Back of which Queue?

48.1 to 51.9 The Referendum vote proved almost every poll and pundit wrong…….

A failed campaign of threats and intimidation, warning of every possible consequence, real and imagined, included a motley coalition of past premiers and senior ministers with 4405-1one whose policies are now widely acknowledged to have led to the destabilisation of the Middle East. The intervention of an American President who famously warned that Britain would ‘find themselves at the back of the queue’ regarding future trade deals should they choose to leave the EU’ arguably galvanised the leave vote.

imageToday as David Cameron announced his resignation, Barak Obama spoke of the special relationship between Britain and America as ‘enduring’ stating that Britain and the EU remain “indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world”. A stark reminder perhaps that politics is a power game of shifting sands,. Whether this proves to be a game of monopoly or dominoes remains to be seen.

Those who dared to express an alternative opinion by voting to exit the EU were treated with condescension; others who stated their concern regarding border security and the potential effect of immigration on housing, education and the NHS  were accused of racism. Britain has a reputation for being among the most tolerant and generous nations in the world yet poverty is a fact of life for millions in the UK. This is shown by more than 1 million people who relied  on food banks in 2015 when 3.7 million children in Britain (a quarter of all children) were living in poverty, 63% of these were living in a family where someone was working. The Institute of Fiscal Studies predicted an increase of  400,000 by 2016 with a further 400,000 by 2020.

Whatever the consequences of the referendum, what seemed unthinkable even days ago must now be acknowledged. For better or worse a momentum is building, a power surgeScreen shot 2016-06-24 at 20.20.35 of hope and enthusiasm among  the poorest people in some of the richest countries of the world. On the first day following the exit vote, serious concerns are being expressed of domino effect repercussions with France, Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Hungary joining Sweden, Greece, Spain and Italy in reconsidering their positions. With Greece now consigned to  little more than a holding camp for the hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants and France struggling to manage the inhuman conditions of the ‘Jungle’ encampment it is hardly surprising that polls in both countries now indicate a majority who wish to leave the EU. This is a good moment to pause and reflect on whether any or all of the member nations would choose to join the European Union in its present form today, faced with the challenges of the seeds it has itself sown.

The words of Martin Luther King ring true today as they did when he galvanised a social revolution:  ‘These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and the barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.’ That light is their own realisation  that power abuse and oppression is the consequence of apathy and a belief that we are powerless.

afplivefive285082-1260x650

Of one thing we can be sure, whatever lies ahead of us, the Brexit vote will be blamed forScreen shot 2016-06-24 at 16.40.35 any and all ills which may befall us and these will continue to be manipulated by those who hold the instruments of power. The IMF, the Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs and Co. etc etc. who do not reside in Brussels but remain all powerful.


A Forgotten Truth

An unholy row has arisen in the UK  which threatens to engulf the Labour Party at a significant election time. Once again the theme of anti semitism has risen its ugly head.  Or has it?  Accusations have been made relating to comments by Ken Livingstone, a former

Ken-Livingstone-Getty.jpgmayor of London, in which he  referred to Hitlers support for a repatriation scheme through which German Jews emigrated to Palestine. This has been interpreted as a slur against the Jewish people, the resulting furore should give us pause to consider the definition of the term ‘anti semitism’. The definition of Semitic:  ‘relating to the peoples who speak Semitic languages, especially Hebrew and Arabic.’  Few would question that this includes Palestinians yet the term ‘antisemitic’ is now accepted as prejudice or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic or racial group. In fact what was being referred to was Hitlers support, if lukewarm, for the negotiations which took place between Zionist Jewish political leaders and the  pre war Nazi government.Something now being denied.

Definition of Zionism:  The Jewish political movement founded by Theodor Herzl in 1896. Its  ultimate goal being the return of Jews to Zion, the Jewish synonym for Jerusalem. In order for this to occur there had to be a Jewish State  and this was founded by the Zionist movement in 1948. All Jews are not Zionists,  many reject the political ideology and find themselves at odds with Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Opposition to Zionism is  however frequently defined, deliberately or otherwise as anti semitism, an effective way of stifling debate.

