Mineral Resource Map of Afghanistan

When the United States decided to invade Afghanistan to grab Osama bin Laden—and failed, but stayed on like an unwanted guest—could it have known that the Afghans were sitting on some of the world’s greatest reserves of mineral wealth?

We’ve raised this topic before (see here)—where we noted the dubious 2010 claim, published by the New York Times, that “the vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was [recently] discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists.” Other evidence, and logic, point to the fact that everyone but the Western public knew for a long time, and before the 2001 invasion, that Afghanistan was a treasure trove.

So we were interested to see a new piece from the Times that emphasizes those riches without stressing the crucial question: Was the original impetus for the invasion really Osama—or Mammon?

The failure to pose this question is significant because the pretense of a “recent discovery” serves only to justify staying in Afghanistan now that the troops are already there—while ignoring the extent to which imperial-style resource grabs are the real drivers of foreign policy and wars, worldwide.

As long as we continue to dance around that issue, we will remain mired in disaster of both a financial and mortal nature. As long as we fail to tote up who are the principal winners and losers then we fail to understand what is going on.

Some of the least likely candidates for insight are waking up. To quote Alan Greenspan: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Who will say the same about Afghanistan and its mineral wealth? Once we acknowledge what General Wesley Clark claims (and which the media keeps ignoring)—that he was told the U.S. had plans ready at the time of the 9/11 attacks to invade seven countries (including Iraq and Afghanistan)– then the larger picture begins to come into view.

At this point, we can’t help but revisit our WhoWhatWhy exclusive tying the 9/11 hijackers to that very reliable U.S. ally, the Saudi royal family— which itself needs constant external war and strife throughout the Middle East to keep its citizens from focusing on its own despotism and staggering corruption, and to maintain its position as an indispensable ally of the West in these wars. It was the actions of the Saudi-dominated 9/11 hijackers and their Saudi sponsor, Osama bin Laden, that created the justification for this endless series of resource wars. So, learning that the hijackers themselves may have been sponsored by, or controlled by elements of the Saudi royal family is a pretty big deal.

Nevertheless, the Times plays a key role in sending us in the wrong direction:

If there is a road to a happy ending in Afghanistan, much of the path may run underground: in the trillion-dollar reservoir of natural resources — oil, gold, iron ore, copper, lithium and other minerals — that has brought hopes of a more self-sufficient country, if only the wealth can be wrested from blood-soaked soil.

So, according to the world’s most influential opinion-making outlet, the fact of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth has nothing to do with why the United States and its allies want to stay—and why others want us to leave. No, we are told, it is just a fortuitous “discovery” that can benefit the Afghans themselves, make them “self-sufficient.” If only it can be extracted…..

Of course, this narrative continues, the suffering Afghans can only be helped to become self-sufficient if enough long-term military and technical might is applied to the country.

We’d love to see more reporting from The Times about what Western companies knew and when they knew it. Instead, we see JPMorgan Chase’s Afghan venture mentioned, in passing, between references to efforts by the Chinese to get their piece of the action:

Already this summer, the China National Petroleum Corporation, in partnership with a company controlled by relatives of President Karzai, began pumping oil from the Amu Darya field in the north. An investment consortium arranged by JPMorgan Chase is mining gold. Another Chinese company is trying to develop a huge copper mine. Four copper and gold contracts are being tendered, and contracts for rare earth metals could be offered soon.

The truth is, as long as the Chinese and Russians are cut in on the deal, their objections to military actions that enrich oligarchs everywhere are likely to be muted.

Imperial militaries exist in large part to grab and hold resources vital to the continuance of empires, while their paymasters back home reap benefits. That includes the rest of us, who must balance the security and creature comforts this approach provides against the death and destruction it inevitably entails. And we can’t begin to do the moral calculus until we acknowledge what’s being done in our name around the world, and why.

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GRAPHIC: http://www.a-w-i-p.com/media/blogs/articles/Directory2/AFG_mineral_map_44.jpg  & http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_hzQHlX0Ywx4/SG5yoTE8FLI/AAAAAAAAA5M/WhP4ivnwIUg/s400/drum-of-gold-mine.bmp

0 responses to “The Real Reason for the Afghan War?”

  1. […] in the country; in addition to a significant amount of oil and gas, Afghanistan is also home to a vast wealth of minerals such as iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium, estimated at over $1 trillion in value. Let’s […]

  2. […] in the country; in addition to a significant amount of oil and gas, Afghanistan is also home to a vast wealth of minerals such as iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium, estimated at over $1 trillion in value. Let’s […]

  3. Donoval says:

    While that may be true with Iraq, Afghanistan has next to no oil or any usable elements due to its geographical location, plus the main reason the U.S went to war with Al-Quada to begin with was the terrorist attacks caused by them on 9/11 and the murder of over 30 different soldiers on a live recording

  4. Alan Mackechnie says:

    Developed in GB for the dissemination of the rest of the worlds societies!

  5. Alan Mackechnie says:

    Shill!Your country is the worlds tyrant!

