PART 2 out of 4
|By Mylene Doublet O’Kane, M.A.in Philosophy & History of Ideas, Teacher, writer, Israeli-French independent editorialist
|The original source is the French language. This in-depth review is in 4 sections. The reader must be aware that once he has started to read, he may not stop. The philosophical analysis implies the claim of initial postulates which may not reflect the final conclusions.
|The author is an experienced teacher. She has developed a personal technique which favors understanding for both French |and English speakers.
This work was necessary to help the ordinary man connect the dots between the History of ideas, (Geo)-politics, ethics and the future of mankind. This is why nobody wanted to take the risk to write it. Hence, it is my personal honour and privilege to present this address, at a time when other thinkers in the West, among them the very greatest, are condemned to silence, thus to an exile from their fellow men.
3/ Germany “has had enough” of being seen as the “American docile scapegoat” in Europe.
Some days ago, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung [newspaper] announced:
“The American Congress has taken the first steps toward Washington’s annulling of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The INF, or Washington Treaty on Mid-range Nuclear Systems, is a bilateral agreement reached between the United States and the Soviet Union on the decommissioning of short- and mid-range missiles (with a range of between 500 and 5,500 miles), and the banning of their production. The treaty, signed on 8 December 1987 by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, led to a significant reduction of US nuclear weapons in Europe. The nuclear-armed mid-range Pershing II missiles, whose stationing in Western Europe five years earlier had triggered the largest peace demonstrations to that point in history, were withdrawn. With no objective reason, a major shift would soon be set into motion. Europe would stand on the brink of a new nuclear era with new nuclear mid-range missiles. Reasons advocated for the potential ending of the treaty are the “deep freeze” in US-Russia relations and the U.S will to comprehensively modernize their nuclear arsenals”.
Minutes after U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence took off from Europe almost three weeks ago, both German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Martin Schultz (German Social Democratic Party leader) publicly floated the idea of banning the U.S. from maintaining a nuclear arsenal in their country. Although technically owned by the U.S., hardly anybody knows that aside of France and The United Kingdom, nuclear warheads stored at NATO bases are effectively located in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Turkey ; countries which are declared “non-nuclear” lands. As Eben Harrell puts it in both Time articles ( Time, June 19, 2008 and Time, December 2, 2009) “these nations are declared non-nuclear nations, which is a violation of the spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). There are assumed to be 130 U.S. nuclear warheads at the Ramstein and 20 at the Buechel airbases in Germany and 20 at the Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium.” Additionally, there are reports of dozens more in Italy (at Aviano and Ghedi) and even more, the largest amount of American nuclear weapons outside the United States itself, in Turkey at the Incirlik airbase. (Turkish Daily News, June 30, 2008).
Earlier last June, the Europeans were ordered to increase their military budget up to 2% of their GPD for an obvious reason which is to support the U.S. Dollar. As Rick Rozoff wrote in his articles “Stop NATO”: ” F-35 for instance, is the Joint Strike Fighter multirole warplane which its manufacturer Lockheed Martin boasts ‘Provides the United States and allied governments with an affordable, stealthy 5TH generation fighter for the 21st century.’ Far from the end of the Cold War signaling the elimination of the danger of a nuclear catastrophe in Europe, the U.S expansion over the past decade has now brought it as far as to Russia’s borders. Five full member states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland) and as many Partnership for “Peace” adjuncts (Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine) directly adjoin Russian territory and for over five years, NATO warplanes have conducted air patrols over the Baltic Sea region, a three minute flight from St. Petersburg”.
In the wage of the new campaing against “Sunni terrorism” in Central Asia, Washington plays on multiple boards with a view to:
- NOT defeating a terrorism that the U.S. has helped to relocate in this region,
- NOT fighting the obsolete narrative of the “Red Scare” in Europe
- BUT to rebuilding its own currency.
