Subject: PIPELINEISTAN, - two part menu (long)


Asia Times Online (Hong Kong) January 25, 2002
By Pepe Escobar


War against terrorism? Not really. Reminder: it's all about oil.

A quick look at the map is all it takes. It's no coincidence that the map of terror in the Middle East and Central Asia is practically interchangeable with the map of oil. There's Infinite Justice, Enduring Freedom - and Everlasting Profits to be made: not only by the American industrial-military complex, but especially by American and European oil giants.

Where is the realm these days of former US secretary of state James Baker, former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, former White House chief of staff John Sununu and former defense secretary and current Invisible Man Dick Cheney? They are all happily dreaming of, and working for, the establishment of Pipelineistan.

Pipelineistan is the golden future: a paradise of opportunity in the form of US$5 trillion of oil and gas in the Caspian basin and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. In Washington's global petrostrategy, this is supposed to be the end of America's oil dependence on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This is of course the heart of the matter in the New Great Game - compared to which the original 19th-century Great Game between czarist Russia and the British Empire was a childish tin soldier's diversion.

Afghanistan itself has some natural gas in the north of the country, near Turkmenistan. But above all it is ultra-strategic: positioned between the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia, between Turkmenistan and the avid markets of the Indian subcontinent, China and Japan. Afghanistan is at the core of Pipelineistan.

The Caspian states hold at least 200 billion barrels of oil, and Central Asia has 6.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas just begging to be exploited. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are two major producers: Turkmenistan is nothing less than a "gas republic". Apart from oil and gas there's copper, coal, tungsten, zinc, iron, uranium, gold.

The only export routes, for the moment, are through Russia. So most of the game consists of building alternative pipelines to Turkey and Western Europe, and to the east toward the Asian markets. India will be a key player. India, Iran, Russia and Israel are all planning to supply oil and gas to South and Southeast Asia through India.

It's enlightening to note that all countries or regions which happen to be an impediment to Pipelineistan routes towards the West have been subjected either to a direct interference or to all-out war: Chechnya, Georgia, Kurdistan, Yugoslavia and Macedonia. To the east, the key problems are the Uighurs of China's far-western Xinjiang and, until recently, Afghanistan.

More, much more than Afghanistan is involved. What's at stake is Eurasia. Zbigniew Brzezinski, stellar hawk and Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser, used to wax lyrical on Eurasia: "Seventy-five percent of the world population, most of its material riches, 60 percent of the world's GNP, 75 percent of sources of energy, and behind the US, the six most prosperous economies and the six largest military budgets." Brzezinski is on record stressing that the US would have to make sure "no other power would take possession of this geopolitical space".

The numbers are clear. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, in 2001 America imported an average of 9.1 million barrels per day - over 60 percent of its crude oil needs. In 2020, the country is projected to require almost 26 million barrels per day in imports. So Pipelineistan, in the Caucasus and in Central Asia - for the West and Japan but especially for America itself - cannot but be the strategic-military No 1 goal.

In this geostrategic grand design, the Taliban were the proverbial fly in the ointment. The Afghan War was decided long before September 11.

September 11 merely precipitated events. Plans to destroy the Taliban had been the subject of international diplomatic and not-so-diplomatic discussions for months before September 11. There was a crucial meeting in Geneva in May 2001 between US State Department, Iranian, German and Italian officials, where the main topic was a strategy to topple the Taliban and replace the theocracy with a "broad-based government". The topic was raised again in full force at the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Genoa, Italy, in July 2001 when India - an observer at the summit - also contributed its own plans.

Nor coincidentally, Pipelineistan was the central topic in secret negotiations in a Berlin hotel a few days after the G-8 summit, between American, Russian, German and Pakistani officials. And Pakistani high officials, on condition of anonymity, have extensively described a plan set up by the end of July 2001 by American advisers, consisting of military strikes against the Taliban from bases in Tajikistan, to be launched before mid-October.

More recently, while most of the planet that has access to news was distracted by New Year's Eve celebrations, and only nine days after Hamid Karzai's interim government took power in Kabul, Bush II appointed his special envoy to Afghanistan. It comes as no surprise he is Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad - a former aide to the Californian energy giant UNOCAL. Khalilzad wasted no time in boarding the first flight to Central Asia. The Bush II team now does not even try to disguise that the whole game is about oil. The so-called brand-new American "Afghan policy" is being conducted by people intimately connected to oil industry interests in Central Asia.