  6. EdWatts says:

    “The failure to pose this question is significant because the pretense of
    a ‘recent discovery’ serves only to justify staying in Afghanistan now
    that the troops are already there—while ignoring the extent to which
    imperial-style resource grabs are the real drivers of foreign policy and
    wars, worldwide.”

    Enlarging the map puts the lie to the “recent discovery” nonsense — note the date.

  7. Lincoln says:

    Jan 9, 2015 Opium Production in Afghanistan Sets Record – American Soldiers Helping Heroin Production.

  8. Lincoln says:

    December 3, 1993 The CIA Drug Connection is as Old as the Agency

    LONDON— Recent news item: The Justice Department is investigating allegations that officers of a special Venezuelan anti-drug unit funded by the CIA smuggled more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States with the knowledge of CIA officials – despite protests by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the organization responsible for enforcing U.S. drug laws.

  9. Sheila5 says:

    I want the names of those in the govt and military-industrial complex who have indulged themselves with corporations and stocks. A retired general about 5 yrs ago said he realized a little more that 15 yrs before he retired that they weren’t defending America’s shores, they were protecting corporate interests. Just like Hillary Clinton said as that businessmen should be looking at Iraq for great business opportunities, the US govt is primarily a corporation who thrives on imperialism, under the rule of oligarchs.

  10. “If there is a road to a happy ending in Afghanistan, much of the path may run underground:” It certainly would have been cheaper.

  11. spktruth200 says:

    and don’t forget the heroin! Iran Contra never ended, it expanded.

  12. Oil, gas or phosphate rock would perhaps be good enough reasons, but Afghanistan doesn’t have any.

    • Jackson says:

      They have some oil and natural gas, but they have a lot of gold, copper, lithium, iron, cobalt and other minerals.

      You need lithium for batteries. You like your mobile phone? Or tablet? Well, you need a battery!

      A lot of minerals are used for alloys and for making armour and rounds for guns.

      Also there is the placement of Afghanistan. It’s neighbouring Russia and China. That’s interesting, isn’t it?

    • Yes, but the geographical location is more interesting than the geology. Of Lithium plenty can be found in more convenient places like Bolivia and Wyoming.
      Without this war China would have used Afghanistan as a foothold to the Middle-East, build their oil and gas hub there, agreed. Of importance is also neighbour country Iran, where the USA is desperately trying to regain its former influence.
      Note that the opium produce of Afghanistan is a destabilizing factor for the throughput countries Iran and Russia, where addiction is taking a heavy toll under the population. When the Taliban was in power opium production in Afghanistan had almost dropped to zero, because of their interpretation of Islamic law. Of course the West would never give the Taliban the credit for its very effective opium policy. Not even now America has a growing heroin problem.
      Jackson, your country has shot itself in the foot.

  13. Guest says:

    Oil, gas or fosfate rock would perhaps be good enough reasons, but Afghanistan doesn’t have any. Plain stupidity!

  14. Hoegarten says:

    Obama now wants to fast track the draw down of American troops in Afghanistan. I was hoping to hear your opinion on that Russ.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      but her always has a caveat “leaves a small contingent of “trainers’ stationed there never to be replaced exept with more.

  15. charles000 says:

    > To quote Alan Greenspan: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” <

    War in Afghanistan for minerals?
    Um, golly gee . . . I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! Round up the usual suspects!!!

  16. donkeykick says:

    WE ARE THE AUTHORITY ! Not some government official or agency that passes laws to control the population and supress our anger. Keep pushing and we’ll push right back and we won’t stop until you are cleansed.

    • Micky Drummons says:

      Well, how about you do something that nobody expects?

      Stop buying the latest phones and consuming resources. Start using a bicycle!

  17. Gabriel Villegas says:

    if only the wealth can be wrested from blood-soaked soil..

  18. Gabriel Villegas says:

    The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (also known as Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline, TAP or TAPI) is the real reason we went to war in Afghanistan.

    Just ask Mr. Cheney.

  19. john esse says:

    The heroin trade is bigger than ever, the Chinese are mining the rare earth minerals while we are spending billions and our troops are being killed. What kind of foreign policy is that ?

  20. Dmenace says:

    How serendipitous to. Find this site!
    Mindful souls however opinionated!

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      “serendipitous” that is a mind boggling word. I only went to Grade 8 plese use smaller words that fit my focabelary

  21. Ted Reading says:

    All fair points. Afghanistan also represemts an important emerging market for the intelligence services drug-running ops.

  22. $11752881 says:

    We did not go in to exploit resources in Afghanistan you commie prick. Minerals and natural resources were not found till 2009 2010. We landed in 2001, almost 10 years before our engineers found anything.

    • brux says:

      > prick ????

      This is typical rhetoric from people like you just just want to bellow like a hot air balloon. It’s been known that this whole area, in fact most of the areas of the world have resources, and in Afghanistan they are untapped resources with a weak government and military – so put two and two together yourself if you are able brainiac. Besides, Afghanistan is a stepping stone to Iran, encircling it and making it unstable and easier to topple … which is probably a good thing.

