By Rudo de Ruijter
17 August, 2006
Our politicians have shaped the
idea many people have of our world. They have divided our world into
good and bad. Of course, they are the good guys and the ones they accuse
are the bad guys. Simple, isn't it?
However, if we stick to the
facts, and throw out all the information that comes from unverifiable
sources, our world looks very different. This research article is intended
to reveal the facts that lead to the US invasion of Afghanistan and
to reveal the logical place of the 9/11events in that context. It is
not meant to offend anyone. Don't read it if you are pleased with the
"official" version of our history.
Immediately after 9/11 president
Bush declared war to Afghanistan.
This article shows the role
of Afghanistan in pipeline projects which determine US' control over
oil and gas in Afghanistan's neighbouring countries.
Bush said the attacks of
9/11 were the reason to invade Afghanistan.  This article shows that
preparations for this war took place well before.
In 2000 the neoconservatives
said they needed some catastrophic and catalysing event.
They said so at the time
of the developments of unmanned aerial vehicles striking with pinpoint
The 1993 attack
The attacks on the World
Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 eclipse an earlier
attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993. On January 20 1993, William
(Bill) Clinton had become president. A month later, on February 26,
an "immense blast happened at 12:18 local time in the Secret Service's
section of the car park underneath and between what are New York's tallest
BBC published the words of
an eyewitness: "It felt like an airplane hit the building."
Apparently the explosion was intended to bring both WTC towers down.
The New York Times found out that the FBI was involved in the attacks.
The FBI would have infiltrated a group of terrorists, would have known
about their intentions and for some unknown reason let it happen. 
Six people died and a hundred were injured. 
1: Why Afghanistan?
Immediately after the attacks
of September 11, 2001, US officials accused Osama bin Laden. Since the
man would stay in Afghanistan, it provided a pretext for George W. Bush
to attack and invade Afghanistan.
Let's have a closer look
at the situation prior to 9/11. As promised by Soviet president Mikhail
Gorbachev, the USSR had withdrawn its last soldiers from Afghanistan
on February 15, 1989. It was the end of ten years of war. It was also
the last war of the Soviet Union.
A few months later, on November
9, 1989, the Berlin wall fell. The Iron Curtain broke down. The people
living on the other side of the curtain, of whom our leaders had always
pretended they were dangerous and ferocious, turned out to be as friendly
With the concept of the Cold
War our leaders had divided our world and maintained fear in our minds
for over forty years. This terror, fabricated by our own governments,
was finally over.
On December 25, 1991, the
Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time.  The
former Soviet republics become independent. Among them were the countries
around the Caspian Sea, all rich in oil and gas. [MAP: http://worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/as.htm
Before, the oil and gas went
through pipelines to their soviet neighbours, or were exported via Russia
to Europe. Now each country could sell its own oil and gas and explore
new markets. Buyers showed up from everywhere.
In the beginning, the new
leaders still had no experience with the world oil business. One of
the first deals of Turkmenistan was to auction an oil well for as little
as $100,000.  US companies showed up, too.
The biggest challenge was
to get the Caspian oil and gas to the world markets. The problem? The
region is land-locked. If you trust neither Russia on the North side
of the Caspian Sea, nor Iran on the South side, you need to build new
pipelines. [MAP: http://www.treemedia.com/cfrlibrary/library
Today, from the West side
of the Caspian Sea, oil is pumped through several pipelines towards
the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea from where it can be shipped.
Big business on the East
side of the Caspian Sea is still limited. To unlock oil and gas from
this side, pipelines have to be built through Afghanistan. Here, since
the early nineties, two pipelines - one for gas and one for oil - have
been in project.
The oil pipe should go South
to the Indian Ocean, ending at the port of Gwadar in Pakistan. The gas
pipe would turn East to Multan in the middle of Pakistan. From Pakistan
an extension is planned to Bombay (Mumbai, India), where a US company
with close ties to father and son Bush, Enron, has built a power plant.
Contracts for pipelines are
not just multi-billion dollar projects to build them. The main contractor
generally also buys and sells the oil or gas going through them. With
contracts he disposes of it, determines how much the supplier gets for
it, and how much fee is paid to crossed countries. He determines who
gets it, how much, when, to which price and in which currency it has
to be paid.
In fact, he determines a
lot in the economical developments of both the selling and the buying
countries. With Turkmenistan eager to sell its gas, Pakistan eager to
buy it and Enron in India hoping to see it arrive as soon as possible,
the pipelines through Afghanistan are of high interest.
However, in 2001, work in
Afghanistan had not started yet. Since the withdrawal of the Soviets
in 1989 there was still unrest in the country.
The Taliban: From
ally to terrorist
The unrest in Afghanistan
that blocked the business is worth mentioning. In 1992, the pro-Russian
president Mohammad Najibullah was ousted. In 1993, Burhanuddin Rabbani
became president, supported by the Tajik minority of the population.