In 1997, UNOCAL led an international consortium - Centgas - that reached a memorandum of understanding to build a $2 billion, 1,275-kilometer-long, 1.5-meter-wide natural-gas pipeline from Dauletabad in southern Turkmenistan to Karachi in Pakistan, via the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar, crossing into Pakistan near Quetta. A $600 million extension to India was also being considered.

The dealings with the Taliban were facilitated by the Clinton administration and the Pakistani Inter Services Agency (ISI). But the civil war in Afghanistan would simply not go away. UNOCAL had to pull out.

American energy conglomerates, through the American Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), are now resuscitating this and other projects.

Already last October, the UNOCAL-led project was discussed in Islamabad between Pakistani Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin and American Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain. The exuberant official statement reads: "The pipeline opens up new avenues of multi-dimensional regional cooperation, particularly in view of the recent geopolitical developments in the region."

But there are practical problems with these "new avenues". Specialists at the James Baker (who else?) Institute in Texas stress that the main beneficiaries would be Turkmenistan and Afghanistan - which in itself is not a bad idea: Afghanistan would make a little money and perhaps be a little more stable. As far as the gas is concerned - liquefied and exported from Karachi - it would be too expensive compared with gas from the Middle East.

UNOCAL also has a project to build the so-called Central Asian Oil Pipeline, almost 1,700km long, linking Chardzhou in Turkmenistan to Russian's existing Siberian oil pipelines and also to the Pakistani Arabian Sea coast. This pipeline will carry 1 million barrels of oil a day from different areas of former Soviet republics, and it will run parallel to the gas pipeline route through Afghanistan.

Khalilzad is a very interesting character indeed. He was always a huge Taliban supporter. Four years ago, he wrote in the Washington Post that "the Taliban does not practice the anti-US style of fundamentalism practiced by Iran". Khalilzad only abandoned the Taliban after Bill Clinton fired 58 cruise missiles into Afghanistan in August 1998, in retaliation for the alleged involvement of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Only one day after the attack, UNOCAL put Centgas on hold - and two months later abandoned plans for the trans-Afghan pipeline.

A little more than a year ago, Khalilzad was reincarnated in print in The Washington Quarterly, now stressing his four mains reason to ged rid of the Taliban regime as soon as possible: Osama bin Laden, opium trafficking, oppression of the Afghan people and, last but not least, oil.

Afghan diaspora sources in Paris acidly comment that Khalilzad will be regarded as nothing less than a traitor by fiercely proud and independent Afghans. Born in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1951, he is part of the Afghan ruling elite. His father was an aide to King Zahir Shah.

Khalilzad was studying at the notoriously conservative University of Chicago when Afghanistan was invaded by the Red Army in December 1979.

Later he became an American citizen and a special adviser to the State Department during the Reagan years. He was a strident lobbyist for more US military aid to the mujahedeen during the anti-USSR jihad - campaigning for widespread distribution of Stinger missiles.

Khalilzad was undersecretary of defense for Bush I, during the war against Iraq. After a stint at the Rand Corp think tank, he headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Defense Department and advised Donald Rumsfeld. But he was not rewarded with any promotions. The required Senate confirmation would raise extremely uncomfortable questions about his role as UNOCAL adviser and staunch Taliban defender. He was assigned instead to the National Security Council - no Senate confirmation required - where he reports to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Rice herself is a former oil-company consultant. During Bush I, from 1989-92, she was on the board of directors of Chevron, and was its main expert on Kazakhstan. Chevron has invested more than $20 billion in Kazakhstan alone. As for The Invisible Man, Vice President Dick Cheney, he was for five years a director of Halliburton, one of the top companies rendering service to the oil industry: present in 130 countries, 100,000 employees, turnover of almost $20 billion, a member of the Fortune 400. Cheney did a lot of business with the murderous Myanmar dictatorship, and invested heavily in Nigeria.

Both Cheney and Bush II spent an important part of their careers in Arbusto, a small company directed by Cheney. Arbusto never made money, but was handsomely supported by very wealthy Saudis. Among the shareholders there was one James Bath, very cozy with Bush I and chief money launderer for shady Gulf superstars, including one Salem bin Laden, one of the 17 brothers of Osama bin Laden.

All American secretaries of state since World War II have been connected with the oil industry - except two: one of them is Colin Powell, but in his case the president, vice president and national security adviser are all part of the oil industry anyway.