Since Zionism relates to political beliefs rather than to race or religion it can not properly be defined in anti semitic terms.  We might best look to the Jewish people themselves for a true definition. ‘The relatively new concept of  Zionism began only about menorahone hundred years ago and since that time Torah-true Jewry has steadfastly opposed the Zionist ideology. Zionism has not only denied our fundamental belief in Heavenly Redemption it has also created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our identity to be a secular nationalism. Accordingly, Zionism and the Israeli state have consistently endeavoured, via persuasion and coercion, to replace a Divine and Torah-centered understanding of our peoplehood with an armed materialism.’  (Quote: Torah Jews)

It is always best to check facts before voicing opinions especially loud or dangerous ones: The Haavara Agreement is an undisputed document negotiated between Nazi Germany and German Zionist Jews, finalized on August 25th 1933 by the Zionist Federation of Germany, the Anglo-Palestinian Bank (under the directive of the Jewish Agency and the economic authorities of Nazi Germany. Through this agreement Jews, persecuted under Hitlers new Nazi regime were able to flee to Palestine, then governed by the British under the Palestine Mandate. Under this British regime severe immigration restrictions existed for Jews wishing to emigrate to Palestine.

While there can be no doubt concerning Hitlers determination to rid Germany of the Jews, the period in question preceded the horrific Holocaust. Initially critical of the Haavara Agreement he vacillated  but reversed his opinion and supported it for whatever reason, in the period 1937-1939. The Agreement therefore continued in effect until 1938 following the German invasion of Poland and the start of WW2. 

Sam Cohen a Polish Zionist Jew represented Zionist interests in direct negotiation with the Nazis beginning in March 1933. In late March Leopold von Mildenstein,satanmindelan SS officer, was sent to Palestine on a fact-finding mission and began to write reports for the Nazi newspaper Der Angriff which favoured the Zionist cause. In May 1933 permission to transfer capital from Germany to Palestine was sought and after three months of negotiation the  Haavara Agreement was  signed.

Under the Agreement German Jews were forced to surrender much of their wealth but allowed to salvage some of their assets to purchase German manufactured goods for export. It allowed German Jewish emigrants with capital of £1,000, (about $5,000 in 1930s values) to move to Palestine under an immigrant Investment programme.   Some 39 percent of an emigrant’s funds were given to Jewish communal economic development projects in Palestine.  After administrative and shipping costs emigrants were left with 43% of the value of whatever assets they had been allowed to transfer out of Germany.

German factories in British-ruled Palestine benefitted from a substantial export market under the Transfer Agreement. With the start of World War II, the programme ended, by which time the total export currency value had risen to some 35 million dollars in 1939 values. The new State of Israel was declared by the Zionist movement in 1948 on the eve of the termination of the Palestine Mandate.

 

.

HOME OF THE BRAVE…

YES WE CAN!  The mantra chanted by millions as Barak Obama swept to power eight years ago. We were enchanted by his charisma, his rhetoric and not least his smile which gave hope to the masses anticipating the sea change they had voted for. Cynics among us warned us not to be naive, reminding us  where the real power lay and the seats at the table forever assured by financial contribution to campaigns, sadly they were Screen shot 2016-04-06 at 12.33.44right.  It takes more than  hope  to bring about change – it takes courage and effective action and the  machinations of power and control were revealed almost immediately, leaving  the new President impotent. Whether we believe this to be unintended consequence or just part of the plan, the result is the same.

Do we need another Obama? Obama seized the executive power entrusted to his office, reform of gun control, immigration and ominously  martial law are now enshrined in Executive Orders with a precedent set. How would Cruz, Trump, Clinton, Sanders use that power? While for many  Bernie Sanders might be seen to have inherited the mantle as the next great hope to  bring about the political revolution, if elected he would surely find himself as hog tied as those who have made valiant attempts in the past. Nevertheless the revolution has begun. Whoever inherits the White House at such a momentous time will be faced with the reality of a seismic shift and a shift is surely needed to begin the redress the balance of inequality.