In 1994, the Pashtun, forming
half of the population, challenged Rabbani. Because the pipelines have
to cross mainly Pashtun territory, their movement, the Taliban, had
support from the US and Pakistan.
In March 1995, two companies,
BRIDAS from Argentina and UNOCAL from the US, both claimed to have obtained
the contracts from the seller of the gas (Turkmenistan) and the buyer
(Pakistan). At that moment no deal had yet been signed with the Afghan
In October 1995, President
Niyazov of Turkmenistan signed an official agreement with UNOCAL, but
in February 1996, president Rabbani of Afghanistan signed an agreement
with BRIDAS for the main section of 875 miles through Afghanistan. 
UNOCAL's chances seemed compromised.
Fortunately for UNOCAL, the Taliban wanted to oust president Rabbani.
In September 1996, they took Jalabad, Kandahar, and then Kabul. President
Rabbani fleed to join the Northern Alliance.
UNOCAL sighed with relief.
It expressed support for the Taliban takeover, saying it makes the pipeline
project easier. Unocal later said it was misquoted.
Would BRIDAS now have lost
the game? No. In November 1996, BRIDAS signed an agreement with the
Taliban and Gen. Dostum to build the pipeline. Unfortunately, except
from Pakistan and Saudi-Arabia, the Taliban government didn't get international
In April 1997, as work on
the pipeline had still not started, the Taliban announced it would award
the contract to whomever starts first. UNOCAL claimed there must be
In July 1997, Turkmenistan
and Pakistan accepted a new delay and signed a new contract with UNOCAL,
saying it had to start the work within a year and a half.
In December 1997, UNOCAL
tried to become good friends with the Taliban and invited a delegation
to their head office in Sugarland, Texas, where they received a VIP
treatment and stayed in the best hotels. 
In Afghanistan, civil war
went on. With no internationally recognized legal representative of
Afghanistan, the pipeline project seemed to be deadlocked. 
US-bombs on Afghanistan after
US embassies are attacked in Africa
On February 4, 1998 and May
30, 1998, very heavy earthquakes shook the North East of Afghanistan.
They attracted a lot of international attention and many groups of relief
workers came into the North-East of Afghanistan to help. According to
US accusations, this was the moment that somewhere in this same region
of Afghanistan a certain Osama bin Laden would have been planning the
bombings of two US embassies in Africa, one in Nairobi (Kenya), and
one in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
The bombings had a high impact
in the press. 258 people were killed and some 5,000 injured. The bombings
occurred on August 7, 1998, apparently for no specific reason. 
Apparently only president
Clinton benefited from it. In the US, the Monica Lewinsky affair had
come to a height. The press and the public were excited and angry. Clinton
had stated on oath he had had no sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky
and now proof had come out he had. Clinton was close to the point of
being convicted of perjury.
The bombings of the embassies
drew people's attention to the drama in Africa. Finally, on August 17,
Clinton came away with the perjury by arguing that oral sex was not
a sexual relation. 
A few days later, August
21, 1998, the US military threw bombs on Kandahar and other targets
in Afghanistan. Only afterwards Clinton explained to the journalists
this was because of Osama bin Laden, supposed to be behind the bombings
of the US' embassies in Africa. 
Unlike George W. Bush in
2001, Clinton did not invade Afghanistan. An invasion would have given
hope to UNOCAL to see the Afghan deadlock broken, but with the Lewinsky
affair still being discussed, Clinton did not have enough credit for
such a war.
On August 28, 1998, UNSC
resolution 1193 blamed the Taliban for the problems in Afghanistan.
On November 5, 1998, a US
Grand Jury indicted Osama Bin Laden. (Not for the bombings of the embassies
in Africa, but essentially for considering the US as his enemy.) 
In December 1998 UNOCAL withdrew
from the pipeline consortium and, at least for the outside world, the
pipeline project seemed halted. 
However, in January, 1999,
Turkmenistan's foreign minister visited Pakistan, saying the pipeline
project was still alive. In February, BRIDAS had talks with leaders
in Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Russia.
In March, Turkmenistan's
Foreign Minister Sheikh Muradov met with Taliban leader Mullah Omar
in Kandahar to discuss the pipeline. In April, Pakistan, Turkmenistan,
and the Taliban signed an agreement to revive the pipeline project.
In May, a Taliban delegation signed an agreement with Turkmenistan to
buy gas and electricity. 
On June 25, 1999, the US
State Department announced: "As some of our embassies in Africa
have been under surveillance by suspicious individuals, we are taking
the precaution of temporarily closing our embassies in Gambia, Togo,
Madagascar, Liberia, Namibia and Senegal from June 24 through the 27th
of June - that is Sunday." 
