Afghanistan Is About To Become A Rape Victim
“There is stunning potential here . There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”
Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command
To the American public and many others in the international community, Afghanistan has always been perceived as a bleak, piss poor country with no suitable economic future in sight. Other than birthing the Taliban and being known as one of the world’s biggest heroin producers, Afghanistan has no other claim to fame within the international community. In some parts of the country, heroin is used as currency to pay for food, clothing, and shelter. That all changed on June 14, 2010 when the New York Times reported that the Pentagon and a team of U.S. geologists discovered immense amounts of raw materials and minerals within impoverished Afghanistan. News of this magnitude had not been reported since 1938 when American geologists first discovered oil in Saudi Arabia. The amounts of raw materials are so huge and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Pentagon officials believe that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world. On the contrary, this news wasn’t really “news” because these findings were first reported by the US Geological Survey in 2007. Why all of a sudden present old news to the world as if it were breaking news? There is obviously an agenda, so let’s see what my drug-free thoughts can conjure up.
First, as aforementioned the report on Afghanistan’s newfound wealth in minerals and materials was first reported in 2007 by the US Geological Survey. All of the material deposits were mapped between 2005 and 2007. The now suddenly accessible report finds that Afghanistan does not only have copper but also huge mineral resources including iron, sulfur, talc, chromium, magnesium, salt, mica, marble, ruby, emerald, lapis lazuli, asbestos, nickel, mercury, gold, silver, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, beryllium and lithium. In addition, there are significant deposits of phosphorus, uranium and thorium. Equally important, the report also states that Afghanistan apparently has very large amounts of rare metals some of which that can only be currently found in China. It was even found in an internal Pentagon memo that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacturing of batteries for laptops and BlackBerry phones. The current dollar estimate for these materials on the world market is between $1 – 3 trillion. According to the CIA Fact book, the current per capita income in Afghanistan is $500 a year. Take the minimum $1 trillion estimate and break it down amongst the people and the result is more or less $35,000 for each man, woman, and child per year.
Furthermore, according to the US Geological Survey map the most important resources are located in the east and the southeast of Afghanistan. The locations of these raw materials coincidently are primarily occupied by the most significant U.S. military bases and forces in Afghanistan. The reasoning given by the U.S. military brass on why such heavy military concentrations in these areas are needed normally involve the typical answers concerning the Taliban’s intense resistance in the areas. However, no other participating country in the war including Great Britain has large amounts of troops or bases in these areas. In my opinion, the U.S. military is either guard dogging these areas specifically for future U.S. business exploitation or as a bargaining chip for Taliban leadership to come to the table. Either way, it seems to be that theft on a geo-political scale is about to take place.
Why negotiate with the Taliban? On June 13, 2010, British publication “The Telegraph” reported and confirmed the war’s biggest open secret that Pakistan’s intelligence bureau is actively collaborating with the Taliban and even has members inside its leadership council. American media outlets did not report this because it militarily broadens the scope of the war past Afghanistan and Iraq. The focus must remain on stamping out Taliban presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, not other countries. Pakistan along with the Taliban both seek worldwide political legitimacy. Pakistan’s hatred of India is the sole driving force behind their motivation to arm and fund the Taliban because any deals made with the Taliban must also be made with Pakistan. Anything Pakistan can do to increase its political clout over India they have now proven they will do. In regards to the minerals, Pakistan along with the Taliban would become instant world players in dealing with resource hungry powers like the United States and China.
In addition, announcing these resources to the public will help the current U.S. administration’s agenda in perpetuating the war without a specified timetable for withdrawal. Communicating to the public that a historically poor country that never had anything to offer us who suddenly now has an overabundance of resources to offer will justify in a few people’s mind a good enough to not only stay, but to occupy. The price tag for the Afghanistan War alone is more than $300 billion to date, with another $100 billion expected to be spent in 2010, according to the Obama administration’s supplemental budget request. The president has promised to begin withdrawing U.S. troops by July 2011, conditions permitting. However, U.S. military officials are currently saying conditions may not permit due to recently ramped up aggressive Taliban insurgent attacks. You don’t have to be an economist to know that $1 trillion is more than $400 billion and if we can now recover our losses, many will say let’s do it.
All in all, Afghanistan’s newfound wealth is a blessing and a curse. Throughout history there are many examples of governments with individuals who eventually take that country’s raw materials and utilize them for personal gain. If that doesn’t happen, other countries are allowed to come in and rape the land’s resources without ever establishing proper infrastructure or government for the people. The wealth is often times never spread around, but in fact hoarded. To see examples of this, all you have to do is look at Africa and most of the oil rich countries. Most are dominated by oppressive billionaire families while poverty runs rampant and underdevelopment is the norm. This is especially the case for countries such as Saudi Arabia. The U.S. military’s recent public acknowledgement of these abundant resources in Afghanistan seems to me to be a strategic “open-call” to all interested bidders and any potential takers. I’m sad to say that not one dime of that $1 trillion will ever benefit those who really need it; that are the people of Afghanistan.
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