Friday Feedback: Backtrack on Afghanistan

istock_000001483014xsmall.jpgFridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Dr. Stephen R. Keister, commenting on “Feting a Fetid War,” by Ivan Eland. Here’s Stephen’s comment:

Let us backtrack a bit. The original purpose of the Afghanastan invasion was to “catch Bin Laden”–obviously an absurdity to think that this very wealthy Saudi would sit in a cave for 8 years or more. Then came the excuse of doing away with Al-Quaeda—all 100 of them! Nowhere in the mainstream media, or even in the ‘liberal press’ has the matter of the mineral treasures available in Afghanastan been discussed (of course little has been said about Iraq’s oil ). A full discussion of the resourses within the country was discussed in the Financial News of Monday March 16, 2009 as per a Reuter’s dispatch.

In short in the field of minerals,Afghanastan is the richest country in the region, much more, hundred of times more. You have all the other minerals that you find in nature, save for diamonds. This in addition to 25 million tons of oil in four basins. Why were the British in India and the Dutch in the Spice Islands?

One should be interested in Professor Stephen Tanner’s Afghanastan. A Military History From Alexander The Great To The War Afainst The Taliban. One does not understand the total absurdity of the Obama administrations excuses of our attempted occupation without a background in the history and geopolitics.


  1. says

    As Stephen points out, the OBushma administrations’ excuses for extended long-term war in Afghanistan don’t make much sense. After all, our one truly organized fanatic-Islamist enemy is the full-fledged and multi-client Iranian regime, not the fringe guys who run around Afghanistan.

    However, Stephen’s explanation – “It’s the minerals” – doesn’t really make more sense either.

    Yes, why indeed did the British stay focused on India (especially three main port cities plus an imperial capital) and the Dutch in the spice islands? Simple: precisely because those places are NOT at all like Afghanistan. That land consists of remote landlocked highlands from which any massive cargo is expensive to transport by any means – including aircraft as well as maritime fleets.

    Maybe a more rational explanation of the war – at least why some soldiers tolerate it – is the cheapness and quantity of the country’s main NON-mineral product, opium.

    But by now the years-long extended Afghan war makes little rational sense for ANYone. Strategically it seems to owe little to calculations and much more to zombie inertia.

    This sort of brutal conclusion is perhaps too difficult for most of us to accept, regardless of the kinds of things we were raised to believe in. Some of us love conspiracy theories – which generally ascribe to the alleged conspirators motives which may be despicable but are seemingly rational (at least for them). Others of us, despising conspiracy theories, believe that big governments and big corporations tend to do the rational thing – even if the ‘rationality’ is in pursuit of corrupted interests.

    But stuff like today’s Afghan war – like the later phases of other long wars (Hundred Years War, Thirty Years War, WW1, etc etc) – ultimately serves almost no one. Sheer inertia trumps rationality. The once-clever decision-makers no longer seriously question the tacit underlying vacuity – or even lunacy – of their premises.

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