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"More than 10 million citizens have registered to vote in the October presidential election, a resounding endorsement of democracy. Despite ongoing acts of violence Iraq now has a strong prime minister, a national council and national elections are scheduled for January. Our nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq because when America gives its word, America must keep its word.
Young men will hear the message that national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not tyranny and terror. Reformers and political prisoners and exiles will hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And as freedom advances, heart by heart and nation by nation, America will be more secure and the world more peaceful."
President Bush; Republican Convention
The US doesn’t control a scrap of ground in Afghanistan outside the capital. Now, with the up tick in violence and bombings in Kabul, even that is in doubt.
Despite President Bush’s delusional palavering at the Republican Convention, the US has no reasonable expectation of succeeding in Afghanistan. The countryside is dominated by warlords, the commitment of troops and resources is insufficient, and the farcical American stooge, Hamid Karzai, must be shadowed by an entourage of 400 mercenaries just to keep him among the living. Karzai’s tenure as king of Afghanistan won’t last 24 hours after America finally picks up and goes home.
The notion that the Afghanistan mission was a "success" is just one of the more glaring fictions initiated by the establishment media. Certainly, the facts are plain enough for anyone to draw the obvious conclusions. Instead, the American public is inundated with information that is "liberally seasoned" with White House spin. What passes as analysis in America’s editorial pages is rarely more than a rehashing of the hard-right platitudes issuing from Washington framed in flashier language.
The real situation in Afghanistan is dramatically different than the one being offered by the PR wizards in the White House.
William Thomas nailed it in an article in 2003, "Why Afghanistan was Invaded": "The Caspian Sea basin’s 200 billion barrels of untapped "black gold" appeared to offer Washington a strategic counterbalance equal to Saudi Arabia’s immense oil reserves" (Those who have studied the war in Afghanistan know that George Bush actually signed orders to invade the country "PRIOR TO 9-11".) Thomas continues with a revelation that is scrupulously omitted from American newspapers:
"Now, after war crimes that included the slaughter of thousands of unarmed prisoners, and cluster bomb and radioactive cruise missile attacks against thousands more defenseless civilians, the return to rapacious rule by warlords worse than the Taliban is being overlooked by American occupiers preoccupied with three exploratory oil wells.
Guess what? These new findings shrank the Caspian oil ocean to a more modest subterranean lake of just 10 to 20 billion barrels of poor quality, high-sulphur crude."
"Oops! No oil": another slight miscalculation.
This explains why the US commitment is so trifling and why no real effort to secure the countryside has even been attempted. It also explains why Iraq appeared on the radar screen soon after.
(I should note that the degree of anxiety we see in the administration’s relentless pursuit of oil is no small matter. It’s clear from industry records that 2004 my well be the "peak year" for oil production, meaning that entire economies will henceforward be vulnerable to dramatic shifts in pricing and availability. This is compounded by the fact that many reports indicate that Saudi Arabia’s main wells are nearly exhausted. Cheney and Co. decided that the only way to resolve this situation was to get "ahead of the curve" and seize the world’s oil by force of arms. The results so far are less than spectacular.)
CIA and the US Banking Establishment involved in Drug trade?
Afghanistan’s opium production has skyrocketed. Although the Taliban had virtually stamped out poppy production, the country now accounts for two-third of the world’s heroin. As hard as it may be to believe, there is compelling evidence that the US (via the CIA) may be directly involved in narco-trafficing.
A report in Portland Independent Media gives us some idea of how this works in their summary of the writings of investigative journalist Mike Ruppert:
"Before 1980, Afghanistan produced 0% of the world’s opium. But then the CIA moved in, and by 1986 they were producing 40% of the world’s heroin supply. By 1999, they were churning out 3,200 TONS of heroin a year nearly 80% of the total market supply. But then something unexpected happened. The Taliban rose to power, and by 2000 they had destroyed nearly all of the opium fields. Production dropped from 3,000+ tons to only 185 tons, a 94% reduction! This enormous drop in revenue subsequently hurt not only the CIA’s Black Budget projects, but also the free-flow of laundered money in and out of the Controller’s banks"
And, this from Mike Ruppert’s "From the Wilderness" (FTW):
"Until February, Afghanistan had been the world’s largest producer of opium/heroin, claiming close to 70% of the world’s total production. That opium, consumed largely in Western Europe and smuggled through the Balkans, was a direct source of cash deposits in Western financial institutions and markets.
