The Banana Peel of Militarism

From The RampartsJunious Ricardo StantonObama and the Banana Peel of Militarism“WASHINGTON — With a bloody suicide bombing near the Khyber Pass adding urgency to his words, President Obama announced on Friday that he plans to further bolster American forces in Afghanistan, increase aid to Pakistan, and set strict standards for measuring progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in both chaotic countries.” can’t say he didn’t warn us. Less than sixty days in office and President Obama seems determined to slide down the slippery slope of military escalation in the US misadventure in Afghanistan. Candidate Obama electrified the anti-war base in the Democratic Party by railing against the invasion and occupation of Iraq, calling, it a war that “should never have been authorized and never been waged.” Even as he stumped the country in search of votes denouncing the folly of the Iraq War/occupation he gave hope to the military -industrial complex by promising to enlarge the Army and Marine Corps and expand the war in Afghanistan. Most people were so disgusted with the Bu$h administration and so caught up in the economic collapse, they really didn’t listen closely to what Obama was saying about Afghanistan and Pakistan. I wrote just before the election Obama was no wild eyed peacenik. His justification for expanding the war in Afghanistan was the Bu$h and corporate media lie that the Taliban were terrorists, responsible for 9-11 because they harbored Osama bin-Laden and refused to turn him over to US authorities. What the corporate media didn’t tell us was the Taliban asked the US to provide concrete evidence bin-Laden was responsible for 9-11 before they turned him over to them. The US could not provide absolute proof so they tried to Bogart the Taliban.What Obama seems not to know or care about is the US was planning to invade Afghanistan way before 9-11; not because the Taliban were terrorists, but because they refused to go along with a US plan to build natural gas and oil pipeline networks across Afghanistan to carry Caspian Sea oil and gas for marketing in the West and they had shut down the opium trade a lucrative source of income for Wall Street and the CIA ! This is what the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan are really about. In October of 2001 I wrote a piece entitled What If? In it I said, “Aside from the carnage of the eye for an eye response it is now starting to become more widely known that Afghanistan is a key player in a geological and geopolitical game that has major implications. What most people don’t know is that the area bordering Afghanistan in what used to be called the Soviet Union in the territories in the Caucasus around the Caspian Sea contains literally billions of barrels of untapped crude oil and natural gas. This crude and gas is the prize of many US oil and gas companies that have joined together to form exploration, engineering, drilling and excavation consortiums. Getting the oil and gas out presents numerous challenges physical, political, financial and technological. Politically these now separate governments are free of Russian hegemony and free to negotiate deals with Western (mainly US) energy, engineering and financial entities.Since the Caucasus and Caspian Sea areas are landlocked one challenge is how to get the oil and gas out to tankers to get it to Western markets. Several ideas have been formulated and varying plans have called for pipelines running east from Azerbaijan towards the Black Sea and then another phase taking it through Russia to the Ukraine into Poland. Another proposed set of pipelines will go through from Azerbaijan into Iran, then to Turkey to the Mediterranean. Another route is through Afghanistan and Pakistan into the Arabian Sea. In fact in 1998 the Taliban signed an agreement to allow a proposed 890 mile, 2 billion, 1.9 billion cubic feet per day natural gas pipeline project with a company called Unocal. However in December of 1998 Unocal announced it was withdrawing from the project citing low oil prices, and political instability in Afghanistan. Unocal was also pondering constructing a 1,000 mile, 1 million barrel per day oil pipeline called the Central Asian Oil Pipeline linking Chardzou, Turkmenistan and Pakistan and the Arabian Sea via Afghanistan. My question is this, what if the rush to war at the exclusion of trying all other options was really fueled by American and British lust for crude and natural gas? ” the US routed the Taliban they installed Hamid Karzai a former ISI/CIA operative and oil consortium consultant as provisional leader. This arrangement was set up by the West until bogus elections could be held in Afghanistan. Is it coincidental the first official act of Karzai after he was “elected” puppet, I mean president of Afghanistan was to sign a pipeline deal approving the trans-Afghani pipeline system? “A popular French book titled "Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth," which alleges that the Bush administration blocked investigations of Osama bin Laden while it bargained for him with the Taliban in exchange for political recognition and economic aid, is guiding much of the recent European coverage. Written by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the book adds another plank to the argument that America's major objective was to gain access to the region's oil and gas reserves. According to the book, the Bush administration began to negotiate with the Taliban immediately after coming into power. The parties talked for many months before reaching an impasse in August 2001. The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, though tragic, provided the Bush administration a legitimate reason to invade Afghanistan, oust the recalcitrant Taliban and, coincidentally, smooth the way for the pipeline. To make things even smoother, the U.S. engineered the rise to power of two former Unocal employees: Hamid Karzai, the new interim president of Afghanistan, and Zalmay Khalizad, the Bush administration's Afghanistan envoy.” was then, this is now. Enter Barack Obama. As a candidate in 2007-08 Obama promised to go after Osama bin-Laden who most serious intelligence agencies know died of kidney failure several years ago. Unfortunately most AmeriKKKans still believe the propaganda about the Taliban and the righteousness of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Obama plays on our ignorance and is about to slip on the banana peel of imperialism. The truth is, Obama is beholden to Wall Street and the “defense contractors” for the mad money they pumped into his election campaign. Now that he’s in, it’s payback time. On the financial front Obama selected Wall Street insider Timothy Geithner the former president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and a protégé of Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin two of the main architects of the current economic debacle to be Secretary of Treasury. All three have ties to the corporatist Clinton wing of the Democratic Party . None of this is a good sign! Geithner is currently putting together a new scam to bail out his banking buddies and keep insurance giant AIG afloat by sticking US taxpayers with their debt and “toxic assets”.On the foreign policy front, to pay off his warmongering benefactors, Obama is about to make the grave mistake of expanding the war into Pakistan. Unfortunately Obama refuses to acknowledge the dry bones of a host of invaders who tried to conquer Afghanistan dating back centuries, most recently Russia. His debt to the military-industrial complex may prove to be the undoing of his presidency. Just as Bu$h drank the Neo Con Kool-Aide and it totally ruined any credibility he had left once he invaded Iraq, Obama is about to repeat Bu$h’s mistake. To make matters worse Obama is about to repeat Lyndon Johnson’s mistakes as well. Johnson escalated the war in Southeast Asia and in so doing, facilitated a colossal waste of money and lives and nearly tore the US apart in the process.By all accounts the war in Afghanistan is going badly. If Obama expands it into Pakistan he may exacerbate the situation given the US puppet Karzai barely has control of Kabul the capital city. He has no control over the rest of the country. The new Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari is on shaky ground as well. The Pashtun tribesmen who live in the region do not recognize the boundaries drawn by the Europeans between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are sympathetic towards the Taliban. They could become emboldened by the Taliban’s success resisting NATO and US forces in Afghanistan. They realize the invaders do not have enough ground forces to mount nor win a war against the natives in both countries.Now there is talk of a “troop surge” in Afghanistan like the US employed in Iraq and an escalation of US attacks in Pakistan. What most folks don’t realize is the main component of the Iraqi “surge’ amounted to bribing the Sunnis not to shoot US occupiers. This is why the violence dropped not because of US troops. “Instead of dropping bombs in Iraq, we're now dropping bundles of cash in the laps of insurgents who without the crude bribes would no doubt return to ambushing our troops. If the surge has worked, it's due in large part to a surge in bribes, not troops. And that kind of success cannot last.” While Obama’s move will enrich the military industrial complex, it will further bankrupt the US and lead to a protracted occupation that will define and ruin his presidency. Watch out for that banana peel Barack.-30-
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