It is estimated that the current campaign has cost $6 billion to date, with another 7 months to go this is expected to top $10 billion.  A glance at who is bank rolling the parties might give us a clue as to future policy.

 Hilary Clinton used her impressive international political status to amass a  campaign war chest  in the years of Obama’s presidency, drawing criticism for the influence her corporate funding will inevitably bring.  Bernie Sanders rose from the position of rank outsider funded by individual campaign contributions averaging  $27 which accumulated to rival  Hilary Clintons fund. Ted Cruz is said to have spent $2 billion dollars on his previous campaign and benefits from traditional Republican corporate funding while a central plank of billionaire businessman Donald Trump’s campaign is that having personally funded it he is free of corporate influence.

Quote: “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”–  Mayer Amschel Rothschild who understood that it is not who sits in the White House but who controls the money.

(Top line indicates external corporate fund raising, the lower line, internal campaign donations)

Screen shot 2016-04-06 at 12.24.27

At February 2016  America currently had a national debt of  $19,012,827,698,418. with a projected figure of $26 trillion by the end of this decade.

A recently updated research project found that  U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan  cost $3.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest…

Meanwhile

  •  More than 16 million children (22% of all children in America) live below the federal poverty line.
  • The United Sates has less than 5% of the world population it has 25% of the worlds total prison population and while people of colour make up some 30% of the US population they account for 60% of those imprisoned.
  • The US is the only nation among Western developed nations which does not guarantee access to health care.

To quote Ghandi:, When asked what he thought of Western democracy he answered:  “I think it would be a good idea”

LAND OF THE FREE…

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 04.20.22The world watches hypnotically as the  US electioneering process descends into a chaotic parody of verbal abuse culminating in physical violence. The voice of sanity has yet to prevail. Mockery  turned to disbelief as the army of supporters who turned out to listen to Donald Trump began to cast their votes. Today we are  forced to acknowledge that he has maintained his lead  to gain the nomination of the Republican Party.

Such is the panic among his own party members that all efforts are being made to block220px-Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress his nomination even if he gathers the most votes.  Those of us unfamiliar with the complexities of the US voting system are understandably puzzled that votes cast can be potentially over ruled by the power elite who in the end decide the nominee.

For some the spectre of  a President Trump is too awful to contemplate, when he states that he would ‘leave it to my generals to decide’ on whether to use the nuclear option. His crass comments on abortion and his attempts to redefine them when challenged are an indicator of how spectacularly ill equipped he is to sit in the Oval Office.

Yet none of this matters for he is not  attracting votes for his statesmanlike qualities, his knowledge of foreign policy or even trade  but perhaps for his candour. People are voting for him precisely because he is not talking like a politician. He is providing a voice for those who have been too long ignored and dismissed and is stating what those outside America have known for decades; the United States are not United and while this may be the land of the brave it is certainly not the land of the free.

Donald Trump is an agent for change, a man whose time has come, the momentum is building and the tipping point has been reached. Whatever the vote the anger of the American people will create the change which could have and should have come about through social reform and compassionate governance. This movement is not confined to America, all over the world  the people are claiming what is rightfully theirs, from  the Arab Spring to the Occupy Wall Street and the Black Lives Matter movements. When they appear to have run their course and for a time splutter and  seem to die it is not the end, the energy rises again and can not be suppressed.

While Trump may well be an agent for change his job is to reveal the inequalities andScreen shot 2016-04-05 at 03.58.12 corruption inherent within the so called democracy. We need another to take us forward to the next step. Bernie Sanders, America’s longest serving Independent politician is also proving to be an enigma, uniting the young and funding his candidacy by supporter’s donations. Trumps campaign is self funded and both can claim a degree of financial independence from Wall Street. We await the long term significance.

Change never comes about easily and to quote Martin Luther King, power is never surrendered willingly. Many steps will be needed,  it requires courage to acknowledge when we can no longer reform something. Then it must be replaced. This is the cycle of dissolution which must occur before we can build again, inevitably a period of seeming or actual chaos ensues. To achieve success we can not use the old systems or rely on those who built them to reform them. Most of all we should ensure we are no longer shackled to those who would inevitably enslave us again. When all things are in place America can become ‘the shining city on the hill’ the beacon of hope we once believed it to be.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” –Thomas Jefferson

 

Unintended consequence…

ancient egypt nile riverAgriculture in the Nile delta traditionally benefited from the water and silt deposited by the annual Nile flood, making the delta one of the richest agricultural areas in the world and allowing one of the most advanced human civilizations ever seen to flourish in ancient times.