The speaker seemed to have
no idea where these countries are, considering the strange order of
announcing them. Besides, the only African countries, where incidents
like attacks and hostage taking have been reported that year, are Sierra
Leone, Nigeria, Burundi and Ethiopia. None of these countries is on
the list. 
On July 4, 1999, President
Clinton issued an executive order prohibiting commercial transactions
with the Taliban. 
Back to Cold War
On September 23, 1999, presidential
candidate George W. Bush exposed his views on the US military. He complained
that since the end of the Cold War the Defence budget had fallen 40
percent and that the army had never been in such a bad shape since Pearl
"As president, I will
order an immediate review of our overseas deployments - in dozens of
countries. ... My second goal is to build America's defences on the
troubled frontiers of technology and terror."
Among his views of arms:
"In the air, we must be able to strike from across the world with
pinpoint accuracy - with long-range aircraft and perhaps with unmanned
On October 15, 1999, things
were getting more serious for the Taliban. UN resolution 1267 against
the Taliban threatened an aircraft ban and funded freezing, if Osama
Bin Laden was not handed over before 14 November 1999.  & 
On November 11, 1999, in
a press conference, the Taliban minister of Foreign Affairs said Osama
bin Laden and the Taliban were unable to organize attacks like those
on the embassies in Africa. He condemned these actions.
In 2000 the US had presidential
elections. It was time to postpone delicate decisions.
On April 2, 2000, Richard
Clarke, who had been appointed counter-terrorist coordinator a few months
before the attacks against the embassies in Africa (on May 22), predicted:
"They will come after our weakness, our Achilles heel, which is
largely here in the United States." 
Curious No-Fly list
On April 21, 2000, something
remarkable happened. As an antiterrorist measure, the US Congress announced
a single unified terrorist watch list, the TID (or Terrorist Identities
Database), into which all international terrorist related data available
to the US government - mainly the TIPOFF no-fly list - would be stored
in a single repository. In airports, this list is used to prevent suspected
people from going on board and from entering the US. 
However, the same day that
Congress announces the unified TID list, the FAA created a new and separate
domestic no-fly list and put only six names on it. Two weeks before
9/11, the list was expanded with six other names, making it a total
list of 12 names.
Thanks to this separate list
the hijackers of 9/11, using domestic flights, and not listed among
the 12 names, could board the planes without difficulties. On August
23, 2001, two names, later published as being two of the hijackers,
had been added to the official TID-list, which counted 60,000 suspects,
but was discarded for domestic flights. 
2: Frustrations and
In September, 2000, the neoconservative
think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published their
imperialistic views for the US.  In the document, they warned that
the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force"
would likely be a long one in the absence of "some catastrophic
and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". 
A few months later, many
PNAC members would become members of the Bush administration. Those
members include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis
"Scooter" Libby, and Richard Perle. 
Three month after 9/11, to
those who would not yet have understood the benefits of the catastrophic
and catalysing event of US military debacle in Pearl Harbor in 1941,
Bush would explain: "The four years that followed transformed the
American way of war" and "even more importantly, an American
President and his successors shaped a world beyond a war."
And, linking 9/11 to Pearl
Harbor, he said, "September 11th, 2001 - three months and a long
time ago - set another dividing line in our lives and in the life of
our nation." 
On October 12, 2000, three
weeks before the presidential elections, the US population was shortly
reminded of the terrorist threat in the world. US Navy destroyer USS
Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden was rammed with an inflatable raft with
explosives and was damaged. Published detail: it looked as if the raft
was coming to help the warship to moor to a buoy.  Message: you
can trust nobody.
On November 7, 2000 the elections
took place. It would be George W. Bush or Al Gore. The counting gave
an extremely close result. The results of Florida became decisive, but
these results are far from clear.
The opponents fought in many
different courts until December 13. It turned out that in Florida, 180,000
votes had been thrown out of the counting. Bush led by less than 600
votes. Partial recounts resulted in much lower estimates. Finally, all
recounts could not be executed within the time limit set by the Supreme
Court. This is how Bush won the elections. 
A few days later, on December
18, speaking at the Capitol, Bush joked about his starting relationship
with the four congressional leaders: "If this were a dictatorship,
it would be a heck of a lot easier....just so long as I'm the dictator."
Just a slip of the tongue?
Not really. In July 1998, about governing Texas, he said already: "A
dictatorship would be a lot easier."  And on July 26, 2001,
speaking once again about his struggles with Congress he repeated: "a
dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier." 
Well, for the ambitious plans
of the neoconservatives, the US Congress was a major hurdle to take.
The budget of the military had shrunk by 40 percent after the Cold War
and with the wars they had in mind they would need substantially more
How would they get the budget
they wanted? If the US would be attacked, there would be no problem.
They would receive all the budget and support they needed. But, as written
in their document, without a new Pearl Harbor things would go slowly.
When Bush started his presidency,
many neoconservatives considered Iraq as the first target to hit. In
their document of September 2000 they had named Iraq as a "potential
rival" of the US. 
