Monday, March 25, 2002

After the September 11 terrorist attacks, why did the United States need to blame Afghanistan, and why did the United States need to attack Afghanistan immediately? These are the kind of questions that almost answer themselves. The U. S. junta was trying to save Enron from bankruptcy. In the summer of 2001, the writing was already on the wall. Baxter had resigned; even Skilling had resigned. Those in the know knew that the scam that was Enron was coming to an end. The only things Enron had going for it was that it owned: 1) the Bush administration; and 2) 65% of a huge energy plant in Dabhol, India. It had built this plant on some wild theory that it would supply energy to India, but India could not afford to buy this energy at its cost of production and got so far behind in payments that the plant was never operated. Enron had its interest in the plant for sale at $2.3 billion, but as it was a white elephant, neither the Indian government nor anyone else wanted to buy it. Enron even enlisted the services of its good friend Dick Cheney to try to strong-arm the Indian government into agreeing to pay Enron's bill for building the plant, but India was not interested in paying either that or an amount to buy the plant (the whole issue had become highly politicized in India, with strong feelings that corruption and human rights abuses were involved). Enron's share in the sale of the plant, or the promise that sale proceeds were going to be available and could be borrowed against, could have been sufficient to get Enron over its short-term financial crisis, at least until it could find some more corrupt ways to stay in business. How was it going to be able to sell the energy plant? By packaging it with Enron's interest in the new pipelines to be built through Afghanistan. Not only would these pipelines make the package more saleable, but cheap energy from the pipelines would serve to make the energy plant viable. The problem was the Taliban. The U. S. junta had done everything it could to get the Taliban to agree to the pipelines, including threats of war, but the Taliban kept holding out for more (it is not impossible that they realized that the Enron situation was deteriorating rapidly, thus increasing their bargaining position). It was absolutely critical to have a war in Afghanistan and have it quickly, before Enron went into bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the war bogged down (remember how the Northern Alliance didn't do anything for weeks), and the Taliban wasn't removed quickly enough for Enron to be able to present a package of the Indian power plant and its interest in the Afghan pipelines in time to get the funds to stave off bankruptcy (the Enron share price really started to tank in November, and it was November 8 when it was revealed that Enron had filed false statements hiding a half billion dollars in losses, at which point the U. S. government immediately ceased all efforts on behalf of Enron, including cancelling George Bush's plans to intercede with the Indian government on Enron's behalf). It was Enron's impending insolvency that made it necessary to connect the 9-11 terrorism with Afghanistan and juice up the terrorism with a fake attack on the Pentagon to ensure that there would be enough excuse to start a war to quickly remove the Taliban.