      See, it’s not hard to put together an argument without swearing, if you have logic and a point … maybe that is what you lack bcrogan???

  23. margsview says:

    The last part of your article doesn’t ring so true in these times of supra-corporations that demand foreign investor/mechanisms to ensure absolute control of the lions share of profits. Globalization is not about the benefits each citizen of involved militaristic countries receive as creature comforts. Trade agreements erase any relevance of sovereignty in the distribution of profits. The same ends explain the destructive role now placed on citizen/taxpayer/depositors, the focus is now on making these individuals paying for corporate/banking predators.

    • Tiki Wolf says:

      Right. Soon there will be no Pretense of our government working for US, but rather, the threat that if we don’t bank-roll these m****rs that something bad will happen, like another 911. That’ll put US in our place as Corporate Sponsors of Terror & Pillaging. They use our tax money to fund illegal/immoral wars that profit the uber-rich (oil barons & war lords) and suppress development & growth in real education and technologies that would free us from this vicious & expensive downward spiral. Predatory describes it well.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      I like that word it should be used more aften.

  24. IamWookie says:

    The strong prey on the weak. If America was a man i would knock him out. Im Australian and sadly our country is rubbing shoulders to a gangster thug nation like the US. Its pathetic and weak. And im sure that there comes a time when a bully gets knocked the F out

    • $11752881 says:

      You Aussie loser, the only reason Australia exists is because of America. We have defended Australia for the past 60 years. We defeated the Japanese who were bombing the hell out of Australia. Your military is weak and almost non existent because WE have made up the bulk of your military. We have had a massive Pacific presence since ww2. America has only protected the weak for the past 65 years.

    • brux says:

      Just because Australia is not official part of America does not mean it is not in the American/Western hegemony and that the US does not gain by defending it. What is your point of going around insulting people who are smarter than you and who can make a point without being a jerk about it? God … where is the ignore button, I’ve just gotten two notifications of comments by you and that is just worthless, go off and bother someone else or better yet go figure out what your ideas really are and if you in fact actually have any except bickering and swearing.

    • $11752881 says:

      You don’t show a shred of intelligence by spouting the same BS European, British Commonwealth liberal nonsense that America is the one that preys on the weak. It shows how truly uneducated and sheepish you really are. It’s easy to spout Anti American propaganda when you don’t know an ounce of what you are talking about. I am tired of hearing the BS from all of you European and Commonwealth nations when the fact is MY tax dollars go to pay for YOUR military and defense. My friends and family members die to protect your lives. We are the first ones to stand up to any world evil while you all sit back and do nothing. You enjoy all of your socialist benefits like healthcare and what not only because my countrymen pay for it with our enormous defense budget to protect the world. All of your countries have yet to even pay for the smallest amount of 2% GDP towards NATO budgets that were agreed upon, then go and spread propaganda that we are the evil country.

    • brux says:

      I’ll bet you for sure I pay much more in taxes than you do and I think it’s clear to everyone here where the BS is emanating from … bcrogan. By the way, you are sure to be full of it when you do not even bother to read what is written or written to you, I never said or implied the US is evil … are you drunk typing or something.

    • $11752881 says:

      This reply was not intended for you to begin with, the reply system does not work correctly, I was replying to iamwookie who stated america is a gangster nation. Gangsters are evil and in that reference america is evil. This is the blanket thinking that permeates the liberal western world of the British, commonwealth, and European nations. It is this continued Infantile, naive propaganda that I am fed up with. I am fed up with the continued proliferation of radical left wing bs that has no clue what the world is really like. Western nations have become spoiled by my countries military recourses, both technological and human boots on the ground. We have been the greatest supporter to freedom and democracy this planet has ever seen. Freedom is not free, nor is it pretty when you are up against real tyranny from the soviet world, or jihadist Middle East.

    • Brad Powell says:

      You are absolutely ridiculous? Our country is the biggest promoter of peace??? Lol…wow you are on the kool-aid hard

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      What else can they preach

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      Theres people on here smoking the rong weed.

    • spktruth200 says:

      The Gallup International poll states the world fears the US among all nations of the world…our empire building is destroying us.

    • Dmenace says:

      If you are so tired of hearing anything that is adverse to your minuscule understanding oh the world…..
      Then don’t sign on and spare us!
      Please spare us, those who aren’t involved with Wookies , aliens made of silicone!
      We’re you denied breast feeding when you were just a lil baby Wookies?
      Hard to find the tit underneath all that synthetic hair..Ha!

    • MR PG says:

      hahaha have you ever seen Team America, lets police the world! You have a completely misguided view of how the world works, for a clearer picture of how your country works have a listen to some George Carlin! Have a listen to this playlist http://8tracks.com/explore/george_carlin

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      I can’t stand Carlin he’s not funny at all.

    • pissed says:

      Protect us against who? Theres no boogeyman out there. Like the man said the military exists to push forward a corporate agenda. I don’t want your type of protection thanks. World evil? I’m so scared. Give me a break.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      Oz is American’s testing ground for new weapons.

