Nine years old, the USA conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan show no signs of abating even as they morph monthly. There is widespread political discontent and a shattered economy in the United States to which these conflicts have made a major contribution. Several million refugees in three countries and one million displaced Iraqis living outside their country add their voice to a crescendo rising to the skies that pleads for peace. Will these huge, destructive and misguided wars ever end?
The rationale for the so-called Iraq War was a pack of lies as has been thoroughly exposed. Years late to the reality check, the western media has finally explained how VP Cheney knew there were no WMDs in Iraq, but that oil reserves in the country might well be the second highest in the world. Bingo, and then Bin Laden provided a vicious, traumatic attack upon the Twin Towers in NYC in 1991. The Neocon cabal had what they needed to simultaneously attack and invade Iraq and accelerate the ongoing extreme make-over of the United States government and economy. This second set of objectives prioritized: a) relentlessly completing wealth transfer to the upper elite millionaire class in tandem with extracting the last pennies from the working and middle classes via a plethora of 'new' programs.
These "programs" (shall we say backroom 'deals' made in the White House?) a) continued the transfer of political powers to the Presidential branch of government and the military, and b) accelerated the concentration of corporate power and wealth in the military industrial complex the Fortune 500, and the elite highest tier banks and financial institutions. The latter "complex" lives and breathes "products and services" that only support the goals of a hypnotic fascination with high rolling 'toxic paper' via hedge funds. Yes, there are two sectors of the USA economy that are booming.
As America proclaims the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq, the "lie" in that self-congratulatory oratory is immediately apparent. The USA leaves 50,000 well armed troops in Iraq for a period of time that the White House will not explain. Tens of thousands of military contractors will continue to roam the country, no doubt doing good deeds everywhere. Obama, Biden and Petraeus should be ashamed of their media explications that reached a crescendo in early September 2010, but arrogance, conceit, and a maniacal obsession with the dream of imperial America leave no room honesty. (Five stars to General Stanley McChrystal... seriously.)
Again, think oil. Interesting that the American bidding on the first oil development contracts that are mostly in Kurdistan was not competitive, and the Iraqis had no interest in a "deal" to make American access to Iraqi oil any easier. After 3 trillion dollars, an obscene expenditure in human lives - be they American, Iraqi or European (NATO) - creation of a refugee problem that exceeds one million by financing one faction (Sunni) in a religious civil war, devastating cultural and political destruction within a sovereign state who was/is pursued as a strategic ally in the war on terrorism, the USA has only one thing to show for this cruelty. America has its largest embassy in Baghdad, and dozens of large important military bases and airfields throughout the country. These serve the objectives of global imperialism, are essential to developing a strategic militarized circle around Russia and positioning for the long run against China.
Although vastly different on the nightly non-news, the situation in Afghanistan bears similarities to that in Iraq including the creation of a very large, international refugee population. Afghanistan's underground wealth may be $US One Trillion in iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium, although the report about these reserves is old and controversial. More important, the strategic asset value of Afghanistan to the United States and NATO remains its central position within Pipelinestan, a gigantic, complex oil and gas pipeline project that would traverse Central Asia. Which routes are chosen to bring Kazakhstan’s enormous oil reserves to market after production starts in 2013 will determine who controls the world's strategic energy supplies for the remainder of this century.
If the USA leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban will soon control two thirds of the provinces, perhaps Kabul and the sovereign state itself. The Taliban provide a long-term, secure sanctuary for Al Qaeda from which to plan, plot and kill in other countries. The Taliban win and AQ wins, we are endlessly told but is that true? USA loses unless it realizes that at the end of the day, an AQ sanctuary in Afghanistan is not important. AQ is embedded in many countries, any of which can serve as GHQ for planning the next bomb attack. Afghanistan is not essential to the war on terrorism, except within the megalomaniac fantasies of USA governments.
Recently the United States has opened serious talks with the Afghan Taliban, perhaps because the economic and public punishment at home has finally become too much too bear. Believe it, that if America does withdraw from Afghanistan in the coming year - which is hardly certain - it will return before long.
Not dependent on an Al Qaeda sanctuary next door is the situation in Pakistan. Karachi and Peshawar are cities with endless alleyways. Pakistan has come apart at the seams this summer of 2010 as the result of massive floods and the inability of a corrupt government to cope with the situation. Powers abhor a vacuum and the Pakistan military have done their best with nation-wide disaster relief. Nonetheless, the Taliban deliver serious humanitarian aid in the regions they control and are now expanding into.
Bribed and bullied by the USA once again, Pakistan will soon see an all-out war between the establishment military and the Taliban factions that Al Qaeda supports. The Pakistan establishment military and its powerful intelligence service (ISI) have long supported their Pashtun brothers in the Taliban. Whatever war might be conducted, as with the military actions of the past two years, it will have a labyrinthine complexity that is beyond the understanding of the United States presidencies and military. Pakistan was rebranded several years ago as the essential ally in the war against terrorism. Look at the map and then think about the fantasies of Petraeus and COIN.
The USA will never leave Pakistan because at the end of the day,
the Pakistan nuclear arsenal must be secured. The world stood at the brink of nuclear war between Pakistan and India in 2001 and that possibility must never occur again. Now, we have finally reached the last station on Stage Managing the War on Terror railroad. Yes, Al Qaeda unleashes suicidal terrorists that can wreck mayhem and kill brutally, be they trained abroad or one off home-grown jihadi's who co-opt the AQ brand for immediate status. Immersed in the dynamics of George Orwell's 1984, the world struggles with a reality more terrifying than yet another mad jihadi. With the Pakistan nuclear arsenal, we have reached something that carries ultimate death potential and is in a class by itself.
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Pakistan and the AfPAK War
Afghanistan and the AfPAK War
Drunk on War -
Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal
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