So everybody in the ruling plutocracy knows the rules of the ruthless
game: Central Asia is crucial to Washington's worldwide petro-strategy. So is a "friendly" government in Afghanistan - now led by the always impeccably dressed and fluent English speaker Hamid Karzai. It does not matter that independent minds from Central Asia in exile in Europe unanimously ridicule Karzai as nothing else than a Taliban himself, and his Northern Alliance ministers as a bunch of crooks.

As for US corporate-controlled media - from TV networks to daily newspapers - they just exercise self-censorship and remain mute about all of these connections.

(end Part 1)


globe Asia Times Online (HongKong) January 26, 2002

Pipelineistan, Part 2: The games nations play
By Pepe Escobar

Two months ago, the White House was deliriously happy with the official opening of the first new pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium - a joint venture including Russia, Kazakhstan, Oman, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil and a bunch of other minor players.

This $2.65 billion pipeline links the enormous Tengiz oilfield in northwestern Kazakhstan to the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black
Sea: from there, the sky - ie the world market - is the limit.

Bush II, according to the White House, is developing "a network of multiple Caspian pipelines that also include the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa, and Baku-Novorossiyisk oil pipelines, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline". So one of the key nodes in the American petrostrategy is composed by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

The pipeline consortium for Baku-Ceyhan, led by British Petroleum, is represented by the law firm Baker & Botts. The principal attorney is none other than Texan superstar James Baker - secretary of state under Bush I and chief spokesman for the Bush II 2000 campaign when all gloves were off to shut down the Florida vote recount.

Texas-based, scandal-prone Enron, together with Amoco, Chevron, Mobil, UNOCAL and British Petroleum, were all spending billions of dollars to pump the reserves of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Baker, Scowcroft, Sununu and Cheney have all closed major deals directly and indirectly on behalf of the oil companies. But now the Enron scandal has just exploded right in the face of the oil industry - and Bush II's administration. It will be very enlightening to see what the American tradition of investigative journalism will make of all this.

Enron once had a market value of $70 billion. It filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 after admitting it ovestated its profits by almost $600 million. Paul Krugman wrote that "Enron helped Dick Cheney devise an energy plan that certainly looks as if it was written by and for the companies that advised his task force". The Enron big-time crooks - close pals of Cheney and Bush II - dwarf any Asian "crony capitalists" Americans were carping about before and after the Asian financial crisis.

There's no shortage of crooks in the oil industry. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have intimate relations with Israeli military intelligence.

A so-called "former" Israeli intelligence agent, Yousef Maiman, president of the Mehrav Group of Israel, is nothing less than "Special Ambassador", official negotiatior and even policymaker responsible for developing the enormous energy resources of Turkmenistan.

Maiman is a citizen of the gas republic by presidential decree - signed by the Turkmenbashi himself, the fabulously megalomaniac Saparmurad Niazov, former member of the Soviet Politburo. Maiman, according to the Wall Street Journal, is actively involved in advancing the "geopolitical goals of both the US and Israel" in Central Asia. He certainly does not beat around the bush: "Controlling the transport route is controlling the product." Nobody knows where Mehrav's money comes from.

Mehrav's planned pipelines bypass both Iran and Russia. But after the conquest of Afghanistan, oil sources in Singapore say Mehrav may consider dealing with Iran. It's all to do with the importance of the Turkish market. Russia and Turkmenistan are fiercely competing to conquer the Turkish gas market. Considering the strategic relationship between Turkey and Israel, the Israeli game remains preventing Turkish strategic dependence on Iran. Turkey is a NATO member and a key US ally. The US and Britain routinely strike against Iraq from Turkish bases - from which they patrol the unillateraly-declared Iraqi "no-fly zones". These "no-fly zones" are obviously not sanctioned by the UN.

Mehrav is also involved in a murderous project to reduce the flow of water to Iraq by diverting water from the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers to southeastern Turkey. And Magal Security Systems, an Israeli company, is also involved with Turkey: it will provide security for the 2,000 km-long oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

Crook-infested Enron - the biggest donor to the Bush campaign of 2000 - was ubiquitious: it conducted the feasibility study for the $2.5 billion trans-Caspian pipeline being built under a joint venture signed almost three years ago between Turkmenistan and Bechtel and General Electric. The go-between in the deal was none other than the Mehrav Group. Chairman Maiman spent a fortune hiring the Washington lobbying firm Cassidy and Associates to seduce official Washington with the trans-Caspian pipeline project.

The intrincate relationship between Israel, Turkey and the US means that as much as the trans-Caspian pipeline, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline is also absolutely crucial. It could be extended to bring oil directly to thirsty Israel. During the Clinton years, oil giants were under tremendous pressure to build East-West pipelines. But all of them preferred to build North-South pipelines - much cheaper, but with the inconvenience of crossing Iran, an absolute anathema for Washington.