First Target Iraq?
Iraq has the world's second
largest oil reserves. The country was exhausted. It had tried to conquer
Iran from 1980 to 1988, had invaded Kuwait in 1990, had been defeated
by Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and since then a UN embargo had brought
the Iraqi economy to a standstill and the population at the edge of
Since 1996, the Oil For Food
program of the UN had brought some relief for the Iraqi people. The
country had been disarmed. Extensive weapon inspections had concluded
the country formed no threat anymore. Well, at least, not military.
In 2000, Saddam had still found a trick to hit the main pillar of US
hegemony, the dollar. He started to sell his oil in euros, instead of
see: Dollar Hegemony]
on the agenda
However, not even a week
after George W. Bush had been declared winner of the elections, Afghanistan
was back on the international agenda. UN SC resolution 1333 of December
19, 2000, imposed the sanctions the UN had promised more than a year
before, in October 1999, if the Taliban would not hand over Osama bin
Laden before November 14, 1999 (aircraft ban and funds freezing). 
had become a more urgent target. Since 1996, the US had experienced
severe setbacks in their ambition to control gas and oil on the East
side of the Caspian Sea and was loosing influence.
The problems had started
in February 1996, when Afghan president Rabbani signed a contract with
UNOCAL's competitor BRIDAS for the construction of the gas pipeline
through Afghanistan, between Turkmenistan and Pakistan.  In March,
the US tried to block this deal, putting pressure on Pakistan and telling
them they should grant exclusive rights to UNOCAL. This resulted in
a diplomatic clash with the Pakistani government. 
Still, in the same month,
Pakistan officially agreed to allow a proposed Iranian pipeline to run
over Pakistani territory on its way to India, thus enabling Iranian
gas sale to India. The gas would come from Iran's giant South Pars Field
in the Persian Gulf and cross the South of Iran from West to East through
a pipeline still to be constructed. 
Meanwhile, in February 1996,
Turkmenistan had showed it did not want to depend exclusively on the
delayed Afghan pipeline project and had signed a contract with Turkey
to supply Turkmen gas via a pipeline to be constructed along the North
coast of Iran. If necessary, Turkey would be able to absorb all the
Turkmen gas. 
With these two Iranian pipelines
the Afghan pipelines would become more or less useless. To prevent the
construction of the Iranian pipelines the US Congress passed the Iranian-Libyan
Sanctions act,  threatening anyone who would help Iran constructing
them, and forbidding transactions with Iran of $ 4 million or higher.
That was on June 18, 1996. Nevertheless on August 30, 1996 Turkey signed
a 20-year deal to buy gas from Iran.  &  The Turkish president
would be punished for his Islamic solidarity by a military coup forcing
him to resign. That was on June 18, 1997. 
With the Iranian-Libyan Sanctions
act in place, another US company, Enron, expanded its activities in
the region. In Uzbekistan, Enron had obtained a contract for 11 gas
fields. In April 1997, George W. Bush himself had intervened to help
Enron obtain Uzbeki contracts.  Enron counted on a US controlled
pipeline through Afghanistan to export a part of the Uzbek gas to its
power plant in India. 
The US threatened sanctions
and blocked the completion of the Turkish pipeline connexion to Iran,
so the gas deliveries from Iran to Turkey were delayed several years.
In August 2000, Iran and Turkey agreed the gas deliveries would start
on July 30, 2001, which would be a few days before the expiration date
of the Iranian-Libyan Sanctions act. 
Despite the Iranian-Libyan
Sanctions act, the construction of the northern pipeline had started
on the East side of Iran. Funded by Iran itself, Iran and Turkmenistan
opened an international pipeline connexion of 200 km by the end of 1997.
To frustrate further development
of the Iranian pipeline to Turkey, the US came up with an idea for an
alternative route from Turkmenistan, crossing the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan
and from there to Turkey. Enron did the study for this project. 
By that time it looked as
if the Afghan pipeline project would be abandoned. In June 1998, Enron
withdrew from its Uzbek gas projects  and in December UNOCAL withdrew
from its consortium for the Afghan pipeline. 
The US threats did not prevent
big companies like Shell and Total from signing deals with Iran for
exploration of oil and gas.  Nevertheless, Shell withdrew from its
pipeline project in Northern Iran. 
The undersea pipeline crossing
the Caspian Sea now existed on the drawing table, but in the waters
the five surrounding countries (Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan,
and Iran) had not yet come to an agreement about each other's borders,
and thus about the ownership of oil fields. As long as this would last,
according to an existing agreement of 1940, Russia and Iran would have
to agree with the pipeline under the sea. And they did not. 
In 2000, the Turkmen president
had blamed the US for the delay in the trans-Caspian pipeline and had
resumed gas deliveries to Russia.  That May, president Putin had
even come to Turkmenistan to offer extended deals for several years.
