READER COMMENTS ON
"'It's Complicated': Bush's War Became Obama's War Becomes Trump's War in Afghanistan: 'BradCast' 8/22/2017"
(17 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 8/22/2017 @ 11:09 pm PT...
They want to keep skimming the profits on Afghanistan's famous cash crop. The Taliban made the mistake in early 2001 of declaring it un-Islamic to grow opium any more. A few months later the US invaded and production resumed.
The Politics of Heroin by Alfred McCoy is a good read.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 8/23/2017 @ 5:35 am PT...
The deity and religion of Oil-Qaeda is not Islam, Judaism, or Christianity:
"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells or metal mines."
(Doing The Alt-Right Thing - Mithraism - 5, quoting 1944 Book).
It is a state secret.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 8/23/2017 @ 9:18 am PT...
Brad: Love your podcast, I'm a frequent listener. I appreciate your interview with Juan Cole, but I feel the need to point out that he did not at all answer your question "why are we there?" Very telling that the words "pipeline," "opium," and "heroin" were absent. When the invasion began in 2001 it was presented as a response to 9/11, but in reality it (as all of our recent military escapades) was about where the pipelines were going to be laid (cf. the US offering the Taliban earlier in 2001 "a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs"; known fact that before 9/11, the US told its allies that it was going to invade Afghanistan before the snows fell), and of course, the heroin industry, one of the most profitable in the world, and about which the least truth is told in our media. I recommend you interview Peter Dale Scott about that.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 8/23/2017 @ 4:50 pm PT...
Good points, and I've forwarded them to Juan Cole to get his thoughts in kind. Hope to get those back, and will share his responses on an upcoming show. Hopefully this week!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 8/24/2017 @ 2:51 am PT...
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 8/24/2017 @ 4:40 am PT...
Afghanistan is the source of up to 90% of the worlds poppy and we have an opiate problem now. Maybe the Afghan war like the opium war in China in the 19th century is about more than terrorism or colonialism.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 9:05 am PT...
Responding to Juan Cole's response, which Brad read on the air on Aug 24 BradCast (I don't know where to read it again, please publish in these comments): I acknowledge that he is more of an expert than I am on the subject. I think his response about opium/heroin is disingenuous; there is copious evidence that the CIA has a decades-long involvement with the movement of illegal drugs. Again, Peter Dale Scott and Alfred McCoy are authoritative sources on that. Regarding pipelines, it's not realistic to claim that control of oil and gas output is not one of if not the main reason(s) for our military involvement in the region. Regarding that subject in regard to Afghanistan, the Complete 9/11 Timeline has original sources:
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 9:08 am PT...
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 9:12 am PT...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 1:17 pm PT...
Yes, Juan is wanting in his knowledge, or excessive in his denial.
Here is a link to an extensive discussion of CIA opium involvement going back several decades and several wars:
After finishing college in the late 1960s, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Japanese history and was pleasantly surprised when Yale Graduate School admitted me with a full fellowship.
Elizabeth Jakab ... telephoned from New York to ask if I could research and write a “quickie” paperback about the history behind the heroin epidemic then infecting the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
I promptly started the research at my student carrel in the Gothic tower that is Yale’s Sterling Library, tracking old colonial reports about the Southeast Asian opium trade that ended suddenly in the 1950s, just as the story got interesting. So, quite tentatively at first, I stepped outside the library to do a few interviews and soon found myself following an investigative trail that circled the globe. First, I traveled across America for meetings with retired CIA operatives. Then I crossed the Pacific to Hong Kong to study drug syndicates, courtesy of that colony’s police drug squad. Next, I went south to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to investigate the heroin traffic that was targeting the GIs, and on into the mountains of Laos to observe CIA alliances with opium warlords and the hill-tribe militias that grew the opium poppy. Finally, I flew from Singapore to Paris for interviews with retired French intelligence officers about their opium trafficking during the first Indochina War of the 1950s.
The drug traffic that supplied heroin for the U.S. troops fighting in South Vietnam was not, I discovered, exclusively the work of criminals. Once the opium left tribal poppy fields in Laos, the traffic required official complicity at every level.
(Alfred W. McCoy).
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 1:20 pm PT...
Did Juan Cole respond to the hundreds of .gov documents concerning the minerals and oil in Afghanistan?
I supplied links to official .gov documentation.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 1:38 pm PT...
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 7:12 pm PT...
Will R. @ 7:
As you requested, here's Juan Cole's reply to your and others questions above (as well as one of my own), as I shared on air, on yesterday's show:
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 8/25/2017 @ 7:18 pm PT...
Dredd @ 10, 11 and 12:
Juan was responding to the specific comments above by Mark and Will R. and Alex on opium and pipelines in Afghanistan, as well as an addition question of my own.