As often, the explosive reports by the German press have been totally ignored by the U.S. print and broadcast media. The only logical reason points to a hysterical campaign being mounted by the U.S. and NATO’s compelled servants “over military exercises planned by the Russian military in western Russia, Belarus and Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad later this month, with Washington and its allies suggesting that they could be used as a ‘Trojan horse’ to pre-position weapons stockpiles and prepare an invasion of the Baltic states”. The only truth is that the U.S. has spent decades in provocative military exercises and dissemination of false narrative. The U.S. war machine simply cannot afford to lose NATO. “The Pentagon has deployed seven US F-15C fighter planes to a base in Lithuania along with an additional 600 US airborne troops to the Baltics in advance of the war games.”
The Pentagon has divided the world into a scary network of six separate geographic so-called Unified Combatant Commands to oversee and impose a so-called global ‘Pax Americana’. “For instance, Canada is assigned to USNORTHCOM, and countries such as Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and France are assigned to USEUCOM. Japan and China are assigned to USPACOM etc”, notes my colleague Pr Rodrigue Tremblay, before adding:
“According to Pew Research and government statistics, the U.S. has 73.206 troops in Asia, 62.635 troops in Europe and 25.124 in the Middle East and north Africa. And this, is the basic infrastructure.(…) Notwithstanding either the inner wishes of the American people, the U.S. Constitution in terms of separation of powers, expenditures, legality or the creation of a military-industrial complex establishing a questionable symbiosis between industries, particular interests, The Congress and the White House, Americans must recognize that their democracy has become a de facto authoritarian, neo-fascist Empire, with very little left to U.S. fiscal budget for social programs on the domestic front.”
On the financial level,
4/ Germany has lately repatriated 1/3 of its gold reserves detained in the U.S., whereas many countries including European countries are constantly denied this “inialenable right of the nations to rapatry their own wealth”.
5/ Most robust Bankers are cynically dropping the U.S. dollar.
For instance, Lord Jacob Rothschild, founder and chairman of RIT Capital Partners, has decided to substantially minimize his exposure to what he views as “a risky and unstable U.S. capital market”. In the half-yearly financial report for RIT Capital Partners, Rothschild has justified :
“the company’s aggressive moves to significantly reduce exposure to U.S. assets. We do not believe this is an appropriate time to add to risk. Share prices have, in many cases, risen to unprecedented levels at a time when economic growth is by no means assured. Additionally, quantitative easing (QE) programs employed by central banks, such as the Federal Reserve Bank in the U.S. will come to an end. The period of monetary ‘accommodation’ may well be coming to an end”.
Signaling ‘a potential disaster in the making in the United States financial markets’, Rothschild reduced the investments RIT Capital Partners would detain in the U.S. dollar by nearly fifty percent. On December 31, 2016, RIT Capital Partners reported a 62 percent net value asset investment in U.S. dollars. In the latest report, released by RIT Capital Partners on June 30, 2017, the company has a 37 percent net value asset investment in U.S. dollars. Over that same period of time, Rothschild increased RIT’s investment in Sterling, in the Euro and in the European energy market, while non-western immigration is at full speed.
During the 9th BRICS Summit which has been held in Xiamen, China, on September 4 and 5, agreements reducing dollar dependency have been signed. Both Russia and China have developed debit cards (MIR/UNION) and payment systems to prepare dollar’s collapse and recurring “war” sanctions. Vladimir Putin recently declared:
“Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies. We will also work towards a more balanced distribution of quotas and voting shares within the IMF and the World Bank.
I am confident that the BRICS countries will continue to act in a consolidated manner against protectionism and new barriers in global trade. We value the BRICS countries’ consensus on this issue, which allows us to more consistently advocate the foundations of an open, equal and mutually beneficial multilateral trade system and to strengthen the role of the WTO as the key regulator in international trade.
Russia’s initiative on the development of cooperation among the BRICS countries’ antimonopoly agencies is aimed at creating effective mechanisms to encourage healthy competition. The goal is to create a package of cooperation measures to work against the restrictive business practices of large multinational corporations and trans-border violations of competition rules. I would also like to draw your attention to Russia’s initiative on the establishment of a BRICS Energy Research Platform. We believe that this would enable us to coordinate our information, analysis and research activities in the interests of the five BRICS countries and would ultimately facilitate the implementation of joint energy investment projects.