Today the Aswan Dam, a magnificent feat of engineering, controls the flow of the Nilemn_wl_mn_fkr_bbn_lsd_lly_0 waters allowing the waters to be used for irrigation of crops, drinking water and to generate hydroelectric power for 80 million dependent Egyptians.

Unintended consequences: Five years after the dam was built, the fishing industry which formerly sustained communities remained in decline with only 3,628 tons of the anticipated 20,000 tons caught annually. Ten years later the catch had dropped to 907 tons, and in 1978 the fisheries were catastrophically depleted.

Farmers have been forced to use about a million tons of artificial fertiliser as a substitute for the nutrients that no longer fill the flood plain. The water table has risen since the dam was built, increasing the danger of fertiliser and other agricultural waste products seeping into the river, the main source of drinking water for the local population

Swamps have resulted from Irrigation and more intensive farming, combined with inadequate drainage. Mosquitoes need shallow stagnant water to breed, and the lakeshore provides the perfect environment. The first cases of malaria were seen in northern Africa after Lake Nasser was established and latest research indicates that West Nile virus, a water-bred and mosquito-borne disease would not flourish if Lake Nasser had not been built. In some areas an increased occurrence, from 21% to almost 100% of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia (a disease caused by parasitic flat worms) has been recorded among the population. (National Geographic). While schistosomiasis has been present in the region for thousands of years, the stagnant water in the fields and the reservoir provide a perfect breeding ground.

Sudan007-LMore than 100,000 Nubians were forcibly resettled under the dam building programme with Sudanese Nubians relocated 370 miles (600 km) from their homes. The people tried to farm the riverbank arable land which was submerged by the reservoir, causing increased erosion. Some 50,000 farmers were eventually forced to abandon their land and traditional farming methods. The area they were moved to could not sustain the population, resulting in poverty and rising death rates.. The resettlement areas were infested with the tsetse fly, and many people were exposed to sleeping sickness ending up in refugeen camps where epidemics flourished due to inadequate hygiene. Resettled Nubians became dependent on food aid to avoid starvation.

Erosion of the Delta: For the first time in 10,000 years inhabitable land on the Delta has decreased due to the reduced supply of silt and sediment from the annual flood which has caused heavy erosion in the Nile Delta and beyond. The silt which no longer reaches the Delta now gets trapped behind the Aswan Dam, settling in thick layers on the floor of Lake Nasser. The reservoir is becoming smaller each year, and is less able to handle the water and electricity-generation needs of the nation.

 Located in East Africa, Ethiopia, historically a rich country is today a poverty-strickenFamine in Ethiopia economy based on agriculture and therefore rain. Climactic conditions, worsened by failed government policies have been identified as the cause of famines that struck Ethiopia between 1961 and 1985, and in particular the one of 1983–5.The environmental effect of the Aswan Dam (commenced in 1960 and completed in 1960) should perhaps be factored in.

Three of the four major tributaries of the River Nile arise in Ethiopia where the Blue Nile begins; despite this the Ethiopians were left out of the negotiations to build the Aswan Dam. Egypt was allocated 55.5 billion cubic meters of water annually with Sudan allowed 18.5. Unsurprisingly Ethiopia is currently constructing what will become Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam. Begun in 2011 and partly funded by China, it is expected to be operational by 2017. Concerned officials in the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation claim Egypt will lose 20 to 30 percent of its share of Nile water and nearly a third of the electricity generated by its Aswan High Dam. The Egyptian government has stated its intention to defend its historic water allotment with a military strike ‘not out of the question’.

