Monday, May 17, 2004

Taliban in Texas: Big Oil hankers for old pals

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source: "HOUSTON - The Taliban must have had a ball in this Texas city when they came to visit the control tower of Planet Oil in the late 1990s to negotiate the Trans-Afghan Pipeline (TAP). One can imagine Mullah Omar's finest, in full black-turbaned regalia, at the Houston Galleria - amid all those blond, dermatologically sublime trophy wives credit-carding their way to the Valhalla of conspicuous consumption at Saks, Macy's, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Not to mention all those steak houses! And all those sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) - not only Kandahar-friendly Toyota Land Cruisers but Durangos, Silverados, Pajeros, Discoveries and even BMWs!

Of course this was ages before the cluster-bombing of the Taliban back to Jurassic Park became the secret casus belli for the 'war on terra' after September 11, 2001. And it was before those gas-guzzling SUVs had to deal seriously with soaring oil prices, or at least not to the heights we are seeing now. On Monday a barrel of US light crude hit US$41.65, the highest price since the New York Mercantile Exchange launched its crude-oil contract in 1983. "

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