Undoubtedly, the North Korea’s leader is a megalomaniac personality which may be or not associated with mental pathologies. Meanwhile, the Manichean judgment may be worse than the cure. I would like to draw your attention to a few remarks:
1/ North Korea, China, and India, are the only three nations in the world who have committed to a “no nuclear first” policy. In other words, they have pledged never to use nuclear weapons “first”, but reserve the right to use them, if attacked.
2/ Until recently, North Korea has repeatedly asked the U.S. to engage in bilateral talks to cool off the ever-escalating tension. Each time, the offer was however coldly or sarcastically rejected by both Obama and Trump. To threaten a country to “rain fire and fury” is an empty threat which does not provide any solution, considering the position of China as an unavoidable actor of the American economy. Why won’t the US talk to North Korea? The Neocons, the Deep State, and media argument insist that Kim Jong-Un is a “dangerous psychopath”, which therefore makes the dialogue or negotiations impossible. Nevertheless, distant or recent history illustrates the recurring U.S. strategy of demonization, until the war option appears a moral justification for a regime change policy. The sole unadmitted and inadmissible ulterior motive aims at alienating the last resilient countries to American totalitarianism. Manuel Noriega in Panama, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Syria’s Assad, serve as recent examples.
Likewise, many years from now, this attitude of demonization has been applied to the Taliban’s offer to turn over Osama Bin Laden, and Bush rejected it after dropping an imbecilic comment of his own :‘ We don’t talk to such people’. Mr Bush had obviously forgotten that his own grandfather, Sheldon, had nurtured questionable commercial and banking relationships with Nazi Germany. Sixteen years after “Operation Enduring Freedom”, the U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan and a new war is about to burst between the same players. We shall discuss this point shortly. Mr George Bush also referred to North Korea leader as a “pygmy whose regime he wanted to topple”. He also prepared a policy of “preemptive attack”, and referred to North Korea as a member of the “axis of evil”. Quite unsurprisingly, North Korea left the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty soon thereafter, while throwing all inspectors out of the country.
3/ North Korea have agreed to suspend its nuclear tests, if the U.S. conducts of “war games” that simulate the overthrow of the North Korean government stop. For the present year, there were almost 400,000 soldiers participating under the evocative name of “Operation Decapitation”. In other words, the same NATO “war games” repetitions and provocations occurring in the Baltic countries [against Russia] is a well-oiled childish U.S. strategy.
4/ Hardly anyone knows that the Korean conflict (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) has never officially ended. Had a final treaty be signed, the U.S. would have had no legal basis for either the occupation of South Korea or the continuous stay of military bases. The opportunity of their presence is regularly questioned by the South Korean population who argues that U.S. provocations put their lives at risk to pressure China in both economic and geopolitical arenas. The ongoing competition to capture gigantic South China Sea oil reserves is another huge concern for global peace stability. The U.S. presence in the pacific is largely seen as an aggressive attempt to implement an unconditional western domination only benefitting a western class of ‘happy few’ and local expendable elites.
5/ In 1993, a couple of years after the U.S.S.R collapse, the United States re-targeted hydrogen bombs from the late Soviet Union to North Korea.
6/ The recent leader of South Korea was impeached for “corruption”, and there is a pending election to decide on new leadership. The opposition party wants the U.S. out of South Korea, and also wants the THAAD missile system, recently installed by the U.S., dismantled.
7/ The U.S. war machine’s best servile servant and best partner in fabricating evidence – namely Great Britain – has somehow lately surprised the British citizens when Theresa May announced that she would be “willing to use nuclear weapons in a “first strike”. Intelligence Experts suggest that North Korea has perhaps 8 nuclear weapons, but has no effective delivery system. The US has 7,000, of which a large number are deployed against North Korea.
As Pr Joe Clifford adds quite wisely:
“North Korea has not invaded or attacked any nation since the end of the Korean War, whereas the US has bombed over 30 countries. How many countries is the US currently bombing? Under which NATO’s official mandates?
Concerning Korean Peninsula, Vladimir Putin believes that “the policy of putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile. The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions. Provocations, pressure, militarist and insulting rhetoric are a dead-end road. Russia and China have created a roadmap for a settlement on the Korean Peninsula that is designed to promote the gradual easing of tensions and the creation of a mechanism for lasting peace and security”. As his closest economic partner, China’s Xi Jing Ping uncomfortable position translates the U.S. attempts to put pressure on the ‘One China’s policy in the China South Sea as well as on her economic partnerships, on her U.S. sovereign debts, on her financial assets and on China’s currency policy which tries to avoid recurring western bankers-backed destabilizations . Besides, neither China nor Russia would accept to be “belt” by NATO. Would the U.S. accept so?