From a global perspective, the Aswan Dam tends to increase the salinity of the Mediterranean Sea, affecting the outflow current which can be traced thousands of kilometres into the Atlantic. Variation of ocean currents has a direct correspondence with sea levels and salinity the consequence of which is only now being understood. Ocean currents have the ability to both cool, aiding the creation of Antarctic ice and the ability to warm, creating the warmer climates now being recorded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqjvXNykf34

Ethiopia : 1984 to 1985 famine in Ethiopia

Climate Change and the Fall of Civilizations

compare-and-contrast-mesopotamia-and-egypt-1Four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia, the area we today call Iraq, the Akkadian and Summerian civilizations flourished. Three thousand years ago a network of advanced civilizations included the Old Kingdom of  Egypt (2649–2150 B.C.) early Bronze Age cities in Palestine, and the early Minoan civilization. Eight hundred years later the population abruptly left their homes and fled south, abandoning the cities due to a drought that lasted 300 years.  The latest research shows how subtle shifts in atmospheric circulation could have scorched Mesopotamia and the greater region leading to drought, famine, civil unrest and mass migration.

 Archeology from Space: While researching settlements of the Old Kingdom of Egypt Dr Sarah Parcak an anthropologist at the  University of Alabama unexpectedly found that Screen shot 2015-12-30 at 21.53.4480% of cities had been abandoned at the close of the period.This suggested a cataclysmic event resulting in sudden migration and depopulation. Imagery through Remote Sensing satellite technology showed no further trace of human habitation  for another two hundred years following which pottery shards related to the Middle Kingdom only were found.

 Professor Harvey Weiss of Near Eastern archeology at Yale, researched the significance of wind blown sand related to drought, believing that not only the Old Kingdom in Egypt but the other early Bronze Age cities  and the  Minoan civilization were crippled by drought. Dr Peter deMenocal a Paleo – climatologist at Colombia University confirmed that any large-scale drought would have left a mark in nearby ocean floor sediment. The Gulf of Oman lying approximately 700 miles southeast of ancient Mesopotamia, would have caught any windblown dust that swept down from the Tigris and Euphrates valleys.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 11.29.34 PMDr deMenocal verified oceanic core samples. from the Gulf of Oman. Fine sand deposits found in the core samples over a 1 to 200 year period indicated a change in wind currents. ie climate change. Wind blown sand from Arabia at the time of the climatic change corresponded with the period of mass migration at 4200 years.

Dolomite (a mineral found in the mountains of Iraq and Turkey and on the Mesopotamian floodplains)   found in the core samples,  could only have been transported to the gulf by wind.  The chemistry of the dolomite dust matches that of the dolomite in the Mesopotamian mountains and plains, verifying the mineral’s source. At exactly 4,200 calendar years, the graph shows a big spike of dolomite, a fivefold increase. This in turn corresponds with the onset of  the collapse of  empires.

Dr Fekin Hassan Institute of Archeology University College, London conducting research on tomb records of Peppi ll The last Pharaoh of the Pyramid Age, the Old Kingdom. Tomb decorations illustrate abundant crops and produce, a flourishing economy and stable society of artistic refinement in the highest civilization then known. At the end of a reign of 94 years Pharaoh Peppi left a stable kingdom with no sign of unrest. Inexplicably the area then suddenly became depopulated with no further pyramids built for a two hundred year period, suggesting a decline of empire. Tomb Inscriptions from 2,184BC record a period of civil unrest, looting, killing and collapse of the empire: ‘The sky was clouded, the people were like locusts throughout the land. The whole of Egypt was dying of hunger to such degree that everyone had come to eating their children’  A papyrus document centuries later confirms the social upheaval: “Lower Egypt weeps, the children of princes are dashed against walls. The river is blood yet still men drink of it. How was it that everyman kills his brother”

 Historians have long puzzled over the sudden demise of established civilizations; in the past few years, drought and flooding have been cited in the demise of several including the Maya of Central America, the Anasazi Indians of the American Southwest, the Moche of Peru and the Tiwanaku of Bolivia. Climate change research now also indicates why many of the major cities of the Indus Civilisation, of present-day Pakistan and India were abandoned due to a sudden weakening of the summer monsoon affecting northwest India 4,100 years ago. University of Cambridge scientists Professor David Hodell and Dr Cameron Petrie have demonstrated that the resulting drought led to the decline of cities.

