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Media Roots – Afghanistan: Endless War for Resource Control

Afghan Poppy Field

MEDIA ROOTS- Last year marked the tenth anniversary of America's invasion of Afghanistan, officially making it the longest war in US history. Now that Osama Bin Laden is finally confirmed dead, the federal government's logic of continuing the occupation remains unclear.

Initially, the Bush administration irrationally insisted that any sovereign nation harboring terrorists was itself complicit in "terror" and therefore open for pre-emptive US military action. This rationale is absurd– just because one criminal might be living inside of a particular country doesn't make that entire country guilty of the criminal's crimes.

In 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was quick to tell CNN that US forces had successfully pushed the Taliban and Al Qaeda out of the region, and reports reveal that Osama Bin Laden hadn't even been in Afghanistan since 2001. Additionally, a White House spokesperson recently admitted that there hasn't been a terrorist threat in the country for the last eight years.

So what has the US been doing in Afghanistan for the last decade?

War has always been about two things: resources and control. Alongside the supposed surprise discovery of Afghanistan's $1 trillion wealth of untapped minerals, it's more than coincidental that before the US invasion, the Taliban along with the UN had successfully eradicated the opium crop in the Golden Crescent. Now 90% of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan.

As reported by Global Research:

Heroin is a multibillion dollar business supported by powerful interests, which requires a steady and secure commodity flow. One of the "hidden" objectives of the war was precisely to restore the CIA sponsored drug trade to its historical levels and exert direct control over the drug routes.

Immediately following the October 2001 invasion, opium markets were restored. Opium prices spiraled. By early 2002, the opium price (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.

In 2001, under the Taliban opiate production stood at 185 tons, increasing  to 3400 tons in 2002 under the US sponsored puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai.

While highlighting Karzai's patriotic struggle against the Taliban, the media fails to mention that Karzai collaborated with the Taliban. He had also been on the payroll of a major US oil company, UNOCAL. In fact, since the mid-1990s, Hamid Karzai had acted as a consultant and lobbyist for UNOCAL in negotiations with the Taliban.

In today's globalized world, one can't discount the role that multinational corporations play in US foreign policy decisions. Not only have oil companies and private military contractors made a killing off the Afghanistan occupation: big pharmaceutical companies, who collectively lobby over $250 million to Congress annually, need opium latex to manufacture drugs for this pill happy nation.

Continue reading about Afghanistan: Endless War for Resource Control at Media Roots

Written by Abby Martin

www.MediaRoots.org

Correction

Last year marked the ninth anniversary, not tenth.

When General Petraeus spoke

When General Petraeus spoke at Brigham Young University about a year ago, my wife and I went to hear him. One student had the temerity to ask - after nearly 9 years in Afghanistan, why had not the US military wiped out the opium fields? given the US' "war on drugs" and all.

Petraeus smiled, then answered that they were "looking for a cash crop" to replace the opium, and when they found it, the opium would be gone.
Sure.

Strong analysis, Abby -- thank you.
Steve

:D

Thanks for the feedback Dr. Jones!