 Meanwhile, in Kazakhstan, the oil from the Tengiz field (world's
sixth largest oil field) was going to be pumped via Russia to the Black
George W. Bush sworn
On January 20, 2001, George
W. Bush was sworn in as president of the US. He is the son of ex-president
George H.W. Bush. The family is from Texas and has close ties with the
oil and energy related companies there. These companies have contributed
a lot to Bush's election campaign.
Companies contributing to
election campaigns is a common phenomenon in the US. The financial support
for candidates' campaigns determines how much marketing they can afford
and, ultimately, their chances to win the elections. Of course, when
these companies invest a lot of money, they expect something in return
when their candidate wins, like nominations
in the administration, influence for big business orders or favourable
laws and amendments. 
Enron had been the biggest
contributor of the Bush 2000 election campaign.  In fact, the company
had generously contributed to father and son's election campaigns since
1985. Enron's chairman, Kenneth Lay, had close personal contacts with
the Bushes. He had even been a sleeping guest at the White House. 
During these years, Enron had expanded from a regional energy supplier
to a giant multinational and the seventh biggest company in the US.
Although loaded with debts
caused by its giant investments abroad, Enron always showed splendid
results. How? In 1997 the Securities and Exchange Commission had exempted
Enron from the Investment Company Act of 1940 that prohibits US companies
from leaving debt from overseas projects off the books.  At the
same time Andy Fastow, Enron's senior vice president of finance, had
started his "creative" financing. 
Since 1993, in India, Enron
had invested $ 2.9 billion for a power plant near Bombay. Originally
it had counted on cheap supply of gas from Turkmenistan via the planned
pipeline through Afghanistan. The power plant project had turned into
Enron had faced severe criticism
over their contemptuous way of doing business. They had experienced
severe opposition from the local population after hiring police officers
to beat down protests of opponents. Charges had been filed against the
company for human right violations. 
Last but not least, the price
of the produced electricity averaged more than double the price of power
from other suppliers.  Taking into account the real cost supported
by the regional electricity company, Enron's price was even 700 percent
higher.  The regional electricity company could not pay Enron's
bills anymore. As retaliation, in January 2001, Enron had cut the power
for 200 million people in Northern India, demanding three times the
normal price.  (Around the same time, Enron provoked power cuts
in California too, also in order to obtain higher prices. )
In 1997 Enron had started
gas projects in Uzbekistan, for which George W. Bush had had personal
contacts with the Uzbek ambassador.
As soon as the Bush administration
was in place, vice president Cheney would reward Enron for their support
during the elections. Enron's chairman, Kenneth Lay, had a wish list
that was almost entirely included in Cheney's proposals for the new
US energy policy.  Cheney also intervened to help Enron collect
a $64 million debt for its power plant near Bombay, during a meeting
with Indian opposition leader Sonia Ghandi in Washington on June 27
Enron had also connexions
with the construction firm BinLadin from Saudi Arabia, with which it
constructed a power plant in the Gaza strip. (The power plant would
not be finished before Enron's bankruptcy in December 2001.) 
The wealthy bin Laden family
is well known to the Bush family. Salem bin Laden supplied part of the
money for George W. Bush first oil company, Arbusto, in 1978.  The
father of George W. Bush, after being US' president, joined the Carlyle
group  and developed relations with the BinLadin company.  He
met the family in November 1998 and in January 2000. 
Bin Laden also invested in
the Carlyle group. H.W. Bush still met with Shafig bin Laden, Osama's
brother, on September 10, 2001 at the annual investor conference of
the Carlyle Group.  Like Enron, Carlyle had made a tremendous development.
In the early 1990s son Bush had been member of the board of a catering
service for airliners.  Carlyle had bought the catering company.
Although the catering service
crashed, Carlyle has grown into an important defence contractor in the
US.  A bunch of well-known former politicians, including George
W. Bush father, former UK Prime Minister John Major and former president
of the Philippines Mister Ramos, are making a lot of money from the
"war on terror". 
There is a terrible lot of
information available about bin Laden's son, Osama. However, almost
all of it comes from sources that cannot be verified, like comments
by unknown people who would have known him or met him. Other stories
are based on allegations by people who have big business interests in
the "war on terrorism", like the Bush. One step further, you
find the comments by officials "convinced" that everything
that has been said about Osama is true.
On the other extremity, there
is the image Osama draws of himself in an interview by CNN reporter
Peter Arnett in 1997. According to this interview he is, first of all,
a faithful, who understands people who fight against the US soldiers
who came to steal the oil and who attacked the Islamic religion. He
denies having organized any attacks against the US himself.  (Many
people will remember a videotape with “Osama's confession”,
that he knew about the attacks of 9/11 in advance, which turned out
to be a fake. )
Osama would become Bush's
key excuse to invade Afghanistan. On September 17, 2001 Bush would declare
Osama bin Laden was wanted "dead or alive". 