    • Dmenace says:

      Nothing the man said deserved your moronic outburst!
      World War II many Aussies died assisting the USA against the Japs!
      The reason the Nation of Australia exists
      Is because of Brits tying to get rid of what they deemed criminals,put them on this desolate continent.

      They proved that the bloody Empire
      We’re the fools! They are still to this day pompous. Arrogant little people on an island!
      Their only redeeming assets are the Welsh,Scot, and the Irish!

      The criminals built a nation that they are properly able to be PROUD of!

      Get out of your imaginary Star Wars life and get intoReality!

    • MR PG says:

      Arrogant little people on an island, enlighten us as to why you would pigeonhole an entire nation into this statement?

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      Oz has a great rabbit population. They will never run out of food What other contry can say that?

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      At a huge cost of course.

    • Dmenace says:

      You see ..your not a criminal bomb building lunatic
      You have the grace, to not post FUCK!

    • whoopsOhMy says:

      @IamWookie. yeah right, cheap bravado talk, talk, talk.. If you’re really that knock im out tough guy.give an address or location. I’m sure there would be droves lining up for that supposed thrashing you taunt. Can I be first, being I’ve been to places that would make a Billy Goat puke, and seen “boys” like you quiver in the knees and pee their pants when bravado says lets go. So, lets go

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      Im british canadian with some irish in me I Just happened to be born there.

      Oz is such a puppt of the US

      To say its a long way away is putting it mildly..

      It takes 3 weeks to get a letter from Oz.

      Their Post office must be in the Out Back

      Prolly in some aborigany cave.

  25. IamWookie says:

    War is necessary if we all want to be rich.

    • brux says:

      Kind of a trite nonsensical statement … yes, war does make some of us rich, but in most cases war is functioning as a way to consolidate the economic systems into larger and largers systems that are stronger and more efficient, thus providing security and jobs for people in a less and less agrarian and more automated and technical world. The problem is when the people who are running the west are swamped by the nasty people we have let into the system and they operate only for themselves and forget they are supposed to be benefitting everyone else in order to make a system that is appealing and pleasant. It’s easy to be as nasty as Russia or China … but theoretically the US should be better … this is the problem, more and more our leaders just think that war and security is the only metric to measure the world by … thus marginalizing all the human life and the environment of the planet … yes … it is pathological … we need to energize our immune system and kill the sickness that has taken over this country so that the people can prosper as welll …. but also, the people must realize their responsibillity to support a certain amount of military action against outside pathological systems that we need to “manage” … i.e., conquer for the sake of everyone.

    • spktruth200 says:

      War is used to keep populations (especially black or muslims) in check. Your wont find the US in any nation that doesn’t have Something we want to STEAL.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      So true.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      why is u suggesting Russia n china r nasty? Its the amiercans who are invading everyone

    • spktruth200 says:

      War is necessary for the 1% and their multinational corporations who use the CIA to cause stress inside nations who have oil or other minerals under the feet the US wants…then its onward Christian soldiers.

  26. IamWookie says:

    I ment to write pathogenic bacteria but my smart phone decided pathetic was a better word haha

    • Dmenace says:

      Your smart phone is brighter than you!
      Pathetic is what you are!
      Consider that as a gift from GOD!

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      Who the hell is God? have u met him seen him talked to him? jeez

    • Dmenace says:

      Would you like some psychological help?
      It appears to me that you are in pain
      Trying to reach out and prevent you. From doing something stupid that may harm others and yourself.
      If you believe in Wookies
      Believe on friends!

  27. IamWookie says:

    Should we all begin growing food in our backyards or will Asian nations invade Australia before we begin to feel hungry?
    While every man is at work i feel i should be studying bomb making and survival in Australian outback. Lets just hope a highly contagious pathetic bacteria that kills people painlessly while they sleep emerges before we all kill each other for food and rare elements . Can someone help change my way of thinking or just give me some peace of mind?
    I don’t believe in god either which sux . I am still waiting to be enlightened . Maybe im too stupid to understand the concept having a scientific way of thinking

    • brux says:

      I think you have the scientific way of thinking down … you have just personalized it in a rather idiosyncratic way to your own way of speaking.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      What does idjatievesatac mean?

    • Dmenace says:

      Survival tactics. Include learning fro the Asians as to what you can plant, grow,and what wild edibles you may have in the outback.. Get good boot, bow n arrows, steel trs. To catch meals you can’t hunt. A book about the outback and edibles,water sources, how to purify that. Water!
      Loin lenses will kill you before the crocs,spiders,snakes, etc
      If you try building boms? How. Much do you want to keep your fingers,hand?

      Don’t you see talking about making bombs
      Has made you a target?
      Right now secret device is monitoring your every shopping experience, your computer and phones are tapped,a drone is flying overheadwatching your every move!

      If I can find you with Google Earth satellite
      What makes you think You are safe?
      Wel Wookies , you have no beliefs
      In a higher power than little Wookies you

      Do us all a favor get some suicide prevention help!
      Because you aren’t living in the Real World.
      Your pathetic fantasies have but one end result
      Your death by your hand!