He was not speaking, at least specifically, to whether or not there was past (or current) involvement by the CIA in the drug trade in various places. I had also asked him for a "brief" response, so that I could share it on air with listeners.
He is usually responsible to readers at his website, if you'd like to press him on additional issues. Given the decades he's worked on these issues, and his longtime excellent record as a progressive blogger on them, I don't know that it's fair to say he is "wanting in his knowledge, or excessive in his denial." But that's just my .02.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 8/26/2017 @ 3:12 am PT...
Brad @ 14,
Juan wrote "Neither Afghanistan nor Syria have any economic value" which shows he is wanting in his knowledge or excessive in his denial according to official government admissions:
"Afghanistan has abundant mineral resources, but modern technical data and information are necessary if they are to be developed successfully. Previous mineral-resource studies from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and its Eastern European allies provided Afghanistan with large amounts of technical data. The USGS has added new interpretations of the mineral resources of Afghanistan and has provided quantitative classifications and new data that are designed to help in the development of the mineral resources of the country.
A wide variety of nonfuel mineral resources is known, including important deposits of copper, iron, gold, chromium, silver, barite, sulfur, talc, magnesium, salt, mica, marble, rubies, emeralds, and lapis lazuli. In addition, USGS-TFBSO surveys have also delineated potentially extractable deposits of asbestos, mercury, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, beryllium, clays, limestone, and lithium.
Newly created databases permit an assessment of the potential for near-term economic mining of different mineral, commodity, and mineral-deposit types."
(USGS Report, PDF).
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 8/26/2017 @ 3:35 am PT...
Reuters has reported in the past that oil in commercial quantities has been available since 1959 (USGS website archive) but the war impedes development (Afghanistan to start oil-licensing round).
And there's this:
As the war in Afghanistan unfolds, there is frantic diplomatic activity to ensure that any post-Taliban government will be both democratic and pro-West. Hidden in this explosive geo-political equation is the sensitive issue of securing control and export of the region's vast oil and gas reserves. The Soviets estimated Afghanistan's proven and probable natural gas reserves at 5 trillion cubic feet - enough for the United Kingdom's requirement for two years - but this remains largely untapped because of the country's civil war and poor pipeline infrastructure.
More importantly, according to the U.S. government, "Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from central Asia to the Arabian Sea."
To the north of Afghanistan lies the Caspian and central Asian region, one of the world's last great frontiers for the oil industry due to its tremendous untapped reserves. The U.S. government believes that total oil reserves could be 270 billion barrels. Total gas reserves could be 576 trillion cubic feet.
The presence of these oil reserves and the possibility of their export raises new strategic concerns for the U.S. and other Western industrial powers. "As oil companies build oil pipelines from the Caucasus and central Asia to supply Japan and the West, these strategic concerns gain military implications," argued an article in the Military Review, the journal of the U.S. Army, earlier in the year.
Host governments and Western oil companies have been rushing to get in on the act. Kazakhstan, it is believed, could earn $700 billion from offshore oil and gas fields over the next 40 years. Both American and British oil companies have struck black gold. In April 1993, Chevron concluded a $20 billion joint venture to develop the Tengiz oil field, with 6 to 9 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves in Kazakhstan alone. The following year, in what was described as "the deal of the century," AIOC, an international consortium of companies led by British Petroleum, signed an $8 billion deal to exploit reserves estimated at 3-5 billion barrels in Azerbaijan.
(Afghanistan: The Route to Riches, archive).
As it turns out, the American taxpayer's military is the free security entitlement being provided to various corps for development.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 8/26/2017 @ 4:07 am PT...
You wrote "Juan was responding to the specific comments above by Mark and Will R. and Alex on opium ... in Afghanistan ... He was not speaking, at least specifically, to whether or not there was past (or current) involvement by the CIA in the drug trade in various places."
There is a statement by the CIA that (suspected opium dealers in Afghanistan) a Karzai brother was on their payroll for years:
"KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home." - New York Times
The link to the above quote is in this piece:
"Early Wednesday morning at nearly 1:00 A.M., I checked my email for a final time and saw notice of a newsbreak from The New York Times that Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and the man often called the Pablo Escobar of the country’s heroin trade, has been on a CIA payroll for the past eight years."
(The Daily Beast).
Wikipedia has this:
A number of writers have claimed that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is or has been involved in drug trafficking. Books on the subject that have received general notice include works by historian Alfred McCoy, English professor and poet Peter Dale Scott, and journalists Gary Webb, Michael C. Ruppert and Alexander Cockburn.
(Allegations of CIA drug trafficking).
Some say CIA involvement is controversial, but IMO no one can say with a straight face that CIA involvement has been conclusively disproved.