Monday, June 19, 2006
President Bush says things are improving in Iraq. His ambass
ador, Zalmay Khalilzad, seems not to agree. Two weeks ago Khalilzad sent a long cable to the State Department that laid out how things are really going according to Iraqi staff members at the embassy:
Zalmay Khalilzad, the most senior Pashtun-American and highest-ranking Muslim to serve in the Bush administration, became the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in November 2003. He headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense Department in 2000 and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. 
He is a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and was one of the signers of the January 26, 1998, PNAC Letter (http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm) sent to President William Jefferson Clinton.
Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad was nominated Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Iraq by President Bush on April 5, 2005. Dr. Khalilzad was sworn in on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 in Baghdad and presented his credentials to President Talabani the same day.
Khalilzad's presence, however, is the fruit of an older agenda, one that reaches back at least to the Reagan era, and Khalilzad has more connections to that agenda than meets the eye.
Simply put, Khalilzad's appointment means oil. Oil for the United States. Oil for Unocal, a U.S. company long criticized for doing business in countries with repressive governments and rumored to have close ties to the Department of State and the intelligence community.
Zalmay Khalilzad was an advisor for Unocal. In the mid 1990s, while working for the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Khalilzad conducted risk analyses for Unocal at the time it had signed letters of approval from the Taliban. The analyses were for a proposed 890-mile, $2-billion, 1.9-billion-cubic-feet-per-day natural gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. In December 1997, Khalilzad joined Unocal officials at a reception for an invited Taliban delegation to Texas.
Khalilzad's appointment as special envoy to Afghanistan raises suspicions about the priorities of the Bush administration. Long-standing political and business ties connect Khalilzad to an oil agenda. The United States has been bombing Afghanistan in retaliation for terrorist attacks on this country. But Khalilzad's appointment makes it clear that oil is now -- and perhaps has been since before 9/11 -- behind U.S. Afghan policy.
Posted by Jesus Reyes at 2:07 PM