      So Long, goodbye, and may GOD have Mercy on your Soul!

    • thomas vesely says:

      grow the food….
      make your own energy..
      get independent.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      Its happened in the past its called the Plage

  28. evenhim says:


  29. sunmusing says:

    We just softened them up…so China can come in behind us and claim the wealth instead…

  30. Julio Jesus says:

    If China and Russia have a cut in the deal with USA in Afghanistan
    resources, then they are up to the same fate that destiny had for
    Stalin when he cut the deal with Hitler about the invasion of Poland…

    China and Russia will eventually be betrayed, stabbed in the back
    and invaded by USA.

    Just a matter of short time…

  31. geotou says:

    rich old men…sending our men to die…for what??oil?? this is so shameful..love my country..hate those that run it..they should all be locked up…

  32. planckbrandt says:

    And, the real reason for the War on Drugs? This is a repeat of Teddy Roosevelt in Dominican Republican and Colombia aka Panama…And, many other places. “…the areas that are in conflict in the drug war, exactly coincide with
    areas where there is a lot of interest in natural resources. Whether
    that be petroleum, mining interests, rivers for hydroelectric dams or
    land for African palm or sugar cane plantations, which are both used for
    biofuels—that’s what the conflicts are about. And security forces in
    Honduras and other parts of Central America like Guatemala, under the
    framework of the drug war, are being used to displace communities, to
    separate them from land rights, and gain access to natural
    resources–land, rivers, petroleum, forest. And the US assistance in the
    drug war is helping to facilitate that.” …meaning U.S. government and Honduran government–and private entities,
    mostly for profit companies. Like General Electric, and a large real
    estate development firm.” http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9027

    • spktruth200 says:

      Ole Alzheimer Ronnie Raygun started the war on drugs to incarcerate as many blacks/Hispanics as possible. Our prisons are overcrowded, costing us a small fortune. The cost of prison continues to skyrocket, stealing money from schools to educate. A five yr prison sentence is the equal of a Harvard education.

  33. Mkey says:

    Gary, Afghanistan has always supplied over 90% of the worlds opium…this isn’t new. The US never took over any of those fields though, they burned them. And the farmers just re-planted and continued selling to the Taliban. The sad thing is that pharmecutical companies have a stranglehold on the morphine market, so we can’t use the opium in Afghanistan for anything tangible, and trying to convince Afghans to grow alternative crops will never work.

    • thomas vesely says:

      the taliban banned opium production.
      it was down by 95%.
      as soon as the taliban were driven out,
      the poppy production resumed.
      ignored by the invaders.
      they made alliances with the drug lords.
      politics of creating addicts on the battle field
      to feed the prison industry.
      circular horror.

    • spktruth200 says:

      Absolutely, and as soon as US troops arrived, the poppy fields flourished…how many of our troops are addicted…..thousands, but you wont hear that on corporate media either.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      So true there was nothing else to do excpet smoke doope

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      The truth finally

    • spktruth200 says:

      There are NO planes coming out of Afganistan but those US warplanes…filled with guns going In, filled with heroin coming out…get real…this is how the CIA runs its psyops.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      The truth at last

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      The Talaban burnd the fields not the amiercans.who invaded to start the fields again

  34. brux says:

    Afghanistan surely has a lot of mineral resources, Iraq had oil, every country has something, you can make this argument after the fact with any country in the world.

    Sure, the US has interests all over the world, and moving Afghanistan closer to the world economy has its problems like everything else, but there surely must have been many reasons for invading Afghanistan.

    I don’t think this story or this idea is particularly insightful, it just seems to get the crazies arguing, and who knows maybe one of those crazies has the full story right, but how can any of it ever be proved and since it cannot what is the point of a million people all having their million peculiar ideas on things?

    Personally I think part of this was oil, part of it was resources, part of it was 911 revenge, part of it was pushing back on radical Islam – the toxic brand of Islam that holds a big chunk of the world as its dominion and does not allow freedom for anyone.  Part of it is geo-politial jockeying for position against Russia and China.

    What is the argument here … that we should not do any of these things or that these other systems, Radical Islam, Russia or China are not or will not compete with us.  Seriously the whole world view that this kind of article and these kind of sites promote may be intellectually stimulating for some, but where does all this negative speculation get any of us.  What can we do about it?  Is there any evidence that the so-called Imperial militarism of the US does not help us in some way and stabilize the world.

    By the way, I am not saying I support or believe anything other than these stories are out of context and too non-specific and speculative to be of any personal use to anyone in their life or political calculations.


    • Woofty says:

      You seem to be asking “Why have a brain and think, or even bother with morals?” Well, because most of us are not jellyfish.

    • Brux says:

      Nah, actually you might think a bit deeper instead of just knee-jerking because you think you hear something that tweaks you. Individually and locally it’s great to have morals, but somehow we have allowed the statistical global view of the world to take hold at the higher level and we’re stuck there. I could talk for hours about this and how I think it’s bad and wrong, but when you have to respond so sarcastically how is it worth the time and effort?