Why did Osama bin Laden stay
in Afghanistan? Here too, different sources give different stories.
He had already been in Afghanistan during the eighties, helping the
mudjahedeen fight against the Soviet occupation (as did the US). Back
in Saudi Arabia in 1989, he had opposed the king's alliance with the
When his passport was confiscated,
he at first fled back to Afghanistan, and then settled in Sudan in 1992,
where all Muslims were welcome since a regime change the year before.
In 1994, because of his support to fundamentalist Muslim movements,
Saudi Arabia revoked his citizenship and froze his funds. 
After the assassination attempt
against Egyptian president Mubarak in Ethiopia on June 26, 1995, Sudan
was accused of being behind it. The relations between Egypt and Sudan
deteriorate in the current of 1995.
At this point, let us jump
to Afghanistan. In February 1996 things went wrong for the US pipeline
project in Afghanistan. President Rabbani of Afghanistan contracted
the Argentinean BRIDAS instead of UNOCAL for the construction and exploitation
of the gas pipeline. For the US, to get the pipeline project back in
the hands of UNOCAL, Rabbani would have to disappear. But who could
be accused if Rabbani were killed?
Back to Sudan. March 8, 1996,
the US suddenly asked Sudan to extradite Osama. It did not specify to
which country. Since the Saudis took his passport and nationality away,
Osama had few options. On May 18, 1996, he left Sudan and returned to
Years afterward, many people
were still wondering why he had not been arrested at that occasion.
In Afghanistan, events would
take a different turn. From March 20 to April 4, 1996, Taliban leaders
had held a shura (meeting) and concluded with a jihad against Rabbani.
 Osama arrived on May 18, but would not get involved. On September
27, the Taliban conquered Kabul and president Rabbani fled and joined
the Northern alliance. At that moment things must have looked hopeful
for the UNOCAL pipeline project. Unfortunately for them, in November
1996 BRIDAS signed a new contract with the Taliban.
Ultimately this would lead
to the eviction from power of the Taliban. Clinton would not attack
Afghanistan after the US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998, maybe thanks
to Monica Lewinsky. Bush did, after "the catastrophic and catalysing
events" of 9/11.
After having used the presence
of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan as his key excuse to invade the country,
Bush would state, on March 13, 2002, he wasn't truly that concerned
about Osama bin Laden. 
After the US conquest of
Afghanistan (or at least of its capital), UNOCAL's advisor Hamid Karzai
would be appointed Chairman of the interim administration of Afghanistan.
On June 16, 2002, still before there was an elected president, Karzai
would sign an official agreement with Turkmenistan and Pakistan for
a gas pipeline through Afghanistan. 
But even if the gas pipeline
would come too late to transport Turkmen gas to Pakistan, Afghanistan
remains an interesting booty. It has its own gigantic gas field south
of the Turkmen field, near Mazar e Sharif. It has also several oil fields
and coal. Furthermore, in the 1970s British geologists had already found
1600 places with minerals.
3: Preparations for
9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan
Timing of the attacks
As noticed above, the timing
for the attacks on the US embassies in Africa helped Clinton, as it
drew away the attention from his threatening conviction of perjury in
the Monica Lewinsky affair, and focused on the common enemies: the terrorists.
The invasion of Afghanistan
would have to wait for the next US president. Between 1998 and 2001
there was enough time to plan everything carefully. Below we will notice,
that the attacks of 9/11 occurred at the very moment everything was
in place. The only thing missing was a pretext to get support from Congress,
from the US population and the rest of the world…
For the US to invade Afghanistan
at the other side of the world was a delicate operation. Step by step
the US had pushed its influence and control in the former soviet republics.
US oil and gas related companies had started up activities in Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and US' military had gained
influence in the region, challenging Russia and China in their backyards.
Already in 1997, north of
Afghanistan, the US had considerably expanded its military "cooperation"
with Kazakhstan, which forms the buffer with Russia.  In 1999, closer
to Afghanistan, the US expanded its presence in Kyrgyzstan , and
in Uzbekistan, one of Afghanistan's direct neighbours.  April 14-15,
2000, Uzbek and US troops conducted joint military exercises. 
East of Afghanistan the US
administration has strong ties with the Pakistani intelligence service.
Its director, Lieutenant-General Mahmoud Ahmad, was with US' officials
the week before and during the attacks of 9/11.  On the west side
F-15 were based in Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey and the Fifth fleet
was permanently based in the Persian Gulf. 
For the war in Afghanistan,
huge transports of troops and material had to be organized well before
the invasion. On November 7, 2000, the day all US-citizens were occupied
with the election of their president, the UK announced its biggest military
exercise since the Gulf War, operation Swift Sword (Saif Sareea in Arabic),
involving 24,000 troops and a lot of heavy material. 
