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More To Afghanistan Than We Are Being Told

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afghanistan

By James O’Neill*

The synopsis for the ABC documentary on Afghanistan, to be broadcast on 1 March 2016 says that it takes an inside look at the men and women as they battle for “the hearts and minds” of the Afghanistan population.

If you thought that after more than 14 years of occupation and fighting the Afghan people capturing “hearts and minds” was the reason for the ongoing occupation, then watch the ABC by all means.

If however, you think that the program is just another propaganda exercise designed to avoid examining the reality of South Asian geopolitics being played out in Afghanistan, then you will look elsewhere than the ABC for enlightenment.

When the United States along with Australia and other satraps of the US empire invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 we were told that it was to avenge al Qaeda’s attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 (“9/11”).  Afghanistan, we were told, harboured al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, and “refused” to hand him over to the US for what was said with a straight face, to be US “justice.”

We were also told that Afghanistan was a poor, backward country, whose theocratic rulers oppressed women.  Apart from revenge and capturing bin Laden, the invasion and occupation was an opportunity to liberate Afghan women and bring democracy to a benighted land.

That the whole official 9/11 narrative has less than a passing resemblance to the truth is well documented and bears no repetition here.  That bin Laden (or Colonel Tim Osman to his CIA friends) most likely died of natural causes in December 2001 is also well documented.

That Afghanistan was and is poor is not in dispute.  That it is potentially rich is something that the mainstream media would rather we did not know.  Rich?  If our mainstream media had actually bothered to look, there has been considerable information on this point available for a very long time.

As early as the 1960s the Minerals Yearbook of the US Geological Survey stated that Afghanistan was rich in natural gas, copper, iron ore, gold, silver and precious gems.

In 1992 the Yearbook noted that natural gas reserves were estimated at 2000 billion cubic metres.  Copper ore reserves were estimated at 360 million metric tonnes.   Afghan oil reserves are currently estimated to be 1596 million barrels.  Actual reserves of all these commodities may be higher, but 40 years of continuous war has inhibited full-scale geological surveys, let alone development.

Apart from its own resources, Afghanistan is strategically located viz a viz the enormous oil and gas reserves of the Caspian basin, second only in size to the Middle East North Africa reserves.  It is not a coincidence that these two regions have attracted the unwelcome attentions of the US military-industrial complex.

The only geographically and geopolitically feasible route for shipping out Caspian oil and gas to western markets is via an Afghanistan pipeline.

One of the major reasons for the invasion in 2001 was the refusal of the Taliban government of Afghanistan to give that pipeline contract to American interests.  Instead, the contract was awarded to Bridas, an Argentinian company.  One of the first acts of the occupying forces was to cancel the Bridas contract.

Bridas was subsequently awarded $500 million compensation by US courts, although you would not know that from reading the Australian mainstream media. Indeed, any mention of pipelines and their strategic importance is conspicuously lacking from mainstream coverage.  Winning hearts and minds and liberating women rates so much higher in our priorities, or so we are told.

It is therefore of considerable interest to observers of the Afghanistan scene to note that on 13 December 2015 the leaders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India formally instigated the instigation of the TAPI (an acronym for the four countries) pipeline to transmit natural gas.

The other major development in 2015 was the growing presence of China in Afghanistan.  China’s foreign aid, strictly non-military, increased from approximately 1.5 billion Yuan for the entire 2001-2103 period to 500 million Yuan in 2014 alone, and has pledged a further 1.5 billion Yuan for the 2015-17 period.

China, which shares a border with Afghanistan, has a vested interest in bringing stability to the region.  Xinjiang, a region vulnerable to terrorism and a target for US subversion since at least the 1970s, is the Chinese region bordering Afghanistan.

Perhaps the most significant geopolitical development however, is the progress of the China led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).  If you relied on the mainstream media you could again be excused for knowing little or nothing about this organisation.  Its ranks will be added to this year with the inclusion of India, Iran and Pakistan.  It has close and growing links with both BRICS and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

The SCO forms an integral element of President Xi’s New Silk Roads vision, which seeks to transform the social and economic structures of Eurasia.  It is the largest infrastructure development program in human history.  Afghanistan has the potential to form a pivotal part of this huge development.

These developments have significant implications for Australia on multiple levels.  For example, the New Silk Roads developments have the potential to make China independent of Australian raw materials.  The loss of the Chinese market, or even a significant reduction, would have devastating consequences for Australia’s economic health.

Given the transformative nature of these geopolitical developments, one might have thought that Australia’s foreign policy and particularly its “defence” policies as set out in the recent White Paper, might have sown a more nuanced and subtle appreciation of changing Eurasian realities.

Instead, we have a rerun of strategic concepts that bear little or no relevance to Australia’s true national interests.  The time for a radical rethink is long overdue.

*Barrister at Law.  He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au

31 COMMENTS

    • Shirley, no offence, but what James has written is OLD INFORMATION. You can go back and research Tim/Osama and his contacts with the CIA (check out when he was visited by the station chief in Bahrain).