Russia already has a contract with Turkmenistan to purchase 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year. This represents a big blow to the US field of dreams, the trans-Caspian gas pipeline. This also means that Russia will never let go of its sphere of influence without a tremendous fight. The Central Asian republics are on its borders, Russia has dominated them for centuries and they are home to millions of Russians. Russian is still the language they all use to do business with each other.

Thanks to master political chess player Vladimir Putin, Russia is now on the cosiest terms possible with Washington - and US-Iran antipathy is apparently receding. Russia may eventually become a partner in at least some of Washington's petrostrategy games in Central Asia - like the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. The regional map also reveals that Iran, besides holding important gas reserves, offers the best direct access from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf, where oil and gas can be quickly exported to Asian markets.

Iran assumes, not entirely without reason, that it is the rightful guardian of Central Asia because of centuries of ethnic, historical, linguistic and religious ties. And Iran is very conscious that American military links and now physical presence in Central Asia are part of a strategy to encircle it. But even amid so many geopolitical and ideological pitfalls, the fact remains that as long as the US is militarily involved in Afghanistan, there will be some sort of US-Iranian diplomatic engagement.

Under the control of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), pipelines from Central Asia will also reach China's Xinjiang. Oil sources in Singapore stress that this will certainly spell a slump for the sea routes across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. Washington is more than aware through its think tanks of the consequences: an extremely likely strategic realignment between China, Japan and Korea.

The Chinese have their sights on only one terrifying prospect: the encirclement of China by the US. UNOCAL is dreaming about profits.

Washington is thinking about the robust Chinese economy. Whatever "war against terror" distractions, China remains the key strategic competitor to the US in the 21st century. With Afghanistan in the bag, UNOCAL dreams of monster profits in the Asian market - much higher than in Europe - while Washington closely monitors the Chinese economy: growth of 8 percent in 2000, 7 percent in 2001, and needing all the oil and gas it can get. Chinese strategists are working around the clock to develop local forms of energy production.

What happens next will be closely linked to the deliberations of the Shanghai Five, now Shanghai Six, or more burocratically, the Shangahi Cooperation Organization (SCO): China and Russia, plus four Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Takijistan and Uzbekistan).

Manouvering with extreme care, China is using the SCO to align Russia economically and politically towards China and northeast Asia. At the same time, Russia is using the SCO to maintain its traditional hegemony in Central Asia. The name of the game for solidifying the alliance is Russian export of its enormous reserves of oil and gas.

Since the NATO war against Yugoslavia and the de facto occupation of Kosovo - where America built its largest military base since the Vietnam War - China and Russia have their minds set on Chechnya and Muslim Xinjiang. For the moment, at least, America has absolutely no way of interfering in these domestic problems, since China and especially Russia are endorsing the war against terrorism.

The Taliban were never a target in the "war against terrorism". They were just a scapegoat - rather, a horde of medieval warrior scapegoats who simply did not fulfill their contract: to insert Aghanistan into Pipelineistan. All the regional players now know America is in Central Asia to stay, as Washington itself has been stridently repeating these last few weeks, and it will be influencing or disturbing the economy and geopolitics of the region. The wider world is absolutely oblivious to these real stakes in the New Great Game.

The US at the time of the Gulf War did not show any interest in replacing "Satan" Hussein. That would seriously compromise the American design to establish bases on the Arabian peninsula on the convenient pretext of helping poor Arab sheikhs against the Iraqi Evil Monster.

More than a decade later, Satan Hussein is still there, Bush I is now Bush II, and assorted Pentagon hawks are still fuming, trying to fabricate any excuse to blow Saddam back to Mesopotamian ashes. But Saddam will not be attacked, because Saddam is the ultimate reason for American military bases in the Gulf - a splendid affair because on top of it all it is a free ride, the expenses being paid by the ultra-flush sheikdoms. Now, after the (also unfinished) New Afghan War, American forces are already establishing themselves in Central and South Asia to once again "protect the interests of the free world".

It is never enough to remember that after the end of the communist regime in Afghanistan, the American strategy was to deliberately let Islamic extremism go wild - a perfect way to scare the unstable regimes in the Central Asian neo-republics. Islamic fundamentalism has always been a key card in the American strategic design since the Cold War days when the CIA subcontracted to the Pakistani ISI the arm-them-to-their-teeth policy regarding the mujahideen. It is always easy to forget that the good-guys-turned-bad-guys were once were hailed by Ronnie Reagan himself at the Oval Office as "the moral equivalent of the founding fathers".

