Afghanistan’s mineral riches and poor people

This video from the USA is about the war in Afghanistan. Droning, bombing & killing for Oil & Gas?

From AFP news agency today:

Afghan ‘geological reserves worth a trillion dollars’

Sun Jan 31, 7:48 am ET

KABUL – Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries, is sitting on mineral and petroleum reserves worth an estimated one trillion dollars, President Hamid Karzai said Sunday.

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.

3 thoughts on “Afghanistan’s mineral riches and poor people

  1. Big war spending continues under Obama

    Mon Feb 1, 2010 3:13pm GMT

    By Susan Cornwell

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday proposed another two years of hefty spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeking Congress’ approval for about $160 billion this year and again in fiscal 2011 to pay war costs.

    The war spending proposed by Obama is only slightly less than in each of the last two years of the administration of President George Bush and carries considerable political peril for the Democratic president who took office in 2009.

    Obama campaigned for the White House on ending the war in Iraq. His Democratic party, which has majorities in both houses of Congress, has a large, liberal, anti-war contingent that is wary of spending more money on the battlefield.

    U.S. troops are to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, but Obama is seeking to escalate the U.S. presence in Afghanistan this year to step up the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban. He hopes, however, to be able to start bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan in the middle of 2011.

    Obama announced in December he was adding 30,000 more U.S. troops to the Afghan war effort to join the 68,000 already fighting a resurgent Taliban.

    To pay for this surge, Obama on Monday asked for an additional $33 billion in the current 2010 fiscal year, on top of about $130 billion that Congress has already approved for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars through September 30, 2010.

    His proposed budget will also include a request for $159.3 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the 2011 fiscal year that begins on October 1.

    The peak for war funding in recent years was fiscal year 2008, Bush’s last year in office, when spending on war operations reached $185 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service. This was slightly more than the appropriations in fiscal 2007, which were $171 billion.

    The costs for the wars Iraq and Afghanistan has risen steeply since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, but until now Iraq was the larger expense. This is the first year that more money has been allocated to Afghanistan than Iraq, according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan budget research group.

    Obama’s budget released on Monday also includes a “placeholder” estimate of $50 billion for the year 2012 and beyond. But the administration’s budget documents noted that these estimates do not reflect any policy decisions about specific military or intelligence operations. So, those decisions are yet to come.

    The budget includes a proposal for sharply more funding to help Afghanistan’s neighbour Pakistan arm, train and equip its military in the fight against extremists. Obama asks for an increase in the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund from $700 million in fiscal 2009 to $1.2 billion next year.

    (Editing by Vicki Allen)


  2. Pingback: Drowning refugees fleeing ‘humanitarian’ wars | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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