Written January 13, 2002, Copyright '02 Mumia Abu-Jamal

War is big business

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

Long-time readers of this writer will recall the claim that all wars have an economic interest, and are fought for economic reasons or resources.

Is this so with Afghanistan?
On its face, most would not agree.

But, check this out.

Would you believe that important business interests began discussing the removal of the Taliban, years ago? Or that wealthy oil interests have been plotting on ways to re-organize the Central Asian region, in order to exploit the abundant supplies of oil that are in the Caspian Sea area? Or that the area is also abundant in natural gas reserves?

In early 1998, a major oil executive for the Unocal Corporation, a Mr. John J. Maresca, vice-president of the company, gave a briefing to a House subcommittee on International Relations.

In his remarks, we see the reasons for U.S. industrial interest in the area—
a pipeline:

* One obvious potential route south would be across Iran. However, this option is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route option is across Afghanistan, which has its own unique challenges.

* The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades. The territory across which the pipeline would extend is controlled by most other nations. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of our proposed pipeline cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company." ("A New Silk Road: Proposed Petroleum Pipeline in Afghanistan," Monthly Review, Dec. 2001, pp. 32-3)

Unocal noted that other industrial powers are interested in the proposed oil pipeline, including Japan. Their interests are their own--their national and international economies.

Did Unocal negotiate with the now-accursed Taliban?

Well, they say they haven't, but they also say that they have.

Again, the words of Vice President Maresca are important indications of how Unocal did its business:

"Although Unocal has not negotiated with any one group, and does not favor any group, we have had contacts with and briefings for all of them. We know that the different factions in Afghanistan understand the importance of the pipeline project for their country, and have expressed their support of it." (p. 33)

In the halls of government, and in the meeting places of big business, powerful people carve up the world according to their own interests.

Wars are declared, and thousands are slain, for the enrichment and the well being of the few.

War is more than the instrument of big business; it is big business.

Text (c) copyright 2001 by Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights
reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
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Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of three books: 'Live
from Death Row', 'Death Blossoms', and 'All Things
Censored'.

Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370