America has been trying hard to "get" Afghanistan - the heart of Asia in Antiquity, the Pipelineistan crossroads of Asia nowadays - for more than 20 years. In the process, the mujahideen transformed Afghanistan, with CIA blessing, into the world's leading producer of heroin, opening the crucial and ultra-profitable drug pipeline Afghanistan-Turkey-Balkans-Western
Europe. More than a martini, oil-arms-drugs is the classic CIA cocktail. This "Drugistan" road has just been spetacularly reopened after the fall of the Taliban.

Pipelineistan is not an end in itself. Oil and gas by themselves are not the US's ultimate aim. It's all about control. In Monopoly, Belgian writer Michel Collon wrote: "If you want to rule the world, you need to control oil. All the oil. Anywhere." If the US controls the sources of energy of its rivals - Europe, Japan, China and other nations aspiring to be more independent - they win. This explains why pipelines from the Caucasus to the West have to be America-friendly - ie Turkish or Macedonian - and not "unreliable", meaning Russian-controled. Washington, always, has to control everything: that's what Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger always said. The same goes for the military bases in Saudi Arabia, and now in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

There's no business like war business. Thanks to war against Iraq, the US has its military bases in the Persian Gulf. Thanks to war against Yugoslavia, the US has its military bases in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. Thanks to war against the Taliban, the US is now in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not to mention the base in Incirlik, Turkey. The US is also in the Caucasus - in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Iran, China and Russia are practically encircled.

There's no business like show business. -- Raise the curtains.

Enter Pipelineistan. (Applause).

2001 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd.

In George W. Bush's First year in office he:

1. Significantly eased field-testing controls of genetically engineered crops.

2. Cut federal spending on libraries by $39 million.

3. Cut $35 million in funding for doctors to get advanced pediatric training.

4. Cut by 50% funding for research into renewable energy sources.

5. Revoked rules that reduced the acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water.

6. Blocked rules that would require federal agencies to offer bilingual assistance to non-English speaking persons. This, from a candidate who would readily fire-up his Spanish-speaking skills in front of would-be Hispanic voters.

7. Proposed to eliminate new marine protections for the Channel Islands and the coral reefs of northwest Hawaii (San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 2001).

8. Cut funding by 28% for research into cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks.

9. Suspended rules that would have strengthened the government's ability to deny contracts to companies that violated workplace safety, environmental and other federal laws.

10. OK'd Interior Department appointee Gale Norton to send out letters to state officials soliciting suggestions for opening up national monuments for oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and foresting.

11. Appointed John Negroponte - an un-indicted high-level Iran Contra figure to the post of United Nations Ambassador.

12. Abandoned a campaign pledge to invest $100 million for rain forest conservation.

13. Reduced by 86% the Community Access Program for public hospitals, clinics and providers of care for people without insurance.

14. Rescinded a proposal to increase public access to information about the potential consequences resulting from chemical plant accidents.

15. Suspended rules that would require hardrock miners to clean up sites on Western public lands.

16. Cut $60 million from a Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America program for public housing.

17. Proposed to eliminate a federal program, designed and successfully used in Seattle, to help communities prepare for natural disasters.

18. Pulled out of the 1997 Kyoto Treaty global warming agreement.

19. Cut $200 million of work force training for dislocated workers.

20. Eliminated funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program, which encourages farmers to maintain wetlands habitat on their property.

21. Cut program to provide childcare to low-income families as they move from welfare to work.

22. Cut a program that provided prescription contraceptive coverage to federal employees (though it still pays for Viagra).

23. Cut $700 million in capital funds for repairs in public housing.

24. Appointed Otto Reich - an un-indicted high-level Iran Contra figure - to Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs..

25. Cut Environmental Protection Agency budget by $500 million.

26. Proposed to curtail the ability of groups to sue in order to get an animal placed on the Endangered Species List.

27. Rescinded the rule that mandated increased energy-saving efficiency regulations for central air conditioners and heat pumps.

28. Repealed workplace ergonomic rules designed to improve worker health and safety.

29. Abandoned campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide, the waste gas that contributes to global warming.

30. Banned federal aid to international family planning programs that offer abortion counseling with other independent funds.

31. Closed White House Office for Women's Health Initiatives and Outreach.

32. Nominated David Lauriski - ex-mining company executive - to post of Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.

