Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Did We Invade Afghanistan?

A prominent liberal thinker once offered what I consider to be the strongest argument against the 9/1 Truth Movement: "Everybody knows," he said, "that the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq. If they were behind 9/11, why wouldn't they blame it on Iraqi terrorists working for Saddam Hussein? Instead, they blame it on Saudi terrorists working for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Consequently, they need to employ all sorts of questionable rationales for invading Iraq, which created endless embarrassment for Bush, his administration, and the Republican Party."

 That would seem to me to be a very good argument against 9/11 being an inside job. What would refute such an argument? Evidence that the Bush administration, or at least people in power in the U.S., had very strong motives for invading Afghanistan. Michael Chossudovsky, professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, attempts to do that in his article, “The War is Worth Waging”: Afghanistan’s Vast Reserves of Minerals and Natural Gas. Some excerpts:

“Previously Unknown Deposits” of Minerals in Afghanistan

While Afghanistan is acknowledged as a strategic hub in Central Asia, bordering on the former Soviet Union, China and Iran, at the crossroads of pipeline routes and major oil and gas reserves, its huge mineral wealth as well as its untapped natural gas reserves have remained, until June 2010, totally unknown to the American public.

The US Administration’s acknowledgment that it first took cognizance of Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth  following the release of the USGS 2007 report is an obvious red herring. Afghanistan’s mineral wealth and energy resources (including natural gas) were known to both America’s business elites and the US government prior to the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1988).
Geological surveys conducted by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and early 1980s confirm the existence of  vast reserves of copper (among the largest in Eurasia), iron, high grade chrome ore, uranium, beryl, barite, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, lithium, tantalum, emeralds, gold and silver.(Afghanistan, Mining Annual Review, The Mining Journal,  June, 1984). These surveys suggest that the actual value of these reserves could indeed be substantially larger than the one trillion dollars “estimate” intimated by the Pentagon-USCG-USAID study.

The war is worth waging. … (Olga Borisova, “Afghanistan – the Emerald Country”,Karavan, Almaty, original Russian, translated by BBC News Services, Apr 26, 2002. p. 10, emphasis added.)

Afghanistan’s Natural Gas

What was rarely contemplated in pipeline geopolitics, however, is that Afghanistan is not only adjacent to countries which are rich in oil and natural gas (e.g Turkmenistan), it also possesses within its territory sizeable untapped reserves of natural gas, coal  and oil. Soviet estimates of the 1970s placed “Afghanistan’s ‘explored’ (proved plus probable) gas reserves at about 5  trillion cubic feet. The Hodja-Gugerdag’s initial reserves were placed at slightly more than 2 tcf.” (See, The Soviet Union to retain influence in Afghanistan, Oil & Gas Journal, May 2, 1988).

The Golden Crescent Drug Trade

America’s covert war, namely its support to the Mujahideen “Freedom fighters” (aka Al Qaeda) was also geared towards the development of the Golden Crescent trade in opiates, which was used by US intelligence to fund the insurgency directed against the Soviets.1
Instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war and protected by the CIA, the drug trade developed over the years into a highly lucrative multibillion undertaking. It was the cornerstone of America’s covert war in the 1980s. Today, under US-NATO military occupation, the drug trade generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, see also Michel Chossudovsky, Heroin is “Good for Your Health”: Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade, Global Research, April 29, 2007)

Towards an Economy of Plunder

The US media, in chorus, has upheld the “recent discovery” of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth as “a solution” to the development of the country’s war torn economy as well as a means to eliminating pov. The 2001 US-NATO invasion and occupation has set the stage for their appropriation by Western mining and energy conglomerates.

The war on Afghanistan is  a profit driven “resource war”.
Under US and allied occupation, this mineral wealth is slated to be plundered, once the country has been pacified, by a handful of multinational mining conglomerates. According to Olga Borisova, writing in the months following the October 2001 invasion, the US-led “war on terrorism [will be transformed] into a colonial policy of influencing a fabulously wealthy country.” (Borisova, op cit).

Clearly, well-informed people would have known about the vast opportunities for wealth in Afghanistan. In order to continue arguing that the Bush administration had no motives for invading that country, one would need to demonstrate that it was not so informed.


JDB said...

The link to the article doesn't work. Apparently it is because of an aberrant "19769e" at the end of the url. Remove that and the link works.

Me = such a good friend

One more substantive comment: I'm slightly confused about the relevance of the objection to less implausible versions of trutherism. Someone could just think: there was a real, foreign plot to crash planes into the towers and Pentagon by bin Laden, and the government took advantage of this, planted explosives to ensure collapse, etc. Then, merely allowing the hijackings to take place would be part of the plan, not actually orchestrating them, faking the hijackers themselves or whatever, and so on.

This also would be much more consistent with the actual content of official testimony (not later speculation) by whistleblowers that truther websites misleadingly point to, who give evidence of government negligence prior to 9-11 but not government active involvement or planning. Then trutherism would merely be claiming (vis-a-vis the hijackings) that the negligence was purposeful.

But then the point about the hijackers being Saudis and so on is moot.

Anonymous said...

How about going to a psychologist and getting treatment for your mental illness.

Bilbo said...

Hi Anon,

How about posting something worth reading? Or aren't you intelligent enough to do that?

JDB said...

Wait - how do you know Anonymous wasn't talking to me?

Bilbo said...

I thought he was.