Thursday, August 30, 2007

Have Canadian Forces in Afghanistan been pawns?

by Joe Hueglin, Independent Editorialist

Troops guarding oil While Canadians are agonizing over our war dead, events are unfolding that suggest the purpose behind military action in Afghanistan differs greatly from the humanitarian reasons given, it is to secure a route for an oil pipeline: an idea once dismissed as a “conspiracy theory.”

Last week a Pakistan Daily Times article, "Govt awards TAP pipeline contract to US company" reported: "The Pakistan government has awarded the contract of laying the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project to the United States International Oil Company (IOC) with an estimated cost of $10 billion." According to sources in the International Oil Company, “the matters of security and insurance in Afghanistan during the laying of the pipeline have been finalised between the oil company and authorities, and a signing ceremony confirming the mega-project Agreement would be held shortly."

Last week as well articles in the Asia Times reported "Taliban, US in new round of peace talks" and "Talks with the Taliban gain ground." According to these sources: "Specifically, the deals aim to stop violence in selected areas and give the Taliban limited control of government pending the conclusion of a broader peace deal for the country and the Taliban's inclusion in some form of national administration." Included in the "selected areas" is the Panjwai District in Kandahar Province, where Canadian lives have been lost.

It is suggested the conclusion of negotiations will come with the arrival in Pakistan of Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte on September 10th and that "The outcome of the talks will to a large extent decide the agenda of Negroponte's visit and the course of the US-led ‘war on terror’ in the region."

If Syed Saleem Shahzad's reporting is accurate, negotiations to end armed conflict in limited areas of Afghanistan are taking place and Canadian Forces may be playing the role of pawns in the international competition for control over petroleum resources.

Should such be the case Canadians will have been sorely misled by our leaders ignorance or complicity.

About the author:

Joe Hueglin is a former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament who is the communications co-ordinator for an independent progressive tory communications initiative.
The The Canadian

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