 “It is essential to understand the link between human settlement, water resources and landscape in antiquity, and this research is an important step in that direction,” explained Dr Petrie. “We hope that this will hold lessons for us as we seek to find means of dealing with climate change in our own and future generations.”

ISLAM AT CHRISTMAS

Surprisingly,  there are more similarities than differences  between Christianity and Islam. 

shine_quranThe definition of a Muslim is ‘One who surrenders to the will of God’. Mohammed is acknowledged by the faithful as the final messenger sent from God; chosen to receive verbal communication from Archangel Gabriel, to guide mankind to the last days. This became the Quran.

Jesus is revered by Muslims as a prophet and and referred to under various titles, the most common being al-Masīḥ  (“the Messiah”). Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth near The Day of Judgement to restore justice and to defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal  (“the false messiah”. (also known as the Anti Christ). Jesus is named in the Quran more often than the patriarchs, Moses (136 times) or Abraham (69 times). His Islamic name is Isa ‘the word of truth’ and he is referred to as “Ibn Maryam” (son of Mary).  Muslims believe Jesus was  sent by God as a final prophet to guide the children of Israel; he is unique in being the only prophet in Islam who neither married nor had any children

In Christianity God is expressed through imagesThe  Holy Trinity, Father ,Son and Holy Spirit, with Jesus, The Son.  Islamic text forbids the association of partners with God who is singular, or “one” – the pinnacle of sacred power. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed to be the Son of God.

 Mary: The nineteenth chapter of the Quran (Maryam) is named after Mary and refers to her life.The Quran accords with biblical text regarding the lineage of Mary as “the daughter of  Imran” (the equivalent of Joachim in Christian tradition) and “sister of Aaron”. In the Quran, Hannah the mother of Mary, prayed for a child and eventually conceived; in gratitude she presented her daughter to serve in the temple.

The Immaculate Conception:  The Quran states that the only children born without the ‘touch of Satan’ were Mary and Jesus.

The Annunciation: The Virgin Birth of Jesus announced to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel is a dogma which is disputed by many Christians but univocally recognized in Islam.Carl_Heinrich_Bloch_-_The_AnnunciationThe Quran states that God breathed “His Spirit” into Mary while she was chaste. “Behold!” the angel said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee – chosen thee above the women of all nations”. Mary asks the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) how she can conceive, when no man has touched her. As in biblical text, Gabriel’s reply assures Mary that for God all things are possible and that the virgin birth will be a sign for mankind.

Miracles: Jesus preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God and was given the ability to perform miracles including healing the sick, curing blindness, raising the dead and casting out demons. No other prophet in Islam has ever been credited with equal power. ‘Isa, through God’s power and will, cures the blind and the leper, raises the dead to life and knows what you eat and what you store in your houses.’ 

 Death, Resurrection and Ascension: Islam teaches that Jesus survived the cross and continued his mission, at the end of his life ‘God raised him unto Himself’. The Resurrection is viewed as the end of the world when all humanity will be raised and judged – Judgement Day. Christianity and Islam share a belief in Heaven and Hell.

JUST GEOGRAPHY!

To begin to understand what is meant by Peace we must understand what is meant by War. Defense is the usual cloak worn to justify attack.

Wars are driven by conquest and plunder.

Resources are essential to the survival of empires,

Military might is essential to achieve access and occupation.

The invasion of Afghanistan presented as a war directed against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, to eliminate “Islamic terrorism” is now acknowledged as  a war of plunder to control resources. The objective – to sustain a geopolitical foothold in Central Asia and install western style ‘democracy’.Map_of_Central_AsiaStanding at the crossroads of pipeline routes and major oil and gas reserves, Afghanistan is a land bridge bordering on the former Soviet Union, China and Iran, it is acknowledged as a strategic hub in Central Asia, The invasion was a means to secure control  over the strategic trans-Afghan transport corridor which links the Caspian sea basin to the Arabian sea.