      Tim was one of the ‘good guys’. He didn’t desert his brothers in arms from Afghanistan. Kinda like the guys that helped the Hmong Montagnards to immigrate to the U.S.

      The reason he got the job as the ‘patsy’ for 9-11 is that he recommended that the Taliban go with Bridas Corporation rather than Unocal. That pissed off a bunch of people.

      You can find his denial of any involvement in 9-11 prior to his death in Dec. 2001 (I think it was 16 Oct was his longest explanation, classic Osama yadda, yadda, yadda). His last transmission was on 14 Dec and his death notice was on 26 Dec. I expect that he may have died before that date, but the announcement was held up until after Christmas. Fox News even announced it, but then the spooks realised they still needed a boogey man.

      There’s a bunch more in the economics of this whole BS drama, but James has done a good job of outlining what is going on. The rabbit hole is a lot deeper, but you get the picture – Malcolm is backing a looser in this game.

    • Mary, that is the point. Australia has to make a decision. Are we part of the tremendous growth opportunities presented by the New Silk Roads or do we progressively sink into irrelevance as an appendage of the declining american empire.
      Halford Mackinder gave an important address to the Royal Geographical Society in London more than a century ago. He talked about the rise of what he called Europe-Asia (we now call it Eurasia). I updated the argument in my keynote address to the Pacific Institute of Resource Management in Wellington last November. You can read it on their website. It is a discussion we urgently need in Australia.

    • IMHO, if Australia is intent on becoming the U.S.’s bitch forever, then I’d say China will eventually turn it’s back on us, and who could blame them ? Why do business with a nation that’s constantly stabbing them in the back ?

  1. Anyone in Australia allegedy doing a ‘home invasion’ and thumping the residents to steal their TV goes to gaol if convicted.
    God forbid if one is granted bail before challenging the allegations at a trial. Radio 2GB shock jocks would have their controlled ignorant peasant listeners rioting in indignation and selfrightnousness.
    But we invade Afghanistan (and Iraq and others planned before 911) on lies spruiked by the shock jocks and politicians, (e.g.911) kill a couple of million in the Middle East, destroy societies, children and countries and they say it is for freedom etc.
    Time some shockies and politicians were ‘bail refused’.
    They claim to be civilised moral humans!!
    No, they are criminals or aiding and abbetting criminals.
    Sick psycho hypocrites, appears to be an apt description.

    • This is what cause the PSTD our returning troops suffer from.
      Their experience awakens them to the contradiction we live in every day with our alternative reality.
      Unfortunately for them, once that awakening has occurred, there’s no going back, and they are left in limbo to sort themselves out whilst the politicians walk away with their ill gotten gains and blood on their hands free as a bird.

      • Eddy, “politicians” are not a separate species. They are us. Please encourage some young people to join one of the two major parties now and self-nominate for parliament, and for state parliament.

        • Sorry Mary, most politicians are not ‘us’,
          Since when has a politician exposed the questions about 911 and the subsequent 15 years of killing and destruction based on mass media and political deceit.
          I look forward to your recital of one question to the PM in the Federal Parliament questioning the deceit causing Australia to go to war and/or the 911 questions raised by ‘us’,

  2. Aaron Russo : “The war on terrorism is the war on freedom.” We have no reasons to be overseas defending Australia’s “borders” in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria . For 100 and more years our young men and now women have been and still are a invading occupying force for the Crown and the U.S. military industrial complex. Our leaders, visible and invisible, are war criminals. “All wars are bankers wars”.

  3. I add an observation.
    Presently in Australia those who failed to expose peadophiles are being brought to account.
    Peadaphiles and those who failed to protect children are among the lowest class in the prison system.
    Those crimes go back at times 40 years.
    Institutional peadopiles rarely kill their victim and destroy their surrounding society etc.
    Their victims ultimately suffer.
    Now what about the lower than peadophile perverted animals who; endorse, lie, justify and abett the killing of kids in the Middle East being ‘collateral’ damage to the ‘home’ invasions.
    Look up the u-tube comments of the US Secretary State, Madeline Allbright, comment: ‘It was hard but worth it’ describing her justification for resulting in the ‘killing’ 500,000 children in Iraq as a result of the sanctions against Iraq. By the way, our Navy helped.
    Pell and the rest are small fry when it comes to allegedly protecting child molesters.
    I look forward to a Royal Commission dragging in the politicians and mass media to explain their role in the present holocaust in the Middle East.
    Perhaps Mr. Hinch and other media personalities might broaden their interest and concern in caring for innocent kids?

  4. Goldman Sachs bankster OZ prime minister. Debt slave economy financing imperialist war expansion via workers income taxes. It does not have to be this way.

    • Perhaps I am imagining this.
      Why do I have a feeling that our Malcolm is having a problem with his masters. After all, there may be a slight shiver that is realising that it needs a backbone to appreciate humanity and recognise that one may have been easily duped into just being a banker’s whore in the past. A couple of hundred million is a handy backstop?