A NEW WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WHAT FOR?
Afghanistan enjoys a strategic location connecting Central Asia to South Asia and East Asia to West Asia. Its unique geolocation on the Silk Road and its natural resources have always attracted regional or major foreign powers eager to take control over its economic assets and spread their political or ideological rhetoric in this wild and mountainous landscape.
In 1979, the Soviet Union favorably replied to the local leading Communist party’s call for help, accordingly to mutual defense agreements, after being threatened by a US-fomented armed rebellion. During the 1979-1988 war opposing the two main power blocs, Afghanistan was US-fueled with foreign soldiers of Allah [Mujahideen] coming from as many Sunni countries as Morocco, Egypt or Saudi Arabia to assist their ‘brothers’ against the ‘mean’ Russian enemy. After the war, Afghanistan sank into a civil war for the control of country. In 1996, the Talibans [religious students originated from the southern regions] eventually installed an Islamic power and restored a relative peace in the country. Meanwhile, the north eastern region [largely Tajik] remained under control of a heterogeneous coalition [the Northern Alliance or War Lords] whose main figures were Massoud and Dostum. On 9 September 2001, Massoud was assassinated. Two days later, the September 11 attacks were carried out in the United States. Upon utterly suspicious if not groundless bases, the U.S. government suspected Osama bin Laden as the perpetrator of the attacks “with an alleged active help of the Talibans”. As soon as early October, the U.S. launched “Operation Enduring Freedom” and began working with the Northern Alliance to remove the Talibans from power. The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade and occupy Afghanistan under “the doctrine of collective security” was that “the September 11 2001 attacks constituted an undeclared armed attack from abroad by an unnamed foreign power, namely Afghanistan”. No Afghan was ever found in the planes. Saudi Arabia’s funds were involved. The only plane allowed to taking off the U.S. soil after the tragedy would transport Saudi Arabia’s royal members and dignitaries.
Seventeen years later, a new war is about to burst on the same motive -. a total war on terrorism -, whereas Sunni ISIS and proxies are US-Saudi Arabia funded and whereas Afghan-Taliban Haqqani network and other insurgent groups are allegedly suspected of receiving help from “duplicitious” Pakistani and Iranian neighbors. The U.S. plan includes India’s rally, India-Pakistan escalation of violence and cancellations of bi-lateral economic agreements, permanent stay in Afghanistan to refrain possible exchange of nuclear documentations or capacities between Pakistan and Iran. In addition, to isolate Iran is also part of the effort to overthrow Bashar Al Assad’s Syrian regime which will translate in cutting the Iranian assistance to Lebanon-based Hezbollah. In other words, both central Asia and the Middle East are going to be set on fire, and gigantic Iraqi and Syrian oil fields are planned to be somehow captured, as a ‘fair’ reimbursement for ‘bringing back peace and democracy’ in both regions.
Another convenient result is rightly mentioned by researcher and expert Najibullah Nurzai:
“Since their independence, India and Pakistan have been engaged in a protracted mutual hostility, with each country seeking to enhance its security and self-protection. To this end, they have acquired nuclear weapons, purchased sophisticated military technologies, and partnered with powerful states. Moves by one of them would cause the other to feel suspicious and insecure. However, the main reason behind the escalation of a spiral of distrust and hostility is due to the misinterpretation of motives and intentions by the decision-makers in both countries”.
Both New Delhi and Islamabad seem to be trapped in a broader U.S. strategy consisting in avoiding that China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and smaller surrounding countries somehow manage to develop closer regional economic partnerships.