    • spktruth200 says:

      Islam had nothing to do with it…you bought the BS the Bush regime laid on you…Bin Laden was a CIA asset, and a family friend of the Bush crime family.

    • Archie Caldwell says:

      R u suggesting american is stapelizing the world?

  35. chiptatum says:

    Mr Baker..your insight into this presented article has many flaws.
    Firstly,Osama bin Laden died many years earlier from kidney failure and the myth of keeping him alive in the media was preplanned.
    Secondly,Osama was an ally of the Bush family and a friend.
    More importantly don’t focus on the Saudi family focus on the real issues which point’s to false flag operations performed by the MOSSAD GEOUP who were inline with the BUSH REGIME that brought down the twin towers by drone missiles.READ THE FULL 9/11 REPORT done by experts in the field of engineering physics and dynamics such as myself.
    The USA ISRAEL ALLIANCE is systematically trying to destabilise this region primarily to eliminate Pakistans nuclear arsenal,obviously the resources of Afghanistan is clear,ranging from minerals to oil and more importantly the OPIUM production in the SWAT REGION.
    THERE IS NO SUCH word as terrorists in this region,the occupation of their sovereign nation is their main objective to have USA ZIONISTS TO be removed that is the consensus even in Pakistan.
    get your facts right.
    Also you want real info then LOG ONTO INFOWARS.COM.

    • spktruth200 says:

      The 911 OMission report is filled with lies…just like the JFK assanation… Philip Zelikow was instrumental in the cover up, just like the Warren commissioner covered up LBK, the Mafia, and the CIA who killed JFK..

  36. Jerm says:

    If saudia arabia were involved it would only be at the behest of the USA and that is (probably) why the 9/11 commission found it insignificant to “follow the money”!

    • spktruth200 says:

      Since the so called “terrorists” were from Saudia Arabia..why didn’t we attack SA….instead of Afganistan? Because the Bush crime family in bed with the Bin Ladens since the 1930’s along with the Mossad did 911…and the majority of American people know its true..you gotta be pretty naïve to believe the gov. version.

    • spktruth200 says:

      Ole Prince Bandar! the evil vile piece of excrement.

  37. You continue to be the respectable face of the insurrectionist journos. Great piece, sir.

  38. Tana says:

    1998 journal article “Geopolitics of Oil in Central Asia”
    One pipeline option: bypass Persian Gulf through Afghanistan if secured militarily

    + poppies

  39. planckbrandt says:

    The other thing we should not forget. Just like in Bismarck’s Germany, Congo of recent years, or rural Colombia during that country’s long “civil” war.

    Violence gets started in the countryside (guns paid for by someone given to groups of right-wing thugs, or leftists for that matter, or both) solely to drive families off their land into starvation and the arms of mine operators. This game is as old as the hills. We had better start putting 2 and 2 together about why all the violence, why all the mistakes and “accidents” shooting up weddings in Afghanistan, or drone strikes in the countryside. All those gold and copper mines need starving men with families to go down them dirt cheap!

    This is the sad story throughout history about European (and now American) banks with their created fractional-reserve money, guns, trafficking, provoked conflict, violence, and land with valuable stuff either under it or growing on top of it!

  40. planckbrandt says:

    For some reason. JP Morgan wanted teh shareholders to know. And, Fortune complied. http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/11/jp-morgan-hunt-afghan-gold/

    Also, this documentary shows how US taxpayers’ money was used to pay the bribes to pave the way to get that stuff out of there! http://vimeo.com/9388088

  41. planckbrandt says:

    For some reason JPM wanted the shareholders to know. And, Fortune complied. http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/11/jp-morgan-hunt-afghan-gold/

    And, this shows how US tax payers’ money was used to pay the bribes to get the roads built and whatever is needed to move that stuff out of there. Why would they have to use their own? http://vimeo.com/9388088

  42. Melissa Roddy says:

    This map shows the known mineral deposits in Afghanistan, without answering the most important question: Who controls them? The article leaves this question open, so that the reader can fill in the blank — a very propagandistic technique.
    If we are there for the minerals, why on earth would we have allowed the Chinese to take control of the most readily available resource — one of the world’s largest copper mines, situated a short distance from Kabul?
    Dig up the answers regarding ownership of at least some of the resources on this map or drop the subject. On second thought, I’m tired of this argument. I’ll find the answers myself.

    • RizzoJizzo says:

      It seems to me likely that there is a desire among the world-shapers, the globalist-NWO-type folk, to lessen the power of the US, and it seems likely they have chose to increase the power of China at our expense, among other nations… Much like how financiers funded the development of Communist Russia while we were told they were terrible people.

      These are the games they play, they don’t stick to the usual nationalistic lines that most people are used to, they operate for a global agenda, this much is clear…I think we would do well to keep this in mind.

    • Tiki Wolf says:

      They parasite on the USA for their own agenda, in ours & God’s name.
      Hiding behind our flag…for now.
      Mammon has no allegiance.