Adjacent Turkmenistan possesses the third largest natural gas reserves after Russia and Iran.Trans-Afghan oil and gas pipeline projects already contemplated include the $8.0 billion pipeline project which would transport Turkmenistan natural gas across Afghanistan, described as a “crucial transit corridor”. Just as the Iraqi war was about oil, the Afghan war is about control of oil and gas; Afghanistan is adjacent to countries which are rich in both.

In June 2010 The Pentagon  announcement of the vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth went largely unnoticed by the general public. The statement that this was  ‘recently discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists’ is however refuted by the pre existing geological surveys conducted by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and early 1980s. These confirm prior knowledge by the  US  of the existence of not only huge untapped gas reserves but vast reserves of copper iron, high grade chrome ore, uranium, beryl, barite, lead, zinc, fluorspar, bauxite, lithium, tantalum, emeralds, gold and silver (Afghanistan, Mining Annual Review, The Mining Journal,  June, 1984).

emeralds

132043-850x563r1-pile-of-rubiesTo the east of Kabul vast deposits of Rubies, beryllium, emeralds, kunzite’s and gems that cannot be found anywhere else –stretch for hundreds of kilometres.

imagesAfghanistan is a cornucopia of the minerals essential to modern industry including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt and gold as well as rocks containing the rare metals beryllium, thorium, lithium and tantalum used in the air and spacecraft industries.

What has your mobile phone to do with the war in Afghanistan? “Lithium, an increasingly vital resource, is used in batteries for everything from mobile phones to laptops and BlackBerries and is key to the future of the electric car.” At present Chile, Australia, China and Argentina are the main suppliers of lithium to the world market with Bolivia and Chile the countries with the largest known reserves of lithium. The Pentagon confirm that lithium deposits in Afghanistan showed the potential to be as large as those of Bolivia”

The Geopolitical Game Plan: As multi national mining conglomerates fight to achieve a foothold in the new race for supremacy, deals are being done. China’s National Petroleum Corporation, in partnership with a company controlled by relatives of President Karzai, is now pumping oil from the Amu Darya field in the north. The investment consortium arranged by JPMorgan Chase is mining gold while another Chinese company is trying to develop a huge copper mine. Meanwhile Copper and gold contracts are being tendered with others pending…..

For now the trillion-dollar reservoir of natural resources remains embedded in the soil for which so many have fought and died, sadly not for the cause they believed. We can be assured that the competitive interests of Russia, Iran and China will be met by those of the US and the members of the Nato Alliance.

See also:

Regime change and Democracy

Sounds like a Plan

REGIME CHANGE and DEMOCRACY

‘Regime change': A euphemism for overthrowing a government.

The Soviet war in Afghanistan was initially fought between the forces of the Afghanistan government and foreign mercenaries, Russia was asked to assist. In 1979.. The Soviets decided to remove Hafizullah Amin the ruler of Afghanistan, whose pro China/Pakistan affiliation was considered to be an impediment to the Soviet Unions potential power base in Central Asia. A Pro-Soviet Afghan Revolutionary Central Committee was installed. The entry of the Soviet Union resulted in an immediate increase in the presence of foreign mercenaries, massive military campaigns and the extensive destruction of local infrastructure This resulted in division, a loss of support for the Soviet military presence, and nation-wide resistance. About one million Afghan civilians were killed before the Soviet troop withdrawal.

In 1991 Operation Desert Storm, the invasion of Iraq was initiated by President George H W Bush  triggered by the annexing of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein. 

In 2002 Brent Scowcroft his former National Security Advisor, warned George Bush Jnr in a Wall Street Journal editorial entitled ‘Don’t attack Saddam’ – “Possibly the most dire consequences would be the effect in the region … there would be an explosion of outrage against us … the results could well destabilise Arab regimes”, and, “could even swell the ranks of the terrorists.”