“In the post-Taliban era, besides other donors in Afghanistan, India has played a significant role in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan by providing development assistance worth $2 billion, focusing primarily on infrastructure development, institutional capacity building, agriculture and food security, health, education, and scholarship programs”. In contrast, during the previous period [the one which followed the fall of the Taliban in 2001], the “Bonn Agreement” was supposed to lay the foundation for U.S. and NATO-backed state-building efforts in Afghanistan. The agreement sought to establish a new constitution, an independent judiciary, free and fair elections, a centralized security sector and a bold plan for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. Western companies started to pour in the country. However, 80% of the international aid dedicated to Afghanistan’s reconstruction would finally head back to American, British and other western head offices. Unlike what was initially promised, Afghans workers did not reconstruct their roads and homes but rather became even poorer than before, and a wide political class formed of ex War lords would leave Taliban President Amid Zarkaï battle alone, against tremendous corruption and incompetency. To many Afghans, this is what ‘bringing democracy’ has meant.
As for Pakistan, the country could not afford to help Afghanistan as much as India, depending itself on U.S. financial and military assistance. In this respect, Washington has lately started to put pressure on Islamabad in withholding $ 300 million in military assistance budget. Congressmen and former U.S. diplomats are also suggesting a possible overall cut off the financial support, and even economic sanctions to push Pakistan into a North Korea-type of isolation. In addition, India and Pakistan have always had political dissentions and recurring religious-ethnical conflicts along their common porous and insecure border. Besides, Islamabad regularly claims that the Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies jointly support the Baloch separate movement. However, during his last independence day’s speech, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized on Pakistan’s atrocities and oppression in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, while at the same time refusing to acknowledge similar atrocities and human right violations in India-administered Kashmir. This type of complicated diplomatic relations may easily deteriorate in a nasty manner such as it would eventually play in favor of India’s fast and entire rally to Washington’s position on the region. This is precisely what’s the U.S. are looking for with a view to forcing India’s absolute submission. Nevertheless, “in the past decade and a half, Afghanistan, with the partnership of neighboring states – has inked a series of regional infrastructure projects such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI) and the Central Asia-South Asia Electricity Transmission project. Both are not only pivotal for the future of Afghanistan, but also for other signatories in the region. As a landlocked state, Afghanistan has ultimately gained direct access to Chabahar port, with the partnership of Iran and India. This port should by no means be seen as a competition to other efforts in the region, but as a necessity for regional trade and economic cooperation”.
Can a lucid assessment and reciprocal regional agreements be stronger than foreign country particular interests? The new war coming tends to prove that these countries have already lost the right to decide for themselves.
It might not be true for India though, as a Russia-India strategic partnership has existed for many years between the two countries. Although the country has been cooperating in the military and technical sphere with multiple other nations such as technologically advanced powerhouses like the USA, France, South Korea and Japan, India is the largest importer of Russian defence industry. Joint military exercises on a regular basis and the annual Russian-Indian maneuvers can be considered as strong signs of mutual trust between the two countries. “Indra-2017” will be held on Russian territory, as planned, in the fall of 2017. Besides, thanks to the Russian expertise in many other areas and to a long tradition of reciprocal respect between the two countries, not only has India seriously begun developing its own defence industry in the recent years, but from sept 2014 forward, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also launched the “Make in India” initiative. The goal is to bring Indian industry to a new technological level which will create many jobs and ensure a significant flow of foreign investment. In accordance with the program, India is planning to develop different kinds of high-tech production in all spheres. In addition to promising economic profits, India expects to make a leap in the scientific and technical sphere.
Military and technical cooperation is obviously not just in the sphere of international trade. Trust, respect and common strategic interests in the region also play a part in the special significance of Russian-Indian relations. It is no surprise that India relies on Russian support to maintain its position in its competition with Pakistan and China, as well as to combat the terrorist threat irrigating from the Middle East. Reciprocally, Russia also needs a powerful India to ensure stability in Central Asia, notably in the former Soviet republics near the Russian border. Thus, Russian-Indian strategic partnership would be a poor move from India to put in jeopardy.
The economic reasons why US- led NATO forces are about to set Central Asia on fire:
U.S. plan to capture Afghanistan natural resources.
Afghanistan is at the crossroads of pipeline routes and major oil and gas reserves. Hence, it is a strategic resource route to control. Today, Afghanistan is commonly known as a transit country for oil and gas. However, hardly anyone knows that the country is a treasury of natural resources that the U.S. war machine wants to capture by a perpetual presence.