    • spktruth200 says:

      who controls them…the country with a military willing to kill every afgan who opposes them.

  43. southtpa says:

    There’s plenty of gold in seawater but it’s not an ECONOMIC deposit. If you think you’re going to haul iron ore hundreds of miles by donkey cart and make money you’re in for a very rude
    awakening.Transportation cost and the size of capital investment required are the deal makers. Twenty or thirty years to break even in that part of the world would scare most people.

    • earaches says:

      The companies won’t be spending their money to do this, they will be spending our tax dollars – hence making it “profitable.”

  44. Gary D. Barnett says:

    Thanks for your article today about the real reasons for the Afghan War. I just wanted to point out that you failed to mention one very major resource that has played a huge role in this assault on Afghanistan. That would be the poppy fields taken over by the U.S. military, and the fact that Afghanistan (U.S.) now supplies 92% of the worlds opium for drug production. The CIA has to fund its black ops somehow.

    • Curt says:

      Excellent point. See the graph on page 2. The Taliban actually brought opium production down during their reign.

    • Litesp33d says:

      It is all BS. We were ‘told’ the Taliban were bringing down opium production because at the time they were fighting the Russians and were thus our ‘new best friends’ and anything that made them look good was ‘good news’

      As soon as Afghanistan was invaded they became our ‘new worst enemies’ and so we were told opium poppy production was up. So they became the baddies.

      Personally anyone who decides to live their life on the basis of what an imaginary friend tells them to do and kill others because they do not so believe are bad news. However we won’t do that because 80% of the US military thinks the same thing.

  45. Rob says:

    Just as General Smedley Butler said, War Is a Racket.

  46. gogetem1 says:

    I wonder if there were any maps of Afghanistan that came out of the “Cheney Energy Task Force”….Do we know any more that came out of these secretive meetings?

    • Russ Baker says:

      Known maps were of Iraq, Saudi, UAE oilfields and related facilities. Not clear whether this arena would have been correct one for dealing with Afghan minerals.

  47. leftheaded says:

    I’ve wondered for years about the US’s true motivation for arming the Afghan freedom fighters in the 80’s. Seems to me the most likely explanation is that the US and Russia each knew about the minerals, and the US didn’t want Russia to have them. Of course, it’s easier to sell the external threat of Communism to the public, however, making that the story that was reported.

  48. Orangutan. says:

    Government Officials Say 9/11 Was State-Sponsored Terrorism … But Disagree About WHICH Nation Was Behind Attacks

    See here: http://911blogger.com/news/2012-09-08/government-officials-say-911-was-state-sponsored-terrorism-disagree-about-which-nation-was-behind-attacks

    Did Iran Back 9/11 Hijackers? Saudi Arabia? Iraq? Afghanistan? America? Israel?

    Support Investigative Journalism!!

  49. Bryce says:

    I don’t doubt your insinuation, in fact I completely agree with it, but we are pushing this line without evidentiary back-up. Doing so is just fine, but we need to be able to stand up to the hack critics…

    • Russ Baker says:

      Please read carefully. The Saudi story, with all its details, is one collection of evidence. The fact that the Afghans themselves already documented their mineral wealth before 2001 is another. These things cannot and should not be ignored–they are exactly the type of things a prosecutor would highlight.

    • Bryce says:

      I was referring more to the Afghan invasion. The Saudi connection is solid. That the American military actually invaded to secure its mineral wealth is based on more circumstantial evidence, that is, foreknowledge about the wealth. But then, I’m not sure what I’m even arguing about anymore. I agree with your thesis entirely!

  50. antoinepgrew says:

    “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

    Oil for whom, Russ?

    Ed Vuillamy in The Guardian on April 19, 2003 wrote, “Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil — US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional ally and solve energy headache at a stroke.”

    Israel went nuts over Vuillamy’s reporting because Israeli Minister Paritzky “let the cat out of the bag” as reported in Israeli papers at the time. They were furious with him. Then, Netanyahu that June (2003) told a bunch of investors in London that the pipeline was not a pipedream and that it was going to be built. The issue was turning into a tempest, and by late August 2003, all news about Israel’s Iraqi pipeline was buried and the Iraq War was recast with yet another excuse. Paritzky was fired in October 2003. Here’s Haaretz’s version:

    This was planned before the war started. Vuillamy quotes Jane’s Defense Weekly’s assertion that “The plan [building the pipeline] was promoted by the now Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and the pipeline was to be built by the Bechtel company, which the Bush administration last week awarded a multi-billion dollar contract for the reconstruction of Iraq. The memorandum [MOU with Israel] has been quietly renewed every five years, with special legislation attached whereby the US stocks a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it entailed domestic shortages – at a cost of $3 billion (£1.9bn) in 2002 to US taxpayers.”

