Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ask an Afghan about the future of Afghanistan?!

Geez, what a novel concept! Excellent article by Greg Palast.

"Now that the sonovabitch is dead, why is the US still angry with us?"

"Us", in this conversation, are the Taliban. The SOB in question is Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban’s frustration was relayed to me by Yahya Maroofi, Counsellor to Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai – Karzai's Kissinger, if Kissinger had a soul.

The Silk Road nation of Kazakhstan is an excellent place to encounter the dervishes of the Great Game for control of the camel-and-pipeline routes of the Central Asian steppes. Here we can witness the diplomatic-military idiocies of new empires pathetically attempting to ignore the dried skeletons of the imperial forces that went before them.

Maroofi was spending the day in Kazakhstan’s capital on his way to little-noticed peace negotiations – little noticed because neither Uncle Sam nor Great-Uncle Britain were invited. Attendance is limited to those frontline states that will be left holding the grenade when the US and UK pull out the pin with the removal of their troops in 2014. The lineup includes Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan (birthplace of the Boston Bombers) and the big new swinging dick on the block, Turkey, as well as Iran, the nation most feared and despised by the Taliban. The unannounced guests, of course, are the Taliban themselves....

However, it is the hope of most Afghans, and the goal of the Karzai government, not to kill Taliban, but to bring them into the government.

Or, as Maroofi explains, to recognise publicly that “the Taliban are already in the government, in the Parliament, in control of governorships” – but not openly. The talks among the frontline nations are to bring the Taliban back to its roots as a political organisation, not an armed insurgency.

Chinese state companies are today lining up in Kabul with shovels and signing bonuses. Maroofi likes Chinese companies – they're more likely to provide jobs than baksheesh. Unlike Western companies.

Baksheesh. Bribes. Corruption. It was this topic that set Maroofi on a long rip. Yes, Afghans have been showered with billions in bribes, backhanders and corrupt deals, but who's paying those bribes? Who's doing the corrupting?

“Karzai told Lockheed [Lockheed Martin, the defence technology company], ‘You give hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to my family and to my minister’s families because you expect to buy influence. You’re not getting influence, and you’re not getting your money back, either.'”

Right now, the Taliban are ready – if reluctantly – for the peace deal, in order to get a piece of the resource action. And they're astonished that, with that sonovabitch Osama dead, the US still holds a grudge.

Why? Face it: if Karzai can end the war, then the winner of the Great Game is… China. After all, the US has almost all the ore it needs under the States or within easy grabbing distance from Canada and Latin America. And unlike China, desperate for those gas pipelines from Kyrgyzstan and oil lines from the Caspian, the US has fracked natural gas and oil coming out its arse. Indeed, unleashing Afghanistan’s resource riches will only crash the price of commodity reserves held by US companies.

Afghanistan’s peace is China’s economic life-line and America’s commodity price recession.
The last ¶ is the money shot:

General Joe is not worried. “You can accuse me of being an optimist and I’ll plead guilty,” that Afghanistan is set for war without end. For US corporations, that means a profit centre without end, because even after US troops go, the military-industrial gravy train – boarded by contractors, special ops mercenaries, “development” agencies and their fixers – will continue to roll.
General Joe might not know a Tajik from a camel fart, but he knows who he works for. Much, much more. Worth a read.


BadTux said...

Yeppers, General Joe works for the current century's version of the same people thatGeneral Smedley Butler worked for. Except unlike General Butler, General Joe apparently lacks a soul.

- Badtux the History Penguin

Gordon said...

Yep, same racket.