  5. Hi Mary , the problems are clearly so obvious , so in our face, that we all see the murder of innocent peoples everyday. But the daily grind for economic survival has most of us feeding the beast without questioning the tragedy that is unfolding. The solutions are not so clear. Confronting violence with violence is not an option. If we try we will be smashed . They have all the weapons we have none. And if we did , I know I don’t have the guts to kill. I am sure most of us are united in our pacifism and peace fullness . Mass protests like in the late sixties. Well maybe, with the internet communication is instant. But then again, if our numbers are not truly massive, we will be stamped out by the ‘gestapo’ boots just as happened before. Still united non compliance and mass peace marches maybe the only option. Gandhi did it and gained independence for India. There is hope because our children are even more oppressed than we were. They are economically shackled in chains these days. Always remember , we are many they are few. Good must triumph over bad. The truth must always be spoken. Most of all, let”s all pray for peace.
    .

  6. I refer to the ‘All not so Bright’ comment earlier below.
    Please just spend a minute or so listening to what low lifes our politicians and mass media have been supporting and protecting.

    Right! About 400 faithfull get together in the same room as her mate JWH tonight in Canberra. Do they not know what they have done?

  7. This podcast is from the Mind Renewed, a christian website from the UK. It asks more questions that the main stream media will not go near.
    It appears to be obvious for anyone who takes the trouble to looks that Mr Bin Laden died in 2001. Why does the MSM not ask the obvious question of how did OBL get his kidney dialysis in a house in Pakistan for umpteen years without anyone noticing, especially when a dialysis machine requires absolutely sterile conditions as well as expert operation and maintenance.

    http://themindrenewed.com/interviews/2016/829-int100

    The BBC removed an interview from its website after an hour which showed their own reporter interviewing local residents who said that the raid was a fake. I note that youtube has taken also removed this report but presumably it can be found elsewhere.
    For a transcript, see this.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/pakistan-tv-report-contradicts-us-claim-of-bin-laden-s-death/25915

    • I wonder how he dragged his Fresenius 4008 (about the size of a petrol pump) around Tora Bora, and how he managed to get the purified water needed to run it (twice to three times a week), let alone the filters, needles, anti-coagulants and replacement solutions. Once you start to place known facts alongside reported events the official story just becomes plain silly.

      • Paul, the way the msm deals with it is to ignore it. Not just the obvious issues that you point to, but even the fact that OBL required regular dialysis to stay alive is never mentioned. If people don’t know he needed dialysis then they don’t to know to pose the questions you raise.american Hospital in Dubai is never mentioned also, because to do so would immediately raise a number of questions the msm preferred were not asked because that would require them to provide answers. Answers that do not fit the official narrative.
        This is the most common way in which we are misled by the msm. Not in telling blatant lies (although there is a fair measure of those) but in withholding vital information.
        The assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King in the 1960s is my favourite example. For half a century we have been directly lied to, or vital evidence withheld. The bright spot is that notwithstanding this obfuscation the polls show that between 70 and 80 percent of the population do not accept the official BS.
        There are lots of contemporary examples up to and including our current involvement in Syria, or the South China Sea to take but two illustrations.
        The major difference with say, the 1960s, is that we have a lively alternative media that can instantly disseminate information and opinion around the world in a nanosecond. It is little wonder that the old msm print media is going down the gurgler.

        • I noticed in the paper yesterday they had a piece on Osama’s will – found when they assassinated him a few years back.

          “Osama bin Laden set aside money for his relatives, but the majority of his fortune—including $29 million in Sudan—was to be spent “on jihad, for the sake of Allah,” according to his just-released will. The handwritten document was one of hundreds seized during the 2011 raid that killed the al-Qaeda leader and not the only one that shows he believed his death could be imminent, reports the AP”

          I wonder who wrote that will – they have just released.

          • Dee, the timing as always is interesting. Just as the US periodically released videos of “OBL” to revive the flagging utility he had as a bogeyman. That the videos were manifestly fake did not excite the msm.
            This Will we are now told about serves the same purpose. The fact that ISIS and all the other terrorist franchises are creations of US intelligence is becoming more widely known. Time to rev up the old terrorist mastermind trick. A quick google search will show you that the story of OBL leaving his wealth for “jihad” has been seized upon by all the usual suspects. It will no doubt be flogged for several days, and its even odds that the ABC and SBS will solemnly intone what a revelation it all is.

          • How busy must the writers of the “terror invention dept” be. Screenplay writers would be fired for the lack of creative story lines here.

  8. Terry I have only recently started to read Gumshoe news so have been totally unaware of this information you all are conversant with. You could say one of the victims of the MSM

    • Shirley, now that you’ve taken the ‘Red Pill’, the MSM will never look the same again. More and more people are beginning to look at the MSM as a ‘heads-up’ on the next gambit the dark side is going to play. It’s called ‘predictive programming’ and once you become aware and sensitized to it, then that is all the MSM will be good for.

      Welcome to Gumshoes and enjoy the ride.

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