2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom: 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the proposed invasion of Iraq. wearemanystillDespite this the United States launched the invasion. According to U.S. President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the coalition mission was “to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.” The public were informed that the elimination of this brutal dictator would result in popular support for the invaders who would be welcomed as liberators. The US congress authorised the use of military force against Iraq under anti terrorism legislation confirming that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement. Many believe Al Quaeda’s expansion was the predictable outcome

 2015Thousands demonstrated in the UK to oppose the bombing of Syria a country already decimated by war with its infrastructure demolished. The UK Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 13.31.43parliament voted and bombing commenced within hours. By UN  estimates 10.8 million of the 22 million population of Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, this includes  6.5 million internally displaced, often multiple times – 50 per cent more than in 2013. At the close of 2015 the UK population remain divided as to whether bombing Syria will be effective in stopping ISIS with many believing terrorist attacks in the UK will increase as a result.

Echoes of the past return to haunt us as we listen again to an earnest  Prime Minister and a sombre president;  Barack Obama and David CameronPrevious non existant ‘Weapons of mass destruction’ have morphed into ‘70,000 moderate fighters’ who we are confidently told will support Allied forces on the ground once a UK bombing campaign begins. 

We are again assured of minimal ‘Collateral damage’ a euphemism for people maimed and killed by the ‘smart bombs’ supposedly able to differentiate between targets. TV images of bombed wedding parties, hospitals, schools and homes with weeping fathers carrying their dead and injured children from the rubble do nothing to convince us. Bombs Reports: Syrian rebels seize oil field near Homs as we all know are impersonal, they have only one purpose – to kill.  When we bomb oil fields to ensure ISIS do not benefit, ordinary people are left without fuel for cooking and come one step closer to displacement to join the thousands of asylum seekers in Europe.460261876_d1 

SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN

Screen shot 2015-12-02 at 10.38.38Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. The UN Refugee Agency stated the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.

 In a CNN interview of October 2015 former British Prime Minister Tony Blair angered many when he made a token acknowledgment of his ‘mistakes’ over the Iraq War admitting there were ‘elements of truth’ to the view that the invasion helped promote the rise of ISL.

Hans Blix who headed the U.N. inspections in Iraq at the time of the war 10 years ago220px-Hans_Blix_in_Vienna_2002 has said in his memoirs. “Today, I look again at the reasons why this terrible mistake — and violation of the U.N. charter — took place and explore if any lessons be drawn –

  • The war aimed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, but there weren’t any.
  • The war aimed to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq, but the terrorist group didn’t exist in the country until after the invasion.
  • The war aimed to make Iraq a model democracy based on law, but it replaced tyranny with anarchy and led America to practices that violated the laws of war.
  • The war aimed to transform Iraq to a friendly base for U.S. troops capable to act, if needed, against Iran — but instead it gave Iran a new ally in Baghdad

Was it about Oil?  Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalised and closed to Western oil companies before the invasion. After a decade of war it is largely privatized and completely dominated by foreign firms. Iraq’s oil production has increased by more than 40% in the past five years to 3 million barrels of oil a day but 80% of this is being exported out of the country while Iraqis struggle to meet basic energy consumption needs. Basic services such as water and electricity remain luxuries, with a quarter of the population living in poverty.

Quotes

 “Of course it’s about oil; we can’t really deny that,” Gen. John Abizaid, Head of U.S. Central Command and Military Operations in Iraq, in 2007.,

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”  Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan

People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are.” Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel 2007

Was it attempted genocide? In a paper for the Association of Genocide Scholars at the University of Manitoba, Professor Nagi of the School of Business at George Washington University cited a secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document which he said amounted to “an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq”. The DIA document revealed “minute details of a fully workable method to ‘fully degrade the water treatment system’ of an entire nation” over a period of a decade. The sanctions policy would create “the conditions for widespread disease, including full scale epidemics,” thus “liquidating a significant portion of the population of Iraq”.

Axis of Evil… bush-cheney-rumsfeldGeneral Wesley Clark the former Supreme NATO Allied Commander and Joint Chiefs of Staff Director of Strategy and Policy, describes ((2003 – Winning Modern Wars) his conversation with a military officer in the Pentagon shortly after the 11 September attacks, regarding a plan to attack seven Middle Eastern countries in five years: “As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.  Watch this space…

See also:

Regime change and Democracy 

Just Geography!