. It's just that the trail became more submerged. Bin Laden then began his potent offensives, attacking the diplomatic posts and the USS Cole.

In general, according to the authors, the U.S. line on the Taliban had gone something like this: "OK, they are officially a bit wild, but let's not go overboard. Eventually we can make them acceptable." Under Clinton, few thought they could ever deal with the Taliban, and some wanted to pile on sanctions. But under Bush, talks started up once more. The purpose was legitimate at the start, Brisard notes. "It was for the U.S. to negotiate that bin Laden be given to them," he says. "Then it shifted to the point where advisers thought that the economic arguments would make the difference with the Taliban and accelerate the negotiations. They started to put the oil subsidies that would be given to the Taliban on the table. At the end of July, the negotiations broke down, because the U.S. threatened to go to war with the Taliban if they didn't accept the deal."

Dasqui?, too, notes the role of the oil industry in this conflict. "Most of the big names of the Bush administration have a political culture developed in Big Oil?Cheney with Halliburton, Rice at Chevron," he says. "Donald Evans also came from a big oil company." This shift from the Clinton era took effect quickly. In March 2001, a personal representative of Supreme Leader Omar came to Washington. In his mission to the nation's capital, he was accompanied by Helms.

It should be noted here that the Taliban, through a policy of coercion, had stopped farmers from growing opium poppies?a major goal of both the Clinton and Bush drug wars. In certain quarters this was taken as a sign of their coming around to deal with the U.S. What nobody seemed to know, or at least appreciate at the time, was that bin Laden had put so much money into Afghanistan that he virtually owned the regime. "We must understand that Mullah Omar was a peasant and illiterate," says Brisard, "so the person giving substance to the religious message of the Taliban regime is Osama bin Laden. He is the person who brings life to and finances the Taliban economy."

The way the French writers see it, the most significant factor in Central Asia is not a revived cold war between Russia and the U.S. over influence in the former Soviet republics, but the rise of Iran. Here the irony is that the U.S. embraced Saudi Arabia as a counterbalance against the Shiites in Iran. Now the tables are turned. FBI investigations showed the connection between the Saudi clergy and the September terrorist attacks. Gradually the U.S. has begun to distance itself from the Saudis. And at the same time, it has begun to warm to Iran, whose help the U.S. suddenly needs.

"During the dark years of Taliban power, their principal opponent in western Afghanistan was Iran," Dasqui? says. "It played a very important part in supporting the Afghan resistance." Indeed, it was Shiite Iran that financed dissidents against the Taliban. When the crisis started, the Swiss Embassy in Tehran organized meetings between American State Department officials and Iranian president Mohammed Khatami's government.

In the end, the authors say Al Qaeda was a special case in that it was set up to be a nexus for other fundamentalist networks. Through bin Laden, it provides the financing to attract such groups as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Ramata I Islamya. "There are a lot of fundamentalist movements around the world, but no one like Al Qaeda, because it was meant to be a kind of central point, a crossroads, the focus of fundamentalist movements," says Dasqui?. "But if tomorrow Al Qaeda disappears, many little movements can replace it. All that is necessary is to get the support and benediction of the Saudi clergy."

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Justin '77 on 2002-01-14 16:16 ]</font>

Post#1839 at 01-14-2002 07:16 PM by Stonewall Patton [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 3,857]
01-14-2002, 07:16 PM #1839
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Sep 2001

Greater detail on the new French book detailing the Bushes, oil, and the Taliban:

Post#1840 at 01-14-2002 07:18 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
01-14-2002, 07:18 PM #1840
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(for discussion purposes)

--Note the date, December 4, 1997

World: West Asia

Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline

The 1,300km pipeline will carry gas across Afghanistan's harsh terrain
A senior delegation from the Taleban movement in Afghanistan is in the United States for talks with an international energy company that wants to construct a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan.

A spokesman for the company, Unocal, said the Taleban were expected to spend several days at the company's headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.

Unocal says it has agreements both with Turkmenistan to sell its gas and with Pakistan to buy it.

The Afghan economy has been devasted by 20 years of civil war
But, despite the civil war in Afghanistan, Unocal has been in competition with an Argentinian firm, Bridas, to actually construct the pipeline.

Last month, the Argentinian firm, Bridas, announced that it was close to signing a two-billion dollar deal to build the pipeline, which would carry gas 1,300 kilometres from Turkmenistan to Pakistan, across Afghanistan.