The exercise took place in
Oman, a strategic location, since all oil tankers from the Persian Gulf
region (Saudi-Arabia, the United Arabic Emirates, Qatar, Quait, Iraq
and Iran) have to cross the Gulf of Oman. Here the UK detains a War
Material Storage.  They exercised on the coast of Oman from September
15 until the end of October 2001,  and started moving their material
in August 2001.  The UK participated in the invasion. 
From October 8 until the
end of October, 2001 another military operation was planned in Egypt:
NATO Operation Bright Star. It was the world's largest exercise with
more than 11 Nations, and over 70,000 troops (among which 23,000 from
the US) participating. 
Among several other "coincidental"
military moves towards Afghanistan, we notice that on July 23 2001 aircraft
carrier Carl Vinson was sent out from Bremerton (on US West coast) to
the Arabian Sea. It arrived just in time to launch the first air strikes
on Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. 
On the diplomatic front,
to lower the risk of upsetting China, on June 19 2001, Bush had proposed
to attend the APEC summit in Shang Hai and was expected to meet president
Zemir between October 15 and October 21 2001.  &  (Bush's
meeting with presidents Zemir and Putin took place on October 20, 2001)
Besides, in 2001 China was
completing its bilateral agreements with all 37 WTO members to become
a full WTO-member. China wanted to become member since many years. China's
bilateral agreement with Mexico would be the last and this would complete
China's membership.  In July 2001 Bush would polish his relations
with Mexico, "lobbying" against US unfair import restrictions
on Mexican trucks. 
This was probably not only
to get the Mexicans in the right mood to sign with China, but also because
Mexico would be member of the UN Security Council in 2002 and 2003.
China reached its bilateral agreement with Mexico and became WTO member
on September 13, 2001. 
Bush's unmanned systems
In the summer of 1999, a
number of US embassies on the African continent were closed for the
weekend because of suspicious people hanging around.  A few days
later Clinton had issued its order prohibiting commercial transactions
with the Taliban.  A few months later George W. Bush presented his
ideas of defences "on the troubled frontiers of
technology and terror."
He said, "In the air,
we must be able to strike from across the world with pinpoint accuracy
- with long-range aircraft and perhaps with unmanned systems."
In September 1999 Bush still
said "perhaps". He was still considering. This was at a time
the market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) for both military as
well as civil aviation was rapidly developing.  By 2001 there were
more than 60 types of UAV world wide, from small models to big planes.
At the time of Bush's speech
in 1999, the US was developing Global Hawk , a military UAV with
a wing span comparable to a Boeing 737, which had made its first flight
from Edwards Air Force Base, CA on 28 February 1998.  After Bush
became president, on April 23, 2001 the Global Hawk made a historical
first unmanned test flight to Australia. 
Not all material about 9/11
has been released to the public. Some of the reliable evidence has been
confiscated by the CIA.  Statements of officials often turned out
to be contradictory. And, in particular about possible advanced knowledge,
the White House has confiscated dozens of documents of the 9/11 Commission.
 It doesn't make truth finding easier.
The official version of the
events on 9/11 involves a very high number of coincidences that facilitated
the "success" of the attacks.
§ A nationwide military
exercise, Global Guardian, originally planned for November 2001, is
in full swing, creating confusion between exercises and real-world events.
§ A large-scale military
exercise, Vigilant Guardian, is taking place and involves all of NORAD,
the defence department, which normally sends fighter jets after civil
airplanes several times a week, when flight control operators report
§ The Vigilant Guardian
exercise simulates an air attack on the United States. 
§ NORAD is also running
a planned real-world operation named Operation Northern Vigilance, for
which many NORAD fighters are located in Alaska and Canada. 
§ Operation Northern
Vigilance also creates false blips on radar screens at least until the
second plane crashes into the World Trade Centre. 
§ In Washington a planned
National Reconnaissance Office exercise involves a scenario of an airplane
as a flying weapon. 
§ The Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff is flying across the Atlantic on the way to Europe.
§ The Federal Emergency
Management Agency Director is at a conference in Montana. 
§ FAA hijack coordinator,
who has to contact the National Military Command Centre in case of hijacks,
is in Puerto Rico and cannot be reached. 
§ All of FBI's anti-terrorist
and top special operations agents are, together with the members of
the CIA's anti-terrorist task force, on a training exercise in Monterey,
§ For the day of 9/11,
the commander of the National Military Command Centre had requested
to be replaced by someone without experience. 
§ For FAA's new National
Operations Manager it is the first day on the job. 
§ The hijackers can
board without trouble, since the official no-fly list is only used for
international flights and, curiously, not for domestic flights. 
§ Informed a few minutes
after the start of the first hijack (Flight 11), American Airlines top
management decide to "keep it quiet". 
§ Boston flight controllers
do not follow normal procedures and loose time by contacting various
military bases, instead of NORAD. 