    CSMonitor story:

    Akiva Eldar in Counterpunch:

    There are Pentagon photos showing Bush at the DoD in front of a huge staging map before the Iraq War started. (Seem to remember the Pentagon photographer said the photos were shot in December 2002.) The H1, H2, and H3 bases in NW Iraq were the *first* bases the US created and occupied. You can actually see them on the map. I saw photos later of US soldiers stationed at these bases with pipeline construction going on in the background. And what are the H1, H2, and H3 bases? They are sites along the old 1948 Mosul-to-Haifa pipeline that Israel wants revived.

    The map with Bush is on the bottom of page 2 in this pdf:

    • Russ Baker says:

      Israel of course would have its own strategic objectives in its own backyard, and it would not be surprising to see the US take those into consideration, but I find it interesting how many commenters, such as this one, simply gloss over or ignore outright the considerable, hard documentation of the Saudi angle–right on our site itself, in copious detail. We can explore why Israel supported or aided or even helped plan the invasion, and Britain, and other countries–but there is simply no current substantive equivalent to the data out of Sarasota Florida linking the names on the planes to the Saudi royal family. http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/09/22/saudi-royal-ties-to-911-hijackers-via-florida-saudi-family-0/

    • antoinepgrew says:

      Russ, I was on Daniel Hopsicker’s stuff about linking the hijackers in Sarasota (and one other FL place) to the Saudis a decade ago. Read the blog, the book, and watched the vids. But as far as 9/11 goes, I’m still stuck at the how-it-was-done stage. I’m still stuck on using the ‘ole scientific method. Figure out how it was done first. The rest follows. I don’t accept that a jet fuel fire *vaporized* two towers (200,000 tons of steel) before they hit the ground in 8 to 10 seconds each. Or that a couple of small office fires brought down WTC7. Believe it not, I don’t go any further than that, and haven’t since I watched it happen in real time. I’m still waiting for the truth. I *do not have* any opinion about who did it or why. Who could without knowing what caused it first? It could be the Saudis or the satraps and seraphim of State; it’s all conjecture.

      (I heard of Canadians who used private planes to get out of the country, btw.)

      The Israel stuff is part of the whole mix, but writing about Israel is, as you know, a taboo topic unless its laudatory and, increasingly, extremist. It’s loosening up lately, but this elephant in the ME room isn’t doing itself or any of us any favors. If you repeat that Zelikow said in 2003 that we went to war in Iraq for Israel’s security, the vultures come out with their claws. As for Afghanistan, Japan locked up the huge Afghani lithium reserve years ago, but I want to know why our soldiers pick their opium.

    • Orangutan. says:

      Here’s how the towers went down:

      Here’s a short recap of the event:

      9/11 Is the Litmus Test. Everyone in government and every field of endeavor the world over is defined by their position on this event. It is not necessary to know the truth. It is only necessary to know the extent of the lies in order to define any leader in any position anywhere in the world.

    • antoinepgrew says:

      As the opening line says (and I bought that DVD when it came out) first things first: find out how the buildings came down.

    • Curt says:

      Not even the Israeli agents in Hoboken, NJ, caught watching and celebrating as the towers burned? Not a direct linkage, but certainly circumstantial. Neighbors called the police for the very reason that they were celebrating. I wouldn’t poo poo that. Not exactly something allies against terror do… (And no, this has nothing to do with the Israeli people at large, just as the Saudi pilots have nothing to do with the Saudi people.)
      The Saudi connection is indisputable. But I wouldn’t rule out any other suspects. In fact, if you widen the lens a bit and look at connections surrounding the entire 9/11 event, you begin to see another state actor. You should know this above all Russ. It’s the kind of spook analysis on which your thesis on JFK and Watergate relies. Certain people in certain places with certain curious connections.

    • gogetem1 says:

      If the Saudi state was involved (and I think it was) does it make any sense that its close ally, the US and its intelligence agencies didn’t know anything about it? Unless the Saudi’s were planning the biggest double-cross of all time. Somehow, I doubt it.

    • Curt says:

      Read House of Bush, House of Saud. Fantastic book. The US has been deeply connected to Saudi intelligence at least since the early 1980s. The US outsourced certain covert ops to them. Why? It totally bypasses any and all Congressional oversight.

    • Curt says:

      I quote Family of Secrets, page 111: “Yet recall that the owner of the building was one D. Harold Byrd, a right-wing oilman, founder of Civil Air Patrol, avid Kennedy hater–and a friend of both Clint Murchison and George de Mohrenschildt. This all could be coincidence, but surely it is the kind of coincidence that invites a few more questions.”

      If I were investigating 9/11, I might start with the person who owned the buildings at the time and ask similar questions. When did he acquire them? What did he gain from it? Who were his friends? What associations does he have and what organizations is he part of?

      When you begin to answer those questions, you see patterns. The thing is, I don’t understand why we’re allowed to do that with the Texas Book Depository ownership, but not with the World Trade Center complex ownership and control of Port Authority security contracts. I ask the most fundamental questions, take the answers I find, and go with it; regardless of whether those answers are uncomfortable for some people. And when I probe those areas, I certainly don’t find Saudis–who due to our popular culture we’re absolutely fine with incriminating. But who said the truth was comfortable or politically correct?

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