In May, Taleban-controlled radio in Kabul said a visiting delegation from an Argentinian company had announced that pipeline construction would start "soon".

The radio has reported several visits to Kabul by Unocal and Bridas company officials over the past few months.

A BBC regional correspondent says the proposal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan is part of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea.

With the various Afghan factions still at war, the project has looked from the outside distinctly unpromising.

Last month the Taleban Minister of Information and Culture, Amir Khan Muttaqi, said the Taleban had held talks with both American and Argentine-led consortia over transit rights but that no final agreement had yet been reached. He said an official team from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan should meet to ensure each country benefited from any deal.

However, Unocal clearly believes it is still in with a chance - to the extent that it has already begun training potential staff.

It has commissioned the University of Nebraska to teach Afghan men the technical skills needed for pipeline construction. Nearly 140 people were enrolled last month in Kandahar and Unocal also plans to hold training courses for women in administrative skills.

Women face working restrictions under Taleban rule
Although the Taleban authorities only allow women to work in the health sector, organisers of the training say they haven't so far raised any objections.

The BBC regional correspondent says the Afghan economy has been devastated by 20 years of civil war. A deal to go ahead with the pipeline project could give it a desperately-needed boost.

But peace must be established first -- and that for the moment still seems a distant prospect.

"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky

Post#1841 at 01-21-2002 09:59 PM by robbabub [at joined Sep 2001 #posts 4]
01-21-2002, 09:59 PM #1841
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Sep 2001

September 11, 2001 will always be remembered as the defining event marking the entry of our society into a new Fourth Turning period. Because of the brilliant work done by William Strauss and Neil Howe we all have a good understanding of those factors in our own society that are leading us into and shaping this Fourth Turning period. It is clear that we are in the early stages of a Fourth Turning period in United States history.

The present constellation of generations in this country and the outlook of each will determine how we handle the crisis that is about to envelope our society. We will not know what kind of a Fourth Turning period we are in for until it is over and we look back.

Understanding our own mindset is not enough though. To anticipate the nature of the crisis that our society will face during this Fourth Turning it is necessary to begin intimately looking at and understanding events that are occurring outside our own country. It is necessary to understand what is really going on and how it might affect our society. The world has entered a period of power re-alignment. The pressures created by this process will shape the crisis we are about to face as much as our own internal Fourth Turning personality will shape that crisis.

The collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War made the crisis of the next Fourth Turning inevitable. The next world crisis will grow directly out of the end of the Cold War.

The Cold War created a bi-polar world in which all nations found and knew their place. Any nation not adhering to the world order was kept in line by one of the two superpowers. Yes, wars and tensions developed around the world, but these were all kept subordinate to the needs and goals of the two superpowers by the two superpowers themselves. The two superpowers would not allow a world threatening crisis to occur. They have had the power and ability to make uneasy peace a reality since World War II.

Since the end of the Cold War the nations of the world have been seeking a new order, a new homeostasis. This is seen in the multitude of seemingly petty regional and ethnic conflicts that have occured since the fall of the Berlin Wall across Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and throughout Africa. On the surface these wars seem small and manageable, perhaps even insignificant, involving small and little known countries each of which has little power. A closer look at each of these wars will show the hidden hand and involvement in some way of more powerful nations seeking to understand and jockey for position in the emerging world power balance. These involvements include the United States, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece and, of course, the Muslim countries. Each of these wars provides the opportunity to gain influence, build alliances, test the resolve of others, and perhaps most important to us, test the United States. How we handle ourselves and the decisions we make during each of these conflicts is being judged by others who will someday test us directly.

We are at the beginning of this process. The end of the Cold War was not an end, it was a beginning. It was the beginning of a natural period of world instability. The process of re-alignment is just beginning to gain momentum. This is not a process that the United States can ultimately control, much as we want to. It is a process that we will be pulled into and swept up in. The War in Afghanistan is only one of the earliest and probably one of the smaller conflicts that will lead us a step at a time down this road. All nations of the world will be lead down the road to conflict with one another. It will lead to the crisis of this Fourth Turning and it will be global in scale. The world will be a very different place than any world that we have known when the process of re-alignment is complete.

Post#1842 at 01-22-2002 02:31 AM by Tim Walker '56 [at joined Jun 2001 #posts 24]
01-22-2002, 02:31 AM #1842
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Huntington predicted that countries will realign on the basis of culture, of civilization. Such a world would have alignments and antagonisms that appear quite different from the Cold War.