In the 1960s, Soviet specialists discovered huge gas reserves and built the first gas pipeline in the country to supply gas to [present Uzbekistan]. At that time, the Soviet Union used to receive 2.5 bn cubic meters of Afghan gas annually. During the same period, large deposits of gold, fluorite, barites and marble onyxes that have a very rare pattern were found.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Geological surveys conducted by the Soviet Union confirmed the existence of vast reserves of copper (among the largest in Eurasia), iron, high grade chrome ore, uranium, beryl, barite, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, lithium, tantalum, emeralds, gold and silver.(in “Afghanistan, Mining Annual Review”, The Mining Journal, June, 1984).
According to a joint report by the Pentagon, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and USAID: “Afghanistan is now said to possess “previously unknown” and untapped mineral reserves, estimated authoritatively to be of the order of one trillion dollars(…) Afghanistan could become “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”. Lithium is an increasingly vital resource, used in batteries for everything from mobile phones to laptops and key to the future of the electric car.
More substantially, it is a crucial component for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
(…) At present Chile, Australia, China and Argentina are the main suppliers of lithium to the world market. Bolivia and Chile are the countries with the largest known reserves of lithium. (…) The Pentagon has been conducting ground surveys in western Afghanistan. Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large as those of Bolivia” (in New York Times, “U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan”, June 14, 2010, or on BBC, 14 June 2010).
Key question is to know whether or not, both the U.S. Administration, the U.S. government, the Congress and America’s business elites knew about Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth (Rubies, Emeralds…) and energy resources (including natural gas, coal and oil) prior to the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1988).
In other words, has the public opinion been lied to for the past forty years and more probably than not, much longer than that? What was the justification for attacking a whole people on groundless bases in 2001? Where was the U.N. mandate? What’s the justification for seventeen years of continuous presence? What’s the reason for another likely bloody war in central Asia, while the mainstream media is preparing to feed public opinion with more military and civilian fatalities, odious casualties, gazed children, displaced populations, and a devastated, “resourceless”, developing country?
As Pr Michel Chossudovsky wrote in 2010:
“The “previously unknown deposits” sustains a falsehood. It excludes Afghanistan’s vast mineral wealth as a justifiable casus belli. It says that the Pentagon only recently became aware that Afghanistan was among the World’s most wealthy mineral economies, comparable to The Democratic Republic of the Congo or former Zaire of the Mobutu era. The Soviet geopolitical reports were known. During the Cold War, all this information was known in minute detail“.
Among others, John C.K. Daly offers in-depth analysis and brings solid evidence :
“Extensive Soviet exploration produced superb geological maps and reports that listed more than 1,400 mineral outcroppings, along with about 70 commercially viable deposits (…) The Soviet Union subsequently committed more than $650 million for resource exploration and development in Afghanistan, with proposed projects including an oil refinery capable of producing a half-million tons per annum, as well as a smelting complex for the Ainak deposit that was to have produced 1.5 million tons of copper per year. In the wake of the US-orchestrated Soviet withdrawal, a subsequent World Bank analysis projected that the Ainak copper production, alone, could eventually capture as much as 2 percent of the annual world market. The country is also blessed with massive coal deposits, one of which, the Hajigak iron deposit, in the Hindu Kush mountain range west of Kabul, is assessed as one of the largest high-grade deposits in the world. In Northern Afghanistan, Amu Darya Basin’s natural gas reserves are estimated around 5 trillion cubic feet. “. (in UPI, John C.K. Daly, Analysis: Afghanistan’s untapped energy, October 24, 2008).
“It turns out that Afghanistan possesses reserves of nonferrous and ferrous metals and precious stones, and, if exploited, they would possibly be able to cover even the earnings from the drug industry. The copper deposit in Aynak in the southern Afghan Helmand Province is said to be the largest in the Eurasian continent, and its location (40 km from Kabul) makes it cheap to develop. The iron ore deposit at Hajigak in the central Bamian Province yields ore of an extraordinarily high quality, the reserves of which are estimated to be 500m tonnes. A coal deposit has also been discovered not far from there.
