fghanistan is valued today for the oil and gas pipelines the U.S. wants built there, no matter what other reasons Obama gives.
“In the late 1990s,” writes Washington reporter Bill Blum in his “Anti-Empire Report,” “the American oil company, Unocal, met with Taliban officials in Texas to discuss the pipelines… Unocal’s talks with the Taliban, conducted with the full knowledge of the Clinton administration…continued as late as 2000 or 2001.” Adds Paul Craig Roberts writing in the December Rock Creek Free Press of Washington, D.C., the U.S./U.K. military aggression in Afghanistan “had to do with the natural gas deposits in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.” Roberts explains:
“The Americans wanted a pipeline that bypassed Russia and Iran and went through Afghanistan. To insure this, an invasion was necessary. The idiot American public could be told that the invasion was necessary because of 9/11 and to save them from ‘terrorism,’ and the utter fools would believe the lie.” The war, Roberts continued, is to guard the pipeline route. “It’s about money, it’s about energy, it’s not about democracy.”
According to an AP dispatch of November 26th, “The president promised this week to ‘finish the job’ begun eight years ago…but liberal Democrats already are lining up against it (escalation), in part because of the also-surging cost---up to $75 billion a year.” Describing the war in workplace terminology makes it sound as if Obama is running a personnel agency that was dispatching workers to build some public works, not as though he is continuing President George Bush’s illegal war.
Apparently, only escalation in Afghanistan was considered by Obama. As The Washington Post reported last December, “standing at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the United States is making a ‘sustained commitment’ to that country, one that will last ‘some protracted period of time.’” The story goes on to discuss $300 million in new construction at just one base, including a new power plant, electrical and water distribution systems, and housing for 1,500 personnel. Gates hardly would have made a “sustained commitment” if Obama planned to withdraw. And every day the war goes on while Obama mulls his options is a day of victory for the hawks.
In January, a Defense Department report stated “building a fully competent and independent Afghan government will be a
lengthy process that will last, at a minimum, decades,” The Nation magazine’s Jonathan Schell reports (Nov. 30). So far from defeating the Taliban are Allied forces that US military contractors “are forced to pay suspected insurgents to protect American supply routes,” Aram Roston writes in the same issue. “It is an accepted fact of the military logistics operation in Afghanistan that the US government funds the very forces American troops are fighting.” In fact, an American executive there told Roston, “The Army is basically paying the Taliban not to shoot at them. It is Department of Defense money.”
Nevertheless, the slick orator from Illinois continues U.S. aggression in the energy-rich Middle East. Obama clearly is no liberal, much less a progressive. He is a reactionary. He is advancing the militarist policies of the Bush-Cheney regime. He is defending the CIA. He is increasing the total Pentagon budget. He is expanding an illegal war into Pakistan. Once this is understood, the other pieces of Obama policy fall into place.