The Taliban’s actions this year (destroying the opium crop) severed the ruling military junta in Pakistan from its primary source of foreign revenues and made bin Laden and the Taliban completely expendable in the eyes of the Pakistani government. It also cut off billions of dollars in revenues that had been previously laundered through western banks and Russian financial institutions connected to them.
… Prior to the WTC attacks, credible sources, including the U.S. government, the IMF, Le Monde and the U.S. Senate placed the amount of drug cash flowing into Wall Street and U.S. banks at around $250-$300 billion a year.
In that context, the real history of Osama bin Laden, as America’s useful terrorist-du-jour reveals a long and continuous history, interwoven with the drug trade and the Bush family, of supporting conflicts that have benefited U.S. military and economic interests."
"THE TALIBANS DESTRUCTION OF THAT (OPIUM) CROP WAS APPARENTLY THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ACT OF ECONOMIC WARFARE AGAINST US ECONOMIC INTERESTS THAT THE TALIBAN HAD EVER COMMITTED".
It invited the war that would come shortly after.
The facts related to CIA involvement are fairly well documented at this point. (Although, I haven’t seen these particular allegations before.) It seems unlikely that this level of "economic activity" would continue to flourish without US participation. Also, the parasitic relationship of the major banking institutions to the drug trade is hardly anecdotal.
We shouldn’t be surprised that America’s "new friend" Pakistan is deeply involved as well. Before the Taliban’s rise to power, a "whopping" 60% of Pakistan’s GDP is estimated to have come from the illicit trafficking of drugs; making it a factor that penetrated every area of Pakistan society. (The ISI, the equivalent of the CIA, was a particularly large beneficiary of drug receipts)
What is striking about these charges of US involvement in narco trafficking is that suggests a compelling interest on the part of the banking establishment to prosecute the war in Afghanistan. Up to this point, many critics had alleged that the Energy giants were driving the bus. Now, it appears that there was a confluence of interests (Big Energy, Banks, Wall Street and arms dealers) who elected to steer the country towards war.
With the giants of industry on board, there’s no need to wonder why the Forth Estate followed suit and "whipped up pre-war hysteria" on front pages and TVs across the nation.
This should give us all some idea of the (almost) insurmountable task in front of us; to extricate America from its new imperial wars. Virtually, every major institution in American life (including the Congress) is committed to this new crusade. This illustrates the gravity and the magnitude of the "Iraq-Afghanistan" campaign. The principle players involved in this global war really believe that America’s future depends on its success and will employ any means necessary to achieve their objectives. (as Abu Ghraib clearly proves)
Everything from the solvency of the dollar, to our economic fortunes for the next millennia, to our securing reliable energy resources, to our unchallenged military dominance, to our foothold in the world’s most vital economic region (Asia) has been recklessly gambled on the current wars.
Simply put, they’ve bet everything on their plan and will fight "tooth and nail" to make sure it succeeds.
It will be a monumental task to turn this train around.
The unanticipated lack of vital resources (oil) implies that we may be looking at Afghanistan’s "final status"; a fractured country broken into regional fiefdoms (ruled by warlords) to facilitate the ever-burgeoning drug trade. As we have seen, the narco dealing provides crucial resources and liquidity to American markets and the banking industry. The dearth of troops and reconstruction money strongly indicates that no change in this scurrilous policy is forthcoming.
Aside from the "lofty rhetoric" of the Prevaricator and chief, Afghanistan is being condemned to a future of unending violence and neglect by powerful constituencies in the US. It’s critical that we shed as much light as possible on the institutions in our society that are underwriting aggression to perpetuate their economic dominance and to keep the entire fraudulent system afloat.
Thanks to Mike Ruppert’s "From The Wilderness" FTW’s story, The Bush-Cheney drug Empire in October, 2000. That story is online at www.copvcia.com/stories/previous/bush-cheney-drugs.html.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org