However, the pegmatite fields discovered to the east of Kabul are a real sensation. Rubies, beryllium, emeralds and kunzites and hiddenites that cannot be found anywhere else – the deposits of these precious stones stretch for hundreds of kilometres. Also, the rocks containing the rare metals beryllium, thorium, lithium and tantalum are of strategic importance (they are used in air and spacecraft construction) in Olga Borisova, “Afghanistan – the Emerald Country”, Karavan, Almaty, original Russian, translated by BBC News Services, Apr 26, 2002. p. 10)
Pr Michen Chussodevsky carries on: “From much before the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979, Washington’s objective has been to sustain a geopolitical foothold in Central Asia”.
Afghanistan’s Natural Gas
Pr Chussodevsky insists: “Afghanistan is a land bridge. The 2001 U.S. led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been analysed by critics of US foreign policy as a means to securing control over the strategic trans-Afghan transport corridor which links the Caspian sea basin to the Arabian sea.
Several trans-Afghan oil and gas pipeline projects have been contemplated including the planned $8.0 billion TAPI pipeline project (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) of 1900 km., which would transport Turkmen natural gas across Afghanistan in what is described as a “crucial transit corridor”. (See Gary Olson, Afghanistan has never been the ‘good and necessary’ war; it’s about control of oil, The Morning Call, October 1, 2009). Military escalation under the extended Af-Pak war bears a relationship to TAPI. Turkmenistan possesses third largest natural gas reserves after Russia and Iran. Strategic control over the transport routes out of Turkmenistan have been part of Washington’s agenda since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Golden Crescent Drug Trade
America’s covert war, namely its support to the Mujahideen “Freedom fighters” (also known as (aka) Al Qaeda) was also geared towards the development of the Golden Crescent trade in opiates, which was used by US intelligence to fund the insurgency directed against the late Soviet Union.
“The Golden Crescent trade in opiates constitutes, at present, the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s export economy. The heroin trade, instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979 and protected by the CIA, generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year.
Since the 2001 invasion, narcotics production in Afghanistan has increased more than 35 times. In 2009, opium production stood at 6900 tons, compared to less than 200 tons in 2001. In this regard, the multibillion dollar earnings resulting from the Afghan opium production largely occur outside Afghanistan. According to United Nations data, the revenues of the drug trade accruing to the local economy are of the order of 2-3 billion annually. In contrast with the Worldwide sales of heroin resulting from the trade in Afghan opiates, in excess of $200 billion” In (Michel Chossudovsky, “America’s War on Terrorism”, Montreal, 2005)
“Instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war and protected by the CIA, the drug trade developed over the years into a highly lucrative multibillion undertaking. It was the cornerstone of America’s covert war in the 1980s. Today, under US-NATO military occupation, the drug trade generates cash earnings in Western markets in excess of $200 billion dollars a year. (In Michel Chossudovsky, “Heroin is Good for Your Health: Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade”, Montreal, April 29, 2007)
SYRIA’S FUTURE: TOWARDS A BALKANIZATION PHENOMENON
The conflict has lasted seven years, murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians including Christians, causing millions of displaced populations, driving ethnic groups into slavery and subsequently creating an immigration crisis in Europe. Finally, U.S.-led coalition and Saudi Arabia have admitted that their plan to oust Bashar al-Assad by military force as a part of their effort to contain and isolate Iran has failed. Over the past ten months, ISIS/ISIL cells, Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front terrorist organization etc. have quietly been relocated in Afghanistan and other spots in Central Asia with a view to preparing and morally justifying the next military intervention, while the Syrian opposition and Bashar al-Assad are now given six months to reach a mutually acceptable compromise. But to solve the puzzle is obviously much more complex that it may appear. Very recently, Riyadh has signaled “its willingness to hold talks with Russia over the Syrian crisis”. Translated into diplomatic language, this move suggests Saudi King Salman’s desire to maintain a certain influence over Syrian affairs. The ultimate goal is to contain and ring Shia Iran. In exchange, Riyadh is “ready to bring [Sunni] Syrian rebel groups to negotiating table”. The first round of talks will begin on sept 14 and 15 2017 in Astana (Kazakhstan’s Capital).
