Far from being a necessary part of the US’s national security strategy, the Afghanistan war is actually a threat to it, says Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich.
In a statement released two days after President Barack Obama announced a 30,000-troop surge for the war effort and a July, 2011, beginning for troop withdrawal, Kucinich argued that extending the war would destabilize the United States at home.
“America is in the fight of its life and that fight is not in Afghanistan — it’s here,” Kucinich declared. “We are deeply in debt. Our GDP is down. Our manufacturing is down. Our savings are down. The value of the dollar is down. Our trade deficit is up. Business failures are up. Bankruptcies are up.
“The war is a threat to our national security. We’ll spend over $100 billion next year to bomb a nation of poor people while we reenergize the Taliban, destabilize Pakistan, deplete our army and put more of our soldiers’ lives on the line. Meanwhile, back here in the USA, 15 million people are out of work. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. $13 trillion in bailouts for Wall Street, trillions for war; when are we going to start taking care of things here at home?”
Kucinich a seven-term House representative from western Cleveland, has long been a high-profile opponent of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
“The people of Afghanistan don’t want to be saved by us,” Kucinich said on the House floor Wednesday. “They want to be saved from us. Our presence and our Predator drones kill countless innocents, creating more US enemies and destabilizing Pakistan.”
In September, following a NATO airstrike that killed 95 people, including most of a small Afghan village, Kucinich declared that the war in Afghanistan is “quickly developing into a tragedy of monumental proportions. It is time for the US to end this war and bring our troops home.”
By Daniel Tencer
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 — 1:57 pm
Source: The Raw Story
– Obama: ‘I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank.’
Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.
Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.
“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.
“There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”
“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department’s head of personnel. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”
“I’m not much for this war. I’m not sure it’s worth all those lives lost,” said Sergeant Christian Richardson as we walked across corn fields that will soon be ploughed up to plant a spring crop of opium poppy.
Opium production rate has soared to 6,900 tons in Afghanistan in the past 10 years ‘despite‘ the presence of 100,000 foreign troops in the country for nearly eight years.
A report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said on Wednesday that Afghanistan produces 92 percent of the world’s opium that has devastating global consequences.
The UN report also noted that Afghanistan’s illegal opium production is worth 65 billion dollars.
The heroin and opium market feeds 15 million addicts, with Europe, Russia and Iran consuming half the supply, UNODC reported.
– Top US commander in Afghanistan: The Taliban have gained the upper hand:
The Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, the top American commander there said, forcing the U.S. to change its strategy in the eight-year-old conflict by increasing the number of troops in heavily populated areas like the volatile southern city of Kandahar, the insurgency’s spiritual home. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that means U.S. casualties, already running at record levels, will remain high for months to come.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)