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Monday, Jan 14, 2002


"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 US 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 US oil firm Unocal to build a pipeline to export Central Asian oil - awarding it instead to a rival Argentine firm. The US 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."