- From North to south
Syrian forces have already recaptured the northern city of Aleppo, while they continue to secure Syria’s southern border with Jordan and Iraq west of the Euphrates. In other words, U.S.-led coalition and its Persian Gulf partners in crime have admitted their defeat in this area.
Meanwhile, the city of Idlib and its countryside surrounding remains the most problematic territory since it directly link Syria to Turkish border, where militants including Salafist organization Al-Nusra Front are still receiving supplies, weapons, and reinforcements from NATO. Hence, the problem is this one : Riyadh continues to maintain control over Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front which embodies the core of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) [covertly standing for] the ‘Assembly for Liberation of the Levant’. Not only is it very unlikely that Russia would accept a terrorist organization to the negotiating table; “a Salafist Jihadist organization which was formed in 2012 as an affiliate of Al Qaeda and branded by some U.S. mainstream media as ‘the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force'”, but the terrorist organization managed to expel the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham from key positions in Idlib province last July.
As of for now, these two are competing in the region and President Erdogan will never tolerate the implementation of a Kurdish state starting along his eastern border; not withstanding his duplicitious past behavior in Turkish Eastern Anatolia’s region or the fact that he has helped ISIS’ relocation in the Sinai desert region
With the complex nature of Western-sponsored militants now fully exposed, with Russian and Iranian forces present on the battlefield which are deeply invested in Damascus’ victory, and considering the pivotal role that president Erdogan plays between Syria and the European immigration crisis, it is all but inevitable that virtually everything west of the Euphrates will return to Damascus’ control. What about East of the Euphrates?
- East of the Euphrates
East of the Euphrates lies the city of Raqqa which symbolically and geographically embodies a battlefield for US-backed Kurdish forces and the US-Saudi armed and funded militants of ISIS. Beyond this point lies a vast expanse of territory which is being claimed and tenuously held by the Kurdish forces, while the Syrian military is still occupying areas of control, notably in Qamishli and Al Hasakah. Most of Syria’s oil reserves are located east of the Euphrates. Then this explains that: Across the Euphrates, East of Dier ez-Zor, a recent Kurdish offensive was launched aiming at preventing Bashar al-Assad’s regular Army from crossing the river. Nonetheless, Syrian forces have somehow managed this strategic crossing, urging the United States and its proxies to complete the second initial objective. The first one was to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime in order to cut out the corridor between Iran and Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization, as well as to put a hold on Syria’s natural resources. The second one was to reproduce a balkanization of the region, in the exact same way as the operation was conducted in former Yugoslavia. The hope was/is to install enduring tension between Sunni and Shia Islam, between Islam and Christianity as well as to fuel ethnic conflicts whenever wished to morally justify a prolonged U.S. presence in the region
Meanwhile, considering Syrian government positions scattered across Kurdish militant-held territory, and with a solid position in Deir ez-Zor east of the Euphrates, Kurdish fighters would be required to undertake a perilous and costly campaign to push Syrian forces back in order to finalize the nation’s division.
It would require direct US military assistance which would risk a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Syria’s allies Russia and Iran. Key question is how far is the United States willing to go to fulfill its secondary objective of dividing Syria? If it is crucial for the security of Israel, how deep and resilient is Sunni/ Shia hatred?
The reality shows that the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq which translated the ambition of re-installing a Hashemite government in Iraq to reunite Iraq and Jordan was a childish attempt at best; more abundantly a solemn absurdity marveling at commanding more loyalty from Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon than Iran. There was absolutely no willingness among any faction in Iraq to restore a monarchy that was overthrown by Saddam Hussein in the 1958 revolution, which many Iraqis continue to look back on with a national pride. Quite ironically, the best Arab stronghold against a leading Iran in the region was Saddam Hussein. Ever since and crescendo during the Syrian conflict, Iraq’s majority Shia population has rallied militarily, ideologically and spiritually around Iran. As striking evidence, Iraq has recently signed a defensive military pact with Tehran. In addition, it is an open secret to mention that Shia volunteer brigades – which are fighting ISIS in Iraq – have received extensive training and support from Iranian experts.
@Mylene Doublet O’Kane ( Part 2) to be continued
Editor’s note : End of Part 2 out of 4 parts published under the same title
Republishing of the articles is welcomed with references to TCO.
The views of the authors do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the editorial board.