Afghanistan: lithium is the new oil
by Jerome Armstrong, Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 10:13:33 AM EDT
The Bush WH sold the continued war in Iraq-- that it would pay for itself in oil. The Obama WH has the Pentagon trotting out this propoganda via the NYTimes about how there's "nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan."
I know its not nice to step out of the partisan shill range that would take this at face; but come on-- are there actually sheep that buy this planted crap?
Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists.
Are there actually people who feel better about this particular bipartisan invasion/occupation/war because the US military will be shielding for corporations to exploit the land of Afghanistan?
With virtually no mining industry or infrastructure in place today, it will take decades for Afghanistan to exploit its mineral wealth fully.
Well, no doubt about it then, that this means "decades" and a trillion more of US wealth redistribution from us to the military corporations.
Anyway, this piece of propaganda has been known for years. It wasn't until the Pentagon and President Obama needed some "good news" to sell that they marketed up this dish for mass consumption.
And keep in mind, this is all taking place at the height of The Surge II in the region with maximum deployment of assets declared as the primary objective of the present occupation campaigning season.
There is a word for this configuration of conditions: defeat. This is why Stan McChrystal is re-polishing his shiny balls: he and his are completely immobilized, have lost any operational initiative that they may have had, can’t do a damn thing about it, and are now trying to keep the large population centers hostage to some kind of settlement. This looks highly like the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, minus the saturation bombing but with far more boots on the ground. This looks amazingly like the Indochina dumb-a-thon; even the kind of rhetoric used by the guys in the article I mention would be entirely in place, trying to paint a picture of failure as one where the occupation is ‘in control and on plan’ by milspeak fuzziness and omission, much of it the unintentional result of what is left when candor is excluded.
We’ve lost in Afghanistan. The only one winning there are the grossly parasitic private contractors sucking down the governments billions at cost-plus for another season of the Long Score of which they are the sole beneficiaries.
Do you think a culture that has depended on farming and herding is going to be keen to have the countryside turned into a strip mine? Even if some Afghans warm to the idea, others are sure to oppose it vigorously.
Moreover, as happens in war, we’ve killed a lot of civilians. And we haven’t been too clever about choosing friends either. This combination is fatal. I’ve been told by Afghanis (readers are welcome to correct me if I am wrong) that this is a part of the world where the responsibility for avenging a murder carries across generations. One said that it would be impossible to subdue its 29 million population short of exterminating them: “We will hunt you down across the world.”
While these commentators may be overstating their blood lust and tenacity, a much simpler point appears to be true: we’ve made a complete mess in a region that now has even more strategic value than we had thought. And our Plan B, of buying the locals off, does not look likely to appeal to them
Imperialism, ugly business, isn’t it?
The financial bloggers sure are much more to the point than the regular partisan bloggers among Democratic leaning bloggers.
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