From AFP news agency today:
Afghan ‘geological reserves worth a trillion dollars’
Sun Jan 31, 7:48 am ET
The war-ravaged nation could become one of the richest in the world if helped to tap its geological deposits, Karzai told reporters.
“I have very good news for Afghans,” Karzai said.
“The initial figures we have obtained show that our mineral deposits are worth a thousand billion dollars — not a thousand million dollars but a thousand billion,” he said.
He based his assertion, he said, on a survey being carried out by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), due to be completed in “a couple of months”.
The USGS, the US government’s scientific agency, has been working on the 17-million dollar survey for a number of years, Karzai said.
While Afghanistan is not renowned as a resource-rich country, it has a wide range of deposits, including copper, iron ore, gold and chromite, as well as natural gas, oil and precious and semi-precious stones.
Mr Karzai forgot to add that, as long as Afghanistan will be an occupied country, the billions of dollars to be made out of the mineral riches of Afghanistan, will go to foreign corporations. To the three-piece suited Enron kind of guys; Halliburton kind of guys, like Dick Cheney; Bernie Madoff kind of guys; Allen Stanford kind of guys. The kind of guys who made the present world economic crisis, which is hurting the Afghan people. If that happens, the Afghan people will remain “a people who don’t have money, food or clothes”, as Karzai’s minister Adel said. Maybe a few elite Afghans like Mr Adel, Mr Karzai and his brother will get a few crumbs off the neo-colonialists’ table, and will get resented for that.
Of course, the war is not just about oil, gas, etc. in Afghanistan itself. It is about transporting gas etc. from the north through Afghanistan as well.
Remember the conservative hysteria whenever anyone suggested that George W. Bush’s wars might be about something else than “bringing democracy” as the propaganda said?
And oh yeah, George W. Bush stopped talking about Osama bin Laden being the reason for the Afghan war pretty soon; and very few people in Washington talk about that now.
Afghanistan’s government has vowed to “bring to justice” US forces who were accused of killing four Afghan soldiers at the weekend: here.
Afghan women: here.