Sunday, July 18, 2010

Endgame in Afghanistan

The goal in Afghanistan has never been to win. There was never anything to win in the first place. There was no war, until we got there. The objective has been, from the start, acquisition of that nation's resources.

Still, the pablum from the mainstream media, and from the campaign trail in 2008, was that the U.S. had to go into Afghanistan to capture, dead or alive, those fellows who brought down the Twin Towers.

While the military effort in Afghanistan began less than a month after the bombing of the World Trade Center, some report that interest in invading the region by India, as well as Iran began as early as March, 2001.

India was said to support the effort to bring down the Taliban well before 9/11. This, of course, is ironic in that it was the CIA who reportedly armed, and trained the Taliban in Pakistan before shipping them out to Afghanistan.

There was a time, too, when insurgents were seen as the "good guys." Remember, Osama bin Laden was among the Afghan resistance to the Soviets who were largely financed by the CIA during the Carter and Reagan administrations, and who had a big fan in Ronald Reagan back in the days when bin Laden still called himself a "freedom fighter."

The argument the Obama administration made, during the 2008 presidential campaign, was that military forces needed to deploy to the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden, and the other al Qaeda members who orchestrated 9/11, a Quixotic quest that is merely an extension of the foreign policy of the Bush years.

The U.S. ended up invading Iraq, toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein, a leader who enjoyed a friendly relationship with this country for years, many of which happened to correspond with his acts of genocide. When it was economically expedient, i.e. when we needed his oil, we suddenly became concerned with Saddam's human right's record.

And, as for the Taliban, India would just as soon join forces with the U.S., and get control of Afghanistan to transform the region into a stronghold in the nuclear contest between India and Pakistan. With the aid of the U.S., India would, in effect, eat Afghanistan, and thereby expand not merely its political interest in that country, but partake of that country's most lucrative asset--that soft, silvery metal, lithium.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a front page story in the New York Times about the discovery of "vast mineral wealth" in Afghanistan as if this were breaking news. Reports of mineral wealth in that region date back more than thirty years.

The biggest finding of all is of a soft, silvery-white metal, lithium, which is tantamount to finding gold, or oil.

And, talk about transparency, even the CIA now admits that only about 50 al Qaeda operatives are currently in Afghanistan, and maybe another 100 member of the Taliban. Obviously, it doesn't take 100,000 troops to fight 150 people. Equally obvious is the U.S. interest in Afghanistan revolves around lithium, not to mention the lucrative poppy fields.

Forewarned is forearmed: when playing with "divide and conquer" with two countries that have nuclear capability, like India and Pakistan, the outcome may be apocalyptic.

By the time the U.S. is ready to declare "game over" in Afghanistan, it may be lights out for the planet.

It might be wise for the U.S., and whatever allies it has left, to leave the apocalypse where it belongs--in the Bible, and implement a definitive plan to begin the immediate withdrawal from that region. If the U.S. continues its mad course of empire-building in an effort to control the natural resources of other sovereign countries, it may find itself with another use for lithium---to treat manic-depression.