33. OK'd Interior Secretary Gale Norton to go forth with a controversial plan to auction oil and gas development tracts off the coast of eastern Florida.

34. Announced intention to open up Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest to oil and drilling.

35. Proposes to re-draw boundaries of nation's monuments, which would technically allow oil and gas drilling "outside" of national monuments.

36. Gutted White House AIDS Office.

37. Renegotiating free trade agreement with Jordan to eliminate workers's rights and safeguards for the environment.

38. Will no longer seek guidance from The American Bar Association in recommendations for the federal judiciary appointments.

39. Appointed recycling foe Lynn Scarlett as Undersecretary of the Interior.

40. Took steps to abolish the White House Council on Environmental quality.

41. Cut the Community Oriented Policing Services program.

42. Allowed Interior Secretary Gale Norton to shelve citizen-led grizzly bear re-introduction plan scheduled for Idaho and Montana wilderness.

43. Continues to hold up federal funding for stem cell research projects.

44. Makes sure convicted misdemeanor drug users cannot get financial aid for college, though convicted murderers can.

45. Refused to fund continued cleanup of uranium-slag heap in Utah.

46. Refused to fund continued litigation of the government's tobacco company lawsuit.

47. Proposed a $2 trillion tax cut, of which 43% will go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

48. Signed a bill making it harder for poor and middle-class Americans to file for bankruptcy, even in the case of daunting medical bills.

49. Appointed a Vice President quoted as saying "If you want to do something about carbon dioxide emissions, then you ought to build nuclear power plants." (Vice President Dick Cheney on "Meet the Press.")

50. Appointed Diana "There is no gender gap in pay" Roth to the Council of Economic Advisers. (Boston Globe, March 28, 2001.)

51. Appointed Kay Cole James - an opponent of affirmative action - to direct the Office of Personnel Management.

52. Cut $15.7 million earmarked for states to investigate cases of child abuse and neglect.

53. Helped kill a law designed to make it tougher for teenagers to get credit cards.

54. Proposed elimination of the "Reading is Fundamental" program that gives free books to poor children.

55. Is pushing for development of small nuclear arms to attack deeply buried targets and weapons, which would violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

56. Proposes to nominate Jeffrey Sutton - attorney responsible for the recent case weakening the Americans with Disabilities Act- to federal appeals court judgeship.

57. Proposes to reverse regulation protecting 60 million acres of national forest from logging and road building.

58. Eliminated funding for the "We the People" education program which taught School children about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and citizenship.

59. Appointed John Bolton - who opposes nonproliferation treaties and the U.N. - to Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

60. Nominated Linda Fisher - an executive with Monsanto - for the number-two job at the Environmental Protection Agency.

61. Nominated Michael McConnell - leading critic of the separation of church and state - to a federal judgeship.

62. Nominated Terrence Boyle - ardent opponent of civil rights - to a federal judgeship.

63. Canceled 2004 deadline for automakers to develop prototype high mileage cars.

64. Nominated Harvey Pitts - lawyer for teen sex video distributor - to head SEC.

65. Nominated John Walters - strong opponent of prison drug treatment programs - for Drug Czar. (Washington Post, May 16, 2001.)

66. Nominated J. Steven Giles - an oil and coal lobbyist - for Deputy Secretary of the Interior.

67. Nominated Bennett Raley - who advocates repealing the Endangered Species Act - for Assistant Secretary for Water and Science

68. Is seeking the dismissal of class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. against Japan by Asian women forced to work as sex slaves during WWII.

69. Earmarked $4 million in new federal grant money for HIV and drug abuse prevention programs to go only to religious groups and not secular equivalents.

70. Reduced by 40% the Low Income Home Assistance Program for low-income individuals who need assistance paying energy bills.

71. Nominated Ted Olson- who has repeatedly lied about his involvement with the Scaiffe-funded "Arkansas Project" to bring down Bill Clinton - for Solicitor General.

72. Nominated Terrance Boyle - foe of civil rights - to a federal judgeship.

73. Proposes to ease permit process - including environmental considerations
- for refinery, nuclear and hydroelectric dam construction. (Washington Post, May 18, 2001.)

74. Proposes to give government the authority to take private property through eminent domain for power lines.

75. Proposes that $1.2 billion in funding for alternative renewable energy come from selling oil and gas lease tracts in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve.

76. Plans on serving genetically engineered foods at all official government functions.

77. Forced out Forest Service chief Mike Dombeck and appointed a timber industry lobbyist.

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