Post#1843 at 01-22-2002 11:51 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
01-22-2002, 11:51 AM #1843
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Cove Hold, Carver, MA

Nice summary robbabub. Tim Walker adds... Huntington predicted that countries will realign on the basis of culture, of civilization. Such a world would have alignments and antagonisms that appear quite different from the Cold War.

But Huntington, even in his ?Clash of Civilizations? noted his model broke down on occasion in the Balkans. The US and NATO defended Muslim factions towards the end. There are selfish reasons for this. The Arab countries were beginning to push for Arab peace keeping forces in Arab sections of the Balkans. The Europeans did not want this, thus had to fight for peace rather than the interests of their ethnic groups. However, even while advocating his model of the world based on ethnic strife, he noted a US element of wanting to feel good about themselves. He considered this an anomaly in US culture, that sometimes we will do the right thing rather than work to the advantage of our ethnic cousins.

Another element of Huntington is the rhythm of ethnic conflicts. Conflicts initiate in the border areas between ethnic groups, but are fueled by money and weapons sent in from the ?Diaspora.? In any given ethnic conflict, there have been prior wars and refugees which fled the region to more prosperous nations closer to the center of an ethnic group?s area of control. These earlier generations of ethnic refugees retain loyalty to their group, have money, and often have political pull. Thus, as each intafada gets under way, the first wave of outside interference is an influx of money and weapons to the extremists.

This does not continue. The ?core nations,? the major powers within each Civilization, generally do not want the ethnic border wars to continue to escalate. While during any given ethnic conflict, early on the extremists can count on help from outside, as the conflict continues the help comes with strings attached and political pressure to end the war.

The good news is that the core nations are beginning to recognize this pattern, identified by Huntington, and are being a bit more careful about supporting the extremists early in an intafada. The bad news might be that outside pressure to end wars might mean that conflicts are never truly resolved.

Huntington is often quoted as predicting ethnic civilization clash wars, but far more people quote just that without really digging into his model. It is hard to read his descriptions of the recent Balkan and Middle East conflicts without saying ?this process is broke, and needs to change.? Dubya, in attempting to get numerous government from different Civilizations working together, might very well be attempting to break the Huntington model. Alas, while blind support of Israel and the oil monarchies continues, the Huntington model will remain alive. Dubya ruled out changes in US policy immediately after September 11th, and has avoided addressing root causes. Many nations are throwing money at Afghanistan, attempting to throw cash at one particular problem country, but as Robbadub suggests, this is but one of many trouble spots.

Huntington should be read. However, his is not the only perspective possible. I keep coming back to Toffler?s model, that agricultural, industrial and networked civilizations are distinctly different. I do not believe that Western civilization is superior to Islam, Latin, Sinic, or any of the others. I do believe that new technology allows, encourages and perhaps forces changes in culture. The West went through these growing pains first, fighting many internal wars over religious freedom, democracy and human rights. Conservative religious forces and warrior governments often fought progress. They continue to do so, in the West and the Middle East.

A good part of the current problem is autocratic governments that provide the West with cheap oil. We are so greedy for the cheap oil, we attempt to freeze progress. The fall of Iran?s monarchy is an early echo of the current problem. While the West is advocating tyrants, unrest against the West will continue. While poverty exists, there will be anger. While the West is seen as a repressive force, and religious fundamentalism is seen as advocating the financial and cultural interests of The People, there will be a problem.

I wish there was a simple perspective that could make the problem clear. There isn?t. There is culture conflict between the West and Islam (among others.) There is cheap oil necessary to a vibrant world economy. There are tyrannic governments, suppressing their people economically and politically. There are modern political and economic ideas, and ancient cultural norms, that must eventually merge and coexist. There are ecological limits approaching, more people than available resources can fully satisfy.

Something has got to give. The West?s greed for the cheap oil will prevent our pressuring for incremental change of the tyrannic governments. Change will come. If it is not change in the direction of democracy and prosperity, it will be change in the direction of fundamentalism and poverty. Yet, even if we are wishing them well, we cannot demand that they become just like us.

Nasty problem.

Post#1844 at 01-22-2002 12:16 PM by msm [at joined Dec 2001 #posts 201]
01-22-2002, 12:16 PM #1844
Join Date
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I, too, find myself generally in agreement with robbabub's summary, and am glad to see that no everyone is making the same weak arguments that we are still in a 3T simply because pop culture and life in the US hasn't been completely disrupted in a mere four months.