§ After NORAD is finally
informed, two F-15 will remain on the ground and only take off when
flight 11 already crashes into the WTC. 
§ For various reasons
F-16 will only arrive on scene after the last plane has crashed. 
§ A decision is taken
to ground not only civil airplanes, but also all military planes. 
§ The presumed hijacker
pilot of flight 77 was not able to fly a Cessna without difficulty in
August, but succeeded to spiral down a Boeing 757 and hit the Pentagon
a few meters above the ground on September 11. 
§ The President doesn't
give any orders responding to the attack until just before the last
plane crashes. 
Above I only mentioned those
coincidences that facilitated the success of the attacks. If I were
to build a story on such series of coincidences, nobody would believe
me. Well, I would not either. Keeping the things in their context, it
makes more sense to look at them as facts, and not as coincidences.
All released details show
that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out with military precision. However,
the hijackers on the planes would have been improvised pilots without
the extraordinary skills needed to fly like has been reported. 
Besides, they would not have
been intelligent enough to foresee the reactions triggered by their
actions. Apparently they had so little political awareness, they had
not heard about the neoconservatives waiting for such a "catastrophic
and catalysing event" to speed up US' conquests.
The success of the plan relied
on a lot of advanced knowledge of the situation that day, like the confusion
offered by planned military exercises and the scenarios played by them,
like the confusion offered by fake radar blibs, like traffic controllers
lacking of primary radar images in specific areas, like the absence
of several experienced officers in the command chains responding to
the hijacks, like the absence of armed jet fighters to frustrate their
All this seems more the work
of a more influential and well trained organization, an organization
willing to provide the justification for the neoconservatives' conquest
plans, with Afghanistan as first target.
It does not seem likely to
me that such an organization would let the success of its operation
depend on the improvised skills of the hijackers. It makes more sense
to suppose the hijackers were not in control. (In spite of an overheard
phrase in the cockpit of the fourth plane, having been translated as
"Pull it down" and by officials interpreted as "Crash
the plane" ) It seems more likely the operation was conducted
on the troubled frontier of technology and terror, and that technology
had taken over the controls.
The two types of planes used,
Boeing 757 and 767, can be controlled remotely. Robert Ayling, a former
boss of British Airways, suggested in the Financial Times a few days
after 9/11 that aircraft could be commandeered from the ground and controlled
remotely in the event of a hijack.  On 9/11 the remote control would
have been in the hands of the wrong people.
If we look closer to the
remote control scenario, we notice that if the published details about
the transponders are right:
1. the transponder of the
second 767 is turned off shortly after the first 767 crashes.
2. the transponder of the
second 757 is turned off shortly after the first 757 crashes.
So, it looks as if one remote
pilot handled the two 767 one after the other, and another remote pilot
handled the two 757 one after the other. ( 9/11 Commission Report,
P.32, 8:47 & 9:41)
It has also been reported
that a C-130 military cargo plane was tailing flight 77 when it crashed
into the Pentagon. The same C-130 was behind flight 93 when it crashed.
Did the plane play a role? Or was it just a coincidental tourist, flying
around while all other planes had been ordered to land? , ,
The hijackers hijacked?
Although the official story
asks us to believe the hijackers wanted to fly into the WTC and the
Pentagon, the released pieces of cockpit conversations offer no indications
to support this theory. Although mountains of stories and counter-stories
have been published about the hijackers, I did not find a single verifiable
If the hijackers were to
support some Arabic or Islamic cause, they would probably be in a stronger
position if they had returned to airports with four planes and hundreds
of US citizens in their might. They could have negotiated the release
of political prisoners. They could have demanded a retreat of US forces
from Saudi Arabia. They could have pleaded any cause they were after.
Did the hijackers really
have in mind to strike the WTC and the Pentagon or were they overruled
by the organization that had "contracted" them? Will we find
out? According to the official story, all radio contact and overhearing
of cockpit conversations stopped before the planes made their final
approach of the WTC and the Pentagon. If the hijackers were to create
the biggest possible spectacle, wouldn't they have shouted a last accusation
against the US or a last glorious prayer to Allah? Or were they surprised
and in panic when they flew into the buildings?
The Afghan pipelines are
only one step in US political moves to take over the influence in the
oil and gas rich former Soviet republics. Consuming 25 percent of the
world oil consumption, their imperialism is first of all about energy.
Today the US already relies for over 60 percent on foreign oil, a percentage
that is quickly increasing. The neoconservative ideas to transform the
US into a "dominant force" do not come out of nowhere.
The thought that they needed
a "catastrophic and catalysing event" was not just motivated
by the personal financial benefits several of them get from the war
industries. It was also a sign of panic of a nation facing drying up
oil wells and preparing itself to conquer foreign oil wells until the
last drip is gone.
Rudo de Ruijter is an independent researcher from Netherlands
de Ruijter” to find more articles of the same author. He can be
contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org