The movements and shifting apparent in the great power struggles are as significant as robbabub suggests.

Another major shift is a psychological one; the US is getting accustomed to the relatively free hand it has had since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Very significant, in my opinion, is the new consensus among our power elites that, contrary to recent posts, the U.S. has nothing to fear from the so-called "oil weapon".

Specifically, it is currently believed that there is no way for Saudi Arabia to prevent Saudi oil from finding its way to American markets short of refusing to sell their oil to anyone anywhere, which they cannot do, as they require the income they receive from selling oil. Once they sell their oil, it is treated by the international oil market as a commodity, interchangeable with oil from other parts of the world. If the Saudi's refused to sell oil directly to U.S. companies, they would have to sell that oil to other companies, which could then sell to the U.S. Over a few weeks, the markets would shift a little, and the most the Saudi's would have achieved would be a short-lived price hike.

This sort of thinking is an example of how the U.S. feels it has a free hand at the moment.

3T's always blend in with 4T's around the edges, but due to the psychological effect of everthing that happened on 9/11 (including Arabs' worldwide cheering those events), it is hard to imaging future generations NOT deciding that the 4T began on that day.

Post#1845 at 01-22-2002 05:08 PM by Richard Turnock [at Oregon joined Nov 2001 #posts 28]
01-22-2002, 05:08 PM #1845
Join Date
Nov 2001

Describing recent or current events to justify or forecast 3T or 4T boundaries doesn't provide observations to support the S&H theory. It's fun to gossip about recent or current events but it doesn't have anything to do with the S&H theory.

The core theory focuses on generations as cohorts fulfilling different roles over time. People respond to external events based on their values and beliefs.

According to S&H theory each cohort tends to have a different set of shared values and beliefs. So, each generation responds to events based on their values and beliefs, and their roles and responsibilities for their age category: youth, adult, midlife, elderhood.

As Boomers take over more of the top government political positions and millennials become voters, alignment will occur that will respond to an external event in a way that will define the 3T to 4T boundary. There are many possible catalyts.

I'm interested in more people on this board using the S&H theory in their discussions.

Post#1846 at 01-22-2002 11:43 PM by Roadbldr '59 [at Vancouver, Washington joined Jul 2001 #posts 8,275]
01-22-2002, 11:43 PM #1846
Join Date
Jul 2001
Vancouver, Washington

On 2002-01-22 14:08, Richard Turnock wrote:

Describing recent or current events to justify or forecast 3T or 4T boundaries doesn't provide observations to support the S&H theory. It's fun to gossip about recent or current events but it doesn't have anything to do with the S&H theory.

The core theory focuses on generations as cohorts fulfilling different roles over time. People respond to external events based on their values and beliefs.

According to S&H theory each cohort tends to have a different set of shared values and beliefs. So, each generation responds to events based on their values and beliefs, and their roles and responsibilities for their age category: youth, adult, midlife, elderhood.

As Boomers take over more of the top government political positions and millennials become voters, alignment will occur that will respond to an external event in a way that will define the 3T to 4T boundary. There are many possible catalyts.

I'm interested in more people on this board using the S&H theory in their discussions.
Keep in mind, Richard, that many of us have been on this site for two or three years. As such, the debate over whether the Theory works or doesn't add up is long-over-- most of us support it in the absence earth-shattering evidence to the contrary. Moreover, we have discussed the Turning Theory in such great detail for so long that further explanation of how it works often seems unnecessary except when addressing newcomers.

Post#1847 at 01-23-2002 01:17 AM by Tim Walker '56 [at joined Jun 2001 #posts 24]
01-23-2002, 01:17 AM #1847
Join Date
Jun 2001

I'm interested in Tofflers networked civilization and how it relates to generations. Will future generations strongly relate to-and interact with-their archetypal counterparts in other countries? If so, how would that affect turnings? Would networking create a substantial reorganization of society, or would the effects be minor?

Post#1848 at 01-23-2002 02:24 AM by Rain Man [at Bendigo, Australia joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,303]
01-23-2002, 02:24 AM #1848
Join Date
Jun 2001
Bendigo, Australia

Here is an interesting political comparison between the 1930's and the 2000's.

One of the main totalitarian ideologies around in the 1930 was Communism and it had a lot of fans in the Western World. While now the only totalitarian ideology around is Islamism, nobody in their right mind seem to admire it. Imagine if the USA went to war with Stalin's Russia in the 1930's, the anti-war movement would have been fearsome, I suspect a lot of fans of the Russian communist system would have fought for the Soviet Union against the invading American forces.

In 2001 the Western powers have had a war against an Islamist regime in Afghanistan and the anti-war movement has been feeble. In Australia only the usual America haters seem to be opposing the war. I am imaging this 4T is going to be a lot different than the last one.

Post#1849 at 01-23-2002 02:30 AM by Rain Man [at Bendigo, Australia joined Jun 2001 #posts 1,303]
01-23-2002, 02:30 AM #1849
Join Date
Jun 2001
Bendigo, Australia

On 2002-01-22 08:51, Bob Butler 54 wrote:

But Huntington, even in his ?Clash of Civilizations? noted his model broke down on occasion in the Balkans. The US and NATO defended Muslim factions towards the end. There are selfish reasons for this. The Arab countries were beginning to push for Arab peace keeping forces in Arab sections of the Balkans. The Europeans did not want this, thus had to fight for peace rather than the interests of their ethnic groups. However, even while advocating his model of the world based on ethnic strife, he noted a US element of wanting to feel good about themselves. He considered this an anomaly in US culture, that sometimes we will do the right thing rather than work to the advantage of our ethnic cousins.
Actually I could put in a comment by a scf-fi author S.M Stirling (his e-mail address is )
on why NATO intervened in Kosovo would explain the west's motives quite nicely.
He said this on a discussion on soc.history.what-if a couple of days back.

He was actually talking about his support for NATO intervention, however it reflects the view of NATO nd especially the US Military on this issue.

Actually, I was advocating action against the Serb maniacs when every second poster was warning how futile it would be to intervene in the "ancient ethnic hatreds" of the Balkans.

Which turned out to be more containable than most thought. (The British, in particular, bought this line of tripe; they were diplomatically hand-in-glove with the Russians in preventing NATO intervention for a long time.)

The only Muslim fundamentalists -- or, to put it another way, 'real Muslims' -- in the Balkans are ones created by Slobodan Milosevic's grotesque time-warp. One reason I was always strongly for military action against the Serbs was precisely because I feared (rightly) that various Middle Eastern lunatics would try to prosletyze among the
Bosniaks and Albanians.

Note that a whole big bunch of al-Qaeda types have been found there and arrested, while ostensibly working for Muslim "charities".

Most ethnic Albanians (as a group they're 70% Muslim and about 30% of Christian background) are "Muslims" in the same way most Danes are "Lutherans"; that is, their ancestors were, and that goes double for the Muslim Bosnians.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tristan Jones on 2002-01-22 23:34 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Tristan Jones on 2002-01-22 23:35 ]</font>

Post#1850 at 01-23-2002 11:24 AM by Mr. Reed [at Intersection of History joined Jun 2001 #posts 4,376]
01-23-2002, 11:24 AM #1850
Join Date
Jun 2001
Intersection of History
(Temporary, might not be there later on)

<font color="blue">
Backlash Growing Over 9-11 Victims' Compensation Complaints Wed Jan 23 2002 10:12:43 ET

"America opened its heart to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but a growing number of taxpayers aren't happy about opening their pocketbooks," The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

"An ugly backlash is building as families of the people killed at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon push for changes in the guidelines controlling how much they can expect to receive from the federal fund... In rallies and on radio and television talk shows last week, victims' advocates had hoped to mobilize public support to make the fund more generous. Instead, they have provoked a surge of angry criticism in the media, in comments to the fund's administrator, Kenneth R. Feinberg, and even in personal e-mails to their homes."

The Journal reports, "'If $1.6 million isn't enough for you, then I hope you rot in hell,' a television viewer wrote Stephen Push, treasurer of Families of September 11 Inc., a national victim advocacy group, after he appeared on CNN last week. 'We feel your grief, really,' wrote another. 'I'm just wondering if we have to feel your greed, too.'"

The Journal adds, "At Give Your Voice, a victims' group in New York, more than 800 e-mails flooded in last week, all of them critical of victims, says co-founder Michael Cartier."


Can anyone make sense of this?
"The urge to dream, and the will to enable it is fundamental to being human and have coincided with what it is to be American." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson
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